Equally troubling was the fact that Mr. Yeltsin gave his blunt reminder while visiting communist China to shore up support for his handling of the crackdown in Chechnya. The Chinese announced their support for Mr. Yeltsin's military actions, which include the announced intention to pound to rubble cities that house separatist forces.
The next week Russia successfully tested the Topol-M, its next-generation intercontinental ballistic missile. The rocket, launched from a missile base in northwestern Russia, streaked across Russia, striking its target on the Kamchatka peninsula 3,400 miles away.
Lest anyone miss the point, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir declared: "Some nations and blocs under cover of international organizations are interfering into affairs of independent states, and trying to speak to them in the language of force. We are not used to such language, since Russia has a nuclear shield." (Source: The Associated Press.)