Moscow, 8 October 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russia
denied that it destroyed a bus carrying Chechen refugees after a news agency
showed graphic video footage of dead bodies and wreckage. Russian Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin refuted the report, saying it was disinformation.
The country's defense minister and senior military commanders also denied
the report. Reuters obtained the video film from a Chechen photographer
who said he shot it on Monday near the northern Chechen town of Chervlyonnaya,
where Russian forces were active. The photographer said the bus had been
hit by a tank shell which killed 11 people aboard and left 17 wounded.
Putin and Russian commanders have not
ruled out more advances. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said his troops
would fight if there were further advances. Maskhadov's appeals for peace
talks with Russia have been ignored by Moscow.
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