After a day of bombing raids on the outskirts of Chechnya's capital, Russian troops reportedly moved toward the city Sunday in heavy fighting with separatist forces.

The Russian advance on the rebellious republic's capital was reported by the ITAR-Tass news agency out of Mozdok, headquarters of the Russian troops in the region.It came shortly after Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev said at a news conference in Grozny that he would meet only with President Boris Yeltsin or his prime minister, not with other representatives.

Dudayev said the Chechen people "will not allow me to meet with . . . anyone else," ITAR-Tass and the Interfax news agency said.

Yeltsin had proposed a meeting Sunday with Russia's counterintelligence chief and a deputy prime minister as a last-ditch effort at a negotiated settlement.

The Russian troops, sent into the Caucasus Mountain republic a week ago, were dug in outside Grozny while Moscow gave Dudayev until midnight Saturday to disarm his forces. He refused, demanding that Russian troops pull out.

Warplanes that had bombed targets in the rebel republic earlier Sunday were grounded by bad weather in the evening, ITAR-Tass said.

Russian planes earlier Sunday targeted Chechen military equipment and five bridges across the Terek River, which divides the Chechen republic, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported. Russian tanks also opened fire on a convoy of refugees, killing at least nine people, despite a government promise to use force "humanely."

Grozny's television tower was bombed, temporarily knocking out broadcasts in some areas, reports said.

But Grozny itself was spared a threatened missile strike even after a midnight Saturday deadline to disarm had passed. Russian fighters buzzed the Chechen capital and artillery boomed to the northwest.

"First of all, I hear shooting and bombs exploding," Sergei Kovalyov, a Russian lawmaker and human rights activist, told the NTV network Sunday night from Grozny, where he talked with Dudayev.

"Secondly, I see the results: Shells have hit living quarters. I've seen with my own eyes the corpses of peaceful people."

Grozny residents spent a cold, anxious night in basements and makeshift bomb shelters as self-defense units patrolled the streets and armored vehicles headed for the city outskirts.

By mid-morning, however, traders were out at the market.

"What is there to be scared of?" said 25-year-old Khaza Khutoyeva as she peddled Russian champagne and American cigarettes. "I'm not scared at all."

Moscow sent an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 troops on Dec. 12 into Chechnya, in the Caucasus Mountains of southern Russia, to reestablish its authority. The republic declared independence in 1991.

Yeltsin has staked considerable political capital on resolving the conflict quickly and with minimal casualties. The offensive in the mostly Muslim republic of about 1.2 million people is generally unpopular in Russia.

Former Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar on Sunday called for Russians to take to the streets to protest the Chechen campaign.

"The main thing we can do today is to organize a mass protest which would force the executive authorities, force the president, to understand what kind of tragic madness they are being pushed into," said Gaidar, leader of the reformist Russia's Choice party, which generally supports Yeltsin.

Yeltsin was supported by Eduard Shevardnadze, leader of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, which borders Chechnya on the south. ITAR-Tass quoted Shevardnadze as saying it is important for Russia to remain unified and stable, and therefore Russia must stop aggressive separatism.

Some Russian soldiers had vowed not to advance on Grozny, even if it meant disobeying direct orders. It was not clear if any did so Sunday.

The Russian government urged women, children and non-combatants to leave Grozny. State-run Ostankino TV said Sunday that 67,000 refugees had fled to the neighboring republic of Ingushetia.

Members of the Russian parliament flew into Ingushetia to appeal to the military not to attack civilians.

Yet as an 11-car convoy of refugees from Grozny headed toward Ingushetia on Saturday, Russian tanks cut off the last three cars near the village of Nesterovskaya.

The tanks, advancing across snow-covered fields, opened fire and continued firing as refugees jumped from the cars and ran away. Then a tank smashed the three cars on the muddy road.

"The commanders had orders to let the refugees pass, but these cars were fired upon and squashed," said Khamzat Bekov, Ingushetia's Emergency Situations minister. "Then they tried to conceal all the traces. We cannot find the bodies, the wounded."

"How can we save ourselves?" one woman told Associated Press Television as she stood near one of the demolished cars. "If our legs can take us out of here, we go. If not, they crush us."