Saturday, July 16, 2005

Umarov Interview

RFE/RL has published an interview by noted Russian correspondent Andrei Babitsky with Chechen field commander Doku Umarov,who sees no alternative to armed struggle with Russia. From the English-language summary of the interview:
"Until we are freed from beneath the Russian jackboot, I can see no alternative, because there are no other possibilities left to us at the moment, particularly in view of what Russia and the so-called Russian Army has done here in the last six years. In my opinion, no honest patriot or citizen of Chechnya can see any other way," Umarov told RFE/RL.

Like most of the current rebel leadership, Umarov maintains that dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin is impossible. But he says he believes the armed resistance will outlive the present Russian leadership.

"Until change brings more reasonable people to power [in Russia], of course there can be no hope the war will end," he said. "But the situation isn't hopeless. Things aren't going so badly for us. They would have been bad had this been 2000 and the start of the Putin era, but I think times are changing. His time is coming to an end and reasonable people will come to power."
Hat tip: Marius

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