Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 38

On October 15, Novaya Gazeta published verbatim the text of a statement it had just received from Washington, DC: “President George Bush has sent a request to the president of the Chechen Republic, Aslan Maskhadov, that he not maintain any ties with bin Laden or with representatives of the Taliban. He also requested that he [Maskhadov] support any and all negotiations with the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, for the establishment of peace” (Novaya Gazeta, no. 75, October 15).

In an interview conducted with Radio Liberty the same day, President Maskhadov, inter alia, stated: “What happened in New York and America is really barbarism and madness. We condemn such methods and we say that they aren’t our methods…. The Chechens have been at war with Russia for 400 years, and they were at war when bin Laden wasn’t born yet…. We [have] had no large financial flows, and we don’t know any bin Laden; these are all fabrications of Russian propaganda…. Of course the most important thing today is to stop the war, to convince the leaders of Russia that there is no force version, and to sit down at the negotiation table” (RFE/RL, October 15).