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Russia: Officials Defend Military Campaign In Chechnya

Grozny, 16 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - Reports from Moscow today say Russian officials are preparing to fend off more international criticism of their military campaign in Chechnya -- an offensive that President Boris Yeltsin has vowed to defend during this week's European security summit in Istanbul. Yeltsin and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin are expected to face intense pressure at the two-day summit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which starts Thursday. Yeltsin said yesterday that Western countries have no right to blame Moscow for destroying what he called "bandits and terrorists" on Russian territory.