'Dead' Chechen appears on TV


The most feared Chechen rebel warlord, Shamil Basayev,

has been shown on Russian television, three months

after he was widely reported dead. 

The footage of a news conference somewhere in the

Chechen mountains was shown late on Monday on the NTV

channel, which said it had obtained the film from

Chechen sources. 

Mr Basayev's death was reported in April by the

Russian army's chief of staff, General Anatoly

Kvashnin - but his words were later described as

premature by Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov. 

Chechen websites have often mocked Russian officials

for issuing "exaggerated" reports of the death of


Joint appearance 

One, Salman Raduyev, was believed dead after being

shot in the head in 1996. 

However, he reappeared four months later after

treatment abroad. 

The footage of Salman Raduyev shows him being

interviewed, together with the Chechen separatist

leader Aslan Maskhadov, who was elected president of

the Chechen republic in 1997. 

NTV said the interview - reportedly given earlier this

month - was the first joint appearance by the two men

for a long time. 

Both consulted lap-top computers in front of them as

they answered a journalist's questions. 

Mr Maskhadov spoke in Russian, Mr Basayev in Arabic. 

'Liberation' plan 

The Chechenpress website reported on Monday that Mr

Basayev had been appointed to head a newly established

military committee, at an expanded meeting of the

rebel State Defence Council held from 27 June to 3


It said the meeting discussed plans for a

summer-autumn military operation to "liberate the

Chechen state". 

Mr Basayev became Russia's public enemy number one

during the 1994-96 Chechen war, when he led a daring

hostage-taking raid on a hospital in the southern

Russian town of Budyonnovsk. 

He continued fighting after losing a leg in a landmine

accident in February 2000 during a retreat from the

capital Grozny after the city was re-taken by Russian



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