THE WAR BETWEEN THE RUSSIAN ARMY and Chechen resistance fighters has the distinction of being the first major Russian military engagement to be covered extensively on Russian television. That basic fact has had profound implications for public opinion of the Chechen crisis. That the bloody conflict occurred on Russian Federation soil (at least in the perception of most Russian television viewers) and involved the widespread, wanton destruction of a city and of the lives and homes of thousands of people has only increased the sense of tragic dismay felt by Chech-ens, Russians, and others throughout the world.

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