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Chechnya: Russian Forces Brace For Attacks

Moscow, 8 May 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Russian forces in Chechnya today braced for possible Chechen attacks on the eve of the 55th anniversary of the Soviet army's victory over Nazi Germany. Russian officials have repeatedly said Chechen fighters may try to disrupt celebrations marking the anniversary tomorrow. Police in the neighboring Russian region of Stavropol said today they detained two people with detonators and some 30 kilograms of explosives.

Russian officials said Chechen separatists tried but failed to detract attention from the presidential inauguration of Vladimir Putin yesterday. But the military said Chechen fighters attacked several Russian positions in the Chechen capital Grozny and elsewhere in the breakaway republic.

The military today admitted a SU-24 had disappeared over Chechnya but said bad weather conditions could have caused the disappearance of the reconnaissance jet.