Although Russian and Western journalistshave frequently interviewed both Shamil Basayev, the leader ofthe Chechen raid on Budennovsk, and Chechen president DzhokharDudayev, a Russian television commentator said June 26 that "ourcompetent organs" don’t seem to be able to locate eitherman. Anger exploded over the apparent inability of the FederalSecurity Service, the interior ministry and the Russian army tolocate people whom journalists can find easily, following Basayev’swidely-reported interview with an AFP reporter this week. In thatinterview, the Chechen commander said that he could have reachedMoscow and attacked the Kremlin if he had had $34,000 for bribesinstead of $3,000, a remark that only underscored Moscow’s inabilityto stop the Chechens should they want to expand the war. OtherMoscow media outlets reported that Basayev was in Russia or inAbkhazia or in Pakistan or in Turkey or in Jordan, claims thatfurther undermined public confidence in, and political supportfor, the force ministers.
A Crowded Agenda for Gore-Chernomyrdin Talks.