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Russia: Yeltsin Criticizes Military Over Dagestan


Moscow, 7 September 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin today criticized the Russian military for what he called "carelessness" in allowing the incursion of Islamic militants into southern Dagestan. Yeltsin made his remarks ahead of a meeting today of the country's Security Council to be chaired by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Yeltsin told Putin this morning that all necessary measures must be taken to deal with the crisis, the most serious security threat in the region since the 1994-96 war with Chechnya. Kremlin spokesman Dmitrii Yakushkin says Yeltsin views the incursion as a "real threat to Russia's territorial integrity." Russian forces meanwhile are continuing air and artillery attacks in western Dagestan aimed at subduing a fresh rebel insurgency. Hundreds of armed Chechen rebels crossed into the republic Sunday morning and seized several villages in the Novolakskoye district on the border with Chechnya.
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