Moscow Shakes Up War Effort
The military command was shaken up Wednesday when Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin’s Security Council removed two hard-line ministers as coordinators of the Chechnya campaign and put paramilitary police in charge of the offensive.
While the council declared the military operation in Chechnya effectively completed, fighting raged on in Grozny, the capital, with Russian rocket and artillery bombardments of rebel strongholds.
Russian Defense Minister Pavel S. Grachev and another prominent hawk, Nationalities Minister Nikolai D. Yegorov, were relieved of their involvement in overseeing the war.
Despite the announced start of the police operation, there was no move to withdraw the army from the breakaway republic.
In Chechnya on Wednesday, Russian forces continued their bombardments from the air, and lightly armed Chechen rebels tried to fight back. The Chechens shot down two Russian helicopter gunships over a village north of Grozny, killing all six crew members, the Itar-Tass news agency reported.