"War in Dagestan is virtually inevitable," Basyr Dadaev, the leader of the National Council of the Chechens of Dagestan, has told the Monitor. In Dadaev’s opinion, the Dagestani authorities are deliberately trying to provoke a conflict between Dagestani Chechens and the republic’s other ethnic groups. Dadaev says that the Russian media, with the help of the Dagestani authorities, have painted a distorted picture of the reasons for the recent unrest in Khasavyurt. (See Monitor, September 2)
According to Dadaev, reports that local Chechens had come to the defense of a Chechen being held on suspicion of raping a 12-year-old girl were disinformation designed to discredit Dagestan’s Chechens. In reality, the conflict between the Khasavyurt police and local Chechens had nothing to do with the rape. In Dadaev’s opinion, Dagestani Chechens have been subjected to overt discrimination ever since the end of the Chechen war. He says the Khasavyurt district of Dagestan, where they are compactly settled, "is traditional Chechen land."