Last week the separatist rebels showed that they are still capable of waging not just hit-and-run ambushes of federal forces, but set-piece battles lasting as long as two days. Federal officials confirmed that a battle that began on June 6 with the ambush of a Russian military convoy near Argun was still raging on the evening of June 7. The Russians acknowledged the deaths of four of their own soldiers, including one of their senior officers–Colonel Aud Yusupov, Chechnya’s deputy military commander. Federal and separatist forces were also said to be exchanging artillery fire on the outskirts of Grozny, the Voice of America reported on June 7.
–NEW TACTIC AGAINST REFUGEES