President Boris Yeltsin told journalists in the Kremlin August7 that "democratic" elections in Chechnya will be shiftedfrom November 1995 to "probably" early 1996. Yeltsinalso said that he has already chosen his representative in Chechnya,and hinted that it would not be the Security Council’s secretaryOleg Lobov. The envisaged exchange of prisoners was again delayedas a result of disagreements over defining the status of prisonersand that of civilian detainees. In addition, some of the Russianprisoners are being held by Chechen field commanders with whomPresident Dzhokhar Dudayev has lost contact. On August 7, thetwo top military commanders, Anatoly Romanov and Aslan Maskhadov,personally went to southern Chechnya in an effort to convincethe local commanders to release Russian prisoners. Meanwhile theRussian command spread word through the media that some Chechenfield commanders had announced that they would no longer obeyMaskhadov, and would not abide by the truce.
Russian negotiator Arkady Volsky declared that Maskhadov nowcontrols only some 60 percent of Chechen forces. Among the Chechencivilian population, demonstrations of sympathy for Dudayev andfor the resistance fighters grew. In Chechnya’s second largestcity Gudermes, a large crowd enthusiastically welcomed a unitof some 100 heavily-armed Chechen soldiers.
Despite the truce there was still no news about Fred Cuny, theAmerican aid specialist who has been missing in the region sinceApril 9.
More on Moscow’s Proposals for Ex-Yugoslavia.