Chechenpress, one of the organs of Chechnya’s underground separatist government, published the following statement from President Aslan Maskhadov on May 10:
“In connection with the terrorist act at the Dynamo stadium in Johar [Grozny], in which peaceful citizens of the ChRI [the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, i.e., the separatists’ preferred name for Chechnya] suffered besides the occupiers and national traitors hated by the Chechen people, I express sincere condolences in my own name and in the name of the government to the families and relatives of the innocently killed compatriots.
“We condemn all forms of terrorism, independently of its ideological background, including extrajudicial executions, the abduction of people, the taking of hostages for political motivations and political murders.
“Since we understand very well that death and violence will never be a solution to our problems, we have renounced reciprocal terror, although the peaceful citizens of the ChRI are daily experiencing on themselves its devious methods, carried out by the occupiers and their jackals.
“We have all reasons to suspect that this act of terror was organized by the secret services of the occupiers, in order to liquidate the puppet government, which had exhausted the resources of the pseudo-political process, proclaimed by the Russian leadership to the world community as a ‘real political dialogue with the Chechen people.’ One more ‘Kadyrov’ will most likely now be assigned for the imitation of a ‘political dialogue,’ calculated for the international community, in order to prolong the illusions about the possibility of a military solution of the Chechen question.
“The leadership of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, confirming its adherence to a real civilized political dialogue, convinced of the fact that peace between Chechnya and Russia is impossible without the participation and responsible policy of the international community, calls the world community to actively support the peaceful initiative of the Chechen government, the concept of conditional independence. In our view, the implementation of this program would make it possible to end forever the four-century-long colonial war in Chechnya – a war which only during the last ten years has taken the lives of more than 250,000 peaceful Chechen citizens.
“The policy of state terror and the imitation of a dialogue, demonstrated by the Russian leadership, won’t secure peace on the long-suffering Chechen soil, but a real political dialogue about the solution of the political differences, with the participation of a third side, will do so.”