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Twelve Russian Soldiers Killed in Chechnya Crash

10 March 2005 -- Reports say at least 12 Russian servicemen have been killed and two others wounded after their helicopter crashed in Chechnya.

Details are still coming in, but early indications are that the helicopter crashed after hitting a power line.

The incident comes as Chechen separatists continue to comment on the killing this week of leader Aslan Maskhadov.

Today, Maskhadov's former spokesman said his killing will radicalize rebels in the Russian breakaway republic.

Mairbek Vachagaev said Russia will have "an even tougher time" in Chechnya following Maskhadov's killing by Russian forces on 8 March. He said Maskhadov had a moderating influence on the Chechen separatist movement.

Earlier, leading Chechen separatists said they have named Abdul-Karim Sadulaev, a conservative Muslim, to succeed Maskhadov.