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Chechnya: Russian Defense Minister Says Resistance Broken

Moscow, 23 February 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev says the armed resistance in Chechnya has been broken. But Russian forces are bracing for possible violence today with Chechens set to mark their mass deportation from Chechnya during World War Two. Quoted by ITAR-TASS, Sergeyev said the situation in Chechnya remains tense.

His comments come after AP reported yesterday that Russian forces were tightening security throughout Chechnya ahead of today's anniversary of Stalin's mass deportation of Chechens during World War Two. AP says Russian forces have closed all access to the capital Grozny and the towns of Argun, Gudermes, and Urus-Martan.