CONFRONTATION IN CHECHNYA MAY BE REACHING CRITICAL MASS.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 206
Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said yesterday that the republic’s law enforcement bodies will take measures to capture Salman Raduev, head of the self-styled “Army of General Dudaev,” and transfer him to a “colony.” The previous day, Chechnya’s Supreme Sharia Court sentenced Raduev to four years’ imprisonment for attempting to overthrow the government earlier this year. Last May 21, Raduev’s army attempted to seize Chechen state television. Lechi Khultygov, chairman of Chechnya’s national security service, and his bodyguard were killed in the incident, as was Vakha Dzhafarov, the Army of General Dudaev’s chief of staff. Raduev said Wednesday (November 4) that he did not recognize the court’s decision as valid. He would appeal it, he said, in a rival Sharia court which he and two other anti-Maskhadov field commanders, Shamil Basaev and Khuknkar Israpilov, had established earlier in the week. Raduev warned that any attempt to arrest him would trigger a civil war. The three rebel commanders have accused Maskhadov of violating Chechnya’s constitution (Russian agencies, November 4-5).
Maskhadov, speaking to reporters yesterday, vowed that there would never be a civil war in Chechnya–adding that the situation in Chechnya “does not depend on the will of a single Raduev.” The Chechen president also addressed the Chechen parliament yesterday. He asked that it support “special measures” to end the republic’s protracted crisis. Maskhadov said it was necessary to crack down on the criminal world, particularly on those engaging in kidnapping-for-ransom, which he said was “shaming the nation.” He also cited the massive theft of oil products as another problem which had to be stamped out. Maskhadov told the parliamentarians that Raduev, Basaev and Israpilov had absolutely no support within the population (Russian agencies, November 5).
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