CHECHNYA: MASKHADOV TO SURRENDER?

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GUDERMES, November 7 (RIA Novosti) - Aslan Maskhadov, big warlord and President of Ichkeria-separatist name for Chechnya, is seeking contact with one of the federal district South top functionaries to open surrender talks. The information came from Ramzan Kadyrov, republican First Deputy Prime Minister. Son of Ahmad Kadyrov, Chechnya's first President, who died in a Grozny terrorist act of May 9, Ramzan addressed newsmen this morning in Gudermes, Chechnya's second-largest city.

"He [Maskhadov] is working to get in contact with someone on district South top-we have firm proof he really is. He wants himself to get in touch with law enforcement officers, and pass them practical offers to lay down arms. As we know, he made related orders to several members of the so-called Ichkerian parliament," said Ramzan Kadyrov.

Maskhadov is certainly anxious to quit and give himself up with personal safety guarantees. Mr. Kadyrov thinks the warlord badly needs protection against notorious terror chieftain Shamil Basayev. The latter will never put up with Maskhadov settling his own fate, and will do all he can to prevent it, assumes the Chechen Vice-Premier.

"What Basayev needs is a symbol. Maskhadov is anxious to leave the ranks as republican president-but he is really a mere bandit chieftain," snapped Mr. Kadyrov. Commando and police operations follow one another to sweep Chechen mountain woodlands, and Maskhadov sees he is doomed-he may die any day now.

It is out of the question for Maskhadov to get to the negotiation table with anyone but secret service or prosecutor's officers. No one else has whatever right to contact the man, pointed out Ramzan Kadyrov.

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