President of the self-declared Chechen separatist government Doku Umarov (TV screen shot)
PRAGUE, September 12, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- The president of the self-declared Chechen separatist government, Doku Umarov, has vowed that rebels in Chechnya will continue their fight against what he called "Russian aggressors."
In a statement posted on a rebel website, Umarov says the separatist leadership will no longer offer peace talks to the Kremlin as Russian authorities took previous offers as a sign of weakness.
Russia says it is not prepared to negotiate with the separatists. Officials say the situation in Chechnya is returning to normal, although Russian forces and their Chechen allies regularly come under attack by rebels.
Umarov also says decisions about future policies are made by the separatist leadership in Chechnya and not by Chechen representatives abroad.
The aftermath of a December 2002 Chechen resistance attack on the main government building in Grozny (epa)
The fighting in Chechnya
has raged, with short breaks, since 1994. It has brought misery, death, and destruction to the North Caucasus republic and to Russia as a whole. View an annotated timeline
of the conflict.
RFE/RL's complete coverage of Russia's war-torn Republic of Chechnya.