No Way Out?

Photographs for TIME by VLADIMIR VELENGURIN/KP

ON DUTY: Moscow hopes Chechen police, like this one in Alkhan-Kala, will take over security

At first light, Russian troops in combat gear move slowly along one of Grozny's ruined main streets, past makeshift crosses erected to their fallen comrades. Hugging the edge of the road to avoid snipers, they peer into the bushes, looking for radio-controlled mines and booby traps laid overnight by Chechen separatists. The soldiers — young conscripts fresh from the provinces and professionals here for the money — are tense, but they barely glance at most Chechens passing by. And the Chechens ignore them. The Russian minesweepers don't find any mines this morning, and at a concrete-and-barbed-wire checkpoint, Russian soldiers inspecting cars...

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