Moscow, March 26 (RFE/RL) - Fresh fighting is reported
today in southwestern Chechnya, where Russian forces are continuing
their assault on separatist positions.
Word on the new fighting comes from the Russian defense ministry.
General Nikolai Tkachev said that villages of Bamut, Orekhovo and Stary
Achkoi came under attack. Russian troops also were conducting a street
by street operation to clear the village of Samashki of separatist
In the Chechen capital of Grozny, Russian troops fearing a rebel
assault tightened security around the city yesterday and brought in
reinforcements to guard key buildings.
But the capital was reported relatively quiet, with only three
clashes reported since yesterday and most of the fighting taking
place in the western part of Chechnya.
Two Russian servicemen were reported killed and another 17
wounded in fighting yesterday. there was no word on separatist losses.
The Russian military has been pursuing the offensive as a prelude
to President Boris Yeltsin's pre-election peace initiative. Yeltsin
said yesterday he would unveil his plan to end the nearly 16-month
war in a nationwide television address Sunday.