In a sinister echo of the murder one day earlier of six Red Cross workers, six elderly Russian civilians were shot dead yesterday in two separate houses in the Chechen capital. The victims — three men and three women — were all aged over 60. As with the Red Cross workers, no evidence of theft was found, fueling suspicion that the motive was political. (RTR, BBC, December 18)
Also yesterday, the bodies of the six Red Cross workers were flown from Chechnya to Switzerland. Traveling with them were 70 foreign nationals who had been working for the Red Cross in Chechnya. Virtually all international organizations have decided to pull out of Chechnya in the wake of the massacre. The exception was the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which announced its intention of staying. (RTR, December 18)
Raduev Releases Hostages.