Moscow, April 19 (RFE/RL) - It is still unclear
just how many Russian servicemen were killed in an ambush by Chechen
fighters earlier this week in the breakaway Caucasus republic.
A top Russian military offical, who requested anonimity, told our
correspondent in Moscow today that more than 90 Russian soldiers died
during the Tuesday attack on a Russian military convoy in southern
The official also said some 90 Russian servicemen were wounded in
the ambush near the village of Shatoi. A correspondent for Russia's
NTV also reported similar figures. If true, it would be the heaviest
one-day losses suffered by Russian troops since they deployed troops
in the Caucasus republic in December 1994.
However, the commander of Russian forces in Chechnya, Vyacheslav
Tikhomirov, told Itar-Tass today that casualty figures on the attack
as reported by Russian media are, in his words, "exaggerated and do
not correspond with reality."
Yesterday, Russian officials said 53 of their servicemen were killed, rather than 26 as had been reported initially.