The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW

Military



DATE=1/20/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA / CHECHNYA (L) NUMBER=2-258250 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russia's military says troops have taken control of a key central square in Grozny as fierce street fighting rages between federal forces and rebels in the Chechen capital. V-O-A Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports rebels say 45 of their men have been killed and 60 wounded in the last few days of fighting in the city. TEXT: Federal forces are moving forward street by street into the center of Grozny, with air and artillery attacks covering their advance. Russian officials say the estimated two-thousand rebels defending Grozny are running out of ammunition and many are trying to break out of the surrounded city. A pro-Moscow Chechen militia leader says Russian troops had taken control of Grozny's Minutka Square, but reports from the ground say clashes continue. Chechen rebels say they ambushed and captured a top Russian officer, General Mikhail Malofeyev. Russia's Defense Ministry has confirmed the general is missing. A Chechen rebel (internet) website admits dozens of their men have been killed and wounded in recent fighting. The figures are much higher than any previously reported rebel figures over a 24-hour period since the federal offensive began. But the Chechen report also said as many as one- thousand-500 Russian troops had died while trying to storm Grozny. Both sides have tended to exaggerate enemy casualties in the past. Russian forces have reported few casualties in recent days. The second part of Russia's offensive is in Chechnya's southern mountains, where federal warplanes and artillery have stepped up their attacks on the Argun gorge. Russian General Vadim Timchenko says rebels are putting up tough resistance. /// Timchenko Act in Russian in full and fade under /// "The harder we attack Grozny, the more the rebels fight us in the mountains," he says. "Battles are especially fierce in the Argun gorge." Local villagers say more than two-dozen civilians have died in attacks over the past two days. Federal forces say they aim to complete the Chechnya offensive before Russia's presidential elections in late March. But fighting could easily turn into a partisan war - with Chechen rebels staging more hit- and-run counterattacks in federally occupied parts of the republic. A delegation from the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly told a Moscow news conference the Council will discuss the possible suspension of Russia's membership at a meeting next week. Council officials have called for a cease-fire and are concerned over the growing number of civilian casualties in Chechnya. (Signed) NEB/EC/GE/LTD/JP 20-Jan-2000 11:18 AM EDT (20-Jan-2000 1618 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list