Russia’s commander in chief in Chechnya. Lt. General Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, and Chechen chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov are due to meet today and to sign a document implementing the cease-fire agreement signed by Russia’s highest security official Aleksandr Lebed with Maskhadov on August 23. The Tikhomirov-Maskhadov meeting was scheduled by Lebed to have been held yesterday, but was postponed after an August 24 incident in which Chechens disarmed 58 soldiers of a Russian unit in Grozny. The Chechen side apologized, promised to return the confiscated arms, and announced that it would punish the perpetrators of the cease-fire violation. Yesterday and today the cease-fire in Grozny and elsewhere seemed to be holding.
Lebed is discussing with the government in Moscow a draft document on Chechnya’s political status, which he wants approved at all levels of government before he signs it with the Chechen side. Presidential spokesman Sergey Yastrzhembski said that Boris Yeltsin was "on the whole satisfied" with Lebed’s performance — which in effect retracts Yeltsin’s August 23 criticism of Lebed’s signing of the cease-fire. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin in a televised interview last night held out a possible special status for Chechnya within Russia, conclusively ruling out Chechen independence. (Russian and Western agencies, August 25 and 26)
Military Leaders Slam Draft Defense Budget.