Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 1

The Associated Press reported on December 28 that U.S. ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow had announced that since the events of September 11, 2001 the United States had “tried to do more in stopping the international terrorist dimension of the [Chechen] conflict from growing.” “We have made some progress,” Vershbow said, “in cutting off financial support, military support for foreign terrorists like Khattab, who are operating there.” Vershbow stressed, however, that it is important to distinguish between foreign terrorists like Khattab and rebels who have championed Chechnya’s independence. “Clearly those who have chosen to take up arms against Russian authority can’t simply be destroyed by military means,” Vershbow emphasized. And he added: “We do continue to have concerns about the human rights situation inside Chechnya and abuses that have sometimes been carried out by Russian forces.”