Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 35

The November 26 issue of Moskovskie Novosti carried a report concerning a recently concluded conference in London devoted to the war in Chechnya. Fourteen speakers addressed the conference, one of whom, Aslan Kadiev, represented separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. In his keynote speech, Lord Judd, the special representative for Chechnya of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, began by declaring that the Council of Europe is extremely concerned over the methods by which Russia is conducting the war in Chechnya. “Further,” Moskovskie Novosti wrote, “Judd set forth his own conception of peaceful regulation in that republic. In his words, the Chechen resistance is disparate in nature. In it there are present radical Islamic rebels who pursue their own sectarian goals and are not interested in a political resolution of the Chechen problem. There also people who are simply bandits and make a profit from the war. But there are also in it, Judd maintained, not a few people who can be termed strugglers for freedom…. These people, in his opinion, have taken up arms in order to defend the dignity and freedom of their people and are pursuing purely political goals in their struggle. ‘I call upon Russia [Judd urged] to cease pushing such people into the arms of the extremists.'”