Grozny, 5 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian troops in Chechnya are on high alert
after reports that Chechen separatists may be planning attacks on 9 May, the
Russian holiday marking the end of World War Two in Europe. Russian military officials say Chechen fighters have already attacked
federal checkpoints across the republic 14 times in the past 24 hours. There are
conflicting, unconfirmed claims on casualties.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin's Security Council Secretary Sergei Ivanov said
today that Chechnya will be placed under direct presidential rule later this
"A presidential decree is being prepared and simultaneously, a bill will go
to the State Duma for consideration on direct federal rule in Chechnya. This is
not a secret. We have said many times that the choice of a leader for Chechnya,
whoever he might be -- president or head of the local parliament -- is not
relevant right now."
Ivanov said presidential rule would continue for two or three years.