Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 106

On May 31, the eve of the effective date of the ceasefire, the Russian army ordered the Chechen detachment in Shali to disarm by 8:00 AM on June 1, or else face a "special operation" (meaning bombardment followed by storming) against the town. In an ensuing clash, the military killed a local resistance commander and took 14 prisoners. Chechen fighters retaliated June 1 by capturing 26 Russian soldiers in Nozhay Yurt district — supposedly controlled by Russian forces — and offering to exchange them for those captured in Shali. In Grozny yesterday, at least four Russian soldiers were killed and others wounded when their APC was blown up by a mine.

Negotiations to devise a mechanism for implementing the May 27 Moscow armistice agreement were scheduled to open Saturday in Dagestan’s capital Makhachkala, but were postponed after the Russian side objected to the size — 30 men — of the Chechen delegation’s security detail. The meeting has tentatively been rescheduled to open June 4 or 5 in Ingushetia’s capital Nazran, with Ingush president Ruslan Aushev acting as host. The choice of Nazran, should it hold, represents a significant success for Ingushetia and Aushev who have criticized Moscow’s conduct of the war and maintained contacts with Chechen resistance. A session of the Chechen Defense Committee — the highest decision-making body of the resistance — reaffirmed its adherence to the Moscow agreement and expressed concern over military attempts to undermine it. (Russian and Western agencies, May 31, June 1 and 2)

Yeltsin: A More Assertive Russia…