Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 57

Russian aviation and artillery yesterday attacked villages in Nozhay-Yurt, Nauria, and Urus-Martan districts situated in southeastern, northern, and central Chechnya, respectively. In western Chechnya, Russian forces continued bombing and shelling several towns and villages, but failed in their attempts to storm them. The Russian command complained that it "lacked the means to deal with the small, mobile separatist units…which can strike anywhere;" the command could only take comfort from "the separatists’ desperate shortage of medical supplies." Refugees continued streaming into neighboring Ingushetia, whose President Ruslan Aushev continued in vain to urge Moscow to negotiate with Djohar Dudaev as "the one who has real power and influence in Chechnya."

Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s senior legal advisor Mikhail Krasnov and Duma Communist chairman Gennady Seleznev in separate but similar statements yesterday ruled out any negotiations with "wanted criminal" Djohar Dudaev. Also yesterday, Chechnya’s National Accord Committee, which groups most of the republic’s parties and movements, appealed to the international community to demand the resumption of the negotiations broken by the Russian side last October.

The collaborationist Chechen authorities in the last few days publicly asked Boris Yeltsin and his government to halt the "destruction of the civilian population and pillaging" by Russian troops, which were "turning the population against Russia." A fact-finding team of the Duma Defense Committee, comprised of Aleksei Arbatov and the retired Col. Generals Eduard Vorobyov and Albert Makashov, similarly found that "so-called cleanup operations increase civilian casualties and the inflow of fresh volunteers to separatist units." Russia’s Defense Ministry could only respond by alleging that Chechen fighters disguised as Russian soldiers were committing the crimes in order to "discredit" the troops.

…Amid Protest in Russia, Ukraine.