The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s international organizations department, Aleksandr Gorelik, told a Moscow briefing September 7 that "Russia may give up the program of cooperation with NATO and all other documents related to it, if the alliance persists in the use of force in Bosnia." (3)
A group of about 30 pro-Dudayev Chechen fighters attempted to storm the Internal Affairs Ministry building in the town of Argun. Russian troops managed to ward off the Chechen attack but only after having to resort to the use of assault helicopters and artillery. The Russian military command said that there were no Russian casualties.
Meanwhile, Russian security council chairman and chief presidential administrator in Chechnya Oleg Lobov, said that the situation in Chechnya is "complicated, but not hopeless." Lobov appeared to rule out any participation by Dzhokhar Dudayev in negotiations or regional elections, since the criminal case against the Chechen president is still open; but held out the prospect of a political role for Dudayev "if his position and views change." This remark reflects Moscow’s frustration with the ineffectiveness and unpopularity of the Chechen figures it has selected for cooperation. This has led Lobov in recent days to hold out an olive branch to Yeltsin’s personal adversary, Ruslan Khasbulatov, the ethnic Chechen former chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet and leader in the October 1993 armed struggle against Yeltsin.
Russian television continued to comment on the anniversary of Chechen independence, which was celebrated on September 6. The television reports recalled last year’s independence day celebrations. At that time, Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev reviewed a military parade in Grozny and welcomed visiting Liberal Democratic Party leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Today, the republic’s economy is devastated by the war, 85 percent of Grozny’s houses have been destroyed, and out of a prewar population of one million which has since been substantially reduced, 350,000 are unemployed. (4)
Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Holds Congress.