Russia Ignores Its Chechen Past

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The New York Sun

MOSCOW — Russia sharply criticized Israel yesterday for its offensive against Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon, saying it went “far beyond the boundaries of an anti-terrorist operation” and repeating calls for an immediate cease-fire.

The Foreign Ministry said Russia affirms the need to fight terrorism and called for the immediate release of captive Israeli soldiers, but it added that “the unprecedented scale of the casualties and destruction” in Lebanon indicates that Israel is using too much force.

Russia has consistently rejected Western accusations that it has used too much force during its wars against rebels in Chechnya, in which thousands of civilians have been killed. The Kremlin refers to the conflict in Chechnya as an anti-terrorist operation.

Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov met yesterday in Damascus with President Assad, who said Syria was prepared to help promote a ceasefire, according to another Foreign Ministry statement.

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