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On the same day that Russian tanks, planes and troops engaged in battle with forces from the breakaway republic of Chechnya, Chechen leaders began peace talks with Moscow aimed at ending Russia's biggest military action since it sent troops into Afghanistan in 1979. "We have come to find peaceful means of settling the conflict," the head of a Chechen delegation said just before talks opened today in neighboring North Ossetia. Meanwhile, Russian forces continued their advance toward the Chechen capital, Grozny, after the Caucasian republic's loyalists reportedly fired rockets on the advancing troops, killing at least two people. Russian President Boris Yeltsin's risky decision to ship up to 40,000 troops to Grozny prompted rallies by political opponents on both the left and right who fear a military quagmire. But Yeltsin -- who's up for re-election in 1996 -- fired back in an address to Parliament: "It is irresponsible to use the tragedy of the Chechen people, the pain of all Russia, for pre-election battles."Post your opinion on theInternationalbulletin board.