TITLE=RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L)
INTRO: Martial law is in effect in Chechnya as
Russian troops take up positions within artillery
range of the capital, Grozny. V-O-A's Peter
Heinlein in Moscow reports that Russia and the
United Nations are sending fresh shipments of aid
to refugees fleeing the breakaway region.
TEXT: The mass exodus from Chechnya continues.
Officials say seven thousand new refugees have
arrived in neighboring Ingushetia in the past 24
hours. That brings the total to more than 130-
thousand. Many are sleeping under the open sky.
The United Nations refugee agency is sending an
additional 160 tons of food to the region. Russia
is sending even more. The U-N-H-C-R's Vera
Soboleva says the aid includes railroad carriages
that can serve as shelter during the Russian
winter just ahead.
/// SOBOLEVA ACT ///
It is already autumn in this part of the
country. That's why the Ministry of
Emergencies of the Russian Federation is
sending carriages, which can be used for
temporary shelter, because it's already
cold at night.
/// END ACT ///
With Russian troops setting up positions within
25 kilometers north of the capital, Grozny,
President Aslan Maskhadov declared martial law in
the region, and called for a holy war against
In Moscow, meanwhile, Defense Minister Igor
Sergeyev refused to rule out a further advance.
///SERGEYEV ACT IN RUSSIAN///
He says, "Everything will depend on specific
developments." He told reporters some federal
troops are still advancing toward Grozny.
At the same time, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
was pledging to devote a larger part of next
year's federal budget to military spending.
/// PUTIN ACT IN RUSSIAN... ///
He says, "In connection with developments in the
south, we must spend more, and shift our
priorities to buying military equipment."
Russians, angered by the bombing of apartment
buildings last month that killed nearly 300
people, have largely supported the latest
campaign in Chechnya. Even opponents of the
earlier Chechen war have endorsed the idea of
wiping out Chechen terrorists blamed for the
But two prominent politicians, former Prime
Minister Sergei Stepashin and factional leader
Grigory Yavlinsky Wednesday, said the recent air
raids on civilian areas in Chechnya ignored what
they called the "tragic experience" of the
previous war. Mr. Yavlinsky warned Russia's
leaders against exploiting the conflict for
///YAVLINSKY ACT IN RUSSIAN, THEN FADE TO...///
He says, "The development of events in Chechnya
along the lines of 1994 to 1996 will lead to a
colossal defeat for Russia."
In Chechnya, meanwhile, Russian forces and
Chechen fighters were reported exchanging fire in
districts north of Grozny. The Interfax news
agency quotes Russia's armed forces chief of
staff, General Anatoly Kvashnin, as saying the
current military operations would finish only
after a security zone with Russian administration
is firmly in place.
That would indicate a long conflict. Chechen
President Maskhadov this week told reporters his
forces would fight until Russian troops are
driven out of Chechnya, as they were in 1996.
06-Oct-1999 11:06 AM EDT (06-Oct-1999 1506 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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