Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 13:14 GMT 14:14 UK
By Defence Correspondent Jonathan Marcus
Russian military commanders are drawing parallels between their air operations against Chechnya and Nato's long-running bombardment of Kosovo.
In purely superficial terms the conflicts in Chechnya and that in Kosovo appear to have many similarities.
The Russian military certainly think so, pointing to their use of air power, allied with precision-guided weaponry, in an explicit attempt, they say, to reduce civilian casualties to a minimum.
A different kind of conflict
But in reality the two conflicts are very different. Nato acted against Belgrade to halt the supression of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and to force Serbian troops out of the province. It was fighting against a centralised government machine against which military force was expected to have the desired effect.
Kosovo may have been an affront to Nato's values, but it hardly represented a real security threat to its own territory.
Russia's own security interests are very much implicated in the struggle, though whether the means it is using will have the desired effect is uncertain.
What is interesting is why the Russian military, so critical of Nato's air campaign in the Balkans, is now so willing to see this as a precedent for its own actions. In part it is an effort to make its air raids more acceptable - both at home and abroad.
But it is also an attempt to place Russia on an equal footing with the West - an assertion that what Nato can do in its interests Russia will do too if it feels threatened.