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July 16, 2006
While the death of Chechen terrorist leader Shamil Basayev on July 10th has received considerable attention, it's also worth noting that perhaps as many as a dozen other people were killed with him. So far, no one in Russia has said anything officially about these people. There are, however, rumors that some of them were key players in the Chechen rebel movement. If that is so, their deaths, coupled with those of Basayev and of Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, the rebel "president," less than a month ago, may have fatally weakened the rebel movement. Basayev was also the leader of the "Islamic" faction of the Chechen rebel movement.
I hope this is right. The Chechens have gotten a raw deal from history, but Basayev deserved to die, and so did his movement.