Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov says his republic is ready for any turn of events. He was speaking after meeting Chechen field commanders to discuss the situation in Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus. The meeting follows calls by Russian interior minister Anatoly Kulikov for preemptive strikes on Chechen bases suspected of participating in last month’s raid on a Russian army unit near the Dagestani town of Buinaksk. First Deputy Premier Movladi Udugov said Chechnya’s armed forces have been put on alert and are standing guard in trenches along Chechnya’s borders with Russia proper. (NTV, January 8)
As the Monitor predicted, therefore, Kulikov’s appeal has had an immediate and deleterious impact on relations between Moscow and Grozny. It may also have been instrumental in causing President Yeltsin to postpone his promised trip to Chechnya.
Unconvincing Repudiation of Kulikov’s Call to Arms.