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DATE=12/8/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) NUMBER=2-256960 BYLINE=OWEN FAY DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Widespread international condemnation of Russia's bombardment of Chechnya may be having some effect. After delivering what amounted to an ultimatum to the residents of Chechnya's capital, Grozny, Russia now says it is just warning civilians to leave in order to guarantee their safety. Owen Fay reports from Moscow. TEXT: Russia's Interior Minister, Vladimir Rushailo, said Wednesday that the reason more civilians have not yet left Grozny is that the security corridor still is being prepared. Mr. Rushailo said the route out of the Chechen capital will be secured by Saturday and will remain open as long as it takes civilians to leave. This seems to contradict the wording of an ultimatum issued Monday which specifically ordered residents out of Grozny by this coming weekend. And analysts say it may indicate a change of plans by Russian officials. They say the past two days has seen so much international criticism of the Russian ultimatum that it is possible Moscow is reconsidering its position. But, at least one Moscow-based defense analyst thinks the bombing will continue. The analyst, Pavel Felganhauer, says that even if the deadline is extended, civilians still will come under fire. And he says that despite claims to the contrary, this latest Russian strategy violates international laws of military conduct. /// FELGENHAUER ACT /// Of course, such a bombardment would be a war crime. They'll be using so-called aerosol bombs or vacuum bombs that can penetrate dugouts, bunkers and kill everyone inside of course, including civilians. It totally flies in the face of the Geneva conventions. But I'm afraid the Russians generals have never even read them. /// END ACT /// Russia's armed forces say they are concentrating their fire strictly at military targets and not on innocent civilians trapped in and around Grozny. But in the past 24 hours, military planes have flown more than 150 missions and it is not clear how pilots can know the difference. (Signed) NEB/OF/JWH/ENE 08-Dec-1999 08:02 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1302 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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