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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Cossacks Ready to Fight

MOSCOW () -- The Russian Cossack Union has called on President Boris Yeltsin "to use force" to crush rebellious Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev and offered its own military units to carry out the operation, a spokesman for the president's administration said Monday.

Dmitry Ardamassky said the president had not yet responded to the appeal which had been sent to Yeltsin's office at the end of last week.

Historically, Cossacks make up a considerable part of the border population and the country's military leadership decided this year to use them to guard state borders.

Viktor Leutsky, a Cossack duty officer at the Krasnodar headquarters in south Russia, said: "If we are told to go (to Chechnya) we are ready to fulfil the order. Most of these lands belong to us."