Another Day Of Heavy Fighting Russia: Chechnya: Grozny - 1995

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4 years ago

Grozny has been rocked by another day of heavy fighting - the ninth day of the Russian offensive to take the Chechen capital.

Artillery rounds were fired every few seconds and heavy machine gun fire was also heard.

Chechen officials believe that Moscow has changed tactics - depending more on heavy artillery fire and rockets rather than tanks.

Shells continue to rain down on the capital of the breakaway republic.

And although the fires in the presidential palace appear to have been put out, many other buildings are still ablaze.

Russian troops are now said to be positioned in a rough arc running from the north-west to the north-east of the palace.

And tank and paratroop units are trying to move in from near the central market to near the train station in an attempt to cordon off the palace.

Chechen government officials believe Russia has changed its tactics, depending more on heavy artillery and rockets rather than deploying tanks, which became easy targets in the early days of the battle for Grozny.

The new strategy appears to be aimed at beating back resistance near the presidential palace.

However, taking the city like this would require house-by-house fighting, something that could take weeks if not longer.

Despite the relentlessness of the Russian invasion, Chechen fighters continue to be moved into Grozny, to reinforce the resistance.

But the last few days of fighting seems to have taken its toll.

At the start of the fighting, Chechens used to sing and dance while the shells continued to fall down.

But on Sunday, the rebels stayed close to buildings and there were few smiles.

The fighting in the capital has also spread to surrounding villages, where Russian jets have inflicted heavy damage.

In Tsotsin, some 35 kilometres south-east of Grozny, a number of villagers were killed in aerial bombardments on Friday.

The dead have been laid out in the local mosque.

And the village school has been turned into a makeshift hospital.

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