Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 34

In an interview appearing in the November 4 issue of the Frankfurter Rundschau, Ivan Rybkin, a former speaker of the Russian parliament and secretary of the Russian Security Council, was asked: “Are you still in favor of negotiations with Maskhadov after the hostage taking?” To which Rybkin responded: “Absolutely. There’s no alternative…. Maskhadov has always kept his people from taking the war to Russia and attacking innocent civilians there…. We must finally talk to those who offer armed resistance to us. Maskhadov isn’t Osama bin Laden, and the vast majority of the rebels aren’t the Taliban. If they weren’t supported by many Chechens, the war would have been over long ago. With the rebel leaders who come after Maskhadov, we won’t be able to negotiate at all anymore” (Translated into English by Norbert Strade and posted on the Discussion List about Chechnya on November 8).