The pro-Moscow Committee for National Accord in Chechnya, headed by Umar Avturkhanov, has postponed into the indefinite future the parliamentary elections in Chechnya which were scheduled to be held on November 5. The Committee’s communiqué, as reported by Russia’s Radio on September 6, bars elections until "the illegal military formations have been disarmed completely," and until military activities have ceased. These conditions may not obtain anytime soon. In Grozny, the Russian military command spokesman said that the disarmament process has hardly even begun. He also said that despite the cease-fire, the number of Russian casualties continues to increase. According to Russia’s official body count, 109 Russian servicemen have been killed since the military accord was signed two months ago.
Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev’s representative at the political negotiations, Khodzhakhmed Yarikhanov, denied that Dudayev’s forces were about to violate the cease-fire. Earlier, the Russian military command had issued a statement saying that Dudayev’s troops were planning to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Chechen independence, on or about September 5-6, with "reckless attacks in order to restore control over the territory they abandoned this summer, as well as to prove that their resistance potential is not broken."
Oleg Lobov, Russian security council secretary and presidential representative in Chechnya, arrived in Grozny and told Itar-Tass September 6 that despite many difficulties, he sees positive shifts in the Chechen situation. He cited the restoration of civil aviation traffic between Grozny and several Russian cities, and the creation of the Joint Russian-Chechen Committee to Search for Prisoners of War as reasons for optimism. Lobov said once again that he is ready to negotiate with any Chechen leaders, including those not previously recognized by Moscow, but stopped short of naming names. However Lobov’s aide Vladimir Zorin identified Ruslan Khasbulatov, former chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet, as one Chechen leader with whom the Russians might deal. Khasbulatov himself claimed that he has not received any official invitation to the talks, but said that he and his organization, the People’s Union for Revival, are ready to support them.
Finally, the Russian Federation’s chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko said that he is worried about the cholera epidemic in Chechnya, which has now claimed 93 victims, Russian public television (nee Ostankino) reported September 4.
Gen. Lebed Outlines His Positions.