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031000 [TWT] Russian leader promotes generals

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  • witold1
    Note: Mr. Ivanov met during a four-day visit with Mr. Clinton, (...) he had come to restore predictability (sic) to the bilateral relationship. ... Russian
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2000
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      "Mr. Ivanov met during a four-day visit with
      Mr. Clinton, (...) he had come to restore "predictability" (sic)
      to the bilateral relationship."
      Russian leader promotes generals

      By Jamie Dettmer

      MOSCOW — Acting President Vladimir Putin,
      in what diplomats here describe as a
      "calculated rebuff" to international critics of his
      Chechnya war, yesterday promoted a number
      of generals, including the air force chief
      overseeing the pounding of Chechen villages
      and the razing of Grozny.
      As he handed out gold braid boosting the
      heads of the air force and navy from three-star
      to four-star rank, Mr. Putin said the war in
      Chechnya had raised the morale of the Russian
      military and boosted its standing in Russian
      "The army has regained trust in itself, and
      society believes in and trusts its army," Mr.
      Putin told an audience of mainly high-ranking
      military and security officers gathered in the
      Kremlin's majestic Alexander Hall for a
      Soviet-era army holiday.
      The acting president, heavily favored to win
      a full term in presidential voting March 26,
      called Chechnya "a turning point for the armed
      forces and security services, and for the
      Russian authorities as a whole."
      President Clinton has hailed his counterpart
      as a man the West "can do business with," but
      Mr. Putin has pursued both confrontation and
      conciliation since replacing the ailing Boris
      Yeltsin on Dec. 31.
      Russian Security Council chief Sergei Ivanov
      carried a message from Mr. Putin to U.S.
      leaders last week that Russian and American
      strategic goals "largely coincided," in spite of
      disagreements over Chechnya, missile policy
      and other issues.
      Mr. Ivanov met during a four-day visit with
      Mr. Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine K.
      Albright and National Security Adviser Samuel R.
      Berger, among others. He said in a briefing at
      the Russian Embassy on Friday that he had
      come to restore "predictability" to the bilateral
      Mr. Ivanov said U.S. relations remain a
      priority for Russia and suggested that Moscow
      was softening past refusals to consider any
      change in the 1972 treaty restricting national
      missile defense systems of the kind the United
      States is now testing.
      But Chechnya remains a great divide
      between the two powers.
      Russian bombers were on the offensive
      again yesterday, with waves of attacks on a
      gorge in southern Chechnya where a large
      contingent of rebel fighters is based.
      Sergei Yastrzembsky, Mr. Putin's spokesman
      on the war, said as many as 4,500 Chechen
      fighters are trapped in the gorge.
      Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev, who
      reviewed a Russian military parade yesterday in
      the bombed-out Chechen capital of Grozny,
      said his troops hoped to encircle the Chechen
      fighters to prevent ambush attacks in the large
      swaths of the country held by Moscow's
      "The main thing is not to let the bandits
      out, to finish them off in the areas where you
      have pushed them," Mr. Sergeyev said.
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