On June 27, the French weekly, Le Nouvel Observateur, announced that it was creating a new rubric entitled “Chechnya: Chronicle of a Forgotten Genocide.” Under this rubric, the weekly “will present information, statements, appeals, but also [will report on] concrete actions of solidarity.” In its first issue featuring the new rubric, the weekly published an interview with Mayrbek Vachagaev, a leading representative of the Chechen separatists under Aslan Maskhadov.
Asked whether the separatists intended to attend the recently begun session of the Council of Europe, Vachagaev replied: “We are attending nothing of an institution which does not dare to contradict Russia. The Council of Europe thinks that if it criticizes Russia it will place democratization in danger. It is mistaken, because it is the germs of democracy–the voices of Russian democrats like Gaidar or Yavlinsky–that are being smothered. Those who denounce what is taking place in Chechnya are considered enemies of the [Russian] State.”