Russia: January 14, 2000


   Russian troops intensified their searches of Chechen residences, although they backed off on rounding up all males between the age of ten and sixty. The rebel counterattacks a few days earlier demonstrated how easily it was for Chechen civilians to quickly take up arms and launch  powerful attacks. But this is what guerilla war is all about and there is no easy solution to it. What is different from earlier wars against the Chechens is that there are many more weapons, especially AK-47 assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades, available to the rebels. In the past, the rebels would have a motley collection of rifles, pistols and knives. But now, with AK-47s so cheap, each Chechen possesses more fire power than a dozen or more of his 19th and 20th century ancestors. 


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