Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dudayev Ready to Fly To Moscow for Support

GROZNY, Chechnya -- President Dzhokar Dudayev is ready to fly to Moscow to rally support for his self-declared Chechen republic among the hardline opposition to President Boris Yeltsin, a senior Chechen government official said Thursday.

Information Minister Movladi Udugov said an aircraft was waiting on the tarmac at Grozny airport to fly Dudayev for meetings in Moscow "including with forces in opposition to President Yeltsin."

However Dudayev, who is engaged in a battle of wills to maintain the independence from the Kremlin that he seized for Chechnya three years ago, said Wednesday that he was unlikely to be traveling to Moscow in the next few days.

Dudayev said he planned "no meetings with official figures," but had been invited by "certain politicians" whom he declined to name.

On Thursday Dudayev chaired an extended Cabinet meeting devoted in part to the efforts by the opposition Provisional Council to have him removed from office.

There have been no signs of unrest or opposition activity in Grozny since Tuesday's declaration by the Provisional Council that Dudayev had been "removed from office."

Dudayev has cultivated links with a coalition of extreme nationalist elements in Russia and last month received rightist General Alexander Sterligov in grand style in Grozny.

A joint statement by Sterligov and Vice President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev on Thursday denounced "a new scenario of genocide being worked out against the Chechen people for the inflammation of Russian-Chechen hatred."

Ultranationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky was another unlikely guest at Independence Day celebrations in Grozny last year.

Dudayev, a former air-force general and a Moslem by faith, has found common cause with Russian rightists in denouncing the 1991 Belovezhskaya Pushcha agreement to dissolve the Soviet Union. He says he wants to open court proceedings to rule it illegal.

The Jordanian-born Chechen foreign minister, Shamsudin Yusef, questioned about this Thursday said that "little nations need protection and unity" to recreate a superpower able to stand up to the United States. But he said that such a union should not compromise Chechen independence, declared in 1991.