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Chechnya: Russia To Withdraw Some Troops

Moscow, 13 March 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russia is set today to withdraw some of its troops stationed in the breakaway republic of Chechnya. Yesterday, Russian news agencies quoted a deputy to President Vladimir Putin's envoy in the southern district as saying a motorized infantry brigade will leave Grozny today. That envoy, Nikolai Britvin, said the unit has completed its tour of duty. It is not clear where this unit will be relocated.

Late last year, Putin announced plans to reduce the number of army units stationed in Chechnya. Russia has an estimated 80,000 troops in the region. This figure includes troops from the defense and interior ministries, as well as paramilitary units from the Federal Security Service. The Interior Ministry said last month none of its troops will be pulled out.