SOAKED IN BLOOD

AMID THE WRECKAGE OF THE CHECHEN CITY OF GROZNY, ONLY DEATH AND DESTRUCTION PREVAIL

The capital of Grozny is no more, but the war to subdue the Chechen secession carries on. Russian forces fought retreating rebel fighters last week in a battle that has brought no victory, only fierce determination on each side to prevail. There was no reliable way to gauge the success of the government offensive among the wrecked structures, the constant rain of shells, or the hundreds of corpses lying unburied. On Saturday rebels shot down their first Russian fighter plane.

After almost two months of combat, there was no human compassion left. Government forces accused the Chechens of mutilating Russian prisoners,...

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