Getting real, Russian-style

What it takes to win a war

Two hours: "one paratroop regiment might have solved all questions in two hours."

- Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev's November

1994 estimate of how long it would take Russian forces

to win if they were to fight separatist guerrillas in the southern province of Chechnya. Russian troops did indeed fight them - for nearly two years - and lost.

TWO WEEKS: "According to [Prime Minister] Putin, Russia will need no more than two weeks to finish the war against the rebels [in Dagestan]."

- Kommersant Daily reporting the Russian prime minister's estimate of how long it will take to put down the Islamic guerrilla conflict that erupted in Dagestan, next door to Chechnya, last week. Rebel insurgents are led by the same Chechen warlord who helped mastermind the Russian defeat in Chechnya.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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