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Chechnya: Russians Claim Progress In Fight For Grozny

Moscow/Grozny, 20 January 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian forces are claiming progress in street battles in Grozny as they push forward in their bid to seize control of Chechnya's capital. But Russian commanders concede rebel fighters are putting up tough resistance. The Russian and Chechen sides admitted they had each suffered heavy casualties in the recent fighting. The Italian and German foreign ministers are due to arrive in Moscow today for talks expected to include western concerns over the war in Chechnya. Italy's Lamberto Dini and Germany's Joschka Fischer are due to meet separately with Russian acting President Vladimir Putin and hold a "troika" meeting with Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.