Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 9

Is Doku Zavgaev making yet another political comeback? The former Communist Party first secretary of Checheno-Ingushetia under Mikhail Gorbachev, who was subsequently restored to power by Yeltsin in 1995, recently flew from Tanzania–where he serves as Russian ambassador–to Moscow in order to hold a heavily reported press conference concerning the situation in Chechnya. One of Zavgaev’s brothers currently represents Chechnya in the Russian Federation Council while another heads up the Nadterechny District of Chechnya. In an ironical aside, the online daily speculated that the actual purpose of Zavgaev’s press conference was to say: “I exist. I’m here. Don’t think that I would exchange Chechnya, to which Russia is scheduled to pay US$2 billion, for Tanzania, which itself owes Russia almost US$700 million” (, February 22). In his comments at the press conference, Zavgaev dismissed President Maskhadov as a complete “zero,” adding, “There is no place for Maskhadov in Chechnya” (Russian Agencies, RTR Vesti, February 22).