Russia: April 4, 2000


Russian President Putin has declared victory in Chechnya, noting that armed resistance has ended. He said he would seal off the southern mountains, withdraw the "excess" ground troops, send special operations forces into the mountains to destroy the bandits, and launch new social programs to bring Chechnya fully into Russian society. Putin noted that the total withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya in 1996 was a mistake and said he would not repeat it. --Stephen V Cole




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