CHECHNYA: MOSCOW STOPS SHORT OF NEW FIGHT
Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 75
: On August 15,Moscow escalated verbal threats against the Chechen resistance.Duma speaker Ivan Rybkin seconded President Boris Yeltsin’s andPrime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin’s demands that the Chechensdisarm or be disarmed as "a crucial precondition to any settlement,"Russia’s Radio reported.
But in contrast to politicians, the military command in Chechnyasought to defuse tensions. The commander-in-chief, Lt. GeneralAnatoly Romanov, gave assurances that "there will be no renewalof combat action, and all provisions of the military accord willbe implemented by peaceful means," according to Ostankinoon August 15. Speaking after a meeting with Chechen chief of staffAslan Maskhadov, Romanov said that he and his counterpart hadagreed on the villages from which the Russian troops will beginwithdrawing August 16. Maskhadov, for his part, announced thathe had reached agreement with field commanders in Gudermes, Shali,Vedeno, and Nozhai-Yurt on handing over their heavy arms. Maskhadovadded that Chechen commanders agreed with Romanov that some heavymilitary equipment, because of its nearly inaccessible location,should be destroyed from the air.
Some Chechen commanders nevertheless continued attacking Russianforces, which lost 2 killed and 3 wounded, Russia’s Radio reportedAugust 16. Commentaries in Izvestiya, Segodnya, and Kommersant-Dailyobserved that both sides have used the armistice to replenishtheir arsenals, re-group their troops, and prepare for a resumptionof hostilities.
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