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“Just the fact of meeting with Basáyev triggered rage”


I took some vacations and went to Prague by car. I drove through Czequia, Poland, Ukraine, and ended my tour in a cab up to Ingushetia. I wanted to meet with the military chief Doku Umarov and the new president Abdul Halim Sadulaiev. I talked to the representatives of the government of “Ichkeria” [1] abroad and put me in contact with a person from Turkey. I bought a SIM card right there and was contacted to fix a meeting.
I spent two days with Basáyev and made me feel lonely. He wanted to check whether his arguments were effective on a person from abroad. He explained to me that the war had began because of a provocation of the FBI, that the people from Dagestan who live en Chechnya had fallen into the trap and he had no other choice but to help them.
As to Beslan, Basáyev confirmed to me that he did not know there were small children and had ordered to release those under 10 if the demands would receive a positive response. I thought that he had completely turned into a Wahhabi, but he calls that the war of national liberalization. He indicated that the religious motives are in a different class. According to what he said, they have 38 sectors and six fronts in the country.
I chose ABC because Nightline show is the best program for analysis of the United States. I was convinced that such meeting was useful, first to recall that Kremlin had built a virtual world in the real Chechnya. Then because terrorism has also already such an important place that the phenomenon deserves to be studied. The most important thing was to show that our values were superior. In the opposition between communism and the Western world, communism lost due to discourse. Such discourse should be used in the future against terrorism.

Newsweek.ru (Fédération de Russie)

"Just the fact of meeting with Basáyev triggered rage", by Andrei Babitsky, Newsweek.Ru, August 14, 2005. Text adapted from an interview.

[1] name given by the Chechen separatists

Andreï Babitsky

Andreï Babitsky Andrei Babitsky is correspondent of radio-Svaboda (Radio-Freedom). He is the author of various books about Chechnya. The accreditation from ABC to work in Russia was withdrawn. Babitsky was arrested when the events of Beslan took place in a Moscow airport and was instructed not to take the plane to North Osetia. He was accused of carrying explosive devices. For several years, he has been in the spy hole of the Kremlin due to his coverage of the war in Chechnya, siding with the Chechnyan separatists.

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