How to catch the elusive Joe

Wounded Maskhadov and his gang encircled

Federal forces encircled a gang in the Kurchalaevsk region of the republic of Chechnya. Supposedly, leader of Chechen separatists Aslan Maskhadov is among them. Head of Chechen security services Ramsan Kadirov informed “Echo of Moscow” of such possibility. He said Maskhadov had been wounded.

“Traces of transportation of a wounded person that insurgents carried up to a certain point on self-made litter, while bodies of ordinary private soldiers were left in the woods, indirectly point to such fact,” stated Kadirov.

Spokesman of the regional operational headquarters dealing with anti-terrorist activity in Northern Caucasus yesterday confirmed Aslan Maskhadov’s whereabouts somewhere in Chechnya.

“We know approximately the region where he could be hiding. This information is being currently checked by several sources.” However, the headquarter spokesman refused to name the region. One fact that is certain though is that Maskhadov has spent winter in Gudermes. And what’s even more interesting is that the Chechen president Akhmat Kadirov has been fully aware of it. At least, members of federal forces adhere to this version, reports “Gazeta”. According to the newspapers’ sources, Maskhadov stoped in Gudermes to conduct secret talks with Kadirov. Afterwards, when the talks did not yield any positive results, the leader of Ichkeria managed to escape. Militants claim that Maskhadov could not have stayed in Gudermes incognito.

Offense is oftentimes the best defense tactic. To straighten things out in Kremlin, Kadirov has been too fast to make the following statement. “We possess information regarding the fact that Maskhadov purchased a house for $8 000 USD on Perekhodnaya street in the town of Gudermes,” stated the Chechen president. “Apparently, the head of insurgents has been leading a rather comfortable lifestyle for all this time while we searched for him in the mountains. We think this was his last winter.”

Formally, Kadirov cannot be accused of anything. In the course of the entire war in Chechnya, federal forces have been able to surround the insurgents several times. However, all gang leaders have always managed to escape. All of this is happening due to one fact alone: too many people in the Kremlin, excluding Putin, consider this war incredibly profitable, and Russian federal forces are too corrupt.

In 2001, for instance, armed forces managed to block, Aslan Maskhadov’s gang along with the leader. After several days of fierce fighting, Maskhadov successfully escaped. As it was later revealed, several officers of the Russian Army simply let him go.

So even if today Aslan Maskhadov is really encircled by the Russian armed forces, there is no guarantee that he will be captured. Kremlin officials and corrupted servicemen will do everything they can to let the “symbol of resistance” of Chechen terrorists live. Nobody will kill Maskhadov now. The only assured way to destroy leaders of Chechen insurgents is to conduct special operations, details of which are only known to a limited number of people, informs SecretInfo.

P.S. Representative of Aslan Maskhadov, Akhmad Zakaev could neither confirm, nor disprove the information regarding the gang leader’s injury. According to Zakaev, he had “no connection with Maskhadov and his administration for several days.”