June 2nd 2003 · Prague Watchdog / Ruslan Isayev · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Maskhadov speaks out on peace talks, resistance and recent explosions

Ruslan Isayev, North Caucasus - "I will not call for talks with the Russian leadership any more because it's senseless," stated Aslan Maskhadov, President of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria, in his latest videotaped address.

International organizations like the United Nations, OSCE and the Council of Europe, must intervene to end the war. "I'll agree to talks only if they are mediated by these organizations," Maskhadov said.

"Both the President and the government of the Russian Federation are unable to clearly understand the situation and the imminent dangers. They don't care whether the state collapses; they only care about the upcoming Russian presidential and parliamentary elections," Maskadov added.

He also mentioned the current military situation in the republic. According to him, the Chechen resistance movement is not in short supply of manpower. "We are well-prepared for this summer and autumn. And in view of the mood among our fighters, I can tell you that the situation will undergo a radical change. After the referendum, the activities of the resistance units sharply increased. Only last week several operations aimed at destroying the enemy were carried out in various mountain districts of Chechnya, namely Shatoi, Itum-Kale, and Ersenoi, as well as in the village of Geldygen in the Chechen lowlands. And diversionary operations were also increased," Maskhadov noted.

His thirty-minute speech was primarily devoted to the recent explosions in the villages of Znamenskoye and Iliskhan-Yurt. "The Chechen President cannot control those who blow themselves up along with other people. He can only control the resistance fighters who struggle against the aggressor and occupation forces. And I have repeatedly said that I do not accept these methods of warfare as I think they don’t bring the end of the war any closer. It isn't that I pity the enemies who died there, the point is that the Russians do not admit it was their soldiers who died. Instead, they draw the public's attention to the fact that only civilians were killed," Maskhadov explained.

"According to my information, about 100 members of the district department of the Federal Security Service (FSB) died in Znamenskoye. The commander of this deparment has many vendetta avengers because he is responsible for the death of many innocent Chechens. And I assume that it was a blood feud. And no one, not even me, can stop such people from seeking revenge. The only thing that will stop them is termination of the war. Therefore, I recommend civilians avoid such places," proclaimed Maskhadov.

At the end of his statement, the Chechen President called on the citizens of the republic to garner all their patience and not be bowed down. "Don't expect anything good from the puppets and enemies. The day will soon come when the occupation forces will leave Chechnya," Aslan Maskhadov said.



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