September 18, 2000 |
As awkwardly as a newborn foal struggling on spindly legs, Lena Meshcheryakova is learning how to curl her lips up at the corners to make a smile. Drifting just beneath the surface of her 5-year-old world are the memories of a darker place: the cellar in Chechnya where she was held prisoner by kidnappers for nine months. When she was freed at age 3, she had forgotten how to smile. She could barely even speak. But she knew how to pray like the devout Muslim Chechen men who had imprisoned her.
August 15, 1999 |
In a dangerous sign that Russia's conflict in the mountainous region of Dagestan has spread to neighboring Chechnya, Russia's Interior Ministry on Saturday confirmed its military bombed a village and exchanged gunfire at a police outpost in the breakaway republic. Russia's massive offensive against a group of Islamic rebels in western Dagestan continued through the night for the first time, and Russian officials claimed to have gained control of several strategic positions.
February 13, 2000 |
Russian warplanes and ground troops battered Chechnya's southern mountains Saturday, where thousands of rebels were entrenched, and the Russian military claimed to be strengthening its hold on strategic heights. Since Russian forces claimed control of the breakaway republic's capital, Grozny, after a rebel exodus early this month, the military has increasingly focused on the mountains, where as many as 8,000 rebels are believed to be based among the rugged, snowy slopes.
July 4, 2000 |
After weeks of lying low, rebels in Chechnya struck back powerfully against Russian forces, unleashing a deadly series of coordinated truck bombings that killed at least 37 Russian servicemen and shook Russia's confidence that it has regained control of the breakaway republic.
August 13, 1999 |
Amid signs that fighting in the Russian republic of Dagestan has spread into neighboring Chechnya, military officials for the first time acknowledged Thursday that they face serious problems in their bid to control a guerrilla rebellion in Dagestan, a troubled southern region. Russian planes continued rocket and bomb attacks in the area of seven Dagestani villages seized by Islamic militants who invaded from nearby Chechnya last weekend.
January 26, 2000 |
Chechen fighters fiercely resisted attempts by Russian forces to take a strategic square in the rebel capital, Grozny, on Tuesday, attacking from the front and the rear to stymie the Russians' drive. Russian troops returning to Gudermes from Grozny said federal forces were still at least 400 yards from Minutka Square, which has been under siege for several days.