Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 217

Lt. Gen. Viktor Zavarzin, commander of Russian "peacekeeping" troops in Tajikistan, yesterday denied charges that his troops are assisting Tajik government forces in preparing a counteroffensive in central Tajikistan. He depicted such charges as "bare-faced, brazen, impudent, and monstrous lies which could only arise in the inflamed brains of Russia’s enemies." The troops are "fully neutral" because their CIS mandate requires them to be, the general added. Zavarzin was responding to Tajik opposition appeals to the UN, asking it to stop the Russian command from providing logistical support to Tajik government forces gathering for a counteroffensive in Tavildara and Karategin. Confirming those preparations, Zavarzin expressed confidence that government troops are capable without assistance of regaining the ground they recently lost in central Tajikistan. (Itar-Tass, November 18)

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