Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 194

As Russia protests to the West that the problem in Chechnya is one of international terrorism and will be resolved as such through negotiations (NTV, RTR, ORT, October 19), federal forces in the region continue to move aggressively toward its center.

Aleksandr Zdanovich, head of the Federal Security Service’s public relations center, said yesterday that a Georgian terrorist who was involved in last year’s attack on Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had been captured in Moscow and would be transferred to Tbilisi. The captured terrorist, some of whose testimony was shown on television yesterday, said that he was trained in a special camp operating in the Chechen town of Serzhen-Yurt. After he gave evidence, the camp was destroyed by the Russian air force. Zdanovich also said that Chechen terrorists were involved in the Tashkent explosions this past February, when an attempt was made on the life of Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov (NTV, RTR, ORT, October 19).

The fighting in Chechnya continues to intensify and, if the Kremlin is to be believed, the Russian military has scored some major successes. Sources in the headquarters of the combined federal forces in Chechnya have reported that Russian units have taken control of strategic heights, roads and ravines in the south, along the Chechnya-Georgia border. The Russian forces have not gained full control over the republic, but if the information related to the border with Georgia is confirmed, this means that Chechnya has been encircled (NTV, RTR, ORT, October 19).