Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 33

On September 17, Chechen separatists announced that they had launched their largest-scale offensive in months “with a series of coordinated attacks across the Russian rebel region’s lowlands, seizing buildings and shooting down a helicopter.” Russian officials confirmed that a surge in fighting was under way. Initial reports focused on clashes in Gudermes, the republic’s second city, and at major railway junctions (Reuters, September 17). “As a result of a well-planned and unanticipated action, detachments of rebels numbering about 800 persons have succeeded in seizing Gudermes and Nozhai-Yurt,” reported. “A battle has been going on in Argun for more than six hours.”