Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 7

Controversy continued to swirl in the Russian media concerning the January 9 kidnapping and February 4 release of U.S. aid worker Kenneth Gluck. “Who kidnapped him,” the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets asked, “and who liberated him? And what is the relation of the Russian special services to the whole story? And the main thing: Why was the American kidnapped if no money was demanded for his release and no other conditions were advanced?” (Moskovsky Komsomolets, February 9).

The Kremlin’s chief spokesman for issues relating to Chechnya, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, angrily denounced “the ironical tone” of much of the Russian press treatment of the Gluck kidnapping. Citing alleged telephone intercepts, Yastrzhembsky maintained that Gluck’s abductors “wanted to and could have killed him.” Gluck’s life “literally hung by a thread.” He was saved, in the nick of time, by a special FSB operation (, February 9).