On the evening of May 30, Sergei Sverev, deputy representative of the Russian government, and Nurseda Khabuseyeva, an aide to Grozny Mayor Supyan Makhchaev, were killed when a remote-control mine blew up their automobile in the Chechen capital. Mayor Makhchaev, who was also in the car at the time of the blast, was wounded. According to the Chechen-press agency, fighters operating under field commander Arbi Baraev carried out the attack. Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the attack and vowed that the Chechen “bandits” would be answered in kind. Yesterday at least two soldiers were killed and eleven injured in an explosion at an army training school in the southern Russian city of Volgograd. The explosion was caused by a remote-controlled mine tied to a tree. Russian law enforcement is inclined to believe that the attack was Chechnya-related because the troops at the training school had fought in the breakaway republic.
Russian forces, meanwhile, have been carrying out a special operation against Chechen rebels in southeastern Chechnya, hitting Chechen positions in wooded areas with artillery and air strikes, after which infantry have been deployed to comb nearby mountain villages for rebel fighters. According to the Russian command, three groups of rebels from the group headed by Ruslan Gelaev are trapped in the Achkoi-Martan region’s Samashki woods (Russian agencies, Chechen press, Reuters, May 31). Russian military officials reported today that Su-25 jets flew thirteen combat missions in Chechnya over the last twenty-four hours (Russian agencies, June 1).
GANTEMIROV FIRING SUITS KREMLIN’S PURPOSES.