Saying that hewould go to Grozny himself if necessary, Prime MinisterViktor Chernomyrdin told his negotiators June 25 that theymust resolve the issue peacefully, Russian radio reported.Apparently, there has been less progress at the talks thanhad been assumed in the initial euphoria. Each side hascriticized the other for violating the truce–with somejustice–and the Chechen negotiators denounced the Russianones for leaking information to the press after an agreementnot to do so. More seriously, the Russians said that theChechens were not backing away from their commitment toChechen sovereignty, something Moscow is insisting on.Meanwhile, in the southern Russian region of Stavropolauthorities are expelling Chechens living there”illegally,” Russian radio reported June 24. Such a movethat will certainly inflame passions in the region. And anexplosion derailed eight train cars in Daghestan June 24,something Moscow will certainly try to pin on the Chechens.(In an almost comic incident, Ossetian card sharks set offan alert in Moscow when they tried to force other travelerson a train to play cards.) Meanwhile, the internationalrelief organization Doctors Without Frontiers announced thatRussian forces had fired on one of its convoys in Chechnyaover the weekend. And again, there was no word on the fateof Fred Cuny, the American aid worker who has been missingsince April 9.
Moscow Hardens Line On Nuclear Issues.