Russian special services are getting ready for a new military operation aimed at destroying Aslan Maskhadov's relatives, reports newspaper “Echo” with a reference to a source within the Chechen community.
A family of the leader of Chechen separatists has been living in the capital of Azerbaijan for the past several weeks. The family consists of his mother, son Anzor, his wife and three kids of Anzor's. According to the source, Anzor Maskhadov often receives threatening phone calls from Ramazan Kadyrov’s spokesmen.
“People on the other end of the line informed Anzor of a team of the special services men that was sent to Baku (capital of Azerbaijan). They also claim that they will capture the entire family in order to put pressure on Aslan Maskhadov,” informs the source.
Embassy of the Russian Federation calls the information regarding the preplanned operation of Russian special services against members of Maskhadov's family “pure fantasy.” “No Russian special services ever planned, plan or will ever plan to conduct military operations on the territory of friendly Azerbaijan.”
Chechen human rights activist Mairbek Taramov in turn remarked in his conversation with “Echo” that Russian special services have been following family members of the “Chechen president” for several years already.
Rumors concerning such plans of Russian special services to capture relatives of Aslan Maskhadov perhaps do in fact possess some logical grounds, stated Aslan Maskhadov's emissary Akhmed Zakaev in his interview to “Echo of Moscow.” “I do not want to assert that these rumors are based on substantial facts; but the fact that such methods are used is absolutely true,” stated he.
Such method of capturing one's family members is not in any way novel in Chechnya. Most recent incident took place on March 8, 2004 when Mohammed Khambiev, one of the most influential leaders of Chechen rebels, who used to be considered close supporter of Aslan Maskhadov was forced to come forward. The incident took place in the village of Tsentoroi.
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The United States is concerned about the current crisis in the relations with Russia and suggests returning to reasonable policies to avoid a nuclear war