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Moscow needs Chechen peace talks to redeploy forces to Central Asia
- rebel web site

Source: Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency web site in Russian 27 Oct 01

27 October: An expected pause followed Gen Kazantsev's statement about the Chechens' desire to sit at negotiating table in order to disarm. Kazantsev's statement and denials from [Chechen rebel President Aslan] Maskhadov's spokesman Akhmed Zakayev reminded the public once again that to speak about real talks is as difficult today as it was two years ago. However, there is a big difference between the situation in autumn 1999 and the situation in autumn 2001. Two years ago, inspired by [Russian President] Putin's order to bump everyone off in toilets, the clique of Russian criminal generals could not even think that the day might come when they would have to talk to the Chechens. Two years have gone by and now the generals do not object to having talks with the mojahedin but simply do not know how to do this without losing face.

It seems that this rhetoric from Kazantsev, whom the Kremlin instructed to be a [Putin's aide Sergey] Yastrzhembskiy and a [former first deputy head of the Russian General Staff, now the representative of the Maritime Territory at the Federation Council Valeriy] Manilov rolled into one, is aimed at protecting the Kremlin boss who inconsiderately vowed at the beginning of his career to bump off everyone who denies Russia the right to pillage wherever it pleases.

That is the reason for the misinformation that the Chechens have decided that "the time has come to disarm and begin a peaceful life". In fact, Moscow is only trying to improve its image in view of the fact that the Chechen mojahedin have not been bumped off, as the grey Kremlin mouse [Putin] promised, and the Russians have to negotiate with them. Moreover, it is not certain that the outcome of the talks, which the parties will have to reckon with, will suit Moscow.

Moscow does not have many options to choose from. The war in Central Asia, which might spread to Russia's eastern territories and its satellite countries, and the complete failure of the military venture in Ichkeria [Chechnya], which is a catastrophe for the Kremlin in the Caucasus, are forcing the Kremlin regime to seek a way out of the situation. The Russian leadership simply follows the logic of the situation which suggests that talks are necessary in order for them to be used for their own ends.

These ends are obvious - to achieve a respite, to weaken mojahedin pressure on the [Russian] occupying forces so as to transfer some of the troops to Central Asia and avoid war on two fronts, to cause a split in the Chechen mojahedin leadership, to use the talks for the physical annihilation of the most dangerous Chechen leaders, to implant an anti-Islamic, nationalist regime in Ichkeria which Moscow was unsuccessfully trying to install in 1997-99.

Taking all this into consideration, it is important for Russia to create from the very start a climate around the talks which will help it cause a split in the [Chechen] resistance forces and provoke mutual suspicion and hostility between them. That is why it is extremely important for the parties [to the talks] to know what kind of scenario will be followed in the talks. At the same time, it is clear to those with a knowledge of the real situation in Chechnya that the talks will yield no results if they progress in line with the scenario which meets the Kremlin's insidious plans, in which case the talks will just increase the number of those who betray their religion and nation under the pretext of national salvation.

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