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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pulikovsky To Come Under Probe

Combined Reports


While prosecutors have begun a post mortem on how Russia lost Grozny earlier this month, details of security chief Alexander Lebed's proposed peace treaty came trickling out Tuesday.


Konstantin Pulikovsky, the deputy commander of troops in Chechnya, will be questioned by the military prosecutor's office about how and why Russian troops under his command lost the capital, Grozny, to Chechen rebels earlier this month, Russian television reported.


Pulikovsky was the acting commander when the rebels attacked Aug. 6 in a surprise offensive that sparked some of the worst fighting in 20 months of war. More than 400 Russian troops were killed in the ensuing fighting.


He gained notoriety last week when he gave Grozny's civilians 48 hours to get out of town before the Russians launched an aerial bombing offensive.


The ultimatum spurred a mass exodus from the city, but was slapped down by Lebed, who called it "a bad joke."


Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, Pulikovsky's immediate superior in Chechnya and the commander of troops, backed his deputy's 48-hour ultimatum. However, Tikhomirov, who was on holiday when the Aug. 6 attack occurred, has not been given a public reprimand.


On Tuesday, the cease-fire that Lebed brokered last week continued to hold.


"Now everything is calm here and it is stormy in Moscow," Russian human rights activist Andrei Mironov told reporters, referring to the political intrigues and in-fighting in the corridors of the Kremlin over the crisis in Chechnya.


Tikhomirov and Chechen separatist military leader Aslan Maskhadov met in Novye Atagi, 25 kilometers to the south of Grozny, to formalize the cease-fire by signing a joint pact.


Tikhomirov said he saw no new obstacles to "practical implementation of the Lebed plan,"adding that some of Russia's 40,000 troops would be withdrawn, although a complete withdrawal remains the subject of future talks.


Interfax, citing well-informed sources, reported Tuesday some details of Lebed's peace plan, which Lebed turned over to the Kremlin Tuesday for President Boris Yeltsin to study.


The report said Lebed's proposal was based on granting Chechnya special status within the Russian Federation, renouncing the use of force and possibly postponing settlement of Chechnya's ultimate status for up to five years.


Yeltsin has previously said he would refuse to consider any peace settlement granting Chechnya outright independence. ()