Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 31

The October 16 issue of Nezavismaya Gazeta carried an article by journalist Il’ya Maksakov entitled “A Representative of Putin Has Met with the People of Maskhadov.” On October 13, Maksakov wrote, in Znamenskoe, the district center for Nadterechny District in Chechnya, President Putin’s special representative for ensuring the rights and freedoms of man in the Chechen Republic, Abdul-Khakim Sultygov, an ethnic Chechen, met with fourteen deputies of the Chechen Republic who had been elected in 1997, at the same time that Aslan Maskhadov had been elected president of the republic. Sultygov’s discussion with the deputies lasted for about three-and-a-half hours. The participants in the meeting discussed problems connected with observing human rights in Chechnya and the ways for a political regulation of the crisis in Chechnya. They also agreed to create a joint group that would meet regularly in the future. According to Maksakov, the participants concurred that “a final goal must be a referendum on a [new] constitution for the republic” and the adoption of a republican treaty on social accord. Observers from the Council of Europe based in Znamenskoe were said to have been involved in preparing this meeting. Maksakov’s account noted at the end that “after the conclusion of the meeting of Sultygov with the Chechen deputies, the latter, while departing Nadterechny District, were taken into custody by the local [pro-Moscow] police. After the involvement of the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation and a checking of documents, the misunderstanding was smoothed over and the deputies were let go.”