Skip to main content
The Web    CNN.com      Powered by
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SERVICES
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SEARCH
Web CNN.com
powered by Yahoo!
WORLD

Chechen figure condemns attacks


story.maskhadov.jpg
Maskhadov accused Russia of carrying out a "genocide of the Chechen people."
more videoVIDEO
Russian town grieves as hostage crisis toll mounts.

Putin vows to step up war on terrorists after bloody week

Timeline reconstructs bloody end to hostage standoff.

Gunfire, chaos as hostages run for safety.
QUICKVOTE
Do you agree with President Putin that the Soviet Union collapse left Russia unable to respond to attacks?
Yes
No
VIEW RESULTS
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Chechnya (Russia)
Vladimir V. Putin
Russia

MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- A top Chechen figure has said there was "no justification" for recent terrorist attacks perpetrated by Chechens but called them "unavoidable" because of Russia's policies.

Aslan Maskhadov, a rebel leader and former president of Chechnya, said in a written statement Sunday that Chechen leaders condemned the acts.

"There can be no justification for terror against absolutely innocent citizens," said Maskhadov, who has steadily become more sidelined in recent times by more radical leaders in the Chechen fight for a breakaway Muslim republic.

But he also said there were "political reasons for this tragedy" and called "upon the world to condemn the policy which has made such tragedies not only possible but unavoidable."

Maskhadov cited the massacre at a school in Beslan, Russia that left hundreds dead, the downing of two Russian airplanes that killed 89, and a suicide bombing outside a Moscow subway station that killed nine people in addition to the bomber.

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to place responsibility on external forces.

"In reality, the reason for the tragedy in Beslan and the never-ending cycle of violence in Chechnya and the environs is the policy of Putin himself, whose regime is guilty of the most massive crimes against humanity in Europe since World War II," Maskhadov said.

He accused Russia of carrying out a "genocide of the Chechen people."

Fighting between Russian forces and Chechen rebels has left untold thousands dead. Chechen rebels have carried out numerous attacks against civilians.

Maskhadov insisted the perpetrators of terrorist attacks in Chechnya "are not doing this for religious fanaticism or abstract political ideas" but are motivated by personal revenge.

"But Russian brutality, international indifference, and the betrayal by the West do not at all mean that we have to fight against children and women.

"The Chechens who participated in similar actions are on the same level as Russian soldiers guilty of massive and systematic atrocities," he said.

"If we want to preserve ourselves as a people, to protect the moral rightness of our fight, we must decisively distance ourselves from those few whose consciousness has been darkened by revenge.

"That is why I am calling on all Chechens to grieve for the innocent victims and, in the name of the Chechen people, I express my condolences to their families."


Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Iran poll to go to run-off
Top Stories
CNN/Money: Security alert issued for 40 million credit cards
Search JobsMORE OPTIONS


 

International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
SEARCH
   The Web    CNN.com     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser.
CNN.com does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.