On June 26, passions cooled betweenthe Crimean Tatars and the local Russian community in Ukraine’sCrimea, Moscow media reported. On June 23, two Crimean Tatarswere killed in a market by mafiosi, and two more Crimean Tatarsdied in clashes during the June 25 funeral for the first two.Crimean Tatars blamed the Ukrainian authorities for the deaths,arguing that Kiev and local officials had failed to provide adequatesecurity. Ukrainian president Leonid Kuchma said that the conflict–thefirst serious violence in Ukraine since independence–was aboutcrime and not ethnicity, Interfax reported June 26. Russian radiosuggested on the same day that a group of Chechens had been responsible.The violence overshadowed the June 25 elections in which pro-Moscowgroups failed to win a single mayoralty in the Crimea’s 26 districts.
Chechen Talks Delayed until June 28.