Monday, January 18, 2010

INTERVIEW: U.S. Journalist Thomas Goltz discusses the Caucasus, Turkey and central Asia (

Ryskeldi Satke - Mr. Goltz, you had witnessed a Chechen-Russian war first hand in 1995 which led to a publishing of your book "Chechnya Diary." It has been 15 years since the beginning of a conflict between self-proclaimed independent Chechnya and the Kremlin. Do you think the Chechen conflict is over for Russia or is it just a beginning of another round of a vicious cycle on a larger scale in the North Caucasus?

Thomas Goltz - This is a very difficult question for me to answer in a responsible manner. I have not been on the ground in the region for almost a decade, and garner my news through public sources. Some these suggest that Kadyrov has consolidated power in a way that gives him (and thus Chechnya) a type of virtual independence (based on brutality) that eluded both Dudayev and Maskhadov. Others suggest that the spate of police killings and other acts of violence in Ingushetia and elsewhere are the harbingers of greater violence to come.

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