Chechen Field Commander Threatens To Extend War




In an interview with RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service, senior Chechen field commander Doku Umarov has said that by the end of this year the Chechen resistance will begin large-scale military activities in Russian regions beyond the borders of Chechnya.

Umarov explained that previously the resistance refrained from extending the war outside Chechnya at the insistence of President Aslan Maskhadov, but now that the abductions and murder of Chechen civilians by Russian and pro-Moscow Chechen forces have become even more frequent, that restraint is no longer considered appropriate.

He added that resistance forces are already regrouping in preparation for new attacks. Umarov described Maskhadov's successor Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev as a "brilliant" expert on Shari'a and Chechen traditional law, and as respected by resistance fighters for his "crystal honesty and [sense of] justice."