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Russia: Commanders Say Elite Troops Going To Chechnya

Moscow, April 19 (RFE/RL) - Russian news agencies today quote military commanders as saying that "elite troops" are being sent to Chechnya to fight against Chechen rebels. Military officials are quoted as saying that the troops include paratroopers from the Defense Ministry and Interior Ministry units (OMON). They are to be deployed in the Vedeno and Noshai-Yurt regions, among others. The military commanders were also quoted as saying that special elite Russian units will be deployed in the capital, Grozny, where an estimated 400 Chechen fighters are said to be still operating.

Earlier reports from the Russian military command in North Caucasus said about 3,000 paratroopers were sent to the Shatoi region in southcentral Chechnya.

All these reports contradict an assertion made today in Moscow by Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev that no reinforcements are being sent to Chechnya.