On September 18, Chechen opposition forces brought 31 Russian prisoners of war to the village of Roshni-Chu to be exchanged for rebel fighters held by the Russian authorities. Some of these Russian prisoners were earlier reported to have been killed in action; many have been in custody for over a year. The Chechens say they are ready to exchange them for their countrymen at any time. (NTV, September 18) However, these prisoners represent only a small number of those believed to be held by the two sides. The chairman of the Duma commission on freeing prisoners of war and forcibly held persons, Nikolai Bezborodov, told the Monitor that more than 400 Russian soldiers are being held by the Chechen rebels. The Chechen side maintains that 1,200 Chechens are in Russian hands.
Latvian Leading Political Couple Ousted.