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Russian-Chechen War: Media Coverage #005 [14 DEC 2000]

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  • Ralph Davis
    Russian-Chechen War: Media Coverage #005 [14 DEC 2000] [Open-source resources compiled by Ralph Davis for the recipient s personal use.] 1. Putin defends
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2001
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      Russian-Chechen War: Media Coverage #005 [14 DEC 2000]
      [Open-source resources compiled by Ralph Davis for the
      recipient's personal use.]
      1.   Putin defends Russia's Chechnya operation in Canadian press interview
      2.   Russia: Putin says talks possible with Chechen population, not terrorists
      5.   Eight bodies found near Mesker-Yurt in Chechnya
      6.   Russia to spend R2.2bn on restoring Chechnya's transport next year
      8.   Georgia denies Russian media report that it helps Chechen rebels
      9.   Rebel Leader Distances Chechnya From Wave of Georgia Kidnappings
      10. Russian joint federal troops in Chechnya get new commander
      11. Miraculous Escape of Two Chechen Warlords
      12. Chechens attack Russian command centre, kill soldiers - Chechen web site
      13. Chechnya's Maskhadov Wounded
      14. Chechen field commander marries third wife, gets Russian POWs as wedding
      1.   Putin defends Russia's Chechnya operation in Canadian press interview
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14, 2000
      Text of report by Russian Public TV on 14 December
      [Presenter] A new pronouncement by the president - Vladimir Putin has spoken
      out about multipolarity in the world and the possibility of Russia joining
      [Correspondent] Vladimir Putin has again reiterated that Russia favours the
      creation of a multipolar world. Whereas before there were two poles - NATO
      and the Warsaw Treaty, the geopolitical situation has now changed
      fundamentally. Russia no longer regards the USA as an enemy. Furthermore,
      Russia has not ruled out, in principle, the possibility of joining NATO. But
      Western countries proved not to be ready for this, and now, according to the
      president, NATO's advance to the borders of Russia gives rise to great
      Vladimir Putin gave this interview ahead of his forthcoming visit to Canada,
      which is his destination on Sunday [17 December] after he leaves Havana.
      Foreign journalists wondered whether the state was infringing the rights of
      Russian journalists, asking whether the case of media magnate [Vladimir]
      Gusinskiy had a political background. The president answered that the
      building of a strong state presupposed that a free press would have a
      greater influence on society. As for the oligarchs, Vladimir Putin said they
      should not be able to influence the taking of state decisions through the
      media outlets they control. If they want to do this, let them operate
      legitimately, through parliament for instance.
      Referring to the situation in Chechnya, Vladimir Putin noted that Western
      society was receiving inadequate and one-sided information about the real
      state of affairs.
      [Putin] We agree that the international community is right to be concerned
      about the humanitarian side of things, and above all, of course, about
      civilians, who should not suffer. But we, for our part, are compelled to act
      in this way. The strictures of humanitarian regulations should not apply to
      terrorists. After all, nobody is saying that [Usamah] Bin Ladin, who blows
      up US embassies and US warships, has humanitarian rights. We are entitled to
      demand the extradition of such people to stand trial.
      [Correspondent] Vladimir Putin described his visit to Canada as a working
      one. There are many issues which Russia intends to resolve together with its
      northern neighbour.
      [Putin] We are good neighbours. We are strong states. We have things to be
      proud of. We almost share borders. We are neighbours in the north. We have
      common problems. We are absolutely determined to resolve these problems
      [Correspondent] The president said positive changes were now taking place in
      the Russian economy and the public would feel the results in 4-5 years. The
      main task of the next 10 years is to integrate the country with the
      international economic system. Vladimir Putin hopes Canada will help us in
      This is Sergey Semenov reporting for ORT.
      Source: Russian Public TV, Moscow, in Russian 1500 gmt 14 Dec 00
      2.   Russia: Putin says talks possible with Chechen population, not terrorists
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14, 2000
      Text of report by Russian Public TV on 14 December
      [Presenter] [Russian President] Vladimir Putin confirms that peace
      negotiations [in Chechnya] are possible only with those who are inclined
      towards a settlement within the law. This is what the president said in a
      television interview which he gave on the eve of his visit to Canada.
      [Putin] As for a settlement on a serious and permanent basis, a settlement
      reached with the population of Chechnya - not with those international
      fanatics and terrorists who are now attacking the civilized world in various
      parts of the planet and have already formed a whole crescent from Indonesia
      to Kosovo. But if we talk about a settlement with the population of
      Chechnya, I agree totally: this settlement can be reached exclusively
      through legal and political mechanisms. And we are holding such contacts
      with those who want and who are inclined towards negotiations of such kind.
      I am convinced that, in the end, we will solve this problem.
      Source: Russian Public TV, Moscow, in Russian 1800 gmt 14 Dec 00
            KHANKALA, December 14, 2000 (AVN) - A SU-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft
      flew one sortie in Chechnya since Wednesday, a source in the unified federal
      headquarters told the Military News Agency.
             Federal MI-24 Hind, MI-8 Hip, and MI-26 Halo choppers accomplished
      over 30 missions providing air cover for convoys, fire support for combat
      units and airlifting personnel and cargo.
             According to the unified federal headquarters, air strikes destroyed
      two rebel strong points and an ambush. Transport helicopters carried 50
      people and three tonnes of cargo fulfilling the requests of the military and
      civil administration. An IL-76 Candid airlifted 227 servicemen from the area
      of operations to central Russia.
             The source in the unified federal headquarters refused to comment on
      the fact that Chechen guerrillas get ammunition by air delivery, as claimed
      by some media. He only pointed out that such delivery could be done by means
      of Yak-18 Max lightweight aircraft. Such aircraft can fly at an altitude of
      10-20 m, which makes them invisible to radars, and and can take 150-200 kg
      of cargo on board.
      RIA Novosti (14 December 2000)
      Law enforcement agencies have found in Chechnya 16,074 cars stolen in Russia
      and other countries and returned to their owners, RIA Novosti was told by
      the representative of the law enforcement bodies of this Russian republic in
      the North Caucasus.
      One of the latest cars - a Ford - was stopped on December 13 at a checkpoint
      in Achkhoi-Martan. An examination of the car documents and the driver's
      license revealed that they were skilfully counterfeited. It turned out that
      Interpol had been looking for this car for two years. The driver was
      arrested. Now, documents are being drawn up to hand the car over to Interpol
      5.   Eight bodies found near Mesker-Yurt in Chechnya
      GROZNY. Dec 14, 2000 (Interfax) - The bodies of eight people were discovered
      on the outskirts of the Chechen village of Mesker-Yurt, 20 kilometers
      southeast of Grozny, on Thursday.
      The bodies bear evidence of having been beaten and gunshot wounds, and the
      hands of six of them were tied, head of the Chechen civil administration's
      department searching for missing people Alimsultan Berdikayev has told the
      Nothing has been known about the whereabouts of those killed since November
      11, Berdikayev said, adding that another five bodies were found near
      Mesker-Yurt at the beginning of the week. An investigation team led by
      Chechen prosecutor Vsevolod Chernov and accompanied by deputy head of the
      Chechen administration Ali Alavdinov is currently working at the scene.
      At the moment, it is too early to draw any conclusions on the circumstances
      of these deaths, the Chechen administration's press service has said.
      6.   Russia to spend R2.2bn on restoring Chechnya's transport next year
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 15, 2000
      Text of report in English by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS
      Moscow, 14 December: Restoring railway, automobile and air transport in
      Chechnya will require more than R2.2bn next year, Russian Deputy Prime
      Minister Viktor Khristenko told journalists after a governmental commission
      overseeing social and economic restoration in Chechnya ended its regular
      meeting on Thursday.
      The federal authorities allocated R20m to Chechnya's automobile transport
      last year and are planning to spend R50m roubles in 2001, primarily on
      buying passenger buses.
      Khristenko noted that R91m would be allocated to rebuild federal and local
      roads in Chechnya in 2001.
      The deputy premier said that air traffic was a separate issue for discussion
      for it was closely linked to security. The governmental commission has
      estimated that reopening air routes to Chechnya will require about R40m.
      The largest amount worth R3bn will be spent on railway transport-with R1bn
      to be allocated in 2000 and R2bn in 2001. All damaged rail track will be
      restored and new rolling stock will be acquired, the deputy prime minister
      went on to say.
      The governmental commission will hold a special meeting soon to discuss the
      re-opening of a railway connection between Groznyy and Moscow.
      Source: ITAR-TASS news agency, Moscow, in English 1639 gmt 14 Dec 00
      December 14, 2000

      Three teenage residents of Gudermes district were arrested yesterday on
      suspicion of blowing up the administration building in Novogroznenski town,
      an apartment house in Suvorovka village, and a car belonging to the head of
      the Nozhai-yurt state farm. Teenagers are increasingly being used to execute
      terrorist acts. The separatists pay them from $300 to $500 to set up a
      time-bomb or explosive device on a petrol tank or a freight car.
      8.   Georgia denies Russian media report that it helps Chechen rebels
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14, 2000
      Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax
      Moscow, 14 December: The Georgian embassy in Moscow has denied a report from
      a Russian television channel that an airlift between Georgia and rebel
      fighters in the mountains of Chechnya has been organized, and that Georgian
      planes are airdropping military cargoes destined for the Chechen
      "Georgia, suffering from the syndrome of separatism herself, has never given
      any assistance to the Chechen separatists," embassy sources told Interfax on
      Thursday [14 December].
      Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1421 gmt 14 Dec 00
      9.   Rebel Leader Distances Chechnya From Wave of Georgia Kidnappings
      TBILISI, Dec 14, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Chechen rebel president
      Aslan Maskhadov has sought to dispel international concern at Chechen links
      to a wave of kidnappings in Georgia by vowing to strip those involved of
      their citizenship, media reported here Wednesday.
      Newspapers published in Georgia, which borders Chechnya, carried a statement
      from Maskhadov that all crimes, including kidnapping, carried out by ethnic
      Chechens in Georgia were "crimes against the Chechen nation."
      Maskhadov said he was speaking out because the Russian authorities were
      seeking to sow discord between Chechens and Georgians by recruiting Chechens
      to undertake criminal acts in the former Soviet republic.
      Last week Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze decreed a state of
      emergency in northeastern Georgia, heavily populated by Chechens, after a
      wave of kidnappings.
      Six men, including a Russian and two Spanish businessmen, are currently
      being held hostage in the Pankiyski gorge, labelled Georgia's crime capital,
      where some 10,000 Chechens live.
      Meanwhile, two UN military observers abducted last weekend in the buffer
      zone between Georgia and its northwestern separatist region of Abkhazia were
      still being held Wednesday after the kidnappers failed to deliver on a
      pledge to release them overnight.
      Two Spanish businessmen, Jose Antonio Tremino and Francisco Rodriguez, were
      abducted on their way to Tbilisi airport on November 30 by four masked and
      armed men, who were reported to speak with Chechen accents.
      Addressed to his "Georgian brothers and sisters," Maskhadov's statement --
      dated December 5 but only now released -- said kidnapping "should be
      regarded as a crime against the Chechen nation."
      He added that any Chechens found responsible "should be stripped and the
      death penalty pronounced.
      "The lack of punishment by other governments, such as Georgia's, is not a
      mitigating circumstance," he added.
      He urged all Chechens in Georgia to hand over criminals to the Georgian
      Half of the Chechens settled in the Pankiyski gorge many years ago, while
      the rest are thought to be refugees from the 14-month war in Russia's
      breakaway republic.
      Russia has repeatedly accused Tbilisi of allowing up to 2,000 Chechen
      rebels, currently based in the gorge, to move freely across the 80-kilometer
      (50-mile) mountainous border, and earlier this week imposed a visa regime
      between the two countries.
      The Georgian interior ministry has voiced its exasperation at the latest
      wave of kidnappings, noting the hostages were being held "in remote parts"
      of the former Soviet republic.
      "It is very difficult to predict this type of kidnapping and therefore to
      combat such phenomena," interior ministry spokeswoman Maya Mosidze told AFP
      on Monday.
      10. Russian joint federal troops in Chechnya get new commander
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14, 2000
      Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax
      Rostov-On-Don, 14 December: The command of the counter- terrorist operation
      in the North Caucasus is expected to make replacements in the command of the
      combined federal force in the North Caucasus.
      Lt-Gen Valeriy Baranov, the current combined federal force commander, is to
      be replaced by Lt-Gen Vladimir Bulgakov, the current deputy commander of the
      North Caucasian Military District, Interfax was told at the district's
      The upcoming replacement is "a scheduled one and reflects the principle of
      personnel rotation," the headquarters said.
      Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow, in English 1213 gmt 14 Dec 00
      11. Miraculous Escape of Two Chechen Warlords
      Artyom Vernidub
      Gazeta.RU (14 December 2000)
      Commander of the Federal forces in Chechnya Lieutenant-General Valery
      Baranov reported on Wednesday that rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov was wounded
      on November 7. On the same day, news spread that Maskhadov had recorded a
      new address to the Chechen people. It seems he has made a quick recovery.
      For some reason, General Baranov decided to reveal the news of the near
      fatal assault on one of the Chechen rebels’ most important leaders only to
      the Itar-Tass agency. He failed to give any details as to where and how
      Maskhadov was wounded, what condition the warlord is in and whether or not
      Federal reconnaissance knows anything about Maskhadov’s current whereabouts.
      Baranov only divulged the date of the attack on Maskhadov, November 7th, but
      did not say why he was announcing the news 5 weeks after the alleged
      Instead, Baranov decided to tell the Itar-Tass correspondent about the
      operation against another Chechen separatist leader, a certain Brigadier
      General Magomet Khambiyev. Baranov announced that Khambiyev “has also been
      wounded” and only by some miracle had not been captured when Federal troops
      servicemen launched an ambush in the vicinity of Tazen-Kale village. The car
      in which the notorious warlord was allegedly traveling was shot at and two
      rebels were killed. Two more rebels were captured, but Khambiyev managed
      somehow to escape, despite the fact that he was also wounded. Federal
      officers reportedly learned of Khambiyev’s escape from the captured Chechen
      Gazeta.Ru requested the press-centre of the Federal Forces in the Northern
      Caucases to give more details about Maskhadov’s injury. However, the news
      that Maskhadov had been wounded was a genuine surprise for the press-centre’
      s staff. They also promised to “make the necessary phone calls and to find
      out what had happened,”
      The office of the presidential aide for Chechnya, Sergey Yastrzhembsky also
      new nothing and began to look into the matter after our call.
      Our inquiry certainly produced results from Yastrzhembsky’s office. On
      Wednesday night Sergey Yastrzhembsky, who is also the Presidential spokesman
      for Chechnya, personally announced that Aslan Maskhadov had been wounded on
      November 7, not far from his native village of Aleroi (55 kilometres from
      Grozny, near the border with Daghestan). His driver and two bodyguards were
      killed, but Maskhadov had managed to escape, the presidential spokesman
      The similarity of the report of the two incidents has inevitably raised
      questions. In both cases, the bodyguards were killed and the wounded rebel
      commanders escaped. Some observers suppose that both Maskhadov and Khambiyev
      bought their freedom.
      A month after the alleged incident, it would be difficult to establish if
      Aslan Maskhadov really was wounded on November 7. The thing is, Maskhadov
      has been wounded several times already and some of his wounds are serious.
      In particular, his throat is damaged and, according to NTV television,
      Maskhadov has trouble speaking. He has to pause after every few words and it
      is especially hard for him to speak Chechen as it has many guttural sounds,
      requiring the use of throat muscles.
      In spite of these difficulties, on December 10 Aslan Maskhadov recorded
      another address to the Chechen people, Radio Liberty reported. The address
      was recorded in a mountain village in Southern Chechnya and Maskhadov called
      for Moscow to begin negotiations with him. Sergey Yastrzhembsky has not
      reacted to Maskhadov’s proposition.
      12. Chechens attack Russian command centre, kill soldiers - Chechen web site
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14, 2000
      Text of report by Azzam Publications Jihad in Chechnya web site
      Wednesday 13 December: [subhead] Mojahedin attack Russian central command
      A mojahedin unit carried out a surprise attack on the Russian central
      command centre in Shali, killing 17 enemy soldiers and wounding many more.
      The mojahedin unit positioned itself near the centre, and then proceeded to
      attack it with a hail of machinegun fire. They returned safely to their
      bases by the grace of Allah. It should be remembered that the number of
      Russian casualties was provided by the Russian command, which is known for
      deflating its losses.
      [subhead] Mojahedin respond to yesterday's Alkhan-Yurt explosions
      The mojahedin had promised to avenge yesterday's Russian explosions in which
      a total of 40 Chechen civilians were killed and wounded outside a mosque in
      Alkhan-Yurt. By Allah's grace, they were able to fulfil their promise with a
      series of successful operations:
      - A mojahedin unit in Groznyy attacked a Russian BTR and a URAL transport
      vehicle, killing 10 soldiers and wounding several others;
      - Another unit detonated a BTR just outside Groznyy, killing all seven of
      its occupants
      - Two mojahedin units executed an attack against a Russian anti-land mine
      unit in Kershi-Aul, killing and wounding an undetermined number of men. The
      unit consisted of a BTR, URAL, UZAK and a special anti-land mine vehicle.
      The mojahedin destroyed the BTR andthe URAL during the attack. [subhead]
      Mojahedin paralyze Russians in Gudermes
      Meanwhile in Gudermes, the unit led by commander Yarmook set a fuel station
      alight, burning it to the ground. This was the main service station for the
      Russians and their supporters throughout Gudermes. The mojahedin have thus
      shown their determination to comply with a mandate issued by their council a
      few weeks ago, in which they were ordered to target the fuel stations used
      by the enemy.
      [subhead] New hypocrites compete for administrative chair
      After the Putin-appointed hypocrite Ahmed Qadirov proved that he is unable
      to serve as the administrative official for Chechnya, other hypocrites and
      traitors have started to compete for this soon-to-be-vacant position. The
      traitors are led by Adam Khalifah and Trames neither of which has any type
      of support or backing from the Chechen population.
      [subhead] Russian command issues search directive
      The Russian command has issued a directive to its forces, instructing them
      to carry out house-to-house search operations in many Chechen villages and
      towns. A spokesman for the mojahedin said that this directive is probably an
      effort aimed at removing the boredomfelt by the Russian troops. As is
      usually the case, these searches are accompanied by robbery and other
      criminal activities.
      Source: Jihad in Chechnya web site, London, in English 0000 gmt 14 Dec 00
      13. Chechnya's Maskhadov Wounded
      Lenta.RU (Updated 14.12.2000 at 16:41:45)
      The office of President Vladimir Pujtin's Aide on Chechnya, Sergei
      Yastrzhembsky, announced on Thursday that Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov had
      been wounded during a special operation carried out by Russian forces,
      Interfax news agency reported.
      Maskhadov's driver and two members of his escort were killed, said
      Yastrzhembsky's office. However, Maskhadov managed to escape.
      The report said that the special operation took place in November. Several
      guerrilla were wounded, reportedly including an important field-commander.
      Another guerrilla leader, one of the Akhmadov brothers, was reportedly
      The report could not be independently confirmed.
      14. Chechen field commander marries third wife, gets Russian POWs as wedding
      BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Dec 14, 2000
      Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev recently married his third wife, in
      accordance with Islamic tradition. Among his wedding presents were three
      Russian POWs. Speaking in an interview with the Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency,
      Basayev said that getting married was in conformity with the requirements of
      Jihad, or Holy War, and that Chechen commanders encouraged their fighters to
      tie the knot. He added, however, that some wives tried to lure their
      husbands away from fighting. Basayev admitted that the recent bombing in the
      Chechen town of Gudermes was the work of a Chechen suicide bomber and
      promised that there would be more blasts. He denied that Chechen fighters
      were concentrating in the Pankisi gorge in Georgia, which borders on
      Chechnya, saying that the Chechens there were refugee women and children.
      Following is the text of the interview with Basayev published by the
      Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency web site on 14 December:
      14 December: [Chechen field commander] Abdullah Shamil Basayev got married
      on Saturday, 9 December. In accordance with the norms of Sharia'h, the
      Chechen commander got married for the third time. Abu Dudzhana, the supreme
      cadi of the supreme military Majlis ul-Shura, wed the couple. Some
      well-known mojahedin commanders were present at the wedding. The military
      amir of the supreme military Majlis ul-Shura, Amir Khattab, gave Shamil a
      new captured SVDUA sniper rifle as a present. The famous commander Magomed
      Tsagarayev gave Shamil three [Russian] captured flying squad members, and
      Amirs Ramzan Akhmadov and Arbi Barayev sent as gifts video cassettes with
      footage of Russian armoured hardware being blown up. Our correspondent
      attended the wedding, which was held in a village in the south of [the
      Chechen Republic of] Ichkeria, congratulated the newly-weds and asked
      several questions:
      [Correspondent] Shamil, the war is still going on. The Russians are talking
      about the final phase of the war, and you and many other mojahedin are
      getting married. Could you clarify the situation, especially as this is your
      third marriage?
      [Basayev] In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to
      God, the Lord of the Worlds who created us Muslims and did a great favour to
      us with Jihad.
      The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Three have the right to God's help: a
      member of the mojahedin on the path of God, a slave who wants to be free,
      and a man who wants chastity through his marriage." In line with this verse,
      our commanders encourage mojahedin to get married. Especially those
      unmarried, though one should admit that some wives try to lure them away
      from Jihad. More than 700 mojahedin got married this year. This is also part
      of Jihad. A daughter was born to me this summer, so Khattab asked me: "Does
      she have one leg or two?" I said - two. He said: "If she has two legs, she
      is not your daughter." As they say "war comes and goes, but one always wants
      to get married".
      As for the Russians, I can say that they are right talking about the final
      phase of the war. But it is us who are finalizing it, not them. That is the
      difference. We are finishing them off and implementing our new plan "the
      funeral of the troops!". Will you hear anyone talking about the "falling
      leaves" operation with which they intimidated us throughout the summer and
      autumn? No. And you will not, because it happened the other way round and
      they themselves have nowhere to hide now. Now we are proposing to them, so
      that they do not disgrace themselves, to start a "snow-fall" operation, and
      we are also undertaking obligations to help reducing their troops.
      [Correspondent] Shamil, how would you comment on the explosions in Gudermes
      and Pyatigorsk?
      [Basayev] Firstly, explosions occur every day and Inshallah there will be
      more. The explosion in Gudermes was carried out by our martyr brother,
      Inshallah. A special group of martyrs spent over a month preparing this
      operation. The explosion was calculated and carried out during the change of
      duty of the occupation bandit formation called Regional Directorate to
      Combat Organized Crime, which has 400 bandits. Almost all of them were on
      the parade ground when a vehicle drove in there. And it exploded two metres
      away from them immediately and not in two stages, as Russian generals are
      trying to present it. I do not know about Pyatigorsk. Maybe there is a
      "Chechen footprint". We cannot control everybody, especially those who went
      through the horrors of Russian concentration camps. We do not trust them
      very much and do not admit them into our detachments. But everybody knows
      that the Russian concentration camp Belyy Lebed [White Swan], which is
      located in the centre of Pyatigorsk, distinguishes itself by particular
      cruelty. Thousands of Chechens have gone through it. Maybe this is the
      Federal Security Service's footprint. The coincidence between our major
      successes in Ichkeria and the explosions in Rusnya [Russia] is interesting
      to us. I will probably propose to [Chechen rebel President Aslan] Maskhadov
      to announce a three-day mourning period because of the explosions in
      Pyatigorsk. It is cynical, but today I am more worried out about the fate of
      my people.
      [Correspondent[ The head of the Russian General Staff, [Anatoliy] Kvashnin,
      said that he and Kafyrov [head of pro-Russian Chechen administration, Akhmad
      Kadyrov] had drawn up a new plan, and now a garrison will be deployed in
      each village under this plan.
      [Basayev] To be honest, I had a higher opinion of Kvashnin's professional
      abilities, although what can one expect from a bull? He is a complete idiot
      if he does not know that in 90 per cent of Ichkeria's villages garrisons
      have already been deployed, and in other villages they cannot deploy them
      physically. It would be too big a gift for us if they were deployed there.
      But if he does know what he is talking about, this means that he wants to
      gain time and conceal his impotence, which also suits us. I will probably
      ask the Nobel committee to give Kvashnin and Kafyrov a prize for "inventing
      the bicycle". They have invented nothing new and they will not. They want to
      billet, like in old times, their soldiers whom they left naked under the
      open sky begging for a piece of bread on the roads. It is very interesting
      how they will bring up reinforcements and take away the wounded, especially
      in foul weather. I think that Kvashnin wants to help us end the war as soon
      as possible. We will take account of his merits in this case and cancel the
      death sentence pronounced by the Sharia'h Court.
      [Correspondent] Moscow is exerting pressure on Georgia because there are
      allegedly hundreds of "Chechen militants" in the Pankisi gorge.
      [Basayev] There are more "militants" there than Moscow claims. They are
      several thousand. These are our refugees - women and children. To the
      Russians they are militants whom their paratroopers and flying squads were
      not able to get. In addition, the Russians are offended because they are
      "fighting bandits who are proud in their loneliness", and the entire world
      which "should have gone down on its knees before the Russians" is not
      helping them.
      So, they are trying to solve their problems at the expense of Georgia. It
      turns out that it is Georgia's fault that Rusnya cannot cope with Ichkeria
      and, moreover, it turns out that it treats wounded Chechen "militants". As
      though we do not receive treatment in Moscow. Why, the Kremlin hospital
      would give me treatment if I paid well. Rusnya is a state of thieves
      currently headed by an activist. [Georgian President Eduard] Shevardnadze
      ought to have sent to talks not the foreign minister, but some Georgian
      gentleman thief who would quickly come to an agreement with the activist.
      But it will be even better if Georgia lends us some air defence capability.
      We will then quickly solve all our problems, and the Russians will not be in
      the mood for Georgia. Shevardnadze should have long ago set up a special
      unit subordinated to the centre and consisting of young Chechens-Kistins to
      maintain order in villages and abroad. Chechens-Kistins are Georgian
      citizens and they have never betrayed that country. However, it is up to
      them to decide what to do and how to do it. We will drive the Russians out
      of the Caucasus anyway, Inshallah, God is Great.
      Source: Kavkaz-Tsentr web site, in Russian 14 Dec 00
      [DISCLAIMER: The selection of articles posted in this e-newsletter does not
      necessary reflect the views nor endorsement of the compiler. They are
      submitted in the interest of public discourse. Please submit all
      inquiries/questions to Ralph Davis at
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