AN INTERVIEW WITH MUSA BAZHAYEV, ALLIANCE OIL COMPANY PRESIDENT

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AN INTERVIEW WITH MUSA BAZHAYEV, ALLIANCE OIL COMPANY PRESIDENT

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 28, 2002, p. 3

Question: How would you evaluate the situation with hostages taken in Moscow?

Musa Bazhayev: I do not think that a normal man can take terrorist act positively. I do not think much of it either. Minister of Ethnic Affairs Vladimir Zorin convened a conference with representatives of the Chechen diaspora shortly before the liberation of hostages. Representatives of the Interior Ministry, Federal Security Service, and mayoralty were present. Several decisions were made, one of them to establish a Trust of support of hostages and victims of terrorist acts. Our company has deposited 3 million rubles in the account.

Question: How do you think the situation in Chechnya will develop now, in the wake of the Nord-Ost events?

Musa Bazhayev: Ask representatives of secret services or the men who handle the problem. The conflict in Chechnya is a problem of the whole society. I only hope that the constitutional order will be restored there. The quicker it is done, the fewer problems the Russian people will have.

BLITZ INTERVIEWS WITH EXPERTS ON THE EFFECT OF THE MOSCOW TRAGEDY ON THE POLITICAL SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 28, 2002, p. 4

Andrei Fedorov, Foundation of Political Surveys and Consulting: If any heads roll (and some heads must), it should happen when the crisis is over. The Interior Ministry and the state as such did not perform impeccably, that much is clear. Particularly in comparison with the United States after September 11. We should come to terms with the idea that the period of relaxation is over. Perhaps, we will need a new government soon, a government of hard work. Besides, I think that the latest events will have an effect on electoral moods of society, and particularly from the point of view of trust (or distrust) in the authorities. The regime cannot ensure law and order. As I see it, the Chechen factor will become dominant in the next electoral campaign.

Sergei Karaganov, President of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council: As I see it, the Kremlin will have to be harsher in the matter of Chechnya because political means have availed it nothing. We have to bring the operation to an end and seek a political solution all at the same time. In any case, this is a strong blow against the regime.

Besides, the Kremlin should have invited special forces of NATO states or the advanced Western countries, to have them participate in the operation and in the political battles around it.

Andrei Piontkovsky, Strategic Surveys Center: I’m not interested in staff decisions – one incompetent replaces another, so what? I’m worried that the mood in society and elite is such that the Kremlin may stiffen its Chechen policy. I.e. it will be another slogan “rub ’em out when they’re in the John” but on a new level, something more brutal. Particularly tragic is that all of that happened when the moods were changing. All opinion polls showed that almost 65% of the population wanted a political resolution and negotiations… I do not rule out the possibility that the men who organized all of that belong to the Chechen party of war. It is common knowledge after all that there are men both in Moscow and in Chechnya who want the conflict to go on.

CENSORSHIP IS UNACCEPTABLE

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, October 28, 2002, p. 4

Question: As a participant of negotiations with the terrorists, did you know about the storming?

Boris Nemtsov: I was involved in the negotiations with the terrorists that were never revealed to general public, with the authorities’ consent. I did not know anything about the storming. But I know on days one and two of the crisis nobody planned or rather there were no indications of an impending storming. I insisted on continuation of the negotiations for as long as possible – just to have women and children released. I told the terrorists (and everybody knew it, from Voloshin to Patrushev to Abu Bakar who was the terrorists’ ideological leader) that we were ready to trade a day of peace in Chechnya for every released hostage.

Question: Do you know which gas special forces used?

Boris Nemtsov: Some gas was used but I do not know what exactly. Nobody says anything. I do not know whether it was a chemical warfare means or something intended to put people to sleep. My mother is a doctor. She says that it might have been a stun gas. Ask it of the military, the Alpha (an elite special forces unit: translator’s note). What I can say is that Masha Rozovskaya, the daughter of Mark Rozovsky the director, is all right. But the hostages were gassed all the same. On the other hand, terrorists would have blown everything up had the dose been small.

Question: The special forces have evaluated their actions at B+. What do you think in the light of all these victims?

Boris Nemtsov: The regime will find itself in a tight fix unless it stops its policy of revealing nothing and keeping silent about its mistakes. Is that censorship or what? If this censorship continues, it will be a catastrophe.

Why should the information be kept away from the general public? Because patients at hospitals may lack blood or something else. We do not know what medicines are needed. We do not know anything. We do not even know what kind of gas was used. How can a patient be treated when a diagnosis is impossible?

As for my evaluation of the operation, there was a real threat of detonation. I cannot blame special forces for what happened. The question is whether or not all political means were exhausted. Nobody can say for sure. The Budennovsk option is the only one out of the question, when Chernomyrdin talked to terrorists on air. The regime cannot talk to the criminals openly, on air. It means that any criminal can take hostages just to talk to the authorities.

"NOBODY IN CHECHNYA TO NEGOTIATE WITH"

Izvestia, October 28, 2002, p. 5

Tadeus Iwinski, foreign policy adviser to prime minister of Poland: Even if someone had any illusions on that score until now, the latest events in Chechnya rule out the very idea of independence of Chechnya.

Swedish Prime Minister Joran Persson: If the terrorists were in touch with Aslan Maskhadov, Russia does not have anybody else to negotiate with. All of that makes the Chechen solution all the more complicated.

US President George W. Bush: The terrorist act in Moscow reminds us that terrorism threatens the whole free world.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell: I’m glad that the crisis is over but I’m sorry about all these victims… The Moscow tragedy once again shows that terrorists can strike any place, any time… There are no countries with immunity against terrorism.

President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze: There were no options save for storming…

Chairman of the parliament of Georgia Nino Burjanadze: Terrorists should know that no act of theirs will remain unpunished.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder: The capture of hostages shows once again that nothing can justify terrorism.

Prime Minister of Italy Sylvio Berlusconi sided up with President Vladimir Putin, who “found the courage to deal with a risky situation.”

President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev: We praise the men whose heroism and professionalism saved hundreds of lives.

AKHMAD KADYROV’S MOMENT OF TRUTH

Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 29, 2002, p. 3

Terrorists did not want anybody or just about anybody…like Moscow Chechens or Yuri Luzhkov, Sergei Kovalev, Oleg Orlov, etc. They wanted Kadyrov.

Kadyrov did not want to meet with terrorists. He said afterwards that he had not known anything. It became known on Friday afternoon, however, that Kadyrov had refused to enter the building, much less become a hostage. After that, he disappeared altogether.

Will Chechens themselves forgive him now?

PUTIN WILL ATTEND THE RUSSIA – EUROPEAN UNION SUMMIT IN BRUSSELS, NOT COPENHAGEN

Moskovsky Komsomolets, October 29, 2002, p. 3

Participation of the Russian delegation at the European summit was jeopardized by the so-called All-World Chechen Congress. The so-called Congress is taking place under the observation of the Danish police. Denmark agreed to transfer of the meeting of European leaders to the capital of Belgium.

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