Moscow, 18 January 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian troops in the Chechen capital Grozny claim to have broken through separatist lines in fierce fighting early today and to be nearing the city center. Meanwhile, a delegation from the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe is due today to visit Russian-controlled areas of Chechnya as well as the adjacent republics of Daghestan and Ingushetia, temporary home to some 200,000 Chechen refugees.
Yesterday, Lord David Russell-Johnston, president of the
assembly, held talks with Russian officials in Moscow and called for a
truce and peace talks with Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov. His appeal was turned down by acting President Vladimir Putin.