Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 20

Meanwhile, Akhmed Zakaev, the London-based Chechen separatist special representative, told the Chechenpress website on May 19 that “the right way of approaching peace in Chechnya is to expand resistance to the occupying forces.” “Praise be to the Almighty, Russia will have to pay for the crimes against the Chechen people,” he said. “These crimes generate many destructive processes, which will inevitably lead to the break-up of the Russian empire.”

Zakaev denied that the United States and other Western countries support the Russian war in Chechnya, saying that, on the contrary, the United States and European Union appear to have opened up a “second front” against Russia. But he also strongly criticized PACE for playing what he called an extremely destructive role in the conflict. “By playing into the hands of Russia on any issue, PACE creates the illusion within the international community that an influential European institution is searching for ways of finding a peaceful solution to the Russian-Chechen conflict,” Zakaev said.