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Chechnya: Russian Official Says Situation Remains Complicated

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.