Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 70

. Cease-fire violations decreased on August 8 butvirtual stalemate persisted at the Russian-Chechen negotiationsin Grozny. The sides remained far apart on the question of thefuture status of Chechnya. Nor was there any progress towardestablishing procedures for an exchange of prisoners. The commanderof Russian forces in Chechnya, Lt. General Anatoly Romanov, wentto the country’s mountainous region in an effort to persuade Chechenfield commanders to release their Russian prisoners.

Mass rallies in support of president Dzhokhar Dudayev and ofChechen independence from Moscow continued in various areas ofChechnya, and were described as "an organized provocation"by Itar-Tass. Dudayev himself addressed the rally in the villageof Tangu, calling for "struggle until complete victory,"according to Russian television August 8. In the town of Shali,about one thousand civilians attended a pro-Dudayev rally to demandthe withdrawal of Russian troops and full independence for Chechnya,Russia’s Radio reported August 9. Addressing the rally, Chechenchief of staff and co-chairman of the Russian-Chechen armisticecontrol committee, Aslan Makhadov, pledged to make no concessionregarding Chechen independence. He also explained that althoughcivilians must hand over their weapons to the Committee, theywill be stored in place and will be distributed again to the populacein the event that Russia breaks the military agreement. Russiangeneral Eduard Skobelev, however, told those assembled to electa new local administration in order to prevent the restorationof Dudayev’s administration in the area.

Special Duma Session Called.