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Russia: Putin’s statements on Chechnya may reflect public opinion

November 13, 2002 –  by Gregory Feifer

<<  Russian President Vladimir Putin’s vitriolic speech against Chechen rebels issued on the heels of this week’s EU-Russia summit may have surprised the West, but at home, the remarks have caused barely a ripple. Instead of causing embarrassment, Putin’s coarse language and denunciation of the rebels as murderers is viewed as giving voice to the public’s views on Chechnya. The president is seen to be actively projecting the country’s interests, while the European Union simply refuses to accept “international terrorism” as a threat. But by chastising those calling for a peaceful solution in Chechnya, is Russia threatening to export its brutal conflict abroad?  

Moscow, 13 November 2002 (RFE/RL) —
Western leaders attending this week’s EU-Russia summit in Brussels may have hoped Vladimir Putin would tone down the angry rhetoric he has used to defend Russia’s three-year campaign in Chechnya. But the Russian president did just the opposite. >>







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