In Moscow, Boris Yeltsin told a Security Council meeting that he would negotiate with any Chechen leaders, including those thus far not recognized by Moscow, but not with Dudayev, Russian agencies reported August 31. Until now, Yeltsin has avoided contact with any Chechen political figures. However, Security Council secretary Oleg Lobov said that he could not rule out talks with Dudayev for the sake of progress on disarmament, since no election in Chechnya will be possible until the "illegal armed formations" are completely disarmed. According to Lobov, even though Dudayev is a very erratic figure he is able to make rational decisions. Defense minister Pavel Grachev told the Security Council that military activity in Chechnya will continue until at least the end of the year.
On the Ground.