Chechen President Dzhokar Dudayevemerged from nearly two weeks of hiding to call for peace talks with Russia, admitting that his outnumbered forces couldn't win. "There is no other resolution but a peaceful resolution," said Dudayev, looking pale and tired as he spoke to reporters near the capital, Grozny, where shelling resumed after the announcement. "Of course, we cannot physically confront such an empire as Russia." Dudayev's announcement represented a complete about-face after previous demands that Moscow withdraw its troops before a truce. Nevertheless, he demanded negotiations for Chechen autonomy and accused Russian hard-liners of fomenting civil war with the Caucasian republic as part of a conspiracy to destroy democracy in the Russian Federation.