Aslan Maskhadov has claimed victory in Chechnya’s presidential election. Final results are not expected until this evening, but preliminary returns give him well over 60 percent of the vote, more than twice the number of his nearest rival, field commander Shamil Basaev. The team of international observers monitoring the elections expressed satisfaction. "I am glad to be able to say that the OSCE has concluded that these elections reflect the free will of the voters and create a legitimate basis for the new authorities," OSCE mission chief Tim Guldimann declared. (RTR, January 28)
Moscow Breathes a Sigh of Relief.