Russian gunners are keeping up a punishing barrage of missiles on Grozny and a number of villages surrounding the Chechen capital. Surface-to-surface missiles slammed into the settlements of Alkhan-Yurt and Alkhan-Kala on the southwestern tip of Grozny, as well as Shali to the southeast, one of the few major Chechen towns still in rebel hands. According to initial reports, missiles destroyed about 50 homes in Shali, some 20 kilometres from Grozny. Precise casualty figures are unavailable.

The Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, has announced that the equivalent of an extra £75m is to be made available for the war against separatists in Chechnya. Speaking in the lower house of parliament in Moscow, Mr Putin also spoke at length on the recovery of the Russian economy. He said that industrial production was rising and both inflation and unemployment were falling.