Russia: November 6, 2002

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The Chechen attempt to use a mass kidnapping in Moscow to get Russia to withdraw from Chechnya has backfired. Popular opinion, which was growing in favor of some kind of deal, has reversed. The reason is simple; most Russians feel that their troops cannot be withdrawn from Chechnya unless there is a Chechen government that can prevent Chechen gangs and religious fanatics from operating inside Russia. The recent Moscow attack implicated some of the Chechen leaders who were thought capable of keeping the peace. No more, and the war in Chechnya is thus likely to escalate some more.

 

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