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Chechnya: Russians Say Campaign Coming To An End

Moscow, 1 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Russian military is claiming its five-month-old campaign against Chechen separatist rebels is coming to an end following the capture of a key mountain stronghold. Russian forces yesterday seized the village of Shatoi, which they called the last significant rebel base. Colonel-General Gennady Troshev declared that Russian forces had succeeded in breaking organized rebel resistance.

Meanwhile, RFE/RL journalist Andrei Babitsky has described hearing the screams of Chechen inmates who he says were tortured by Russian forces at the Chernokozovo detention camp in Chechnya. Babitsky spoke after returning home to Moscow from the north Caucasus and being released from custody by Russian authorities.

The human rights group Amnesty International has called on the Russian government to reveal the facts about Babitsky's arrest, detention, and reported handover to Chechen rebels after he was detained in Chechnya in January.