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Death toll is high and rising in Chechnya

The command of Russia's Combined Federal Forces in Chechnya announced that the Russian armed forces have lost 4,280 dead and 12,368 wounded since the beginning of the "antiterrorist" operation in Chechnya on 1 October 1999, Ekho Moskvy reported on 5 August. An estimated 13,000 Chechen fighters have been killed during the same period, the military command asserted.

The report included no figures on casualties within the civilian population, but independent sources say that both military and civilian casualties may be several times higher than official figures indicate. Meanwhile, gazeta.ru reported on 5 August that 17 Russian servicemen were killed and another 52 wounded in Chechnya in the week of 28 July to 3 August in Chechnya, citing figures from the Combined Federal Forces.

(RFE/RL 07.viii.02)

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