Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 2

Commenting on the state of the current war in Chechnya, leading Russian military journalist Pavel Felgenhauer wrote in the January 10 issue of the Moscow Times: “Victory in Chechnya now seems as far off as ever. Russian troops are still mopping up and ‘cleansing’ the towns and villages that they have ‘cleaned’ many times before in search of rebels. This week a special operation was conducted in Argun to the northeast of Grozny–a town that was captured without a fight by the army in the fall of 1999. Many Chechens are killed or arrested during these cleansing operations…. After a decade of devastation and killing, there are several hundred thousand inhabitants left, with hundreds of thousands more living as refugees in neighboring Ingushetia. The Russian occupation force in Chechnya is more than 80,000 strong…. Since 1995, this is the fifth winter offensive by Russian forces in Chechnya. They did not succeed before and are unlikely to succeed ever.”