Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 12

On March 13, leading separatist field commander Shamil Basaev made public on the web-site Kavkaz.org the text of an apology, dated January 27, which he had written to U.S. aid worker Kenneth Gluck. In the letter, Basaev admitted that Gluck had been kidnapped by “a group of our mujeheddin” but said the act had been a mistake; the kidnappers had suspected him of being an FSB informant. Russian presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky and other spokesmen seized upon this admission by Basaev. But Basaev’s admission also served to cast strong doubt on the official Russian version that Gluck had been rescued as a result of a skillful FSB operation (Lenta.ru, Agence France Presse, March 13; Gazeta.ru, March 14).