Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 97

Two Russian soldiers were killed in the explosion of a munitions depot in Grozny September 16. Thirteen Russian soldiers were wounded by resistance attacks elsewhere in Chechnya. Following the Grozny explosion, Russian aviation bombed several villages, killing three civilians and wounding several dozen, according to Chechen presidential spokesman Movlady Udugov.

Moscow representatives, acting through pro-Moscow Chechens in Grozny have again called for a "roundtable" of various political parties and organizations in Grozny for September 23. Those invited include Dzhokhar Dudayev, his former and current armistice negotiators Uman Imayev and Khodzhakhmed Yarikhanov, his army chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov, the pro-Moscow Umar Avturkhanov’s Committee of National Accord and Salambek Khadjiev’s would-be government in Grozny, the ex-Soviet leader of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR Doku Zavgayev (now an official in Boris Yeltsin administration’s department of nationalities), and the ethnic Chechen former chairman of Russia’s Supreme Soviet Ruslan Khasbulatov. Yeltsin’s envoy in Chechnya, security council secretary Oleg Lobov, said that he foresees an important role for Khasbulatov and Zavgayev. (13)

Moscow’s initiative to call the round table reflects its search for more effective and more respected collaborators than Avturkhanov and Khadjiev whom Moscow has grossly overestimated. That Yeltsin and his representatives should turn to Yeltsin’s arch-rival Khasbulatov, whom they had originally insisted on excluding as a potential alternative to Dudayev, illustrates Moscow’s confusion and poor political planning in Chechnya.

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