Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 22

Chechen separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev said in a June 4 interview with Radio Liberty’s Chechen service that rebels would continue attacks on military and economic targets but not harm civilians. “It is inadmissible to carry out attacks on peaceful unarmed people not participating in military activities, especially women and children,” Agence France-Presse quoted Sadulaev as saying. “Our position is unequivocal and unchanged – we categorically condemn terrorism. Today it is not only our right, but a military necessity to inflict maximum political and ideological damage on our enemies. But the purpose of our attacks should be our opponents’ military and economic entities.” On June 4, six people were injured when a car bomb exploded near the Russian military base at Khankala, as a jeep belonging to Major General Said-Selim Tsuev, Chechnya’s military commissar, drove by. Tsuev was not in the jeep at the time of the attack.

In an appeal posted June 7 on the separatist Chechenpress website, rebel envoy Akhmed Zakaev called on Russian Muslims to fight their “common enemy.” “Today, every Muslim in Russia is a Chechen and this places special responsibility on us, the Chechens,” Zakaev wrote. “By taking up arms to fight for independence, we are also fighting for the honor and dignity of every Russian Muslim who is denigrated, insulted, extorted, beaten and tortured by the racist regime of the Kremlin. We are not calling on our brothers to commit violence. But we are saying that expecting mercy from the police, the FSB regime, and calling on the Kremlin authorities to observe law and justice would mean turning the other cheek to the culprits, which is not compatible with our traditions.”