The Russian media on June 19-20 attacked the Russian government for its handling of the Budennovsk hostage crisis. Segodnya on June 19 complained that the government had yielded too much, but Russian radio and television featured former hostages who complained about Moscow’s willingness to use force. Chernomyrdin took some of the sting out of charges of too many concessions by telling a press conference June 19 that Moscow would not grant the Chechens independence, or be as merciful, if there were another terrorist incident, Moscow television reported. President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin are to meet today, Russian radio reported June 19, to discuss the crisis. Fearing that Chernomyrdin has looked good and the president bad in the crisis, Yeltsin’s aides hastened to tell the media that the president remained in the loop and made all of the major decisions.
Region Remains Tense.