RealNews

Rebel Leader Tells Chechens to Reject Moscow Plan

Demanding full independence, Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov on Tuesday rejected Moscow’s latest offer of wider autonomy for Chechnya linked to the outcome of a key regional referendum in five days time. Russian President Vladimir Putin told Chechens in a televised address that if they approved a new constitution in a referendum next Sunday, their devastated homeland would gain a special status and broad control over their affairs. The referendum is the cornerstone of Russian peace plans in Chechnya, a predominantly Islamic region along its southern Caucasus flank. “For centuries our ancestors have not recognized (Russian) power, and now they are trying to force us to vote at gunpoint,” Maskhadov said in remarks quoted on separatist Web Site kavkazcenter.com. In the 1990s, tens of thousands were killed in a separatist war which ended with the region’s de facto independence. But the Kremlin’s forces poured back in 1999, drove then-president Maskhadov into hiding and established nominal Russian control over Chechnya, although they continue to lose men on a near-daily basis through guerrilla activity. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.