Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 6

Akhmed Zakaev, who represents Aslan Maskhadov’s separatist government in Western Europe, has confirmed that Salambek Maigov is indeed also a legitimate representative of that underground government. He told a correspondent of the pro-separatist Chechenpress in a February 19 interview that the appointment of Maigov to represent Maskhadov in Moscow was “a demonstration of the unchangeable will of the Chechen President to start peace negotiations.” He also praised Maigov for his “courage.”

A few days later Maigov’s authenticity received another, albeit indirect, confirmation: He was expelled from the Russian political party in which he had previously been a top official. The website reported that on February 24 a closed meeting of the Eurasia Party’s top leaders had voted to purge Maigov–and also to endorse next month’s pro-Moscow constitutional referendum as “the only possible” path to a peaceful settlement of the Chechen conflict.