In an article entitled “The Chechen-Bermuda Triangle,” appearing in the October 26 issue of Kommersant, the paper took note of the fact that the Chechen Republic was fast emerging as “the Klondike of the twenty-first century.” A Russian deputy minister of finance, Aleksei Ulyukaev, was cited as claiming that he knew of 53 million rubles earmarked for Chechen restoration that had “not been used for the assigned purpose.” Of the 14.4 billion rubles allocated for the restoration of the economy of Chechnya, it was noted, only 52 percent (7.6 billion rubles) had been spent to date.
The no. 77 (October 22) issue of Novaya Gazeta contained an investigative article by journalist Pavel Voloshin entitled “The House Where They Sold [the explosive] Hexogen Stands in the Center of Moscow, at the Lubyanka,” which continues that newspaper’s relentless investigation into the September 1999 Moscow bombings, events which served to precipitate the current war in Chechnya. “Sometimes,” Voloshin observed, “the power ministries tell the truth. The Russian special services indeed do know everything about the Moscow explosions of 1999.”