HAS KHATTAB LEFT FOR CENTRAL ASIA?

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HAS KHATTAB LEFT FOR CENTRAL ASIA?

Izvestia, September 8, 2000, p. 1

On September 5, military sources broke the sensational news that Khattab, leader of the Arab mercenaries fighting in Chechnya, had left Chechnya and was headed for Central Asia. However, by evening this report had been refuted.

Lieutenant-General Valery Baranov, commander of the joint group of Russian forces in the North Caucasus, said: “Khattab cannot leave Chechnya alone. He has a certain system of gangs. Currently these gangs are in Chechnya.”

As a result, the report about the movements of Khattab was described as misinformation.

CHECHEN GUERRILLAS AREN’T HIDING: BUT NO ONE IS LOOKING FOR THEM

Moskovsky Komsomolets, September 8, 2000, p. 1

According to the Russian command, the federal forces are monitoring the movements of all Chechen field commanders. Most of the field commanders have permanent bases. For instance, Aslan Maskhadov spends all his time in the Shatoi district of Chechnya, where a command post consisting of a few underground shelters in the mountains was created during the first Chechen campaign. The president of Ichkeria has a special satellite telephone. He was given this phone in January 1997 when he was elected president of Chechnya. According to FAGLI officers, the location of the user of this phone can be detected even if the phone is switched off.

Shamil Basaev often visits the Vedeno and Dyshne-Vedeno settlements.

It is more difficult to trace Khattab. His guard consists of Arab mercenaries. Khattab constantly moves from place to place. According to certain reports he uses maps prepared by American spy satellites. However, the Russian intelligence services know that Khattab’s main base is in the Itum-Khali district.

Why hasn’t the command of the federal forces given an order to destroy the leaders of the separatists? The answer is simple: this war benefits too many people.

OFFENDED DONORS

Moskovsky Komsomolets, September 8, 2000, p. 2

The political council of the Fatherland movement has circulated a report in which it disagrees with the 2001 budget, in particular with the principle of inter-budget relations.

According to the draft budget, the major part of tax revenues will go to the federal government. This new “technique” is not in the interests of the donor regions. Currently there are only nine regions which pay out more revenue to the federal government than they receive from it. It is clear that Fatherland supports these regions, because this is a Moscow movement. The movement is requesting that the old system should not be changed. But in general, Fatherland supports the government. Above all, the political council of the movement has decided to protect the president, because too many negative forces are trying to damage him.

CHECHNYA UPDATE

Trud, September 8, 2000, p. 2

An armed conflict has broken out in the Chiri-Yurt village of the Shali district in Chechnya. Local residents are trying to oppose Wahhabi fundamentalists, using their own forces. The village leaders have asked the Volga police department and the Interior Troops, who control the region, not to intervene in the conflict: “residents of the village can establish order themselves.” At the same time, the Chiri-Yurt village leaders have refused to hand over detained Chechen guerrillas to the federal forces, because there are a few local residents among them.

Lieutenant-General Ivan Babichev, Chief Commandant of Chechnya, said that September 6, the so-called Independence Day of Ichkeria, passed fairly quietly. Thanks to additional security measures, Chechen guerrillas did not manage to carry out any terrorist acts in Chechnya on that day.

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