Trying to take advantage of the mounting tensions between Georgia and Russia, the head of Chechnya’s underground separatist government said in a taped interview broadcast last week on the Georgian TV station “Mze” that Georgia had his full support in the conflict over South Ossetia. Aslan Maskhadov added an apology to Georgians for the Chechen separatists’ assistance to the Abkhazians who fought for secession from Georgia in the early 1990s.
“The participation of our volunteers in the Abkhazia conflict against Georgia is not the best page in the history of relations between two brotherly nations,” Maskhadov said. “We acknowledge today that our volunteers were deceived. At the outset of 1993-1994, on the eve of Russia’s invasion into our territory, on the eve of Russia’s aggression, we should not have been involved [in the conflict], taking into account strategic, tactical, military and political considerations. We had no right to do this. We only damaged our interests, even from military point of view, even from political point of view, to say nothing about the brotherly relations between our peoples. I hope that this will serve us as a lesson forever.”