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December 18, 1994 – This week Chechnya became a household word through the world as the former Soviet republic was now in open rebellion against the Russian Federation. On 11 December 1994, Russian forces launched a three-pronged ground attack towards Grozny. The main attack was temporarily halted by the deputy commander of the Russian Ground Forces, General Eduard Vorobyov [Wikidata], who then resigned in protest, stating that it is “a crime” to “send the army against its own people.” Many in the Russian military and government opposed the war as well. Yeltsin’s adviser on nationality affairs, Emil Pain, and Russia’s Deputy Minister of Defense General Boris Gromov (esteemed commander of the Afghan War), also resigned in protest of the invasion (“It will be a bloodbath, another Afghanistan”, Gromov said on television), as did General Boris Poliakov. More than 800 professional soldiers and officers refused to take part in the operation; of these, 83 were convicted by military courts and the rest were discharged. Later General Lev Rokhlin also refused to be decorated as a Hero of the Russian Federation for his part in the war.
In other news (and there was, though less serious) – a shortage of Law Enforcement in Florida resulted in the placement of mannequins in squad cars, stationed on highways. The move was a last-ditch effort at shoring up a seriously strained Police department, with reports that response to accidents and other emergencies took as long as an hour, due to a shortage.
Air Accidents and concern for air safety as it was reported a commuter flight crashed just short of the runway in Raleigh-Durham North Carolina. Of the 20 passengers, 15 died. The NTSB was said to be focusing their investigation on engine trouble based on cockpit recordings that spoke of an engine flame-out.
Una-Bomber was at it again. This time his target was Thomas Moser, an advertising executive who was killed instantly when he opened a package addressed to him. The bombing shocked the well-to-do community of North Caldwell New Jersey, who were stunned anything like that would happen in their neighborhood, which was considered “very safe and very suburban”.
And Amtrak was busy cutting service across several routes out of fear of a another major budget deficit. Among the routes falling to the axe, New York to Montreal and Chicago to Milwaukee – and other trains were slated to move less frequently. All in all, a 21% cut in service across the board. Apparently people weren’t taking the train next time.
And that’s just a small slice of what went on, this December 18, 1994 as presented by ABC Radio News On The Hour and ABC Radio’s World News This Week.