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DATE=10/7/1999 TYPE=WORLD OPINION ROUNDUP TITLE=RUSSIA'S WAR IN CHECHNYA NUMBER=6-11506 BYLINE=ANDREW GUTHRIE DATELINE=WASHINGTON EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS TELEPHONE=619-3335 CONTENT= NOT VOICED INTRO: Russia's renewed military operations against its renegade Chechen region in the Caucasus continues to provoke many editorials in the world press. We get a sampling now from ____________ in this week's World Opinion Roundup. TEXT: Papers both in Russia and in the rest of Europe are painting a uniformly bleak picture of the Russian- Chechen conflict. Most editors agree that the confrontation promises to be long and bloody. Papers in Rome and Berlin suggest that Russia's brute force may have what they called the "undesired effect" of encouraging "broad support for the Islamic fighters . among the people of the north Caucasus." In Paris, Le Monde, calls for international condemnation of the Russian attacks. We begin our sampling in Moscow, with a reformist weekly paper Itoqi, which says: VOICE: After Kosovo, anything goes. You can't try to bomb [Yugoslavian President Slobodan] Milosevic into a compromise and, at the same time, urge others not to do the same to [Chechen President] Maskhadov. After Kosovo, anything is possible, with the ban on the use of force without approval by the U-N all but disavowed. Conflicts like Kosovo and Chechnya may reduce the U-N's role to offering humanitarian aid to displaced people. TEXT: In the opposition daily Sovetskaya Rossiya, there is great concern that this is turning into a religious war pitting the mainly Slavic, Christian Russians against the Islamic Chechens, Ingushes and Tartars of the Caucasus. VOICE: We caution the government against ferocious violent actions that might add to people's suffering, as well as against the hypocrisy and treachery which, lurking in political circles, may turn into a campaign against the Russian army, causing a halt in its offensive, the eventual signing of a second Hasavyurt [the location of the pact ending the hostilities earlier this decade between Russia and Chechnya]accord, and a subsequent chain reaction-like disintegration of this country. TEXT: To Western Europe and Britain, where London's Guardian commented: VOICE: The short-term objectives of Russia's military assault on Chechnya are becoming clear . The aim is containment rather than total control. Russia's longer-term objectives remain perfectly obscure, even, we suspect, to the Russians TEXT: Across the channel, Le Monde argued in its editorial: VOICE: According to [Russian] Prime Minister Putin, the war in Chechnya is intended to destroy Islamic terrorist bases . But Russia has not been bombarding the mountains, but oil and gas installations . and what is left of . Grozny. .It is hitting what little is left of the local infrastructure. . Since September, 600 Chechen civilians have allegedly been killed. . For less than this, Indonesia was accused of torturing the population of East Timor and suffered economic sanctions. . Chechnya is being attacked in revenge for Russia's defeat in 1996. It is also a way to distract attention from financial scandals . These are sinister motives which should push the international community to break its guilty silence. TEXT: Some editorial outrage from Le Monde in Paris. TEXT: In Hungary, there is more skepticism, as one of Budapest's leading dailies, Magyar Nemzet, asks: VOICE: What's the difference between the Chechens and the Kosovars? Nothing, only the PR (public relations) of the latter [group] is better. In addition, in Kosovo's case, U-S politics is already willing to accept ethnic realities even if Western Europe is aware of their dangers. . there is a Euro-Atlantic consensus that Russia must not fall apart, and chaos-beyond a certain point - is impermissible. TEXT: To Scandinavia, and Norway's Dagsavise in Oslo, which gloomily predicts: VOICE: There is barely any hope for the war to be over soon so that the people can return home safely. International involvement is necessary. TEXT: Turning to Asia, we get an idea of Korean reaction from Seoul's Dong-A Ilbo: VOICE: Russia's advance against Chechnya is now turning into an all-out war with the Chechen government . Russians are not really after Chechen rebels. They are trying to `tame' the breakaway state. TEXT: And lastly from Muslim, but secular Turkey, watching from not too far away, we read in Ortadogu: VOICE: The northern Caucasus are very important to Russia for strategic and economic reasons . Additionally, there are political power games going on in Russia. One group wants to take over President Yeltsin's power, while the other wants to remain in power. Russia is also worried about the possibility of the Russian Federation dissolving . Not only Chechnya, but also the other autonomous regions of the northern Caucasus, may want to separate from Moscow . Russia has a de-facto loss: Chechnya. And Dagestan [a Chechen neighbor] remains like a last forest fire for Russia. Therefore, the Yeltsin administration is trying very hard to keep it under control. TEXT: On that note, we concluded this sampling of world press opinion on the situation in Chechnya. NEB/ANG/JO 07-Oct-1999 17:01 PM EDT (07-Oct-1999 2101 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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