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AFP: Generals Hail Capture Of [abandoned] Chechen Stronghold

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  • Kai Ivari
    Generals Hail Capture Of Chechen Stronghold [K.I. Shatoy was abandoned by Chechen fighters 3 days ago, Russian still excersised bombing&fighting with afew
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1 10:54 AM
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      Generals Hail Capture Of Chechen Stronghold

      [K.I. Shatoy was abandoned by Chechen fighters 3 days ago,
      Russian still excersised bombing&fighting with afew civials
      still survided there before entering Shatoy. Again, a usual
      "bravade" of murderers and maradeurs. ]

      MOZDOK, Russia, Mar 1, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Russian
      generals hailed the capture of the Chechen mountain village of Shatoi
      and said it marked the end of organized resistance to the military's
      bid to restore full control over the rebel region.

      The Council of Europe's human rights commissioner returned to Moscow
      on Tuesday from a tour of Chechnya pressing for a quick end to the
      conflict, but praising Acting President Vladimir Putin for allowing his
      visit to proceed.

      In Mozdok, Russia's big military base just outside Chechnya, aircraft
      scaled down the missions which have hit rebel positions hard during
      the five-month-old campaign.

      "The aviation (here) is no longer working - there's no place left for
      us to bomb," said military spokesman Konstantin Makeyev. "If we bombed
      we could hit our own guys."

      Colonel-General Gennady Troshev, deputy commander of Russian forces
      in Chechnya, said his troops had taken snow-covered Shatoi after a
      battle which left the rebels in disarray.

      "The rout of the bandits at Shatoi today is in effect the final
      point in the military operation," Troshev told state RTR television.
      "Today the rebel gangs as such, as organizations, as gangs, have been
      routed. Now the bandits have been scattered."

      Rebels beaten in Shatoi had fled south towards the border of
      ex-Soviet Georgia or north, where they were "destroyed and scattered"
      by the town of Urus-Martan and Komsomolskoye village.

      Remaining groups, he said, were no more than a dozen strong.

      The capture of Shatoi was certain to boost the morale of Russian
      troops and do no harm to Putin's campaign in the March 26 presidential
      election. He remains heavy favorite, largely on the basis of firm
      stand against the rebels.

      But the army could still face hit-and-run rebel attacks used to
      advantage in the 1994-96 war which culminated in a Russian pullout.
      State television showed footage of Russian troops, led by many of the
      same commanders, capturing Shatoi in June 1995.

      In Moscow, Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev was cautious after
      reporting to Putin on Shatoi. "The military phase of the
      counter-terrorist operation is drawing to a close," Sergeyev said after
      talks with German Defense Minister Rudolf Scharping.


      The Council of Europe's Gil-Robles, a Spanish diplomat, told the
      daily Izvestia his views on seeking a quick end to the Chechnya
      conflict were unchanged after his visit.

      "I saw many victims and much suffering and understood that the
      problem has not gone away," he was quoted as saying. "The war itself
      constitutes a violation of human rights and we will call on Russia to
      bring an immediate halt to it."

      But he praised "positive steps" undertaken by Putin, including his
      trip and the appointment of a Russian official to oversee human rights
      issues in Chechnya.

      [K.I. - If he would know his job better he would know that the
      post was actually duplicated because MIRONOV, who was a human
      right commissioner in Russia, was rather critical
      to the situation being a relict of the first years of Jelcin era;
      so Putin put his person in charge and effectively sided Mironov. ]

      Scharping, speaking to reporters after talks with Sergeyev said
      the issue was one of the degree of force used.

      [K.I. - He would better draw an obvious parallel between the
      Holocaust and the present mass killing of Chechens and the
      devastation of their land, something the Germans seemed to
      not to support anymore. Now the German state actually supports
      the Chechen holocaust by passively observing how its best
      investment partner is committing mass war crimes. ]

      "Nobody questions Russia's territorial integrity or its right to
      combat terrorism," he said. "The question is just how best to do
      this, it is a question of proportionality."

      Released Russian correspondent Andrei Babitsky related how he had
      heard the cries of fellow inmates being beaten at a detention center
      in Chechnya and accused authorities of being linked to weeks of
      captivity in the region.

      Babitsky told NTV television after his release on Monday that the
      "routine" beating he underwent was nothing compared to those
      administered to others at the Chernokozovo
      detention center in north Chechnya, center of allegations of

      But he said his family had been subjected to a nightmare.

      "I am fully convinced that authorities, including the Interior
      Ministry which is supposedly trying to help me, are deeply involved in
      this mess, in this nightmare for my family which I have lived through
      over the past two months," he said.

      ((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)
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