Russia: November 10, 2002

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Russia vows not to leave Chechnya until the "bandits" are eliminated. At the same time, government officials continue to seek Chechen leaders (usually of clans) who are capable of controlling the criminals and religious fanatics that have made Chechnya ungovernable over the last decade. Negotiating with Chechen leaders is useless unless the Chechens you are negotiating with can keep the peace after the Russian troops leave. So far, there have been no Chechen leaders, either rebel or pro-Russian, that have shown they can control the unruly bands of armed men in Chechens. At the moment, the main policy of the Russians is to hunt down and kill armed Chechens. As bloody minded as this appears, it's the strategy that worked in the 19th century. But it will only be a temporary fix, for soon a new generation of angry young men with weapons will appear. 

 

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