A long-overdue meeting of senior Russian and Chechen resistance delegations, held in Starye Atagi (southern Chechnya) June 28, produced disagreement on fundamental issues. The sides were unable to agree on the definition of such concepts as "special operations," "troop withdrawal," "demilitarization," and "unlawful possession of arms," all key concepts of the armistice agreements signed May 27 in Moscow and June 10 in Nazran. Russian delegates to the talks and the Russian command discussed plans to provide the Moscow-installed Chechen authorities with strong internal affairs troops as Moscow begins thinning out its forces in Chechnya.
On June 29, Chechen resistance leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiev and the Chechen delegation noted that the talks were turning "farcical" and that the armistice agreements are not being confirmed in binding documents. The Chechen side called on Moscow to demonstrate its good faith by recognizing the illegitimacy of the new Grozny parliament and of Doku Zavgaev’s administration and replacing the delegates to the armistice talks with officials not involved in initiating and conducting the war. Chechen chief spokesman Movladi Udugov said that the statements sought to get the "top Russian leadership’s attention and signal to it the seriousness of the situation.
The first echelon from the first Russian unit to be withdrawn from Chechnya — the 245th motorized regiment — began over the weekend to withdraw to its permanent base in Nizhny Novgorod region. According to official data, 1,111 soldiers are returning; 220 killed were killed, and 19 are prisoners in Chechen hands. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, Western agencies, June 28 through 30)
The Grozny parliament "elected" June 16 on Moscow’s instructions, and in violation of the armistice agreement, was inaugurated over the weekend.
Mixed Signals from Moscow on Kuril Islands.