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DATE=11/2/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA - U-S (L) NUMBER=2-255727 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: U.S. officials say President Clinton plans to make a personal appeal to Russia's prime minister during talks in Oslo to try to minimize civilian casualties in Russia's military campaign in Chechnya. V-O-A Moscow Correspondent Eve Conant reports Russian jets and artillery continue to bomb two of Chechnya's largest cities and thousands of refugees remain trapped inside the breakaway republic. TEXT: Aides to President Clinton say he will press Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to halt what they describe as the "indiscriminate use of force against innocent civilians" in Chechnya. Other U-S officials have appealed to Mr. Putin to stop the violence. But he has vowed to move ahead with the military campaign despite international calls for a peaceful end to the conflict. Earlier Tuesday, the prime minister told reporters that what he called Chechen "criminals," not Russian officials, are to blame for the human suffering in Chechnya. He pledged to continue what he called "Russia's task of freeing the Chechen people" from terrorists. Prime Minister Putin says Islamic militants in Chechnya are armed and trained by international terrorist groups and must be destroyed. Russian warplanes and artillery continue to bomb targets in Chechnya's capital, Grozny, as well as the republic's second largest city, Gudermes. Russian forces are also shelling the town of Bamut, close to Chechnya's border with the neighboring republic of Ingushetia. Thousands of refugees remain trapped near the Chechen- Ingush border, which Russian troops are tightly controlling. An estimated 190-thousand refugees have already fled the bombing raids. (Signed) NEB/EC/JWH/PLM 02-Nov-1999 06:23 AM EDT (02-Nov-1999 1123 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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