Moscow media in recent days is replete with stories, apparently from off the record intelligence sources, about an allegedly imminent reemergence of president Djohar Dudaev in Chechnya. Intelligence officials are on the record refuting that scenario or, alternatively, claiming to possess intercepted information that a Dudaev look-alike will be produced. The flurry of contradictory rumors and speculation illustrates the uncoordinated and sometimes mutually conflicting work of Russian agencies responsible for intelligence and "active measures" — an incoherence characteristic of Moscow’s conduct of this war.
The leadership of the Chechen resistance insists that Dudaev was indeed killed in a Russian missile attack last April. Zelimkhan Yandarbiev and other leaders said yesterday and the day before that any attempts to "resurrect" Dudaev, as well as to exploit the resurrected Salman Raduev’s statements, are intended to divert attention from the Russian military’s attacks on the Chechen civilian population. Yandarbiev also said in an appeal to international opinion that the Chechnya war is Moscow’s "first step toward restoring its imperial positions."
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