Federal servicemen have killed about a thousand Chechen militants since this past October, says Gen. Vladimir Moltenskoi, commander of the Russian federal force in Chechnya. As he spoke to the media in the Chechen capital of Grozny today, Gen. Moltenskoi said the network of illegal armed formations in Chechnya had practically been demolished by now. According to him, all big, medium-size, and even small paramilitary units have been destroyed. The general said that the surviving militants were now rushing from one local settlement to another in an effort to get away from the federals, in hot pursuit. There have been no contacts between major Chechen warlords and Aslan Maskhadov, President of the self-proclaimed Chechen Republic, for a month now, Gen. Moltenskoi said. According to him, the federal forces have destroyed more than a dozen satellite communication devices over the past month, thereby depriving the militants of an opportunity to communicate.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart