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Chechnya: U.S. Says Moscow's Strategy Unlikely To Succeed

Washington/Moscow, 13 January 2000 (RFE/RL) - The United States says it does not believe Moscow's current strategy will succeed in ending the war with Chechen separatist rebels. State Department Spokesman James Rubin said it is Washington's view that the Russians are now in a "cul-de-sac" with their Chechen campaign. He said the way Moscow has been applying military force is not likely to result in an end to resistance by Chechen fighters. He called again for a negotiated solution to the conflict. Rubin also said Washington was seeking clarification from Moscow on reports that Chechen males between the ages of 10 and 60 would be detained by the military for investigation of any ties to the rebels. Rubin said it was essential that Russia respect fundamental human rights.

The U.S. spokesman's comments came as Russia claimed it was once again making progress following rebel counterattacks that inflicted heavy casualties on federal forces. Military officials said troops had restored control over the towns of Argun and Shali and had also made gains in the southern mountains.