Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 133

Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov yesterday blamed continuing tensions in and around his republic on "foreign security services" whose aim, he said, is to prove to the world that the Chechens are incapable of self-government. Maskhadov was speaking after nine Russian policemen were killed in Dagestan’s Khasavyurt district, on the border with Chechnya, when a radio-controlled bomb exploded under the truck in which they were traveling. (RTR, July 8)

Also yesterday, the international aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres announced that it was suspending its operations in Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya, following the abduction a week ago of one of its aid workers, a French citizen. There has been no news of his whereabouts, but it is believed that most of the growing number of hostages in and around Chechnya are being held for ransom. Yesterday, four Chechen men were abducted when the bus in which they were traveling was halted at gunpoint in North Ossetia. Their captors said the four would be swapped for an Ossetian woman who has been held captive in Ingushetia since June. The woman’s husband, who was kidnapped with her, has since been released in exchange for an Ingush who had been held in North Ossetia. (RTR, July 8)

Yeltsin Promises to Clear Public Sector Wage Arrears by Year’s End.