Finally, Maskhadov's death has been confirmed and eagerly commented on by the current Chechen government, which has enough representatives who used to be Maskhadov's underground comrades. Ramzan Kadyrov was satisfied more than others and joked willingly about what happened.
"This is a present to all the women of Chechnya for March 8th," Kadyrov said about the dead Maskhadov.
"With all responsibilty I declare," continued Kadyrov, "that a similar fate awaits Shamil Basayev in the nearest future. We'll exhibit him in the center of Grozny for everyone to view."
"It is symbolic that our president Akhmat-Haji Kadyrov died as a hero on a men's holiday, the Victory Day," said the republics minister of internal affairs Ruslan Alkhanov, as if continuing [Ramzan] Kadyrov's thought. "And this so-called president of Ichkeria found his death in a damp cellar on the International Women's Day. There's nothing to add to this."
Those people are sick beyond hope. And they must have been as sick when they were fighting on the other side, alongside Maskhadov and against the Russians, a relatively short time ago.
I feel very sorry for those women of Chechnya, and for their kids: it's very sad that they aren't likely to get a sensitive human being for a leader anytime soon.
Here's one of the versions, from the same Gazeta.ru piece:
Many people have been talking in the past few hours about [Ramzan] Kadyrov's role in the liquidation of Maskhadov. On one of the rebels' sites, for example, some sources are being quoted as saying that Maskhadov was killed a few days ago by Kadyrov's people. But, according to those sources, Kadyrov didn't want to assume responsibility [for the killing], fearing revenge, and that's why the success was ascribed to the federal forces.
The reason we were given so many chances yesterday to admire Maskhadov's corpse on TV is probably because the rumors of his death have been circulating for too long: on and off since 1995.
Kommersant lists nine instances (in Russian, and I'm too sick of it to translate) of either such rumors or the actual attacks on Maskhadov witnessed by others.