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#8 - JRL 7007
Russian Political Expert Says 'Unofficial Ideology' of Chechen War Won
Budanov Case

MOSCOW. Jan 4 (Interfax) - "An unofficial ideology of the Chechen war has gotten the upper hand over the official one" in the case of Col. Yuri Budanov, said Institute of Political Research Director Sergei Markov.

In a Saturday interview with Interfax, Markov said this trial saw a clash of different factors, including "the esprit de corps of the Russian army and law enforcement agencies."

"According to the unofficial ideology of Russian armed, law enforcement, and security agencies, the operation in Chechnya is a war in defense of Russia's honor, so that it could rise from its knees and shake off the ideology of defeatism, which permeated the Khasavyurt [accords]," Markov said. This ideology "well-allows for unlawful deeds, especially if they are committed by people certainly devoted to Russia - such as Budanov," he said.

"In other words, the colonel's actions accurately fit the framework of this unofficial ideology, and therefore they won unofficial support from people actually representing all security agencies of the country," the political expert said.

However, Markov went on to say the same people did remember another aspect of this case during Budanov's trial, namely that "everything should be by the law: if Elza Kungayeva's guilt was not proven, then the woman was not a criminal."

Meanwhile, this aspect was weakened during the trial "by the general weakness of the state and by the assumption that laws are anyway widely ignored in Russia," Markov said.

Markov said he believes the court's decision to find Budanov mentally incompetent while murdering Kungayeva and subject to compulsory treatment will reinforce the unofficial ideology of the Chechen war, weaken state institutions, and damage Russia's image in the world, despite the fact that, according to psychiatry experts who examined Budanov, the colonel did lose control of his actions.

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