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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


Two Generals' Sons

On Saturday, Jan. 14, the funeral of Ovlur Dudayev, son of Chechen President Dzhokar Dudayev, was held in Chechnya. Ovlur died of wounds received during the battle for the town of Argun. He was a completely non-military person, having graduated from a Moscow high school and studied for two years at a university in Munich. He returned to Chechnya as soon as the fighting there broke out.

Unlike the son of General Dudayev, the son of Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev is embarked on a military career. He graduated from the special institute run by the paratroops. "I sent my son to the Baikal district, to a place called Morochi," Grachev recently told a correspondent for the newspaper Chelovek i Pravo. Despite the fact that officers normally serve five years before being rotated, Grachev's son Sergei fell out of sight soon after he married the daughter of Grachev's lieutenant, General Dmitry Khachenko. Later he was seen in Germany with the 47th Motor-Rifle Division. Subsequently, his white Mercedes was seen near 16 Rublyovskoye Shosse, and it was learned that Sergei had been assigned to the paratroop center in the Moscow suburb of Kubinka.

After the fighting began in Chechnya, many paratroop units were sent there. People began calling this newspaper asking, "Did Grachev send his son to fight with the others?" We called the press office of the paratroop service to find out. "Lieutenant Sergei Grachev no longer serves in the paratroops. He was transferred to a security unit, but I don't know which one," reported Colonel Yevgeny Karatayev.

In short, we were unable to clear up any of the details of where the defense minister's son is now serving, despite numerous calls to various departments within the Defense Ministry. According to reliable source within the ministry, the only thing clear is that Lieutenant Sergei Pavlovich Grachev is still in service, although no one has any reason to believe that he is serving in Chechnya.

Komsomolskaya Pravda, Jan. 19

Chernomyrdin's Move

"We will have a chance to properly sort out what happened, to get answers to all our questions and -- what is most important -- to take all necessary measures to keep it from ever happening again." These words by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin concerning the crisis in Chechnya have been played up as his return from the shadows in which he has been hidden in recent weeks. And he did not return emptyhanded, but with a concrete plan for regulating the crisis.

The essence of his proposal is immediate negotiations with all (!) forces in Chechnya concerning a moratorium on troop movements, a halt to the use of heavy weaponry, the creation of a demilitarized zone and, ultimately, a cease-fire. Given the present situation, this plan seems absolutely sensible and has every chance of achieving its primary goal -- stopping the bloodshed.

The collapse of the military solution to the Chechen problem has inevitably led to a loss of authority for those in Moscow who advocated this course -- the power ministries, Nationalities Minister Nikolai Yegorov and First Deputy Prime Minister Oleg Soskovets (who is often mentioned as a candidate for Chernomyrdin's post).

By positioning himself as an advocate of a political solution, Chernomyrdin is sure to pick up support from a public that is clearly opposed to the war. It will certainly boost his chances of victory in the 1996 presidential election -- if it is held.

Moskovskiye Novosti, Jan. 18