The Russian President's aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that the legitimacy of Maskhadov is . In this way he commented on the reports by some mass media that the former president of Chechnya, Maskhadov, has prolonged the term of his "presidential powers" for one year more. "If earlier, the legitimacy of Maskhadov equalled a zero, now it is a number with the sign of minus," said the aide of the Russian President. He noted in this connection that "even the so-called constitution of the unknown republic of Ichkeria does not provide for the possibility of prolonging the presidential powers." Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that at the present time the greater part of the population in Chechnya supported the anti-terrorist operation of the Russian federal forces. According to him, "the alignment of forces in Chechnya is obviously not in favour of Maskhadov and his entourage." After the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11 the situation in the world has appreciably changed - it has become more difficult now for the Chechen terrorists to receive finances from abroad. According to Yastrzhembsky, in the changed conditions people have started to forget Maskhadov who no longer influences anything and anybody, including militants. Perhaps the desire to remind the world of himself explains Maskhadov's decision to prolong the term of his "presidential powers," concluded Sergei Yastrzhembsky.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea