The trial of the terrorist number two is being finished. PR-action of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office finished a bit earlier than it was planned. At the trial, Raduev started to present facts unpleasant for different special services and state structures. Witnesses directly accuse Russian military of hostages’ death in Pervomaiskoye settlement. Therefore, the open trial was decided quickly to cut down. Raduev is most likely threatened with life imprisonment, though not in governor house in the city of Kaluga, to what imam Shamil was sentenced (who leaded Caucasians in 30-year war in Russia, in 1850s), but in prison with severe regime. His “brothers-in-arm” are threatened with 10 to 15 years of imprisonment. Once, they will be released before the appointed time or amnestied. The great trial will be finished, while many questions never will be cleared up. In Salman Raduev’s story, some ambiguities will remain forever. Though for the time being, judges try to clear up, what happened in Kizlyar and Pervomaiskoy settlement in January of 1996, while nobody is thinking at the probably most important question in Raduev case: who did detain Raduev on 13 March 2000? Raduev’s detention did not become subject number one in mass media, either in March of 2000, or now. Something hinders from discussing it. So, how did it happen? At that time, then-acting president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin made a sensational statement that Salman Raduev had been detained. This arouse shock and distrust not only in special services’ workers, but in common citizens as well. The fact was sceptically estimated: Raduev was many times buried, detained and annihilated. He even was lucky to see his own grave. Though, the fact of detention was confirmed either by director of the Federal Security Services (FSB) Nikolai Patrushev, who promised to show the terrorist in TV. And he did. The country shuddered in perplexity: instead of the terrible bearded man in black glasses, a lean, frail and obviously ill man appeared. Representatives of Federal Security Service’ Public Relations Centre presented official version of Raduev’s detention: in the early morning of 13 March, four men – Salman Raduev, his guard’s chief, his financier and his driver were detained in Novogroznenski settlement. While being detained, Raduev did not put up any resistance. Such a splendid operation of Russian special services. Though further, strange things started to happen: in one of his appearances, the FSB director casually mentioned a businessman, who had helped to determine the terrorist’s exact location. For money, or probably for some other recompense. An official of the Defence Ministry which controlled the anti-terrorist operation in Chechnya, said during checking up documents, several persons were detained suspected of participation in illegal armed formations. The detained persons were handed over to the military counterespionage’s representatives, who identified Raduev. There were not any other versions, even any non-official ones. Though the story is much primitive: Raduev was extradited by his own accomplices. March of 2000: Grozny is seized, though heavy battles are being carried out in mountain regions of Chechnya, every day militaries are blown up with land-mines and military commandants’ offices are fired. Not long before Raduev’s arrest, 6th company of Lading Forces’ 104th guard regiment is annihilated. Next day after Raduev’s arrest, in Pskov 72 members of landing party are buried, while bodies of 6 soldiers are not found yet. The war gradually looses its triumphant character of a retribution action for Vakhabit deeds in Dagestan and explosions of living houses in the capital. Russia is again drawn into the Caucasian campaign. People start to grumble, while preschedule presidential election lies before. Putin’s rating is still high, though it is dropping. The Kremlin’s analyzers thought out a PR-move called “small victory”: Raduev is caught, afterwards everybody expects Shamil Basaev’s arrest, dollar exchange rate does not grow and so on. Putin was elected president, though Shamil Basaev was not arrested and dollar exchange rate was growing more and more. Everything happened, as it usually does in Russia: what was necessary, was done. Now, there is no necessity to catch Basaev: this has no PR- sense. While Raduev’s arrest looks banally. According to a FSB worker, who preferred to keep anonymity, one of the security service’s offices received an order from the “top”: to catch Raduev. “We knew people who were closely connected with Raduev, - the FSB worker tells,- so we contacted them, and after some negotiations, they promised to us to convey Raduev to Novogroznenskoye settlement, where we caught him. The order was no surprise for us. We knew that his fellow-fighters wanted to get rid of him, opportunely we appeared with our proposition. Now faithfulness is just a myth in Caucasus. Money rules everywhere, even elders are not honoured. Apropos, almost all field commanders were arrested in this way.
Yekaterina Maksimova PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2001/12/12/34776.html