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Chechnya: No New Russian Assault Despite Deadline

Moscow, March 25 (RFE/RL) - Despite the end of a Russian ultimatum to Chechen fighters to surrender, there are no signs that Russian troops have begun a new assault in western Chechnya. The ultimatum was announced yesterday by the federal command in Chechnya. The Russian military command had ordered Chechen separatists in three villages - Goiskoye, Alkhazurovo and Komsomolskoye of the Urus-Martan district -- to surrender their weapons by this morning or face further attacks. But RFE/RL correspondent quotes defense ministry representatives as saying there are no indications of new attacks by either side. Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, during an unexpected visit to the capital Grozny today, will discuss the situation in the breakway republic with local officials.