Yuri Felshtinsky: I’m simply not going to discuss the moral qualities of Chechnya’s political leader, Kadyrov, right now. Because from the standpoint of Russia’s interests Kadyrov is the worst option. I think that in a situation where after two Chechen wars the Federation had failed to resolve its internal problems, Dudayev and Maskhadov would have made far more acceptable presidents for Russia. The Chechens really became extremists almost by chance. It could have worked out differently, Russia could have chosen some other territory on which to resolve its electoral issues. Unfortunately for the Chechens, the territory chosen was Chechnya.
Mikhail Sokolov: Chechnya was unlucky.
Yuri Felshtinsky: Unlucky is not the right word, if you consider that Chechnya is scorched earth. The fact that Russians will never be able to live there again is one aspect of it. And another, more important, is that neither will the Chechens ever be able to live a normal peaceful life there, a life that merits the name. Because what is happening there now has no relation to life at all.