Day: February 17, 2009

Point of no return

The Russian government, in collaboration with the Kadyrov-led Chechen authorities, continues to exert every means at its disposal to persuade Akhmed Zakayev, the London-based prime minister of the separatist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) government-in-exile, to return to Chechnya. In a new development, an aide of President Medvedev has suggested that Zakayev could be offered an amnesty if he agrees to go before a Russian court and proves his innocence. It seems unlikely that he will comply, however. Having refused an invitation from Ramzan Kadyrov to visit Grozny, Zakayev is understandably cautious, pointing to the fact that the many political murders have taken place in Russia during recent years mean that no guarantee of personal safety can be trusted.