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A day after Russian President Boris Yeltsin appeared to ease up on the secession-bound Chechnya republic, his troops are close to storming the capital city of Grozny, reports TIME Moscow correspondent Yuri Zarakhovich. Soldiers are currently in the city's suburbs, but plan on overrunning it in a matter of days, sources tell Zarakhovich. Today also brought news of a near-tragedy of ghastly proportions as an orphanage in Grozny was destroyed by an air raid -- even though yesterday Yeltsin pledged to limit civilian casualties. All 47 children escaped death by hiding in a basement bomb shelter. Chechen officials claim that 200 people have died in the fighting.Despite the continued ferocity of the attack and the fact that it's reminiscent of the long and bloody Afghanistan conflict, Yeltsin has not been the target of any major public protest, says Zarakhovich. Why? "Here people are so used to bloodshed and their leaders not knowing what they are doing that they have become numb," he says. Still, public opposition may be the least of the Yeltsin's problems. After Russians capture Grozny, they're likely to stay for years under constant guerrilla attacks by Chechens who'll go into hiding. But a long-term Russian occupation is not something that Yeltsin either expected or can afford. "I had an official tell me 'A few more months of this and we can kiss the 1995 budget good-bye'," Zarakhovich says.