Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 34

Yet another new book has appeared on Chechnya, this one from a veteran Moscow correspondent for a German newspaper. Der Krieg im Schatten. Ru§land und Tschetschenien (“The War in the Shadows: Russia and Chechnya”), edited by Florian Hassel of the Frankfurter Rundschau, presents still further evidence that the Russian secret services orchestrated key events that triggered the outbreak of the second Chechen war in 1999.

Hassel recounts his meeting in October of 1999 with several Dagestani policemen who were eyewitnesses of Shamil Basaev’s invasion of their republic. One of the policemen told the German journalist that “Basaev’s attack on Dagestan was apparently organized in Moscow.” He recalled that when the Chechen warlord and his troops retreated from one village in September, they “went back comfortably in broad daylight with about 100 cars and trucks and many on foot. They used the main road to Chechnya, and were not fired at by our combat helicopters. We received express orders not to attack.”

The anthology’s other chapters include contributions by Musa Muradov of the Moscow daily Kommersant, Maura Reynolds of the Los Angeles Times, and Thomas de Waal of the London-based Institute for War and Peace Reporting.

For more information on the book (ISBN 3-518-12326-), German-speaking readers of Chechnya Weekly may contact the Suhrkamp publishing firm in Germany at e-mail address .