Promising “more vigorous measures” now that the “cease-fire” was over, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachevordered new attacks May 12. (Russian commanders had complained that the ceasefire had given the Chechens time to regroup.) Interior troops were joined byelite paratroop units in a broad attack employing tanks, artillery, andnighttime bombing, Itar-Tass reported. Among the hardest hit cities wereSerzhen-Yurt, Shali and Bamut; Russian commanders said they had begun toattack the mountains where the Chechens are now concentrated. Interfaxreported that the Chechens were resisting in force, and had shelled Grozny 18times over the weekend.
Russian tanks also attacked an international search party that hadset out to investigate Chechen reports that the body of American reliefexpert Fred Cuny had been found; despite having told the Russians about theirroute, the searchers were forced to turn back May 13. In Moscow, Yeltsin’spress secretary Sergei Medvedev told the Ekho Moskvy radio station May 12that the fighting in Chechnya was “continuing as it should.”
Minsk Turns Back Toward Moscow.