On September 28, Ex-President of Ingushetia Ruslan Aushev held a press conference concerning the facts connected with Beslan’s tragedy. Aushev was straightforward as usual. He told journalists about the ultimatum of Shamil Basayev. The guerilla’s demands were connected with the necessity of withdrawal of troops from Chechnya. At that, Basayev promised that Chechen Republic would join the CIS and ruble zone and would allow peacekeeping forces of the international community to work at its territory. The guerillas promised to liberate hostages if they heard about the corresponding decree of Vladimir Putin. According to Ruslan Aushev, he handed a sheet of paper with the guerillas’ demands to Valery Andreev, head of the FSB department of North Ossetia. The fate of this message is unknown. “I can say only one thing – we acquainted the federal center with their demands,” Aushev stressed.

Aushev asserted that the assault of the school had been spontaneous and he, ex-officer, had been surprised at appearance of armed civilians near the school. A lot of people were murdered because of them. Amateurs shouldn’t participate in anti-terrorist actions for release of hostages. This is an axiom. However, it was violated for some reason…

Besides, Aushev thinks that if one negotiates with Maskhadov, a lot of guerillas will lay down arms. To all appearances, the federal authorities are sure that the troops will annihilate all the leaders of separatists.

It is known that Aslan Maskhadov, leader of Chechen separatists, was with a guerilla gang in the woodland near Gansal-Chu and Meskety (Eastern part of Chechnya). Vakha Magamgaziev, head of the administration of Nozhai-Yurt district, stated this. However, Major-General Ilya Shabalkin, representative of the Regional Operational Staff for Counterterrorist Operation in the North Caucasus, didn’t acknowledge this information. According to Shabalkin, 6 special operations were carried out in the Chechen republic last week. 15 guerillas were murdered. He acknowledged that there were some servicemen of the federal forces were lost. Moreover, he confirmed that 4 officers of law-enforcement bodies were killed in Leninsky district of Grozny on September 25. Active skirmishes with guerillas took place in Alleroi, ancestral settlement of Maskhadov, and other settlements.

Special operations; lost and wounded people… Real battles take place; however, the authorities suppose that there is no war in Chechnya. At that, the group of troops in the republic wasn’t reduced and the military and inhabitants perish every day.

The fire of conflicts can spread to neighboring republics. Aushev acknowledged at his press-conference that hotheads could play the Ingush card after the end of the 40-day mourning in North Ossetia.

Thus, the situation in the Northern Caucasus is rather strained. The federal center demonstrates its incapacity for putting everything in order. The new instability and conflicts are probable in future. Moreover, the military force remains the main instrument containment in the region.