Defense minister Pavel Grachev has come out against the Kremlin’s current emphasis on political methods in dealing with Chechnya. "The political negotiations proceed slowly and highly unsuccessfully. They confirm our apprehension that the negotiating process is a [Chechen] tactical stratagem enabling them to build up arms supplies, manpower, and ammunition stores in the hills," Grachev said. He warned that Chechen forces may soon resume combat operations and that Russian troop reinforcements will be needed to deal with the situation. (8) Grachev’s remarks challenge presidential envoy Oleg Lobov’s policy, presumably authorized by Yeltsin, of relying on protracted negotiations with Dudayev’s representatives to obtain Chechen disarmament in exchange for Russian troop withdrawal. Grachev’s own subordinate Lt. General Anatoly Romanov, commander of Russian forces in Chechnya, is a leading promoter of that policy–a fact which highlights Grachev’s loss of influence over Moscow’s Chechnya policy at this stage.
In contrast to Grachev, Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said that "everyone must demonstrate patience and seek disarmament through negotiations;" and Lobov cautioned in Grozny that Chechen disarmament will necessitate a long time and painstaking negotiations with Chechen field commanders. Lobov also called for the establishment of a court martial in Chechnya to try crimes committed by Russian soldiers against civilians and for maximum publicity for convictions. The negotiations in Grozny focused on two contentious issues: on compensation for surrendered weapons, which the Russian side only pays to individuals coming forward, whereas the Chechen side wants compensation also for the few arms given up by Chechen detachments; and on the formation of Chechen self-defense units, which the Russian side wants confined to areas not controlled by Moscow-installed authorities, whereas the Dudayev side rejects such limitations. (9)
On Chechnya’s border with Dagestan, the Russian border troop command announced that a Chechen detachment with civilian supporters was laying siege to a Russian unit demanding its removal from the area, and that the Russian command had entered into negotiations.
Defense Ministry Will Delve Into Details Of Yak-Lockheed Project.