Special to Moskovskiye Novosti: RUSLAN LABAZANOV

Author: Dmitry Balburov

SECOND OPPOSITION LEADER, RUSLAN LABAZANOV, EX-CONVICT AND FORMER HEAD OF PRESIDENT'S BODYGUARDS, RECOUNTS SPLIT WITH DUDAYEV, CALLS CHECHNYA'S FEUD WITH RUSSIA NEEDLESS

Special to Moskovskiye Novosti: RUSLAN LABAZANOV. (Interview conducted by Special Correspondent Dmitry Balburov. Moskovskiye novosti, No. 32, Aug. 7-14, pp. 1, 4. Condensed text:) Argun A criminal convicted of murder, a defender of the poor a Chechen Robin Hood a captain in the Presidential Guard, the former head of President Dudayev's personal bodyguards and now his mortal enemy, and finally, a crime-world "kingpin" who controls Chechnya's Shali and Vedeno Districts all those things describe Ruslan Labazanov. After his group was routed in Grozny, he settled in the village of Argun, to which this Moskovskiye novosti special correspondent was admitted only after three security checks. The fourth was the most menacing. Labazanov himself warned the journalist: "You write anything bad and we'll shoot you!" The 27-year-old giant, who is almost two meters tall, gazed at me with wary blue eyes, drank tea and gave laconic answers to my questions.

Question. When did you first get involved in politics?

Answer. It all started in 1990, when I was imprisoned in Rostov. I knocked somebody off. Then they transferred me to the Grozny pretrial detention center. During the 1991 coup, I freed the whole prison, nearly 600 men, ahead of time. They obeyed me. Then I formed my own team out of those I had freed. We hooked up with

page 3

the new government, with Dudayev, and provided protection for him.

Q. Why did you leave Dudayev?

A. The only thing he thinks about is his own pocket. I see it this way: If you're the boss, then establish your own law. Order. Dudayev can't do it. . . .

Q. When did your armed confrontation with Dudayev begin?

A. As soon as I left his service, he started trying to get ...

This is an article from EVXpress, a service of East View Information Services that allows you to search across more than 12 million journals and news publications for fee and immediately download full text using your credit card.
Price: $19.00
Delivery: immediate download or e-mail attachment
This content appears in EVXpress under license from the publisher. Inquiries regarding the content should be directed to the publisher directly.