Russian forces yesterday lost 13 killed, mostly in battling resistance forces just outside Bamut. The Russian command canceled a previously scheduled visit to Bamut by Russian and foreign journalists, which was intended to demonstrate that the area is under firm military control.
The Council of Europe yesterday condemned Russian military operations in Chechnya for what the speaker of the Council’s parliamentary assembly said was "the scorn and indifference shown by military authorities towards Chechen civilians." Leni Fischer also warned that "trust" in the Russian Federation "would be affected if no convincing start is made to the search for a peaceful solution to the Chechen conflict," but she made no mention of sanctions. (Russian and Western agencies, NTV, July 24) Russia responded angrily last week to a resolution from the European parliament which also criticized Russian policy in Chechnya.
Former field commander Salman Raduev or the man who claims to be the resurrected Raduev called another news conference in Chechnya yesterday to claim responsibility for the two recent bus bombings in Moscow which injured a score of passengers and for the failed bomb attack at Voronezh railroad station. He also threatened a "full-scale war against Russian railroads." But he seemed unable to provide any specifics on the attacks he claimed to have masterminded. Chechen resistance leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiev’s chief spokesman Movladi Udugov and several field commanders immediately disavowed the remarks of the real or alleged Raduev and also pointed out that he does not exercise any command. Raduev’s resurrection has provided the Kremlin with an unexpected and indeed rare propaganda advantage.
Stats on Russia’s Armed Forces.