Russia: March 23, 2002


In Chechnya, soldiers captured a videotaped message from rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, demanding that all Chechens collaborating with Russia be killed. Such collaboration is hurting the rebels, as information from Chechen civilians has enabled the army and police to kill or arrest an increasing number of rebels. More such collaboration is indicative of the population getting fed up with the endless fighting. This is a pattern that has played out in this area for centuries. The Chechens will resist stoutly, but not forever. The level of brutality is high on both sides, another ancient tradition that refuses to go away.


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