Nikolai Patrushev (file photo) (ITAR-TASS)
July 18, 2006 -- The head of Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee, Nikolai Patrushev, has offered an amnesty to Chechen separatists who lay down their weapons.
Details of the amnesty have yet to be worked out, but Patrushev, who also heads Russia's domestic intelligence service, the FSB, said the amnesty would offer those "deceived by the leaders of militant groups and drawn into criminal activity...a real chance to return to peaceful life."
Patrushev urged rebels to disarm by August 1.
The amnesty follows the death of rebel warlord Shamil Basayev on July 10.
Past amnesties have had limited success.
Shamil Basayev in September 1999 (epa)
MASTERMIND OF BUDYONNOVSK, BESLAN: Radical Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev waged a 15-year campaign against Russian control of Chechnya, including masterminding some of the most audacious terrorist acts the world has ever seen. Below are links to some of RFE/RL's reporting about Basayev in recent years.