Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 8

On March 5, the website Utro.ru carried an interview with General Sergei Babkin, the ethnic Russian official in charge of the pro-Moscow FSB of Chechnya. On the subject of possible future negotiations with Chechen separatists, Babkin expressed himself both categorically and contemptuously: “We do not expect from Maskhadov any negotiations or concessions,” he said, “But his people, those who were once in subordination to him, enter into contact…. All of [Maskhadov’s] ministers who remain among the living are on the wanted list. If they don’t surrender their arms, the fate of many other ‘brigade generals’ awaits them. Khambiev, Abalaev and others have very little time left, and they know it. They made certain efforts to begin negotiations, to advance conditions. Our conditions, however, remain unchanged: If you want to live, surrender; if not, that’s your problem. But they want the post of practically the minister of internal affairs and so on. It’s simply laughable: they should be thinking of how to preserve their lives, and they babble on about who should enter into power. The [separatist] field commanders haggle as if they were at a market, only their prices keep falling and falling.”