The Russian-installed mayor of Gudermes escaped from the besieged city to tell journalists in Grozny yesterday that Russian artillery, helicopters, and assault groups on the ground were firing on Chechen fighters and civilians indiscriminately, having killed at least 100 civilians in downtown Gudermes alone. Despite the street fighting in progress in Gudermes, the Russian command continued withholding information on losses incurred there, acknowledging the loss of only six Russian soldiers killed and 18 wounded in other places in the preceding 24 hours. Chechen detachments retook yesterday without a fight the district center Achkoi-Martan, 50 kilometers west of Grozny. This is the second district center (after Urus-Martan, 40 kilometers south of Grozny) retaken by Dzhokhar Dudayev’s forces in the space of one week. The resistance appears to take advantage of the relocation of some Russian troops from exposed positions to more secure quarters for wintering. Collaborationist authorities and their police, left behind by the Russians in those towns, did not fight Dudayev’s forces when the latter moved in. (11)
KGB’s Successor Pursues CIS Integration.