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    340 PARATROOPERS LOST IN CHECHNYA SINCE 1999

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    MOSCOW, February 12, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - As many as 340 servicemen of the air-born troops, including 50 officers, were killed in Chechnya since the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation there in 1999. 892 paratroopers, including 167 officers, were wounded. Commander of the Air-Born Troops Lieutenant General Alexander Kolmakov adduced these figures at a news conference in Moscow.

    "The feeling of self-sacrifice for the sake of saving comrades is very strong in the air-born troops," noted Alexander Kolmakov. According to him, once a soldier saved his commander from a sniper's bullet.

    "Three days ago, a soldier of the 6th parachute company of the 331st regiment in Kostroma (the upper reaches of the Volga) dropped a grenade during the exercises. The company commander threw the soldier across the breastwork, but in an attempt to throw out also the grenade, dropped into the entrenchment, he lost his hand," said the Air-Born Troops Commander.

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