Moscow, 4 May 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Russia's interior minister says the
situation in Chechnya remains, in his word, "complicated," with Chechen
separatist rebels continuing to stage attacks on Russian forces. Vladimir
Rushailo, on a visit to Chechnya yesterday, acknowledged that federal control of
some areas of the republic is weak. His comments came following a series of
rebel ambushes and attacks that have inflicted casualties on Russian troops.
Meanwhile, Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov was quoted in the French
newspaper "Le Monde" as saying it was Russian generals, not President-elect
Vladimir Putin, were responsible for the continued fighting in Chechnya.
Kremlin and Russian military officials ruled out the possibility of any
talks between Putin and Maskhadov aimed at ending the conflict.