Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 23

Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev accused “some countries” of a policy of “double standards” in the fight against international terrorism, and took the United States specifically to task over the fact that a Chechen rebel “ideologist,” whom he called “Vychigaev,” had been in the United States. The FSB chief was apparently referring to Mairbek Vachagaev, the former chief of staff to the late Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov, who spoke at a conference sponsored by the Jamestown Foundation in Washington in April. That conference was the subject of an official complaint by the Russian Foreign Ministry and attacks on Russian state television and other state-controlled media (Chechnya Weekly, April 20).

Itar-Tass on June 7 quoted Patrushev as telling the State Duma that the “policy of double standards” pursued by some countries “adversely affects the effectiveness of liaison and cooperation in the world community” in the fight against international terrorism. “In particular, this concerns such odious leaders of bandit groups as [Akhmed] Zakaev, [Khozh-Akhmed] Nukhaev, and [Movladi] Udugov,” Patrushev said. “They have been placed on the international wanted list yet move freely between many countries of the world. One of the rebels’ ideologists, Vychigayev [Vachagaev-CW], staying in the United States, does not hide his ties with [rebel warlord Shamil] Basaev, who has been officially recognized as an international terrorist, including by the United States.”

Patrushev did not provide details of Vachagaev’s alleged ties with Basaev or evidence that such ties exist.