Chechnya’s prosecutor general has issued an order for the arrest of Salman Raduev, leader of the “Army of Djohar Dudaev” and one of the most radical Chechen field commanders. Raduevis is charged with attempting to overthrow the government–a capital offense under Chechen law. The charges arise out of the attempted seizure of the television station in central Djohar on June 21 in which the director of Chechnya’s National Security Service was shot dead. (Kommersant-daily, July 9)
Raduev is due to be tried by a Shariah court. Contrary to initial reports, however, he has not been arrested, nor is he likely to be. Chechen Deputy Prosecutor Magomed Magomadov told the Monitor yesterday that Raduev will appear in court voluntarily. The authorities are clearly handling the case with great caution. Placing Raduev under arrest could bring Chechnya to the brink of civil war. A number of other Chechen field commanders, including the influential Jordanian-born field commander Emir Khattab, have warned that, if Raduev is arrested, they will use all means at their disposal to free him. Khattab is said to run three training schools for saboteurs, so his threats are taken seriously in the Chechen capital. (Kommersant-daily, July 9)
The conflict with Raduev is dangerous for President Aslan Maskhadov now that he has accepted Shamil Basaev’s resignation as acting prime minister. Both Basaev and Raduev advocate a tougher, more radical approach toward Moscow than does Maskhadov. Until now, Basaev’s association with Maskhadov has been a strong factor in restraining many influential field commanders from allying themselves with Raduev. It is especially dangerous for Maskhadov that Basaev maintains close ties with Khattab. It was Khattab who trained the peacekeeping forces of the “Congress of the Peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan,” the organization which Basaev heads.
ANOTHER LATVIAN CONCESSION TO RUSSIAN LANGUAGE.