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Russia: Council Of Europe's Human Rights Chief In Grozny

Grozny, 28 February 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Alvaro Gil-Robles, today visited the Chechen capital of Grozny. The visit follows weeks of appeals to Moscow to allow international human rights monitors into Chechnya where there have been numerous reports of Russian atrocities against Chechen fighters and civilians. Gil-Robles said the scale of destruction in Grozny made a strong impression, and he called for a quick end to the war. He said Moscow had agreed a human rights group could open an office in Grozny within weeks. So far, no specific group has been chosen.

Russian news agencies say General Vladimir Bulgakov, who led the attack on Grozny, has been tasked with overcoming several thousand guerrillas around Shatoi in southern Chechnya where heavy fighting continues.