Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 99

Djohar has categorically denied any involvement in the events in Dagestan and says they are the result of provocations by military and political groups both in Russia and within Chechnya. In the opinion of Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov, Dagestan may, as a result of these events, be divided into several regions, hostile to each other and controlled by ethnic-based armed groups. Acting Prime Minister Shamil Basaev’s statement was harsher. He said Chechnya would not tolerate the interference of external forces in the conflict and announced that Chechnya was ready to send peacekeeping forces to Dagestan. (NTV, RTR, May 21)

The danger that Chechen field commanders might come to the aid of the Khachilaev brothers seems a real one. Nadir Khachilaev has close ties with Chechen field commanders. It was he who served as a mediator in the negotiations between Aleksandr Lebed and Aslan Maskhadov which resulted in the signing of the Khasavyurt accords in 1996. Of all of Dagestan’s influential political organizations, only Khachilaev’s Union of Russian Muslims sent a representative to the recent Congress of the Peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan in Djohar, which proclaimed as its goal the unification of Dagestan and Chechnya within a single state (see Monitor, May 21).