'We must give Chechnya autonomous status - it is the only way to resolve the conflict,' said Mikhail Gorbachev today in a press conference in Moscow. Gorbachev, who was the first president of the USSR and is now the president of the Gorbachev Fund, said that Chechnya in fact never lived completely by the laws of Russia. Therefore, 'giving them autonomy will be the right decision.' Moreover, he said that he supports Vladimir Putin's position in relationship to Chechnya and considers that 'all nascent questions must be decided through political means.'
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building