Moscow-based Masha Gessen, writing in Slate, isn’t buying the line that Chechen outrages are basically Islamist terrorism, with al-Qaida connections. They’re terrorist, all right, but the agenda is nationalist. Gessen explains why its reasonable for Chechens not to want to be ruled by Russians, and why the Yeltsin-Putin policy of bombing them into submission won’t work.
I don’t know Gessen’s work, and I don’t know Chechnya. If readers know good sources for convincing contrary views, I’d be happy to link.
(Mail accusing Gessen or the undersigned of defending terrorism will not be responded to. That the children are dead is horrible, but horror isn’t a policy.)
Update: Matt Yglesias, who knows, says that Gessen is first-rate but that her anti-Putin bias is showing. He doesn’t see a good way out of the situation.