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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

ALL AIRBORNE TROOPS UNITS EXCEPT SPECIAL FORCES WITHDRAWN FROM CHECHNYA

RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, February 17 (RIA Novosti) - "All Airborne Troops units, except special units, have been withdrawn from Chechnya," Commander of the Airborne Troops Alexander Kolmakov said at a news conference in Moscow.

Answering the question when the special forces will be withdrawn from Chechnya, Mr. Kolmakov said: "As soon as we receive the order it will be withdrawn."

The commander said he could not confirm the information that after the withdrawal of the airborne troops, some paratroopers have still remained in Chechnya.

"According to the data of the Defense Ministry, there is no such information; we have there only special units," he said.

According to Mr. Kolmakov, during the two Chechen campaigns 85 paratroopers were conferred the title of the Hero of the Russian Federation, and more than 20,000 received state awards.

The commander said that the losses of the airborne troops in Chechnya from August 1999 and up to the present time totaled 347 men, including 51 officers; 909 paratroopers, including 169 officers, were wounded.



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