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BBC, NYT, WSJ Cite RFE/RL Coverage Of Moscow Bombings

RFE/RL's coverage of the recent terrorist attacks in Russia and their aftermath has been cited in numerous international media outlets.

"The Wall Street Journal" interviewed RFE/RL's Andrei Babitsky in a story about Russian President Dmitri Medvedev's announcement of an impending crackdown by Russian security forces on militants in Chechnya. Here is an excerpt:

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"'The Chechens are the locomotive of this jihad,' said Andrei Babitsky, a Russian journalist who has covered the region for over a decade. He said he conducted a phone interview with Mr. Umarov last year in which the separatist leader vowed to take the fight to cities in the Russian heartland.

'When they attacked the Nevsky Express,' Mr. Babitsky said, referring to the train bombing, 'it became clear what direction they were going, that they were going to attack Moscow.'


Aslan Doukaev, director of RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service, was interviewed by the "BBC World Service" on its "Europe Today" show [full audio] on April 1. Aslan profiled Chechen jihadist leader Doku Umarov and Russia's counter-terrorism policies in the region. Here's an excerpt:

"[Doku Umarov] is an extremely talented fighter, and an extremely talented underground operator," Doukaev told the BBC. "But the problem is much bigger than is the Russian fixation on a military solution to this problem, which has had devastating effects, in my view. Maybe it's time the Russians decided to consider a different approach. Maybe its time they started to negotiate with Doku Umarov and others...there has to be an end to this neverending cycle of violence one day. It's obvious to me that by force alone, you cannot solve the problem. This conflict has been going on for 16 years, and somewhere it has to stop. Somebody has to look for a different way to tackle the problem."

The Lede, a blog of "The New York Times," also links to an RFE/RL story which examines a YouTube video in which Chechen jihadist leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for this week's Moscow metro bombings.