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February 7, 1995

History of  "independent Chechnya" began as a farce. In the summer of 1991, the world learnt that some loosely defined part of the Checheno-Ingushetia had seceded from the RSFSR and the USSR and proclaimed itself an independent state called the Chechen Republic. According to a resolution of the National Congress of the Chechen People (NCCP), the supreme guiding body of that state lacking clearly defined borders was the NCCP Executive Committee chaired by retired general Dzhokhar Dudayev.

Early in September 1991, Dudayev's armed national guards seized by force the building of the Council of Ministers and the radio and TV broadcasting centre. Later, on September 6, acting in a true revolutionary manner, they stormed the venue of a Supreme Soviet session.

On September 15, 1991, those of the deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic who had not run away from the triumph of democracy were assembled to hear the suggestion that they should self-dissolve, which they did. Simultaneously, a Provisional Supreme Council was formed with the task to hold elections to the Supreme Council of Chechnya on November 18, 1991.

During that time, the political situation in the Chechen-Ingushi Republic was complicated and tense. The earlier elected constitutional bodies of authority and government were virtually suspended and their function were taken over by the National Congress of the Chechen People (NCCP). NCCP controls the mass media and other vital facilities.

On October 5, 1991, the operations of the KGB of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic were suspended, and the ministry of the interior was paralysed. The republic's Provisional Supreme Council went underground. The NCCP Executive Committee, which assumed the responsibility for running the republic issues regulations it believes to be conducive to the building of the first sovereign state in the North Caucasus ever. The efforts to build statehood, particularly the methods employed to achieve that goal, drew mixed response from various strata of the population, which resulted in a rift between the NCCP and other organisations. However, it is only the NCCP Executive Council that has real power and strength. Any attempts by the Russian authorities to stabilise the situation in the republic are viewed by the NCCP as efforts to undermine the democratic processes in the Chechen-Ingushi Republic and continued genocide of the Chechen people. Decisions made by the centre with respect to the republic are denounced as illegal, unlawful and illegitimate.

The legal assessment of the situation in the Chechen Republic is based on the provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, namely:

- Article 4 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation establishes that sovereignty of the Russian Federation extends to its entire territory. The Constitution of the RF and federal laws prevail in the entire territory of the Russian Federation.

Part 1 of Article 65 establishes that the Chechen Republic forms part of the Russian Federation as its subject. A subject of the Russian Federation cannot have state sovereignty, which directly follows from the Constitution of the Russian Federation. It shall be illegal to proclaim such sovereignty.

According to Article 15, the Constitution of the Russian Federation has supreme legal force, direct effect and is applied throughout the entire territory of the Russian Federation. Laws and legal acts passed in the Russian Federation shall not contradict the Constitution of the RF. n this sense the actions of the authorities of the Chechen Republic to form their own armed units, proclaim state sovereignty of the republic, provoke armed conflicts, flout civil rights and freedoms and not to take measures to protect human life in their territory are illegal.

- Part 4, Article 3 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation runs that no one can usurp power in the Russian Federation. Seizure of power or usurpation of authority is punishable under federal law. The leaders of the Chechen Republic essentially usurped some of the powers vested by the Constitution of the RF (Article 71) in the Russian Federation, and thereby put themselves outside the legal framework.

Therefore, what was accomplished in the Chechen Republic was a coup d'etat. The Supreme Soviet of the republic was dissolved, or virtually broken up, and illegitimate elections of the President and deputies of the Supreme Council of the Chechen Republic were held on October 27, 1991 in violation of a whole number of articles of the RSFSR Constitution.

Although the 5th Congress of People's Deputies of the RSFSR passed a resolution on November 2, 1991 denouncing the elections as illegitimate, and the acts adopted by the aforementioned authorities as not subject to execution, the federal authorities took no forcible measures to restore law and order. The President and the Government of the Russian Federation displayed remarkable tolerance and were looking for a political solution to the constitutional crisis. One piece of evidence of that is an appeal by President Yeltsin of the Russian Federation to the leaders of the Executive Committee of the National Congress of the Chechen People of October 19, 1991.


APPEAL to the People and the Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic

It has been ten days that disturbances disguised as a rally continue outside the building of the Supreme Council in the centre of Grozny. The building of the republic' government has been seized, the operation of public transport has been disrupted, and several buses and trolley buses have been damaged. Those who are committing these excesses are posing as representatives of the Chechen people in the person of the Executive Committee of the National Congress and the Vainakh Democratic Party (VDP). These two organisations that staged the riots grossly flout the Constitution of the republic, Soviet laws and in no way represent the million-strong Chechen people. Their actions do not agree with the traditions, culture and customs of the Chechen people who have never authorized them to offer opposition to the universally elected Supreme Soviet and bodies of power. The demand of the leaders of the Chechen Executive Committee and the Vainakh Democratic Party that the Supreme Soviet be dissolved and state authority be turned over to them is not merely anti-constitutional, it is also profoundly immoral.

Power can belong only to the Supreme Soviet elected by the people on the basis of the Constitution. The committee established by the Chechen Congress on September 1, 1991 is an anti-constitutional body. It has no legal foundations whatsoever. Our republic consists of many peoples who have equal rights.

We, members of the Muslim clergy, mullahs of mosques, hajjis and representatives of the public are profoundly disturbed by the situation obtaining in the republic. The overtly illegal attempt by the leaders of the Chechen Executive Committee and VDP to usurp power may inevitably lead to bloodshed. We see only two ways out of this situation:

Riots must be stopped immediately and the Supreme Soviet must call national elections of the President of the republic.

The Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic must ensure safety of citizens and normal operation of bodies of authority. For the sake of preservation of peace and accord in our home and in order to avoid bloodshed and national tragedy, we appeal to the reason of the leaders of the Chechen Executive Committee and the VDP calling on them to disband the groups that they organised. Otherwise, all political consequences of the cause they initiated will be a curse upon their conscience. The Chechen people will never forgive them such misdeed. No true Moslem will come to their funeral, no mullah will say a prayer for the repose of their souls!

In the name of Allah, his prophet, your mothers and fathers, sisters and wives, and children, we beseech you to heed to the voice of reason and find the strength to give up the cause that is baneful for all of us and go home.

(The appeal was adopted at a meeting of Moslem clergy, mullahs of mosques, hajjis, and representatives of the public in Grozny on September 2, 1991)




Stepashin S.V.

Dear Segei Vadimovich,

Following the abrupt deterioration of the situation in the city of Grozny and the ultimatum from the leadership of the Chechnya demanding that the military leave the city before June 10 of this year, the command of the North Caucasus Military District had to urgently withdraw from the republic the remaining personnel of the Grozny garrison. As a result, part of the armaments, equipment, munitions and inventories were seized by the nationalists of the republic.

The following items were seized:

from the 173d District Training Centre:

42 tanks,

34 ICVs,

3 APCs,

145 artillery pieces and mortars;

15 AA systems;

about 500 vehicles;

about 40,000 units of small arms;

60,000 tonnes of inventories.

from Air Defence troops:

23 radars;

939 units of small arms;

319,500 rounds of munitions;

304 vehicles.

We believe that the return of the seized armaments and materiel can be negotiated at the inter-government level with the leadership of Chechnya

Col.Gen. V.Dubynin



Since the President of the Chechen Republic was elected and sovereignty was declared, there has been a radical change in attitude to the military units and personnel on the part of both the authorities and the public constantly stirred up by allegations that Soviet Army units are the source of all negative developments in the Republic. The commanders of units are faced with unfounded charges of embezzlement and sale of weapons, combat materiel and other military property. Tension relation to the military personnel and units tends to build up. Repeated demands have been made to withdraw from the territory of the Republic leaving behind not only the property of the units but also the belongings of individual servicemen from among officers and non-commissioned officers as allegedly amassed by robbery in the Republic at the expense of the local population.  Such demands are more and more frequently accompanied with threats of violence.

The relevant bodies of the republic have not taken action on a single case of verbal and physical abuse of officers and non-coms, and their families, attacks on sentries and seizure of motor vehicles. No culprits have been found or punished, no stolen property has been returned. Tensions in relation to the military units peaked in the first ten days of February when certain extremists organised attacks on military compounds to loot them and seize weapons.

A regiment of the interior troops, an Air Force training regiment, and a radar regiment of the Air Defence Forces were thus seized and looted.

Units of the district training centre, Compounds 1 and 15 were attacked between February 7 and 9.

As a result of such attacks part of weapons, vehicles and other assets worth more than 2 million roubles were stolen. Officers managed to defend military compounds, particularly arms and munitions depots. To prevent the repetition of attacks on Compounds 1 and 15, paramilitary units were detailed to provide security on the outside perimeter of the compounds. However, those units with the connivance of their leaders engaged in organised looting of military compounds, verbal abuse of the officers, and consequently, in organizing a rift between the servicemen of the regular armed forces, on the one hand, and paramilitary units and the general public, on the other.

Thus, the personnel of the Cheborz company commanded by Shamil is looting Military Compound 1 on a daily basis. Eight vehicles were stolen, three reconnaissance vehicles were stripped of their weapons, communication devices, spare parts, vesture and other assets were embezzled.

The personnel of an Afghan battalion providing security for Compound 15 also stole several vehicles, illegally took 13 units of small arms away from officers, embezzled car batteries, spare parts and other property, including 10 automatic rifles received by the head of the logistical service and the depot chief for distribution among officers by an order of the unit commander. This is a case of outright robbery.

All attempts to stop the looting of military compounds by their "protectors" ended in failure. Appeals to the authorities, including the President of the Republic, were to no avail. Furthermore, investigation measures taken by the prosecutor's office of the Republic investigating attacks on military units, suggest that attempts are being made to present the military as the main and only culprits. Only officers and non-coms are being interrogated, while no measures have been taken against specific organizers and culprits involved in attacks and daily looting.

Please, draw some conclusions from this report and take practical actions to guard the officers against abuses and insults and the military compounds against looting and embezzlement. Otherwise, the officers reserve the right to defend their own life, honour and dignity themselves using all the forces and means we have available.

Maj.Gen. Sokolov, commander of Unit 30106




Unwarranted seizure of 28 vehicles of the 1237th independent motor battalion of the Black Sea Fleet sent to your republic to provide assistance during the harvesting campaign is an anti-constitutional and provocative action. Please, take measures to return the vehicles to the units of the 1237th battalion (12 vehicles to the 2nd Company, 16 vehicles to the 4th Company) and prevent such illegal actions with respect to the military unit fulfilling a government mission to harvest the crops.

Commander of the Black Sea Fleet

September 6, 1991



Report On Social And Political Situation In The Chechen-Ingushi Republic

I hereby report that there have been no signs of easing tensions in the social-political situation in the Chechen-Ingushi republic following the presidential and parliamentary elections held on October 27, 1991. There has been radical build-up of confrontation between the opposing parties, the Executive Committee of the National Congress of the Chechen People, headed by retired Air Force Maj.Gen. D.M.Dudayev, on the one hand, and the Provisional Supreme Council headed by Bakhmadov B.D. and formed from ex-deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingushi republic, on the other.

A Defence committee tasked with forming a national guard and a militia force has been set up at the NCCP. As of November 1, 1991, the strength of the national guard was 62,000, or more than 90,000 including the militia.

The combat units of the national guard have a strength of about 2,000 troops. They are divided into sub-units according to the table of organization and equipment adopted in the armed forces. The backbone of the guard are former officers, non-coms and men who did military service. They are armed with small arms of all types, including foreign makes. Training centres of the national guard provide instruction for special units, including anti-armour units. Channels for receiving and purchasing weapons from abroad, as well as from socially and politically troubled areas (Georgia), have been put in place.

The crime situation in the republic has deteriorated and tends to further deteriorate since August 21, 1991. From October 8, 1991, riot is ongoing in the detention centre of Grozny. Several escapes, including one mass escape of 60 inmates, have taken place.

Up to 15 people escaped from a maximum security prison in Naur. Russian-speaking residents are leaving the republic, and there have been instances when the migrants are stopped at check-points at the exit from the republic, their belongings are looted or destroyed as "acquired in Chechnya" and belonging to the Chechen people.

Unrest has been growing among the Russian-speaking population. Rallies have been organised, and strikes have been planned and held at individual enterprises in Grozny. The main demand is that Checheno-Ingushetia should remain part of Russia and the USSR. The Cossack population of the republic advanced the idea of creating a Terek Cossack Autonomous Region within the RSFSR, and the Cossacks are prepared to use arms to achieve their goals.

There has been an increase in the number of attempts to penetrate the territory of military compounds and guarded areas to seize weapons. Repeated attempts have been made to purchase weapons and combat hardware from military personnel, and attacks on sentries with the use of automatic weapons. All military compounds, movements of troops and individual vehicles are being closely watched and monitored by the militants of the national guard.

The militants are making efforts to reconnoiter the security and Defence systems of the military compounds, their capacity, strength, availability of weapons, combat and other equipment.

With due account for the existing situation, despite the measures taken to guard and defend military facilities, there is real potential that small arms, munitions, combat and other equipment, and whole military compounds may be physically seized by armed units.

At the District Training Centre alone, the following small arms are available:

31,145 automatic rifles,

764 machine guns,

357 rifles,

7,641 pistols,

533 grenade launchers

TOTAL: 40,710 units

The statement that Chechens will do military service in the territory of the republic virtually means personnel for the national guard will be prepared, and armed at the expense of the USSR Defence Ministry.

The NCCP does not conceal its intention to nationalize property, including property owned by the USSR Defence Ministry. This statement was made by President Dudayev of the Chechen Republic at a press conference after he was elected president.

[signed]Maj.Gen. I. Sokolov,

Commander of the 173d District Training Centre



During the past few weeks, the peaceful land of Checheno-Ingushetia turned into an arena of mass unrest and armed clashes accompanied by seizure of government institutions, looting, atrocities and loss of human life. The cause of such developments is the overtly anti-constitutional and illegal actions of the Executive Committee of the National Congress of the Chechen People and its leaders who are trying to destabilise the situation in the republic and take power with the help of armed units of the so-called "national guard" which they organised.

All measures taken within the framework of political negotiations have failed to help restore tranquillity and civil accord. On the contrary, the situation is becoming increasingly unpredictable and fraught with most serious implications for the present and the future of the republic. This situation cannot be tolerated. Proceeding from the interests of security of citizens and protection of the constitutional system of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic, and on the basis of the powers given to me by the Constitution and law of the RSFSR, and the responsibility I have for the destiny of the people and human life, I demand that the leaders of the Executive Committee of the National Congress of the Chechen People and the groupings supporting them stop illegal actions and unconditionally abide by the law.

I am warning them that if these demands are not complied with, all measures provided for in the laws of the RSFSR will be taken to normalise the situation, ensure the safety of the population and protect the constitutional system.

Boris Yeltsin,

President of the RSFSR

October 19, 1991



of the Provisional Supreme Council of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic to the peoples, parties, movements, work collectives, heads of ministries, enterprises, organisations, local bodies of authority and government



On October 27, 1991, the Executive Committee of the NCCP and the VDP held illegal elections of the President and parliament of the Chechen Republic.  Despite the fact that most voters in the Chechen-Ingushi Republic boycotted the elections, the illegal Central Electoral Commission of Z.Akbulatov and S.Kerimov completely falsified the results of the vote.

The Provisional Supreme Council of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic hereby advises you that the elections are anti-constitutional and have no legal force, not a single decree by the so-called President D.Dudayev, not a single resolution of the parliament of the so-called Chechen Republic has legal force and is to be executed.

We hereby inform the leaders at all levels that if they [decrees and resolutions] are executed, the Provisional Supreme Council of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic will take all measures I accordance with the existing legislation of the Chechen-Ingushi Republic.

Provisional Supreme Council of CIR

(Chechen-Ingushi Republic)



November 8, 1991



"On Illegitimacy of the Decree of the President of the RSFSR Introducing a State of Emergency in the Chechen Republic"

By his decree the President of the RSFSR illegally introduced a state of emergency in n the territory of our sovereign republic. It is known that a state of emergency is imposed in the event of mass riots involving human casualties, a natural disaster and other circumstances.

None of these circumstances were in evidence in the territory of the Chechen Republic. The authorities of Russia following the lead of the toppled totalitarian forces and proceeding from imperial interests introduced such state in the territory of the republic whose sovereignty was announced back in November 1990.

Considering the actions by the President of the RSFSR as contradicting the norms of international law, the Universal Human Rights Declaration, and the resolution of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic of November 2, 1991 "On State Sovereignty of the Chechen Republic",

the Parliament of the Chechen Republic hereby resolves that:

1. The Decree of the President of the RSFSR "On Introduction of a State of Emergency in the Chechen-Ingushi Republic" of November 7, 1991 be denounced as illegal and not having legal force.

2. Demand to be made of the President of the RSFSR that all armed units be withdrawn from the territory of the sovereign Chechen Republic within 24 hours.

3. All parliaments and peoples of the world be informed about the interference of the Russian authorities in the internal affairs of the sovereign Chechen Republic.


chairman of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic


DECREE of the President of the Chechen Republic

In accordance with the Law "On the Office of the President" in order to further improve the organizational structure and efficiency of control of the Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic, I hereby DECREE that:

1. All armed units in the territory of the Chechen Republic be put under command of the President of the Chechen Republic.

2. The Staff of the Armed Forces under the President of the Chechen Republic be established to control units and sub-units of the regular army and units of the militia.

3. Pursuant to the Decree of the President of the Chechen Republic "On the National Guard" of November 23, 1991, the Ministry of Justice jointly with the Staff of the Armed Forces develop a draft regulation, structure and manning list for the national guard before December 15, 1991.

4. The national guard be granted the rights of a legal entity. A seal be established for the national guard bearing the following circular inscription in Latin letters in the Chechen language: "National Guard of the Chechen Republic".

5. The Cabinet of Ministers make budget estimates for the national guard in accordance with the manning list and establish salaries for the personnel of the national guard.

6. The Ministry of Consumer Goods and Services Industry jointly with the Staff of the Armed Forces design and prepare summer and winter uniforms, full-dress and regular, in quantities specified by the Staff of the Armed Forces before January 15, 1992.

General D.Dudayev,

President of the Chechen Republic

City of Grozny                                                     December 9, 1991



of the President of the Chechen Republic

December 16, 1991


Respecting the historical traditions of the Vainakhs, the social structure and way of life of  the peoples of the Chechen Republic, recognizing the inalienable and natural right of citizens to self-Defence and protection against criminal encroachments,

noting and highly appraising the merits of those who defended the revolution with arms in hand, taking into account the opinion of the Council of Elders, and numerous appeals from citizens, as well as the findings of special polls,

taking into account the social and political situation in the republic, as well as proposals of the ministry of the interior,

I hereby DECREE:

to restore the right of citizens of the Chechen Republic, which was lost in the conditions of the totalitarian system, to purchase and keep firearms with a registration certificate issued by bodies of the interior.

President of the Chechen Republic

General D.Dudayev



of the Presidium of the Executive Committee of the National Congress of the Chechen People

The grim crime statistics, the continued decline of living standards, and the deteriorating economic situation of the people are causing a serious concern of the NCCP Executive Committee.

It is for this reason that the Executive Committee held the 4th stage of the Congress of the Chechen People.

At the same time, the executive authority ignores the resolution of the congress, the decrees of the parliament, and the opinion of the Executive Committee and the public.

The Executive Committee primarily puts the blame for attacks on military units involving casualties, and the difficult economic situation at the door of the executive authority.

Acting on behalf of the people and using the right granted to it by the congress, the Executive Committee demands that the President take urgent measures to stabilise the crime situation in the republic, identify and punish the culprits implicated in attacks on military units and embezzlements in banks.

Grozny                                                                  June 2, 1992



July 14, 1992

"Oil and oil distillates are the main of our natural resources. During 6 months, we refined more than 5.3 million tonnes of oil to produce 5.0 million tonnes of oil products, of which 3 million tonnes had to be sent to Russia under the agreement, and 2 million tonnes of oil products are our common property.

Valued in world prices, it is worth 230-250 million dollars. But even if these oil products are sold in CIS countries, the proceeds would be enough to at least pay wages, pensions and allowances across our republic and provide food for the republic.

However, the fate of those two million tonnes of oil products is unknown.  They may have been indeed spent for the benefit of the people, or they may have been squandered. It is not clear, though, why our authorities do not want to publish all data about the sale of oil products and oil."

Salambek Khadzhiyev, general director,

Grozneftekhim company



of the President of the Chechen Republic

On Formation of a Uniform State Mobilization Defence System

In order to protect state security, territorial integrity and independence of the Chechen Republic,

I hereby DECREE that:

1. A uniform mobilisation system of national Defence be formed.

2. The Defence system structures be approved and implemented by order of the commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the Chechen Republic.

3. The Decree enter into force from the date of its signing

General D.Dudayev,

President of the Chechen Republic

Grozny, No.137, dd.November 10, 1992


To Kh.Akhmadov, Chairman of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic,

S.Albakov, minister of security of the Chechen Republic,

K.Muzayev, mayor of Grozny

In connection with the ongoing unlawful actions in the town of Chernorechye, taking the form of robbery, acts of brigandage, theft, including burglaries, murder and beating of innocent residents, forced eviction from the apartments they legitimately occupy, residents of the town most of whom are employees of the factory and their families have to leave the republic running away from rampant crime.

Mass migration of the population is extremely negatively influenced by absolute lack of legal protection, the difficult moral and psychological situation, and the resulting lack of hope for positive change.

Those who have to leave the republic are experienced and skilled specialists, and the factory is already facing the prospect of forced stoppage because of their mass exodus.


Unless the parliament, the ministry of security, and the administration of Grozny take urgent measures to stop the sway of crime, the Grozny Chemical Factory will grind to a definitive halt, which will have an extremely negative impact on the economy of the republic and will subsequently have unpredictable catastrophic consequences.


deputy director of the factory


chairman of the trade union committee


To: Martynov, Ataman of the Cossak Union

From: the Enin family (Lieutenant Colonel in Reserve

M.I.Enin, R.V.Enina and S.I.Enina, mother of three) currently

staying at the TsDSA Hotel in Moscow.

We, the family of Lieutenant Colonel Enin had to flee Grozny leaving behind our apartment and all other possessions. It has become virtually impossible to live in the city of late. We were all working as teachers (S.M.Enina taught biology, R.V.Enina - mathematics, M.I.Enin - physics), but in April the three of us were fired, with our personal files containing the entire work history withdrawn by the administration. We were fired in the middle of an academic year without payment in lieu of vacation, food coupons or any compensation for losses. Then our children became the target of vicious harassment. A bottle full of mercury was thrown into the school where most Russian children went to. Our girls were afraid to go outdoors as local thugs were always after them with threats of kidnapping.

The situation in public transport, shops and other public places was intolerable. You were in for insult and backmouthing every time you went out to buy a loaf of bread. On the way home you were always kicked in the back. Once they cut my overcoat with a knife. In the long run, I managed to find a job as teacher in a kindergarten, but the salary I was offered was as low as a meagre 105 roubles (despite my higher education degree) and no childcare allowance or any other welfare benefits were going to be paid. At the same time, the salaries of employees of the indigenous nationality were quite high. 

On the eve of the elections a gang of Dudayev supporters sought to break into our flat in the middle of the might. They thrust knives through the door and shouted, "If you don't get away to your Russia tomorrow, we'll come and cut your throats with these very knives. The same will happen to all others living in this settlement." It was a God-sent turn of luck that helped us survive that awful night. Amid all that uproar and ruckus we had to give assurances that we would go away. Like thousands of other Russian families we had to leave our home. Now we have no shelter, no job, no welfare benefits or any other assistance due to be rendered to homeless and moneyless refugees. We have come to Moscow because the head of the family had for a long time served in an air-defence unit of the Moscow Military District from which he retired in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. We used to have a flat in the Moscow Region. Our daughter was attending school here. Our nephew, a graduate of a Higher Military School lives here now. We kindly request your assistance in obtaining the residence permit and some kind of shelter, as one cannot live, work or send children to school without those prerequisites.

Yours sincerely,

R.S.Enina, S.M.Enina, M.I.Enin, Lieutenant Colonel in Reserve

18 February 1992

To: B.N. Eltsin, President of the Russian Federation

Please find below a letter written by residents of the Naursky and Shelkovskoy districts, which used to be part of the Stavropol Territory before being transferred by N.S.Khrushyov in 1956 to Chechnya.  Please hand the letter over to newspapers, which have not yet been bribed by Dudayev and have the courage to publish it as it is. 

In 1957 first Chechen settlers began to arrive to the Naursky and Shelkovskoy districts. Local residents met them with caution but at the same time showed sympathy and compassion. D.G.Zavgayev,the former head of the Chechen Government, stressed on numerous occasions that these lands had not belonged to Chechnya and thanked us heartily for the welcome we offered to the Chechen settlers.

But after Dudayev had come to power we were promptly turned from the masters of the land into inmates of a reservation area. Over the three years of Dudayev's rule all Russian directors in charge of various local enterprises were forced to resign. All assets of our kolkhozes (collective farms) and sovkhozes (state farms) were embezzled. The forest shelter belts were ruthlessly demolished, even the telegraph poles fell victim to unbridled thievery. Settlements and villages were given new names without our consent.

Week holidays were shifted from Sundays to Fridays. The money we had was not officially exchanged to the new type of banknotes introduced all over the Russian Federation. We were not given any vouchers (privatisation certificates issued to prove the right of every Russian citizen to a share of federal property). Lessons in schools are conducted in the Chechen language, whereas all teaching aids and equipment had been embezzled.

We are not paid any wages or salaries. The elderly receive no pensions. Every day we hear threats and demands that we must go away to Russia.  But we are in Russia. We are sons and daughters of Russia. We are not Russia's step-children.

Russians get robbed, murdered, raped and humiliated here, but the human rights activists for some reason do not notice that.

Below is a list of crimes against the Russian nationals committed during just one past year in two villages of the Naursky district - stanitsa Naurskaya and stanitsa Kalinovskaya:

Battered to death - Prosvirov.

Shot in his office - deputy director of Kalinovsky Special Secondary Professional School V.Belyakov.

Wounded (and consequently lost sight) - director of the aforesaid school V. Plotnikov.

Knifed to death - husband and wife Budnikovs.

Knifed to death - 72-year-old woman A. Podkuiko.

Knifed to death (with stomachs cut wide open to let the bowels out) - employees of the Tersky sovkhoz Shipitsina and Chaplygina.

Kidnapped - head of a kolkhoz B.A. Erik (kidnappers demand ransom of 50 million roubles for his life).

Knifed to death - father and daughter Djalilovs.

Battered to death - old man Alyapkin (on the premises of the local militia station).

Murdered - V. Abozin and the elderly woman Potrokhalina.

Kidnapped and murdered - secretary of the local special secondary professional school Potikhonina, and many others.

It is difficult to cite the exact number of robbed houses, apartments and cellars, or say precisely how many people have been beaten or even tortured, but it would be correct to state that practically one hundred percent of the Russian population in the district have suffered from the vicious and criminal anti-Russian campaign. Criminals break into people's houses, beat everyone inside and demand money and gold, which we have never possessed. Then they tie the robbed people (in case, of course, those had not been murdered) to a chair leaving them in a totally helpless condition which after a day or two of horrible suffering ends up in the victims' death. That was exactly what they did to the two elderly asthmatics (a construction engineer and his wife) in the kolkhoz Pobeda (Victory). Fifty percent of the Russian population have been forced out of their homes. Chechens buy their property for a song, or in many cases for the cost of transportation services.

In the Naursky district alone there are six wine distilleries which can supply delicious mine to anywhere in the North Caucasus. But the vineyards have been savagely ravaged by Dudayev's hirelings who rush to appropriate the land as their personal property. The best vineyards in Russia are being trampled down by cattle. All qualified vine-growers as well as wine makers have been laid off or fired. A brazen large-scale devastation of the entire two districts is under way for the sole undisguised reason of their lands belonging to the Stavropol Territory. 

We beg you to give proper attention to the situation in these two districts. Please, revoke the arbitrary decision on transfer of these districts to Chechnya's jurisdiction taken single-handedly by N.S. Khrushyov.

On behalf of 50 thousand residents of these two districts as well as 50 thousand people forced to flee from here to the mainland Russia, we apply to you with one major request - please, return the districts to the jurisdiction of the Stavropol Territory.

All our people are ready to sign this letter with their blood, and all those who have signed it are well aware that every signature may entail a bloody massacre of the signee's whole family.

Women, members of Soldiers' Mothers Committee! All women of Russia! Please, believe that our hearts are bleeding for you when we see 18-year-old Russian boys perishing in Chechnya. Our children are fighting shoulder to shoulder with yours.

Do listen to what we say, mothers of mothers. Take the effort of grasping the true depth of our message. If we do not stop them now, tomorrow they will come to your homes and start sowing death and destruction murdering not only your sons but also your daughter and yourselves. If you had seen what they do with our soldiers, you would have long been in the ranks yourselves at their side.

For the time being, their appetite is relatively modest. Their propaganda purports to claim the territory stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Azov Sea including the Rostov Region as the domain of Great Chechnya. When Dudayev was presenting a sabre to the Ataman of the Don Cossacs in Rostov, the Chechens commented the act with a vicious chuckle, "Rostov will soon be ours, we'll get the sabre back then."

Are the inscriptions "To Moscow" on the Chechen tanks, artillery guns and missiles not meaningful enough to you yet?

Do try to understand that these are not illegal band formations but a strong army 40 percent of which consists of highly trained fanatical mercenaries.



October 27, 1994


"Groundless and monstrous", said President Dzhokhar Dudayev, describing rumours about anti-Russian violence in Chechnya.

In an interview with Interfax on Thursday, he said that all propaganda campaign was unleashed by the Russian leadership and had no leg to stand on.

"Since 1991 the republic has been enforcing a decree on special control over crimes committed against members of the Russian-speaking population," Dudayev said, noting that no crimes against Russians on an ethnic basis had been registered in the republic.



Gamidov: Hello, my dear and kind general.

Dudayev: Allah preserves me, well preserves.

Gamidov: Dzhokhar, things are all right with me. I sent one large consignment, but Dardent was detained, you must have heard it?

Dudayev: Yes, I did.

Gamidov: They opened a criminal case against me. You will get the second consignment of Stingers tomorrow. What's your mood, Dzhokhar?

Dudayev: I am in excellent mood. Iskander, I need help, I need Stingers.

Gamidov: So men are leaving tomorrow. Our men are at a different place. Tomorrow there will be Stingers, fifty or so of them. As soon as they arrive, they will be sent on to you tomorrow. Our state is beginning to interfere with us a bit. Here our scoundrels are beginning to disturb us.

Dudayev: It's nothing. We will be disturbing them, too, soon. They will feel wretched.

Gamidov: Daud left for you today.

Dudayev: Did he pass the money to you?

Gamidov: No. In one of the nearest states they said they have Stingers. I sent for Stingers. As soon as Stingers are available, I will send them to you. Daud is on his way to you. In Daghestan we did a couple of things. Perhaps you have heard. In Daghestan blood was spilled.

Dudayev: What exactly occurred there I don't know.

Gamidov: One Russian roadblock was smitten to smithereens, with seventeen dead and five taken prisoner.

Dudayev: Very good.

Gamidov: Then Avars are hindering us a great deal.

Dudayev: Avars are hindering?

Gamidov: Yes, they are not behaving like men.

Dudayev: You should rely on Lesguians.

Gamidov: Yes, I think as much. I sent something to our Chechens. Weren't you told?

Dudayev: To whom did you send?

Gamidov: To Chechens, to our boys.

Dudayev: Ah, to Akkins. No, I wasn't told.

Gamidov: Now you should know. These were fifty firearms, two machine guns and something else.

Dudayev: Good.

Gamidov: Boys worked well there.

Dudayev: Iskander, we need Stingers, mortar shells, mortars and again shells for mortars - any amount, especially we need shells.

Gamidov: Good, I understand. What's more?

Dudayev: Then, Grad missiles.

Gamidov: Eighty missiles, I think they will be delivered to you in two trucks.

Dudayev: You buy them, we will pay you, we will find the money under the ground.

Gamidov: Dzhokhar, I have already paid the money for Grad missiles and for mortar shells. Who pays - I or you - does not matter.

Dudayev: They send orders and medals from Turkey, who is having them now, you know?

Gamidov: Perhaps they will come through me, because the rest of the road is controlled by me. Dzhokhar, do you need men?

Dudayev: So far no men, only weapons. If we had anything to strike with, we would sweep them out of there up to Moscow. Tens of thousands of their dead bodies are lying in the streets, and dogs are eating them. Corpses are not even removed.

Gamidov: Punctually at three tomorrow I will ring you up and make inquiries about the medals. I will send Grad missiles and tell the kind of vehicle, so that they in Khasavyurt should meet it.



June 1, 1994

Turkey's ambassador in Russia, Bilgin Unan, was summoned to Russia's Foreign Ministry and "an official protest was lodged over the interference by Turkish secret services in Russia's internal affairs, Grigory Karasin, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, told a news briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

According to him, "the grounds for the protest were provided by the detention by Russia's Federal Security Service on April 23 in Daghestan of a Turkish national called Ishak Kasap, who, it was established, was a member of a reconnaissance team of the Turkish national intelligence organisation (MIT), sent into Chechnya in January."

The diplomat said that "Kasap gave evidence about the assignment and results achieved by the group concerned, the nature of contacts with Dudayev and his entourage.

"The detainee also gave the names of concrete members of the MIT central staff who directed the Turkish intelligence operation in Chechnya," Karasin indicated.

"Kasap disclosed that with his co-national Ozturk he had undergone special training at MIT, was taught to operate satellite communications equipment," the diplomat went on. "Before leaving for the Russian Federation he was issued with forged document (a passport and a certificate), large sums of money, and video and photo equipment. Kasap also named a MIT official who arrived at Dudayev's headquarters early in March of this year, with coded communication equipment."

Karasin noted that "the explanations given in this connection by Ankara do not, in our view, look convincing and exhaustive."

"While claiming that the detained Turkish citizen was not in government service and was not related to MIT, the Turkish side at the same time admitted he belonged to an organisation registered in Turkey - the Caucasian-Chechen Solidarity Committee, which engages in subversive activity against Russia by supporting bandit groups of Dudayev's separatists," the diplomat stressed.

Moscow expects, he said, that "the Turkish side will give firm assurances that no activity of this kind will be allowed in future and will be cut shot most determinedly."



Mikhail Ivanovich Tokar born in 1957, citizen of Ukraine

native of the town of Mogilev-Podolsky

I am Mikhail Ivanovich Tokar, born in 1957. In 1993 I was in the Chechen Republic. Ostankino's second channel made an announcement: who wants to serve in the Chechen Republic in the army can come and sign up. I boarded a Kiev-Baku train and found myself in Grozny.

Then I went to the border and customs service. It was just being set up. I was drafted at once. There was an interview, "What can you do?"

At first I was a custom official. Lived in the regiment compound first. The regiment was deployed in Chernorechye village, a former OMON battalion was stationed there. And when Dudayev came to power, Turpolkhanov with his men took over the regiment and used it as a basis for the border and customs service.

The regiment had 150 men or so, not more. There were no young men at all, all people were older than 25. And all were Chechens. I was the first Christian to serve in the regiment. First as an ordinary customs man. My duties included trips to a roadblock to check documents of passing vehicles and transport in general. My post was in Kizlyar. We travelled to Kizlyar, to our roadblock, first in a very primitive way: a headquarters duty officer would step down, stop any vehicle, no matter state or private. As soon as the car stopped, he would conduct the driver in and take his documents: "You drive these men to this or that road block", no matter what the direction from which the car arrived.

If the driver was a Russian, the conversation was brief: "Go ahead. Take us to that road block". That was all.

Our functions were to control exports and imports, but we made superficial checks of papers. Our order was to allow in everything that was brought into the republic: motor oil, vodka, brandy, and also consumer goods, valuables and other commodities.

Goods, allowed out of the republic, included petrol, and within one day between five and ten petrol tankers passed through our block. Arms were also taken out of Chechnya. We had no right to approach these vehicles. The driver would have documents and the right of free passage through a roadblock. The tankers had guards.

Four men were selected from our regiment. We began to be taught sniping and explosion techniques. As soon as we were picked up, a chap arrived from the Baltic, called Oleg, and the commander confirmed to us that he was a Balt.

This was in May or June. There were four of us - myself and three Chechens. Young chaps up to 30 years of age. We were taught how to shoot from a pistol, an automatic rifle and finally from a sniper's rifle. We were instructed how to blast apartment blocks, how clandestinely take explosives into the basement or leave them on a landing, how to blast a certain target.

At first we had TNT charges, set off by safety fuse, there were also explosive devices powered by batteries and storage batteries.

It is a normal charge, only with two wires emerging from it. You connect them to a rechargeable battery or a torchlight, withdraw some distance, and jump plus on plus or minus on minus, and an explosion follows.

Then he began give individual lessons to each of us; it was when I had the city of Moscow, specifically Chertanovo district. An assignment was given, as he said, before its fulfilment. To blast something or shoot someone. He brought a map and began to train each of us individually. The map he brought in was a sight-seeing map of Moscow. By pointing up Chertanovo, he showed where the metro was, passages, apartment blocks and bridges. What can be blown up and how - for example, a pedestrian underpass, a bridge across a stream.

I asked him how to do that. He replied: "The only thing is to blow it up, that's all. Our job is to blow things up. Leave explosives in the metro and use remote control. The action should be done at daytime, when there are many people about to do it freely and imperceptibly."

We were to go to Moscow and we were expected to be met there and issued everything we needed. He said: "Your documents will be normal". We were given militia officer uniforms. There were enough uniforms, both military and militia. Explosives were to be received in Moscow, and on the train we were to carry nothing with us.

Training lasted all three months. Then he personally taught me to shoot. One day I entered his room. On the table lay four mines. He was instructing one young adult, while I was switched entirely to shooting: from an automatic rifle, a pistol and an ordinary rifle. Initially I thought they were training us just in case, but then as they allocated us to each district, I understood why. Once we were called up and told that we were leaving in a couple of days. Personally to me he said: "You are going to Moscow". That was in August or September, 1993. I asked him: "It's broad daylight. People will die". He said: "We will give you a device that will explode only at night time."

We were given freedom of the place - any ration, any outfit. In our regiment there was only one group. Oleg was a young and strapping youth, of sports build, fair-haired. He never told of his life, only that he served in special forces. In the barracks he had a separate room and an office. Sometimes he spent the night there, but mainly he stayed at the Kavkaz hotel, where he had a suite. He wore both civvies and military uniform, and had the right to carry any weapons.

When I realised I was in a pretty mess, I boarded a train and left. That was in 1994, in March. I began to live at home. Last year, in July, a man arrived from Chechnya. After all, they had my passport. He said it was time to go back to service. Said he: "You have had a couple of years' rest and it is time to get back to your work. What you were taught you must apply in practice. If you refuse, then we will talk differently. I refused."



QUESTION: Do you think it was possible to avoid the Chechen tragedy?

YELTSIN: No. At some time it would all the same have occurred, and moreover with more tragic consequences and in more tragic situations than now, since this tragedy began with the collapse of the Union.

Then when the Union broke up and union republics began withdrawing and did withdraw, the same process was initiated in the Russian Federation. But we started persuading everyone to sign a federal treaty so that all 29 Russian republics should be together. And the idea was to keep them with this treaty from separatist moods.

In the Chechen Republic Dudayev unfortunately began to act, started setting up a real army outnumbering armies of some states, held illegal elections, and dissolved parliament. Well, as time went, they began to arm themselves more and more.

While in Russia, following the signing of the federal treaty, things calmed down and there were practically no conflicts anywhere, in Chechnya he had accumulated weapons because of our mistake, when our army was withdrawing and left arms and equipment, plenty of it. Besides he bought some from foreigners, including mercenaries. I am not going to name them, but we all know the countries from where he brought the mercenaries, the equipment, the money and all he required.

His ambitions went far. He decided to set up an all-Caucasian republic covering all Caucasus. Not only the republics within the Russian Federation, but also Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. And he wrote this in his book, which was issued in 1993.

Then we saw this danger, of how to get out of this situation when he began terrorising his people. Industry ground to a halt, oil production stopped, pensions were in arrears for three years, no wages were paid, and so on. The region became the cockpit of criminals. And that criminal path was leading the people of Chechnya into a dead-end. But it suited powerful structures of organised crime, which turned the area into what was in effect a criminal zone of all Russia.

It was used to launder money, which kept arriving from all over Russia, to plan routes to transport drugs and arms.

Again this suited a whole number of influential circles outside Russia. Rich oil and gas resources of the Caspian, and transport and pipeline communications have always been a tasty titbit for them.

To put such a strong rival as Russia out of commission, to create long-term seats of tension in southern Russia -- these are the dreams of those who do not accept the economic development of the North Caucasus within the Russian Federation.

To be short, at that time we should all the same have had to fight him. We would have had to squeeze him out, since he had too ambitious plans. And we had to take a decision. I must say that three times we tried to persuade him to open peaceful political talks, and three times we failed. Three times he refused to hold such negotiations.



On February 1, 1995, the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation instituted legal proceedings pursuant to article 64, item A, 70-1, 133-1, section 1, and 74, section 3, of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation.

The investigating team has collected sufficient evidence to charge Dzhokhar Dudayev with illegitimately seizing power in the Chechen-Ingush Republic and preventing its governmental bodies from functioning, as he publicly called for acts of terrorism as well as ethnic, social and religious strife in the republic.

Dudayev committed the aforementioned crimes under the following circumstances.

In 1991, so as to materialize his schemes, he united and led extremist, nationalist-minded paramilitary groups, composed, among others, of criminals.

In an effort to realize his designs, in August 1991 he had his men capture the buildings of the republican television centre in Grozny, and of the Supreme Soviet and the Council of Ministers of the Chechen-Ingush Republic, thereby causing material damage to the state. On September 6, 1991, Dudayev's associates rushed into Grozny's political education centre during a session of the Supreme Soviet of the republic and attacked Doku Zavgayev, legitimately elected Chairman of the Supreme Soviet, seriously injuring him. As a result of their actions, Grozny City Council deputy V. A. Kutsenko was killed.

With that same objective in mind, armed Dudayev-led groups seized the republican KGB premises on October 5, 1991. As they were storming the building, lieutenant colonel N. B. Ayubov, then on duty, was shot dead.

To retain power in violation of the law, Dudayev used his paramilitary groups for putting up, in December 1994 and January 1995, armed resistance to the federal army and militia as these latter were trying to restore constitutional order in the Chechen republic, which inflicted heavy casualties.

With the above actions, Dudayev committed a crime envisaged in item A of article 64 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation, organizing and realizing a conspiracy with a view to seizing power.

On seizing power in the Chechen republic, Dudayev continued his anti-constitutional criminal activity.  Ignoring the effective provisions of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, he repeatedly made public appeals to commit acts of terrorism in the territory of the Russian Federation, thereby perpetrating a crime envisaged by article 70-1 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation.

A republic-wide referendum on the status of Chechnya within the Russian Federation was scheduled for June 5, 1993, in accordance with articles 33, 45, and 49 of the Russian Constitution as well as the related law and other effective legislation of Russia. However, on personal instructions of Dudayev, who sought to stay in power by illegitimate means, his associates frustrated the referendum, using Dudayev-formed paramilitary groups to disperse the opposition. As a result of these actions, citizens of the Russian Federation were killed and injured.

These actions of Dudayev can be qualified as the crime envisaged by section A of article 133-1 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation - prevention of Russian citizens from free exercise of their right to participate in a referendum and propaganda based on threats and violence.

The policy pursued by Dudayev and his associates in the territory of the Chechen republic fuelled social, ethnic and religious strife, which led to mass-scale discrimination against ethnic Russians, who, subjected to insults, threats of reprisals, direct violence, humiliation of dignity, and unlawful confiscation of property, had to flee their homes. That is, Dudayev committed a crime envisaged by section 3 of article 74 of the Penal Code of the Russian Federation.


Excerpt from AGREEMENT

on Urgent Measures to Cease Fire and Military Action

in the city of Grozny and in the territory of the Chechen Republic

We, the undersigned, vested with required authority and proceeding from the awareness of the need to stop bloodshed and to develop agreements earlier signed in Moscow and Nazran, have agreed on the following:

1. To cease fire and military action from noon of August 23, 1996, and start immediate return, without any preconditions, of all prisoners, hostages and corpses of those killed on both sides.

Ceasing fire and military action implies a total ban on the use of any types of weaponry for military purposes, including missile and artillery firing and air strikes:

-any army operations, attacks, and any type of task operations;

* seizing and blocking settlements, military objects and roads;

* staging acts of terrorism and sabotage;

* attacking means of transportation, columns, and military and civil convoys;

* mining lines of communications;

* taking hostages and murdering servicemen and civilians.

Aleksandr Lebed,

Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation,

Plenipotentiary Envoy of the Russian President in the Chechen Republic

Aslan Maskhadov,

First Deputy Chairman of the State Defence Committee of the Chechen Republic,

chief of the general staff  of the armed forces of the Chechen Republic

August 22, 1996



We, the undersigned,

-considering progress made in the implementation of agreements on cessation of military action,

-seeking to create mutually acceptable prerequisites for a political settlement of the armed conflict,

-admitting the inadmissibility of using military force or threatening to use it for solving disputes,

-proceeding from the universally recognised right of nations to self-determination, principles of equality, voluntarism and free expression of one's will, and consolidation of interethnic harmony and security of peoples,

-expressing the will to unconditionally protect the rights and freedoms of a person and a citizen regardless of his/her ethnicity, religion, place of residence and other differences and to stop acts of violence vis-a-vis political opponents, proceeding in this from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1949 and the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

-have jointly elaborated Principles of identifying foundations for the relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen republic, on which further negotiations shall rely.

A. Lebed

S. Kharlamov

A. Maskhadov

S. Abumuslimov

Date of signing: August 31, 1996

Place of signing: Khasavyurt

Signed in the presence of Tim Guldimann, head of the OSCE Assistance Group in the Chechen Republic



of Identifying Foundations for Relations between Russian Federation and Chechen Republic

1. Agreement on the foundations for the relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen republic, to be determined in accordance with the universally recognised principles and norms of the international law, shall be reached before December 31, 2001.

2. Before October 1, 1996, a joint commission shall be formed from government officials of the Russian Federation and the Chechen republic, to implement the following tasks:

-controlling the implementation of the Russian President's decree No. 985 of June 25, 1996, and preparing proposals on the completion of the withdrawal of troops;

-preparing coordinated measures to combat crime, terrorism, and manifestations of ethnic and religious strife and controlling their implementation;

-preparing proposals on the restoration of the monetary and budget relations;

-elaborating programs for the restoration of the socio-economic complex of the Chechen republic and submitting them to the government of the Russian Federation for consideration;

-controlling coordinated interaction of governmental bodies  and other agencies concerned to provide the population of the Chechen republic with food and medications.

3. Legislation of the Chechen republic shall be based on observance of human and civil rights, the right of nations to self-determination, the principles of peoples' equality, ensuring of civil peace, and interethnic harmony and security of citizens living in the territory of the Chechen republic, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or any other differences.

4. The joint commission shall complete its work on mutual consent.



October 2, 1996

«I will focus on the main thing-on the consequences of the implementation of the Khasavyurt agreements. Before expressing my attitude to the principles of mutual obligations that are laid down in the Khasavyurt agreements, I should state with all responsibility that from the moment of their signing up to the present time, each minute of real life in Chechnya is a denial of everything stipulated in this political document. The Khasavyurt agreements are not only violated, they are harshly crushed at every corner. This is why between assessing those agreements, we need to find an answer to the question: Why sign a document stipulating mutual obligations if upon signing, one party gives up all its obligations and begins to act on the basis of principles of revolutionary expediency, while the other, ignoring the demonstrative crushing of the agreements concluded, continues to observe the agreements from A to Z as far as its own obligations are concerned, reporting earlier fulfilment and better performance? What does the process indicate, of unilateral observance of bilateral agreements? Does it have anything to do with the construction of a real world, to politics at large, to some decent form of dialogue between the conflicting sides? Certainly not. As the side that has signed mutual obligations and that can see its partner failing to meet those obligations must stop fulfilling its own obligations. Otherwise, this side totally loses its state dignity, and the process of dialogue turns into a criminal shootout, governed by one rule only - the right of the most brazen. It is precisely this right that the Chechen side is now exercising. I mean the Chechen side that we deal with today. What is going on in Chechnya is ongoing shame, an outrage upon Russia, an outrage skilfully organised in such a way as to make Russia undergo as much pointless humiliation as possible. No one can deny the indisputable fact that the Khasavyurt agreements have been flouted by the Chechen side in all major aspects. No disarmament of militants is carried out or envisaged.  Moreover, in the atmosphere in which those agreements were signed, no one expects such disarmament to take place. From the very start, everything has been based on lies and ambiguity, and such world construction cannot generate anything but a state catastrophe, new multiple armed conflicts, outburst of crime throughout the country, and further humiliation of the people.  Lies generate lies. The disarmament of militants does not take place and neither does the return of Russian prisoners and hostages from among builders, oil people, civilians who have fallen victim to the mendacious accords. These agreements are observed in an equally small measure in terms of protection of Chechen supporters of Russia, the Russian population of Chechnya. We keep being told that it is time to heal our wounds, that we should let mutual grievances settle. This is an indisputable point, but it has nothing to do with Chechen developments. The Chechen fire is spreading. It spreads to neighbouring republics, and each concession on our part brings forth dozens of new claims. There is a serious reason to believe that the self-developing Chechen process, in the course of gradual radicalisation, resulting from our misinterpreted actions, the upper hand will be taken by the idea of the so-called Wainakh state with the annexation to Chechnya of Ingushetia, part of Daghestan with an outlet to the Caspian Sea, and part of the Stavropol Territory. Such claims are documented in some of the rebels' secret documents.

Their presence is confirmed by reconnaissance data. Moreover, a world congress of Wainakhs has put forward the idea of expelling Russia from the Caucasus, enriching this idea with the principle of locking the «Caspian Gates,» that is, cutting off Russia a number of Volga territories. Will we take these claims peaceably?»



between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of  Ichkeria

The Sides, seeking to stop age-old confrontation and to establish lasting, equal and mutually beneficial relations, have agreed to the following:

1. to abandon for good the practice of using or threatening to use force to settle any disputes;

2. to build their relations in compliance with the universally recognised principles and norms of the international law, with the sides to interact in spheres identified by specific agreements;

3. The Treaty is the basis for concluding further treaties and accords on the whole range of relations;

4. The Treaty is produced in two copies, with both of them legally equal;

5. The Treaty is effective from the date of signing.

Boris Yeltsin,

President of the Russian Federation

Aslan Maskhadov,

President of the Chechen Republic


May 12, 1997



The first campaign stage, September into December 1994, may be described as preparatory. It started September 27, 1994, when the village Znamenskoye, seat of Umar Avturkhanov's pro-Russian oppositionary government, was attacked by Dudayev's troops, after which unidentified army helicopters raided positions of the so-called Chechen regular troops.

Pavel Grachev, then federal Minister of Defence, denied the involvement of the Russian Armed Forces, as he was to do when Dudayevite oppositionists arranged military expeditions on Grozny in October and November 1994.

The federal Armed Forces started preparations for active warfare in Chechnya after the Security Council of the Russian Federation discussed "the reinstitution of constitutional legality, law, order and peace in the Chechen Republic" at its session of November 29, 1994. The federal President issued related decree No. 2137c the next day. An United Army Group was established in conformity with the decree to stabilise the situation in Chechnya, disarm paramilitary units, and reinstate law and order throughout the republic.

Proceeding from that, the federal Defence Ministry and the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces determined the concept of group action as follows: "Special operation by Defence Ministry units and detachments in cooperation with Interior troops of the Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Counterintelligence Service to disarm paramilitary units and confiscate arms and munitions from the population."

The concept highlighted stages of the special operation. The initial, of seven days and nights, November 29 to December 6, was to establish a group of forces and military technology of the Defence Ministry and Interior troops under the Interior Ministry to act on three directions - the Mozdok, Vladikavkaz and Kizlyar. Operation bridgeheads were to be taken by December 5. Frontline aviation - planes and helicopters - were to move to departure airfields.

The second stage, December 7-9, envisaged action by three newly established army groups protected by army and front aviation to advance on Grozny along five routes and blockade the city.

The third stage, December 10-13, envisaged action by army units and detachments from north and south, with a dividing line along the river Sunzha, in cooperation with special units of the Federal Counterintelligence Service and the federal Interior Ministry, to seize the presidential palace, the government house, television and radio premises, and other key buildings in the Chechen capital.

The fourth stage, 5 to 10 days and nights long, was to stabilise the situation through efforts of army units and detachments, and pass responsibility sectors to the Interior troops.

The plan was not implemented within its schedule. The establishment of a group of forces and military technology of the Defence Ministry and Interior troops under the Interior Ministry took much longer than envisaged--largely because early December 1994 found the landed and airborne troops, which were to bear the brunt of the warfare, undermanned and without adequate training.

Units of the Defence Ministry and Interior troops started organised advance to appointed localities as late as 7 am, December 11, instead of an intended December 7. The columns failed to arrive to their points of destination within the scheduled three days. It took 16 days, December 11-26, to advance to Grozny and blockade it, due to Dudayevite resistance and civilians impeding passage on many occasions. The troops suffered their first losses. Advance along routes, which crossed settlements with hostile population, was later qualified as erroneous.

The preparatory stage of the Chechen campaign finished December 31, 1994, with the start of an operation to take Grozny.

* * *

January and February 1995 were the most sanguinary part of the Chechen campaign. According to Defence Ministry information, on the eve of federal troop introduction 10,000 paramilitaries were stationed in Grozny, armed with roughly 35 tanks, more than 40 armoured personnel carriers, over 100 artillery pieces and mine-throwers, and enough antitank weaponry to arm each of the city's defenders.

Army units storming the city were initially a mere 6,000-strong, as Interior troops were at that time, for the most part, guarding and defending means of communication. It is not quite clear to this day why the army was determined to take the city by storm so quickly. Numerous military experts were later to qualify the operation as a rash venture.

There were close on 400,000 civilians in Grozny, and major projects of petrochemical and other industries. Perhaps, that was why the army was initially ordered to avoid ungrounded damage to the city infrastructure. The troops attempted to penetrate the city from several directions under tank cover--which was also later qualified as a blunder. It resulted in no less than 60 federal tanks and 300 APCs destroyed in the city. 1,500 soldiers died and 5,000 were injured.

The presidential palace was taken by December 19 at the price of heavy and unjustified losses. The city's western part was completely cleared of paramilitaries a bit later. However, Grozny was not fully blockaded--another federal error due to which paramilitary forces were regularly receiving reinforcements, arms and munitions from south. They established strongholds in the city's east and southeast. Federal troops in Grozny had to be reinforced to an approximate 30,000 by February's start.

Organised paramilitary resistance was broken in the city by February 6 as federal troops got hold of key projects to overtake the initiative. They withdrew from Grozny by the start of March to be stationed in the vicinity of the Severny airport, in Petropavlovskoye, Khankala, Chernorechye and Andreyevskaya Dolina to launch a third operation stage.

After federals left Grozny, the settlements Argun, Gudermes and Shali remained under paramilitary control. Dudayevites concentrated on keeping them in spring 1995. However, the liberation of those three settlements came as the most successful of federal operations. The troops had gained experience in Grozny, and could now ensure smooth interaction between combat arms, and with Interior troops and the militia. Dudayevite morales dropped, to an extent, with the loss of Grozny. Spring and early June 1995, up to the tragedy of Budennovsk, found federal troops in full command of the situation, and they were imposing their will on the enemy in fighting. Federal tactics envisaged settlements blockaded with ensuing "mopping-up" operations - as is characteristic of the Chechen campaign of 1999-2000. A majority of flatland settlements had come under full federal control by the end of April 1995.

On May 18, 1995, after troops were regrouped and material resources replenished during an armistice, warfare started in Chechnya's south on the approaches to the spurs of the Main Caucasian Range, where the kernel of paramilitary forces was clustered. Their line of defence had been broken by that time.

The federal command intended the following tactics in the Chechen mountains: eastern and western foothills being blocked by Interior troops, Defence Ministry units were to deliver three main blows on gorges in the direction of Shatoi, Makhkety and Vedeno. The plan was fulfilled with minor federal losses. By June 3, federal troops had seized the settlements Makhkety, Vedeno and Dyshne-Vedeno. Dudayevites lost in the combat 8 tanks, 13 APCs, and 28 lorryloads of ammunitions - almost all what had remained of their heavy arsenals. More than 300 paramilitaries were killed or taken prisoner. Over 80% of the Chechen territory was by that time under federal troops' control.

June 14, 1995, shook Budennovsk in the Stavropol Territory as, close on 12.30, local time, several KAMAZ jumbo lorries broke into the town from Chechnya, carrying a paramilitary force under warlord Shamil Basayev's command. They took hostages to demand an end put to Chechen warfare. The federal government consented to their terms due to an initiative of Victor Chernomyrdin, then Prime Minister. One of the most horrible tragedies of the Chechen war was starting that day, which killed more than 150 innocent civilians in a few days' matter. The Budennovsk bloodshed opened another period of the Chechen campaign of 1994-1996. The tragedy ushered in active intervention by political activists, with peace talks interspersed by hostilities in which paramilitaries most often took the upper hand.

Tragedy visited the settlement Pervomaiskoye in January 1996, out of which warlord Salman Raduyev emerged victorious as he and his men left the settlement despite a heavy federal blockade. Warlord Khattab ambushed a column of the 245th Regiment in the Argun Gorge, April 1996, killing more than a hundred federal soldiers. Unable to give paramilitaries a coup de grace, federal garrisons went over to an all-round defence as the initiative again slipped to paramilitaries. They unexpectedly opened active fighting in Grozny at 7 am, August 6, 1996. Separatists entered Argun and Gudermes to attack the premises of federal envoys to the republic. Hostilities lasted to August 20, interrupted with spells of peace talks on which Aleksandr Lebed, then federal Security Council secretary, was active. That time sufficed for paramilitaries to reinstate control over almost the entire Grozny. The military and the Security Council secretary were at odds as army spokesmen were determined to drive paramilitaries out of the city. On August 20, Konstantin Pulikovsky, second in command of the federal troops, ordered to civilians to leave Grozny within two days and nights.

On August 22, Aleksandr Lebed, federal presidential envoy plenipotentiary to Chechnya, and Aslan Maskhadov, prominent on the Chechen armed opposition--First Deputy Chairman of the republican State Defence Committee and chief of the General Staff of the Chechen Armed Forces, met in the village Novye Atagi to sign, 7 pm, an agreement for urgent measures toward a ceasefire and a stop to hostilities in Grozny and throughout the Chechen Republic. In accordance with that agreement, hostilities stopped at noon August 23. That day spelt the beginning of the end of the first Chechen campaign.

August 31, 1996, Aleksandr Lebed and Aslan Maskhadov met in Khasavyurt, a district centre in Daghestan, to sign an Agreement on the Principles of Relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic. The negotiators accompanied it with a joint statement on hostilities stopped. The agreement envisaged federal forces completely withdrawn from Chechnya before the end of 1996. The soldiers left, and the federal centre lost control of the republic.



Lyudmila Gatagova, master of history:

In the Russian Empire the attitude to Islam was quite tolerable, even if cautious. The Moslem clergy cooperated with the Russian administration, and there were more than one career boosts for Moslem Caucasians from noble families. The 1994-1996 Chechen war convincingly showed that Caucasian Islam was not ready to play the consolidating role in the region. If Islamisation of the North Caucasian republics stays within certain limits and is free from politics and selfish interests, coexistence between Orthodox and Moslem peoples is more than possible.

North Caucasian peoples are more nostalgic for what used to be the USSR than other nations and nationalities, because they feel the loss of imperial identity. This is not because they liked life under socialism very much. The matter is that being part of the strong Soviet power gave them the feeling of stability and protection, precisely what they have lost today.

There was close and intensive cooperation between peoples and their cultures during the almost two hundred years when the Caucasus was part, first, of the Russian Empire and then of the Soviet Union. This is a historic fact. The allegation that the Caucasian war is a kind of tuning fork as far as relations between Russia and the North Caucasus are concerned not only distorts the real picture of the past but is harmful for the present. Cooperation continued in the Soviet era, though its socio-cultural basis was different. Such cooperation is possible in future, too, unless the vacuum, which has formed owing to some objective reasons and as a result of serious political mistakes of federal and local authorities, is filled in by such extremist manifestations as Islamic Fundamentalism or Wahhabism Wahhabism, the roots of which lie in Arab mentality, is historically and psychologically alien to the Caucasus with its Sufi traditions. Wahhabites are a political sect, which attracted followers at different times. However, it is unlikely to become the vanguard of a mass movement, especially, in the North Caucasus with its motley ethnic-confessional and language picture, allegiance to archaic values, clan structure and inexhaustible viability of certain peoples.

Wahhabites, or Islamic purists, uphold the principle of following the spirit of the Book, which they put above agreement with representatives of the same religion and accord with the umma (Moslem community). The cult of asceticism and lack of money-grabbing aspirations, which they profess, and the idea of egalitarianism and jihad are coupled with extreme fanaticism (precisely Wahhabites became notorious for the attempt to seize Mecca and Medina, desecration of the holly Kaaba and encroachment on the Tomb of the Prophet). But their ideological fanatic of is a long shot from the greatly commercialized and purely utilitarian Wahhabism of Chechen militants in the North Caucasus. It is quasi-Wahhabism and nothing but a primitive bugaboo. This, however, does not diminish the seriousness of this phenomenon, as surrogate, too, can stupefy the simpletons. My diagnosis for the present crisis is: a new political deterioration of contradictions between the centre and the province similar to which there have been quite a few in the history of Russia. There is nothing unique about it. The problem is that at this particular moment external forces aptly use the drawbacks of the national policy and the reduction of Russia's international weight to strengthen their own positions in the region, which is the geopolitical "apple of discord". The shortage of reason and positive mood inside the country always plays into the handed of external forces concerned.

Azamat Dzhendubayev, master of philosophy:

A number of Arab countries strive to prevent Azeri oil produced at some places from getting to the world market or, at least, to see to it that it is transported by a routs, which can be controlled. So, they allocate money, which can be used for propaganda purposes or to buy weapons and pay field commanders in order to make Chechens give up their lives for alien aims under the flag of the "great idea". These simple components are part of the dirty game masterminded abroad under the slogan of the struggle for Islam. It is difficult to choose the correct words to characterise the policy of the so-called "genuine Islamic" countries which, during hostilities in Iraq, appealed for help not to their brothers of the same religion but to the "unfaithful" Americans. The US landed its troops on the sacred land of Saudi Arabia to make air strikes against Iraqi Moslems. And after all that, the same Arab forces cynically pose as the genuine Moslems, trying to put Caucasian Moslems to the right course and teaching them "genuine Islam"!

I am sorry to say but the political leaders of Ichkeria are now not only the hostages of their own dark deeds but the puppets manipulated by foreigners. The bitter truth is that the present Chechen situation has also been preconditioned by gross mistakes in Russia's internal and external policy.

I share the opinion that those Chechens who came to power in the early 90s were representatives of the more underdeveloped mountain regions of the republic. They and the people who surrounded them set the tune of aggressive behaviour. But such aggressiveness is less a manifestation of the bellicose mood than the consequence of the inferiority complex and inadequate reaction of self protection.

It is necessary to help people to overcome this complex. And this can only be achieved by drawing them into civilised forms of relationship with other peoples. The matter is that the taip structure of Chechens' lifestyle, which developed as an inevitable result of the early types of nature development for economic purposes, has blended "perfectly' with different structures and laws of criminal business.

This vicious chain must be broken as soon as possible, The policy of the government should be build on the drawing of Chechens into normal, civilised social relations under which a new generation of Chechens could be formed. This has been this far happening not thanks but against national policy. The first victims of local administrators and mass ethnic-related phobias are those Chechens who have left their native parts and proved to be capable of organising a new life in other places. The unwillingness to wish them luck is a sin from the humanitarian and the religious point of view. This is what prevents us from living in peace with them.

At the same time, if Chechnya were granted independence, it would immediately became a seat of international terrorism flowering thanks to Arab money injections and Chechens would be turned into proponents of pseudo-Islam, thereby once again depriving them of the possibility for self-development. Deprived of a chance to study, work or develop, they would be doomed not only to archaist existence but to complete degradation. The expansion of that kind of Islamic surrogate can become a catastrophe for Chechnya and Russia as a whole.

So, what can be done today? It is first of all necessary to put an end to the criminal character of power and use all the available means to eliminate bandit units and sources of their financing. It is desirable that one regimes should not be merely replaced by another. The existing regime should be reformed by cleansing it from criminals and integrating oppositional forces into it. Otherwise, Chechen society will be split and the soils for radical nationalists will remain. Furthermore. It is essential to create new jobs for able-bodied population as quickly as possible. The greatest problem will be connected with young people and teenagers. We should probably recall our own historic experience and recreate legitimate national military units similar to those, which were part of the "wild division", which loyally served the Russian Empire.

Pyotr Kutsenkov, candidate of art:

Seats of pain have sporadically appeared in different North Caucasian Republics since 1989. This is not surprising. The probability of conflicts grows in a situation of such ethnic diversity. How do different people behave in such a situation? There have been three attempts in Karachayevo-Cherkessia to turn that republic into a slaughter-house. But neither Karachai nor Cherkess supported them. New conflict may break out in that republic but there will be no bloodshed. The Ossetia-Ingushetia conflict, despite its acuteness, is also being decided at the level of the sub-conscious instinct of self-preservation: confronting peoples try to see as little of each other as possible not to create new sources of animosity. The same is true of other people: political instinct, historic experience and a new understanding of realities help them to settle their problems peacefully.

Nothing of the kind has happened in Chechnya. What is more, Chechens have even exacerbated their situation when they attached Daghestan, which is the oldest stronghold of Islam in the North Caucasus. And it is an expansion, an inter-Caucasian expansion which opposes Chechens to the rest of the Caucasus. What has happened to Chechens? Suffice it to recall a certain pronouncement by the colonel of the general staff Josef-Antoin Blaramberg who participated in the Caucasian war of the 19th century. Describing the character of internal conflicts in the Caucasus, he wrote that Darginians were fighting against Kumyks, Lezghinians against Avars and "only Chechens are fight against all". Such a stable historic peculiarity of the behaviour of Chechens was predetermined, first and foremost, by the mountains, which perpetuate the most archaic traits in people (representatives of one and the same ethnic group living in flat territories and in the mountains acquire very dissimilar qualities). Small wonder that Chechens living in the steppes are opposed to Chechens living in the mountains. A comparison of the maps of current air strikes also reveals a very telltale geography.

It is important to bear in mind that there are some peoples in the world who are unable to live peacefully with their neighbours. Take, for instance, the Zulu, Filbe and Taureg people in Africa, who pose a permanent threat to their neighbours, or Beliji in Asia. The peculiarities of the behaviour of Chechens are determined by their extremely archaic ethno-psychology with neolithic roots: WE VS THEY. All who are not Chechens are vainakhs and everything is possible with regard to them. Illiterate people sometimes attribute this mode of behaviour to Islam. However, it is characteristic of some peoples which have adopted Islam and many other peoples professing other religions.

The more important question is: What is to be done? It would be better for Chechens if they revised their traditional psychology. By the way, many of they are doing this. A considerable part of Chechens are living outside of Chechnya precisely because they are sick and tired of the notorious "national peculiarities". As for Islam, it is a duty of any sober-minded and educated person who has not lost his conscience completely to explain that the present excesses have nothing to do with Islam. If Jordanian bandit KKhattab is staying in Chechnya, this does not mean that all Moslems and Arabs are bandits. If Basayev wants to stress that he is a Moslem, this does not mean that all Moslems are terrorists. Our uninspired propaganda not only disorients public opinion but embitters it in a hurry to create a new image of the enemy.

It is also necessary to mention the negative role our outstanding human rights activists have played in the Chechen conflict. Our very kind Sergey Adamovich Kovalyov has managed to do the improbable - to link human rights protection to the "right" to banditry. As a result, the very notion of human rights has been discredited in Russia for the next thirty to forty years. And this is very bad for the country as a whole and the North Caucasus, in particular, as there is no longer the moral pillar capable of getting out of the spin into which the country has been heading as a result of the aggravated conflict between the centre and the province.



Parallel to upright working people, doctors, actors and scientists of Caucasus ethnic origin, who were the majority, communities of a different kind were being formed in the Soviet Union. It was no secret to anyone that Caucasian criminal groups, which operated in Russian cities, were the strongest, cruellest and most aggressive of all criminal communities. During the chaos of the late 80 and early 90s precisely these mobs came to the fore, grabbing the most profitable spheres of criminal and, later, legal business.


During the two years of its self-proclaimed independence - 1991 and 1992 - Chechnya robbed Russia of 400 billion roubles in cash! It was so much money that it was taken out of Russian banks in thousands of bags by trucks. At the then rate of exchange it was more than a third of a billion dollars's worth. The money was delivered to Chechnya by Aeroflot planes and Moscow-Grozny trains.

The following are a few excerpts from an analytical report compiled by the Russian Interior Ministry in 1995:

"The dynamics of this kind of crime is illustrated by the following numbers: 1992 - 328 cases with damage estimated at more than 94 billion roubles; 1993 - 469 cases, 148 billion roubles; 1994 - 120 cases; 175 billion roubles.

"In the period between 1992 and 1994, the Interior Ministry investigated 11 cases concerning 2,393 false letters of advice to the sum of more than 113 billion roubles.

"Over four hundred enterprises and commercial banks, most of which were fakes, were used in the fraud operations with false letters of advice. Criminal cashed these papers with the help of 892 banks and 1,547 enterprises in 68 Russian regions.

"Crimimal charges were brought against 417 people, including 99 Russians, 151 Chechens and 26 Ingushis. Under the "fugitive-bank-fugitive" program of the main economic crimes department of the Russian Interior Ministry, official search was announced for 347 people, operational information of whose involvement in the stealing of money with the help of false letters of advice is available. Forty-six of these people are presumably hiding in Chechnya and Ingushetia.

"The experience of North Caucasian criminal groups was used to commit similar crimes in Russia's central regions and Siberia. Thanks to such successful criminal operations during which huge sums of money were obtained, stable criminal groups were established. They began using stolen money to build up and finance criminal structures. Chechnya became the proving ground for international criminal communities for the only reason that it was independent de facto and "dependent" de jure.

"The vainakh brothers of Chechens - Ingushis - did not escalate their relations with Moscow from the very beginning. Today, the Moscow-based Ingushi group, which specialises in the banking business, is the richest."


"In 1993 alone at the Grozny section of the North Caucasian railway 559 were raided and about four thousand wagons and containers were robbed either completely or partially. Damage is estimated at 11.5 billion roubles. In the first part of this year raids were made at 450 trains; the damage is estimated at more than 7 billion roubles.

"In the years of its existence this regime has issued 10,000 billion roubles' worth of false letters of advice which were scattered all over Russia. In autumn 1993, a Chechen criminal group brought into Russia through Chechnya 10 billion false roubles printed in Turkey.

Thousands of criminals who are hiding in Chechnya are beyond the reach of Russian law-enforcement authorities. All requests on their extradition are ignored."



Kommersant, March 4, 2000

A laboratory for the production of narcotic drugs and weapons, which belonged to famous terrorist Shamil Basayev, was discovered in Grozny. It was stationed on the premises of School No. 40. Chechnya has turned into one of the largest drug suppliers to Russia, in particular, in the past ten years. Chechen drugs are measures in hundreds of tons, not kilograms. The profits thus obtained are comparable with and even exceed the most profitable kinds of Chechen business - hostage taking and oil production. That is why practically every field commander has opium poppy plantations in the region under his control. To ensure an even more successful development of the drug business Basayev bought several light Sesna planes to deliver drugs across the Chechen-Russian border. There were three large drug-producing enterprises in Chechnya: on in Grozny (in the above mentioned school), one in the Vedeno region and one at a former Young Pioneer camp near Serzhen-Yurt. The latter belonged to Arab terrorist Khattab.



Krasnaya Zvezda, 2000

The emergency ecological situation in Chechnya - this is how the present situation should be characterises - is the result, first and foremost, nature contamination by oil products. Numerous private mini-oil factories and refineries have been created in the republic in the past few years. There were more than 15,000 of them by the beginning of the anti-terrorist operation.

Built in violation of all technical standards, they worked - and in some places continue to work - without any supervision. There was no control over oil extraction and transportation. Oil refining was made by barbarous methods: light factions - benzine and kerosene - were separated and heavy factions were poured out. This led to the contamination of subsurface waters, the zone of aeration and soil on vast territories.

By 1995, more than 30% of Chechnya's territory was characterised as an ecological disaster zone and another 40% as a zone of a very unfavourable ecological situation. The ecological situation has sine deteriorated even further. By and large, the entire territory of Chechnya is a zone of "ecological terrorism".

More than two million tons of oil products have accumulated in the zone of aeration and on the surface in the capital of Chechnya as a result of many-year numerous accidental leaks from communication lines and storage facilities. Subsoil oil and water horizon with a floating layer of oil products with a capacity of up to 12 metres has formed within this territory (30 square kilometres). At some sections of the River Sundzha valley this layer percolates into the surface. An analysis of the regime of the oil and water subsoil flow over the past ten years has shown that oil products ascend to the surface at the speed of one metre a year. Unless drastic measures are taken, considerable territories of Grozny can be flooded with oil products in the next few years. This will mean an ecological catastrophe.

Chechnya's subsoil waters are also contaminated with oil products, phenol, ammonia, organic substances, sulphates and pesticides, especially near those amateurish oil producing plants, refineries, filling stations and storage facilities. Concentration of phenol and other harmful oil products is the highest near Grozny and the villages of Sary-Su and Kargpolinskoye. It exceeds the maximum permissible level by 100 to 1,000 times. These regions are characterised as zones of an extraordinary ecological situation. In rural regions, accumulation of pesticides exceeds the maximum permissible level by 24 times and organic substances - 13 times. Water mineralisations is on a rise (up to 9 times higher than the maximum permissible level). Sulphate content is also growing. The same trend is observed in a number of water-intake facilities which syphon water at the depth of 250 metres. Drinking such water can cause serious poisoning and cause malfunctioning of the digestive organs and liver of people.

Terek, Sunzha, Argun and Belka are the dirtiest rivers of Chechnya. Their water contains organic substances (oil products) and heavy metals (copper, zinc and lead). Oil gets into subsoil waters from pits and precipitation tanks of amateurish oil factories. Comprehensive studies show that the Sunzha water is dirty. Here are several numbers to illustrate this point: in the region of Grozny water contamination exceed the maximum permissible level by up to 5 times, ammonia content is 3 times, nitric oxygen more than 10 times, oil products 25 times and copper alloy 8 times higher than the maximum permissible level.

The special Radon combine situated in Chechnya was built as a small-capacity radioactive waste transportation and burial facility. Up to 1990 it services the republics of the North Caucasus. It comprised a burial place, a special laundry facility and an individual dose-measuring control laboratory. Only materials not connected with the nuclear cycle were accepted to the firm, liquified and biological radioactive waste facilities. No liquified and biologically radioactive waste was sent there, as their treatment was not stipulated. In March 1995, on instructions from the government of the Russian Federation, an inter-departmental commission inspected temporary storage facilities of ionising sources in Grozny. The commission established that the premises and equipment of the facilities were in a non-working conditions, no documents were kept, there were no guards and the storage facilities failed to meet the requirements of radiation safety. Federal troops have now taken these facilities under their protection.

The most important thing is that the barbarous oil extraction and production has been discontinued. Thousands of amateurish oil factories no longer exist. And this means that they do not contaminate the environment any more.



March 6, 2000. ITAR-TASS

On April 27, 1996, two members of the Doctors Sans Frontiers international mission were kidnapped in the suburbs of Grozny. The kidnappers demanded 200,000 dollars for their release. The doctors were freed on May 10, 1996.

On July 27, 1996, staff workers of the international humanitarian Action Against Hunger - Frederic Malardeax, France, and Michael Penrose, Britain, - were kidnapped near Grozny. They were released on August 22, 1996.

On July 29, 1996, Stefan Gaidin, employee of the Czech firm Stavinfo, was kidnapped in Grozny.

On September 28, 1996, three members of the Italian humanitarian organisation Interos were taken hostage. They were freed on November 29, 1996.

On October 10, 1996, a criminal Chechen group kidnapped three Slovak builder in the territory of Ingushetia, asking for ransom money. The Slovaks were freed on February 14, 1997.

On February 27, 1997, Mauro Galligani, correspondent of the Italian weekly Panorama was kidnapped in Grozny. His kidnappers demanded one million dollars for his release. The Italian journalist was freed on April 12, 1997, without any payment.

On February 2, 1997, Robert Hill, technical director of the Swiss firm Zeibert-Stinnes, was kidnapped in Ingushetia and brought to Chechnya. He was released on June 2 as a result of an operation conducted by Chechen law enforcers.

On June 9, 1997, Gunter Zaltzman, an Austrian kidnapped earlier, was released in Chechnya.

In the beginning of June 1997, four French citizens who were members of the mission of the Doctors Sans Frontiers humanitarian organisation were taken hostage in Nazran, Ingushetia, and brought to Chechnya. In October 1997, one of them, Christoph Andre, managed to get free.

On the night of July 2 and 3, 1997, British citizens Camilla Carr and Jon James were kidnapped in Grozny. They were freed on September 20, 1998.

On July 9, 1997, Slovak builder Dusan Kovac was kidnapped in Nazran, Ingushetia. He was released on December 26, 1997.

On August 2, 1997, four French members of the humanitarian organisation Equilibre were kidnapped in Daghestan and brought to Chechnya. They were freed on November 17, 1997.

On August 3, 1997, representatives of the pharmaceutical firms Westfarm and Albanaexportimport Gunter Klaus Smuk, Germany, and Stanimir Petrovic, Yugoslavia, were kidnapped in Ingushetia. The German businessman was released on February 13, 1998. His Yugoslav colleague was freed on February 13, 2000, as a result of a special operation conducted by the main anti-organised crime department of the Russian Interior Ministry.

In the beginning of September 1997, Lithuanian entrepreneur Victoras Gruodis was kidnapped in Chechnya.

In September 1997 Turkish businessman Isa Andi was kidnapped in Chechnya. He was released on October 21, 1998.

On the night of October 22-23, 1997, Hungarian employees of the international humanitarian organisation "Joint Action by Churches" Gabor Dunaiski and Istvan Olah were taken hostage in Grozny. They were freed on July 25, 1998.

On November 4, 1997, Peter Zollinger, Swiss employee of Zeibert-Stinnes, which is building an airport in Ingushetia, was kidnapped. He was taken to Chechnya, and his kidnappers demanded a million dollars for his release. He was freed in June 1998.

On November 20, 1997, two Ukrainians who had come to Chechnya for the burial of their mother, were kidnapped in the hamlet of Goragorsky, Nadterechny region. They were released on December 10, 1997.

On December 17, 1997, five Polish members of the charity religious organisation Karitas were kidnapped in Chechnya. They were freed on February 9, 1998.

In December 1997, Milan Yevtic, Yugoslav director of a brick factory, was kidnapped in the village of Nesterovskaya in Ingushetia. He has been kept hostage in the territory of Chechnya since then.

On January 8, 1998, Swedish couple Paulina and Daniel Brolin were kidnapped in Makhachkala, Daghestan, and brought to Chechnya. They were released on June 24.

On January 9, 1998, Ahmed Shertyuk, a Turk, was kidnapped in Achkoi-Martan, Chechnya, and his kidnappers demanded half a million in ransom. On April 13 the hostage was released in the course of an operation conducted by Chechen law enforcers.

On January 21, 1998, three Turkish citizens were kidnapped near Nalchik, Kabardino-Balkaria and brought to Chechnya. Their kidnappers demanded a million dollars for their release.

On January 29, 1998, French citizen Vincent Cochetel, envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, was kidnapped in Vladikavkaz, Northern Ossetia. He was released in Chechnya on December 12, 1998.

Three employees of the Latvian building organisation Latvija-Tilti were kidnapped by unidentified persons in the territory of the cooperative Magistral, Ingushetia, on the night of April 27-28, 1998. These were Konstantin Rysev, Iosif Korotzhen and Konstantin Pridorogin. Rysev and Pridorogin were released on October 21. On October 3, 1998, four employees of the British firm Granger Telecom - Stanley Shaw (New Zealand), Peter Kennedy, Darrel Hickey and Rudolf Petschi (Britain). According to Chechnya's prosecutor-general Mansur Tagirov, they all were killed on the night of December 7 and 8.

On November 11, 1998, American Herbert Gregg was kidnapped in Makhachkala and brought to Chechnya. Gregg taught English philology at the Daghestan Pedagogical University and was also engaged in missionary and charity work. He was released on June 29, 1999.

On May 15, 1999, Geraldo Cruise Ribeiro, representative of the International Red Cross Society in the North Caucasus was kidnapped in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria. He was freed in Chechnya on July 20, 1999, as a result of a special operation of the North Caucasian anti-organised crime department.

On August 10, 1999, two Polish environmentalists - Professor Zofia Fiszer-Malanowska and assistant professor Eva Marwinska-Wyrwal were kidnapped in Daghestan and brought to Chechnya.

In the beginning of October 1999 French photo correspondent Brice Fleutiaux, who had illegally get into Chechnya via the territory of Georgia, was taken hostage.

As of February 13, 2000, Chechen bandits held eleven foreigners hostage.



Even now that Gorzny was razed to the ground it was easy to find the palace of Dzhokhar Dudayev's nephew Tukhan. A good two-storey red brick building seemed to be intact among the dust-covered debris of "Soviet cottages" which collapsed under air strikes. Even the address plate preserved on a three-metre-high fence. It read: "Ulitsa Saltykova-Shchedrina, dom 55". And someone accurately wrote in white chalk on the huge iron gate "'Blood from Gilded Faucets' Prison".

A huge yard can be seen through the narrow slits in the impressive fence. Prisoners used to have a walk in a special section in the back yard complete with a special toilet. Those who designed and built this house tried their best that the small prison should be give more trouble that a hen-coop.

The entrance to the dungeon is at the front. The door is made of heavy steel plates and there are iron bars on the windows. The steep staircase leads to a rather spacial corridor with four cells on both sides. The cells also have very impressive doors with numbers and carefully cut eyeholes. The inside brisk walls are stained with blood. Blood stained sweat shirts lie about on narrow soldier's beds. There is the text book "Fundamentals of Shariah".

Judging by everything, the farthest cell was where inmates were tortured. There are chains in a corner and manacles are mounted in the walls.

Says an officer of the intelligence department of the Russian General Staff: "When we came here for the first time, there was an electric range and an old iron. Special torture instruments which resembled thin pincers and surgical lancets lay on a special table. Tukhan's henchmen kept up to thirty hostages and Russian prisoners in the other cells. There have never been less than 12 of them since this house was built. Russian officers, one Chechen and two Daghestanians were the last prisoners here. From time to time they were given bread and water and thick soup on special occasions."

Cellar for Millionaires

The addresses of other prisons are rather unclear. Nothing is almost left of the Staropromyslovsky highway, and it is practically impossible to find out the number of this house. Guides and people in the street are sure that the house belonged to the ideologue of the Chechen war, Movladi Udugov. The remaining red brick walls of this former palace with a bullet holes on the roof are the only thing that unmistakably indicates that it was a prison.

Udugov's house seems to be much more modest that Dudayev's dwelling. It is a one-storey house on a high facade with a spacious hall and small rooms inside. A small hatch in the floor of the living room leads to the cellar.

"Go ahead! It has been built for Russians like you," says Vakha Khurtsyev, an elderly Chechen who volunteered to be our guide. "Can you imagine anyone building a cellar in his living room? Imagine yourself sitting with friends and your wife climbing up and down!"

Indeed, downstairs there was a low passageway to a huge cellar with a small 30-cm-wide window near the ceiling and wooden beds. Bricks are literally covered with cross with the help of which inmates tried to keep count of the days they spent in this prison.

"Your millionaires were inmates here," Vakha goes on. "These were the people for whose release Udugov asked not one million dollars. They were very well guarded, I remember there were up to thirty people with submachine-guns in the yard and as many in the house. Sometime they took too much drugs and started shooting all night long."

"Ever new people were brought to the house every day. They were taken inside but I did not see then leave the house ever," add's Vakha's wife Madina.

The "Santa Barbara" of Chechen Slave Trade

Dozens of hone prisons are scattered around the city. But the Staropromyslovsky region (especially its Tashkala and Katoyama neighbourhoods) can by right be called the prosperous Santa Barbara of Chechen slave trade. Six prisons have been discovered in Saltykov-Shchedrin Street alone. The are provided with solid bars and bolts and instruments for torture. Lechi Saifutdinn's gunmen kept about fifty hostages in the basement of the house in which the Shariah State Security Ministry was stationed. Aslan Maskhadon authorized that ministry to combat slave trade in the republic. Ever new prisoners were brought to this house from the nearly Friendship of Peoples Square.

"It was a perfectly legal place where one could buy or order a prisoner," says a member of a special unit of the Military Intelligence Department who participated in raids against Grozny in the very beginning of the war. "It was enough to make an advance payment and specify the category of a prisoner - a businessman, a Russian officer or an official. It was a national business."




A cooking truck is emitting smoke in the square at the commandant's office of Leninsky district, with the cook, dressed in white, meting out hot meals. By ration cards. A plate of porridge and one loaf of bread per capita a day. This is the breakfast, lunch and dinner all together. Two aged women and a six-year-old boy live in Rosa Luxembourg Street. Their home in the neighbouring block was ruined, and they moved on into this flat. Lyudmila Trapeznikova lost all her relatives. "There were six of us," she says. "But one evening Akhmed from the neighbouring house came to us. He had a submachine-gun. We asked what he needed it for, and he replied: 'To get revenge.' First he shot my husband, and then he killed the neighbour woman. The other neighbour, Anna, lunged at him with a knife, but it was too late. He killed Anna and her 13-year-old son. I was lying on the floor, face down, but I did not hear any more shots. When I came to, Akhmed has already left. Only dead bodies lying around me."




Two tired nice women were the first to go down the ladder from a regular Moscow flight. "We have no strength to feel glad," they said. They had been held hostage in the Caucasus. We waited 208 days for their release.

Throughout those seven months, the fate of two Polish scientists from the International Ecological Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences was in the focus of public attention. Professor Zofia Fiszer-Malanowska, 65, and Assistant Professor Ewa Marchwinska-Wyrwal, 55, disappeared in the mountains of North-Western Daghestan on August 9 last year.

The version of kidnapping was soon reaffirmed. It was even reported that the Chechen gang, which kidnapped them, demanded a million dollars for each of the two scientists. The Polish authorities immediately replied that they would never honor this demand, so as not to create a precedent. The conditions and circumstances of their release are still kept secret. We only know that Chechen envoys frequently feel at home in Poland. The representatives of Grozny, who called themselves parliamentarians, rejected that the two Polish women were in Chechnya, and said the kidnapping was "a clever machination of the Russian special services."

The scientists, who suffered much in the Chechen dungeons, say about their wardens: "Nobody humiliated us, but we saw how they treated other prisoners. They must not live."



Izvestia, 2000

On March 5 a year ago, General Gennady Shpigun (Militia), special representative of the Interior Ministry, was kidnapped in Chechnya.

Appointed to this post in January 1999, Shpigun was kidnapped from the Tu-134 plane, which made a Grozny-Moscow fight, at 4 p.m. on March 5, 1999. When the plane taxied to the take-off strip, several armed people in balaclavas jumped out of the luggage compartment; one of them demanded that the plan stop. The other hit Shpigun on the head with the butts of their submachine guns, cuffed him and dragged him to the emergency exit. Two UAZ cars, which waited for them, whisked the bandits away. The terrorists demand 3 million dollars for Shpigun.



In October to January, the editorial board of Moskovskiye Novosti waited for only one thing: the release of kidnapped correspondent Dmitry Balburov. He was released in early 2000, but another month passed before he started to recollect what had happened to him.

"When I remember those people, who knew me since 1996 and called me 'nephew' and 'brother,' and who cold-bloodedly guided the bandits to me, I feel anger and quiet disillusionment. Not in their uprightness, but in their intellect. How silly and greedy one must be to deliver me to the bandits like this, without covering up or pretending. While I sat in the zindan (a place where prisoners of war and hostages are kept), I found two explanations for their behaviour: They either thought I was a complete fool, or were told that I would not live. I feel dizzy thinking about the second possibility.

"The two traitors are mother and son, both in the detention ward now. The mother looked suspicious back in 1996. She was surprisingly busy all the time, and had extensive contacts in international humanitarian organisations and with Chechen bandits. She spoke about her selfless and noble soul, said she was voluntarily helping to release Russian prisoners of war, and inferred that she looked Death in the eye quite a few times during these risky operations.

"Her son, Ruslan, was happy to help me travel around Ingushetia in 1996 and later, first on a Lada car, and then on a sports Porsche.  We had little to talk about, well, maybe women, but it suited me. An acquaintance of sorts. A brother."


"A garage barely lit by a kerosene lamp, with long wooden tiered bed, a low table with benches, and a gas range. The bandits who brought me on a car, took off the sack from my head and untied my hands.

"In the morning, the bandits shoved a loaf of bread and three tomatoes through the door. This is how my life in prison began. For three days after the kidnapping, I could not eat or drink, and a bearded bandit even asked me: 'Are you on a hunger strike?' Once the bearded man (his name was Isa) gave me a bottle of vodka and ordered me to drink it in three gulps - I didn't even feel the taste. They hardly ever made me work. I spent only one day cleaning broken bricks of cement and digging.

«On the second or third day, Isa decided to give me a trial. 'By the wall!'

"I stood in front of Isa. He took out a bullet from the magazine and showed it to me: 'This is your bullet.' He pushed it back, clipped on the magazine, pushed the bolt home and unclipped the magazine. The bandits talked about something and one of them translated what they said to me: 'We are arguing. Isa says he will hit you between your eyes with the first bullet, but we don't believe him.'

"Isa raised the submachine-gun as a handgun and pointed it at me. He was a big man, but an AKM gun is too heavy for such tricks; he could have pulled the trigger accidentally. I stood at the wall (in the direct meaning of the word) and lowered my eyes.

'Alright, in the leg. Right or left? Do you know that if I hit you in the knee, you will remain crippled for life, even if you survive? You will hobble, do you know that? Well, alright, I've warned you.' Isa pointed the gun at me and fired. I remember a red streak towards my left leg, which ricocheted somewhere to the side. I twitched, belatedly - I sensed that Isa was not trying to hit me in the leg, that he was just trying to frighten me and check my reflexes. But it was scary all the same. Isa and two other bandits laughed raucously, watching my pitiful twitches.

'Attaboy,' Isa said, for some strange reason, and produced a bottle of vodka. He poured a full glass for me. 'Drink it. You've deserved it. I took you for an exchange. My brother was taken in Volgograd, I must help him. How much money can we demand for you, what do you think?' - 'They won't give a torn dollar for me. I am a small man.' - "Ho-ho! I was offered 100,000 dollars for you today. So, don't lie.' - 'Why didn't you sell me then? Do they need my head?' - 'Do you remember what they did to those Brits? You head will lie at the road, too. But have no fear: as long as I have you, this will not happen to you. Other might cut off your head, but I won't do it. So, should I ask 500,000 for you? The main thing is to release my little brother.' Isa happily told me what would happen if I tried to escape. I would become a cripple for sure.

"Such conversations continued for the first two weeks of the imprisonment."



Segodnya, February 29, 2000

Vladimir Yatsina, special photo correspondent of ITAR-TASS, is dead. The bandits cold-bloodedly killed him in the mountains in the Shatoi Gorge simply because he could walk no more. Alisher Orzaliyev, who had been with Vladimir and was released by the counter-intelligence men several days before, told this story yesterday.

Vladimir Yatsina disappeared in Ingushetia on July 18 last year. He took a few days off and went to Chechnya, where he wanted to make a photo story in a bandit training camp. Shortly before that, Vladimir met a certain Chechen, who invited him to work in Chechnya and guaranteed him safety. That man (as far as I know, the services have not established his identity yet) met Vladimir in the airport in Nazran but they never made it to the hotel. It was reported soon afterwards that Yatsina was taken hostage and was held by the Chechen fighters. According to ITAR-TASS, they demanded 2 million dollars for his release.

Orzaliyev, 22, born in Kazakhstan, was kidnapped last spring and was brought to a cell in Urus-Martan in July 1999. There were several other hostages (including a captain 3rd rank from Makhachkala and a businessman from Volgograd, for whom the bandits demanded a large ransom and even cut off two of his fingers for a "nice parcel" for his relatives), as well as Vladimir Yatsina, whom Alisher described as a very nice, talkative and optimistic person.

Alisher Orzaliyev spent four months in the same cell with Vladimir. When the strikes of the federal artillery and aviation became especially powerful, the bandits decided to move the hostages to the mountain village of Shatoi in the Shatoi Gorge. They moved in small groups, Vladimir in one of them. Alisher said: "Vladimir had health problems, he had bad legs - he could not walk. We had only five more kilometres to go when the bandits shot him."

Orzaliyev says about the bandits that some of them are normal people, but others are sadistic bastards. He saw, involuntarily, several cruel executions. He saw how they beat to death retired Colonel Vladimir Zhuchkov. They cruelly beat Dmitry Bogushev, of the Emergencies Ministry, who tried to escape and attacked a guard, and then saw off his head while he was still alive.

P. S. General Aleksandr Zdanovich, head of the assistance programs department in the FSB, said the counter-intelligence service released 50 people from the Chechen prisons in the past two months. Another roughly 800 hostages are still in Chechnya.



Novaya Gazeta has information to prove that not only some field commanders, but also Chechen officials were involved, although in a different measure, in kidnappings.

Dozens of hostages were kept in Grozny, in the 15th Settlement, which was the territory of the border and customs service headed by Magomed Khatuyev. As president Aslan Maskhadov knew about this. He could order that someone be released without ransom, or he could turn, say, Major Aristov (Medicine) over to the Chechens whose relatives were in prison for crimes that were not related to hostilities in Chechnya.

Doku Umarov and Lema Taramov, both secretaries of the Security Council under Maskhadov, exchanged hostages for criminals. Taramov even signed official papers with such offers for different organisations.

Field commanders, in particular Arbi Barayev, often used Maskhadov for cover. For it was Maskhadov who had promoted Barayev to brigade general, although he knew that he was one of the main organizers of kidnappings. Barayev celebrated his promotion by kidnapping nine Ingush militiamen on November 28, 1997.

Vice-President Vakha Arsanov played a special part in the slave trade. It was believed until recently that much was done by Abdurazakov, Itayev and Barayev in the name of Arsanov, while he was not involved. But our investigation revealed that Arsanov stood at the roots of those crimes.

Back in early 1996, Arsanov's men kidnapped Gelman, who at that time was the education minister in Zavgayev's government. Zavgayev ordered the payment of 1 billion roubles (200,000 dollars at that time's exchange rate) for his release. Vakha Arsanov, then a field commander, personally accepted the money, which he carefully counted. He became the vice-president of Chechnya in January 1997.

Maskhadov's ministers, especially "law enforcers," did not shy from that dirty business either. The staff of the Chechen security ministry got their wages and bonuses after prominent journalists and foreign citizens had been released for large ransoms.

For example, Nurdi Bazhiyev, deputy interior minister of Chechnya, got hundreds of thousands of dollars for the ORT and NTV journalists.

After Nurdi died, his brother Nasrudi inherited Bazhiyev's post. His "income" from the hostage business ran into tens of thousands of dollars. For example, he got 10,000 dollars for the release of Vasily Poklonsky, a road-building engineer kidnapped in Ingushetia. Vice-Premier Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev returned to the bandits Stasik Ivanov, a 12-year-old boy from Podolsk, who had spent two and a half years in prison.

Chechen field commanders and law-enforcement leaders competed with each other for the highest ransom. As a result of internal squabbles, Nurdi Bazhiyev was killed by Ali Itayev in August 1997, but Itayev was killed by his Chechen "brothers" in April last year, too.

Ruslan Kharkharoyev, a bandit from Bamut, was killed in his home in August last year, and his friend Khamzat Tochiyev was killed a few months before him. Vakha Dzhafarov, chief of staff of Raduyev's army and the main organizer of the explosion in the Pyatigorsk Railway Terminal, was killed in May 1998, during the storming of the Grozny TV Centre.

Not only kidnappers, but also common murderers held his posts in the law-enforcement structures of Chechnya. Magomed Koriyev, head of the organised crime department, personally killed hostages, including Chechens. Uvais Akhmadov, head of the Urus-Martan department of the interior ministry, organised, with the help of his brothers, the kidnapping and murder of hostages.

(Novaya Gazeta)



The Ministry of Shariah State Security controlled the slave trade.

A group of slave traders, who operated all over Russia, from Urus-Martan was arrested in Chechnya. They kidnapped people in Moscow, and later sold them in the central square of Urus-Martan as freely as they sold weapons and drugs. This happened with the direct assistance of Maskhadov's Ministry of Shariah State Security. And could not be a secret for Maskhadov.

The Urus-Martan Wahhabis were the main kidnapping specialists in Chechnya, and Urus-Martan was the centre of slave trade in the republic. When the federal forces approached the city, they expected the Wahhabis to fight to the last drop of blood. But the city surrendered without fighting. This saved it from destruction and ruthless mopping-up operations, used in other settlements of Chechnya. The Russian special services have grounds to believe that the Wahhabis simply hoped to save their "material base." They are convinced that slaves are still kept in the deep cellars in Urus-Martan.

Several members of the notorious Urus-Martan group of Ramazan Akhmadov, which kidnapped at least 20 people in 1997-99, have been arrested. Akhmadov once served in "the Abkhaz battalion" of Basayev, but returned to Urus-Martan and created his own group when the war in Abkhazia ended. The group included several local Wahhabis, who knew the kidnapping technology, as well as people from other cities of Russia. Akhmadov's team became one of the toughest in the region; several local gangs recognised its leadership. They did not like Akhmadov, but respected his relatives. Akhmadov's brother, Uvais, headed the Urus-Martan department of the Ministry of Shariah Security, and it seemed very comfortable to work under the cover of the ministry.

The bandits were not wrong. They were given the passes of the ministry staff, which allowed them to arrest anyone on the territory of Chechnya. It transpired later that the residents of Ingushetia were very much impressed by these passes. The bandits also used these passes in Moscow, for example, when they kidnapped Kirill Perchenko, son of a famous Moscow antique dealer.

The kidnapped were delivered to Chechnya is secret recesses organised in large trucks, camouflaged by rolls of glass wool or packages with foods. The ministry passes helped them avoid inspections, unavoidable during such long-distance travel. Kirill Perchenko was taken to Chechnya in a KamAZ truck.

They kidnapped not only Russian citizens. For example, they lured businessman Alisher Ozaraliyev, a representative of the UPS international charity organization, from Chimkent to Chechnya. They loaned 1,500 dollars from him, which they promised to return when he comes to Grozny. Ozaraliyev believed them - and was thrown into the Urus-Martan dungeons.

The ministry sometimes stages performances in Chechnya, which were designed to demonstrate its selfless service to law. Once they fought to take Israeli citizen Oleg Yemelyanov from the Akhmadov gang. Oleg later thanked his "liberators" on TV, but was soon handed back to Akhmadov. He was released by the federal forces a month ago. The Akhmadov gang divided the hostages into "rich and expensive" and "poor and cheap." The "rich" hostages were, for example, Ozaraliyev and Yemelyanov, as they demanded 20 million dollars for each. The "cheap" were ethnic Russians who lived in Chechnya, soldiers' mothers, who came to the republic in search of their vanished sons, and the soldiers themselves, who were mostly used as slaves.

Irina Kapustina, a 16-year-old girl from Grozny, was a "cheap" hostage. We told you about her mother, who had waited for the return of her daughter throughout the war and refused to leave the city. But Irina did not return. We know only that at first she was a sex slave of one of Akhmadov's lieutenants, and then was taken by Akhmadov himself. The bandits did not expect to get a ransom for the two 50-year-old women from Rostov, who came to Chechnya searching for their missing sons. The women were used to launder the bandits' clothes and to work around the house. When the federal forces approached Urus-Martan, they were ordered to dig trenches together with men. Those who could not work were killed. The prisoners were frequently used as punching bags for knife throwing and training in hand-to-hand combat. The bandits also encouraged them to take up Islam, promising that they would not be killed in this case. They especially loved to torture Orthodox priests kidnapped in Grozny.

But even those who reverted to Islam were not assured survival. In February, when the bandits were escaping into the mountains, they shot ITAR-TASS photo correspondent Vladimir Yatsina, whom they forced to become a Moslem. The ill journalist became a burden for the bandits, and they killed him. They did not even stop to bury their religious brother. But not all hostages agreed to become Moslem. Imprisoned bandits told about Dmitry Bobryshev, 25, an officer of the Emergencies Ministry from Nazran. When another hostage was beaten to death in front of him, he snatched a knife from one of the bandits and rushed at the killer. The enraged bandits saw off Bobryshev's head with a two-handed saw and stuck it on a pike at the centre of their camp.

Slaves were bought and sold right in the central square of Urus-Martan, a short distance from the regional department of the Ministry of Shariah State Security. The square was divided into sectors, where weapons, drugs and slaves were sold.




I saw Akhmadov, the foreign minister in Maskhadov's government, in a TV news show. He was delivering lectures to students in Britain. The anchor pointed out that the circumstances of the death of three British engineers, Rudolf Petschi, Darren Hickey and Peter Kennedy, and New Zealander Stanley Shaw, were not known. In fact, they are. We don't know if Maskhadov's minister is related to brother Akhmadov from Urus-Martan, but we do know that the Akhmadovs were directly involved in the murder of the three British and one New Zealand citizens.

On October 3, 1998, the staffers of the British Granger telephone company Rudi Petschi, Darren Hickey, Peter Kennedy and Stan Shaw were kidnapped by the Akhmadov gang and taken to Urus-Martan. They were thrown into a specially prepared pit with three Daghestanis, Magomed Chaguchiyev (60), his son Raul (35) and second cousin Abdurakhman Adukhov. The bandit leaders, Uvais and Ramzan Akhmadov (their parents had eight sons) kept hostages in the same pit where Camilla Carr and Jon James were believed to have spent some time. They had been released a few days before the three Britons and one New Zealander were kidnapped.

In late October Magomed Chaguchiyev was transferred to another pit in Urus-Martan, controlled directly by Arbi Barayev. In mid-November the other hostages, plus two new ones - a Russian boy Andrei, 24, and his girlfriend Natasha, kidnapped from the town of Beslan in Ossetia, were handed over to Barayev.

In late November the bandits cut off Andrei's head and taped the process. Later they showed the "film" to the other hostages. Magomed Chaguchiyev was released in December. The bandits ordered him to find the money to pay for his relatives. Three days later, the three Britons and the New Zealander were beheaded.

According to our information, ransom was negotiated, but the leaders of international extremist organisations, probably controlled by bin Laden, offered Barayev much more money if he would cruelly kill the hostages.

This decided the fate of the unlucky four. They were taken to the riverbank and beheaded. The executors were close relatives of Arbi Barayev.

"Novaya Gazeta"


The Russian special services have detained Chechen field commander Salautdin Temirbulatov, who killed prisoners, taped the executions, and sent the cassettes to the Russian troops, thus hoping to frighten them.

During the first Chechen campaign, Russian servicemen several times found cassettes with taped executions of men and officers. One of them showed the murder of three contract servicemen. A group of armed bearded men in black masks in the forefront. Only one of them is not bearded, wears no mask and has no submachine-gun. He is dressed in fatigues and a black beret. He looks like the boss. Standing in front of the bandits are four prisoners in military uniforms without stripes, their hands tied. The clean-shaven man takes a gun from his shoulder strap and shots in the back of the head of a soldier, who stands on his knees in front of him. A few seconds later the bandits are kicking three dead bodies. The fourth solider, a conscripted man, is untied and told to run to the federal forces. "This is what will happen to each of you!" they tell him. 

Hoping to find the murderers, the special agents showed the tape to "loyal" Chechens. A few of them said that the main executioner is none other than famous field commander Salautdin Temirbulatov.

Born 40 years ago in Borzoi, he was an ordinary tractor driver in a local state farms ten years ago, and hence his nickname, Tractor Driver. In the early 1990s, he and his friends actively supported the rebel general Dudayev, and when Dudayev came to power, he appointed him to head the Urus-Martan Region. When the first Chechen war began, Temirbulatov, who had won certain prestige in the republic, gathered a group of 200 and became one of the most irreconcilable and ruthless field commanders. Officially, his men were incorporated into the group of Daud Akhmadov, with Temirbulatov as his right-hand man. In his turn, Akhmadov and his army were subordinate directly to Ruslan Gelayev.

In 1996, when Temirbulatov was recognised on the tape, the Office of the Prosecutor General launched proceedings against him for murder and banditry. The Tractor Driver was put on the wanted list, but was found only four years later.




The heads of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia stated that six criminals had been arrested and accused of last year's terrorist acts in Buinaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk. These terrorist acts have a "Chechen connection" and were committed by Islamic extremists in revenge for the failed invasion of Daghestan.

In early September last year, Russia was swept by a wave of cruel and unprecedented terrorist acts. Four powerful explosions claimed over 300 lives in the residential blocks in the above three cities. This shocked the country. The dwellers of high-rise blocks, fearing new explosions, went to their dachas and relatives in the countryside. Those who remained at home organised round-the-clock watches in their blocks. The militia was put on silent alert and special services worked without respite to find the elusive terrorist, Mukhit Laipanov, whose portrait hung on every wall. It soon turned out that Laipanov was a pseudonym, and hence it was senseless to search for him. Six months after the explosion in Volgodonsk, the FSB decided to report on its progress, It turned out that the four explosions were carried out by a group of 15 terrorists, six of them detained and another nine put on the international wanted list. The gang was international, but all its members were radical Wahhabis. They were trained in the art of subversion by field commander Khattab at his base, Caucasus, in Chechnya.

The investigation revealed that the composition of the explosive and the method of placing it were identical in all four terrorist acts. The explosion was made at a mineral fertilizer factory in Urus-Martan, where hexogen, trotyl, aluminium powder and saltpetre were mixed with sugar and packaged in sacks marked "The Cherkess Sugar Refinery." When the federal forces entered Urus-Martan, they found timer devices made from Casio digital watches.

The route by which the explosive was delivered to Moscow was established, too. Hexogen under the guise of sugar was delivered from Urus-Martan to a food warehouse in Kislovodsk. Until late August, the sacks were kept there in a KamAZ truck, leased by one of the terrorists, Ruslan Magaiayev. In early September, Magaiayev and his accomplices - Yusuf Krymshamkhalov, Timur Batchayev and Adam Dekkushev - reloaded the cargo into a Mercedes trailer and delivered it to Moscow. En route, they were protected from possible complications by an accomplice called Khakim, who accompanied the trailer in a VAZ-2108 car.

In Moscow they were met by Achimez Gochiayev, who registered in Hotel Altai as Laipanov, and Denis Saitakov. The explosive was left in a warehouse in Ulitsa Krasnodonskaya, which was leased by pseudo-Laipanov. The next day hexogen was delivered in Gazelle vans to three addresses - Ulitsa Guryanova, Kashirskoye Shosse and Ulitsa Borisovskiye Prudy, where pseudo-Laipanov leased cellars. Next followed the explosions at the former two addresses. The explosion at 16 Borisovskiye Prudy was prevented, thank God.

So far, only six of the 15 terrorists have been arrested, including Magaiayev, who was detained in Mineralniye Vody in the Caucasus. The names of the other arrested are kept secret. Those who organised and executed the Moscow explosions are still at large. The investigation groups have established that Krymshakhmalov and Dekkushev several times phoned Moscow from Grozny. Saitakov was also spotted in Chechnya, where he commanded a small group of fighters in the vicinity of Chervlennaya.



(Shariah Laws, Chechen Style)

Nezavisimaya Gazeta, 2000


Capital punishment shall be executed by beheading, or by beating with stones, on in the way in which the criminal killed his victim.


Punishment in kind is the punishment of the criminal, who deliberately committed this or other crime, in the same manner as he committed his crime. The right to execute punishment in kind can be claimed first and foremost by the victim of the crime or his/her close relatives.


Punishment in kind in case of wounding shall be executed in accordance with the number of wounds inflicted to different organs of the victim, and in accordance with the principle of bigger crime encompassing the smaller crime, with the exception of cases when the wounds and injuries were inflicted by the criminal to the victim with the purpose of punishment. In such cases the criminal shall be punished with double amputation, when first the smaller, and then the bigger parts are amputated.

If the criminal cut off the same organs from several victims simultaneously, and if punishment in kind is afforded for this crime, he shall undergo such punishment if at least one of the victims so demands, which does not deprive other victims of the right to demand full or partial compensation depending on the situation.


The close relatives of the victim, who have the right to execute punishment in kind, are the persons who are his/her inheritors as of the victim's death.

The state shall assume the function of close relatives if the victim has no such relatives, or if their whereabouts is unknown, or if their return is improbable.


If the crime under consideration does not provide for punishment in accordance with the provisions of the Shariah, the verdicts involving corporal punishment shall not be passed on persons above 60, as well as the ill, because such punishment could endanger their life or health.

If punishment by flagellation cannon be applied owing to the advanced age or bad health of the criminal, this punishment shall be replaced with some other punishment.


The full size of diy'a equals 100 cows or a sum of money equivalent to their cost, periodically determined by the Supreme Justice after consultations with competent agencies.


Adolescents who have reached the age of 10 shall be flagellated for educational purposes (the number of leashes shall not exceed 20).


Any person who drinks alcohol, stores or produces it shall be punished by flagellation, with 40 leashes if the guilty party professes Islam.


A person guilty of a crime qualified as apostasy shall be offered to repent, and the court shall establish a certain deadline for this. If the guilty party, who is not a neophyte of Islam, persists in the crime, he/she shall by punished by execution.


Any person who committed a crime qualified as premeditated murder shall be punished by execution as punishment in kind. If punishment in kind cannot be applied, the guilty party shall be punished by imprisonment for up to ten years, and shall pay an established compensation.


Any person that deliberately takes action which result in the abortion of the unborn child of any woman, shall be judged guilty of a crime that is qualified as an abortion, unless the abortion was carried out in one of the following cases:

if the abortion was performed to save the life of the mother; or

if the pregnancy occurred as a result of a rape, and the fetus was at least ninety days old, and the woman wanted to have an abortion in such circumstances.


Guilty of a crime qualified as adultery shall be:

any man who had sexual relations with any woman to whom he is not legally bound;

any woman who allowed any man, with whom she is not legally bound, to have sexual relations with her.

Sexual relations shall be regarded as complete if the head of the male organ, or whatever corresponds to it, entered the sexual organs of the woman.

A marriage that is regarded by the general consent of law experts as invalid shall not be judged as a legal bond.


Those guilty of adultery shall be punished by:

execution through beating with stones, if the guilty was virgin before the crime;

flagellation with 100 leashes, if the guilty was not virgin before the crime.

In addition to punishment by flagellation, the man who was not virgin before the crime may be also punished with an exile of one year.

Virginity in this case is the maintenance of legal matrimonial relations at the time when the crime of adultery was committed, or in case of past matrimonial relations.


Those guilty of crime that is qualified as sodomy shall be punished by flagellation with 100 leashes. Other form of punishment may be imprisonment for no more than five years.


Any person guilty of doing indecent things or acting indecently in a public place, which insults social morals, or even those who are not dressed properly or whose dress insults social morals, owing to which the surrounding people feel embarrassment and discomfort, shall be punished by flagellation with no more than 40 leashes, or shall pay a fine, or both.


Those who go to a whorehouse, where they most probably intended to have sexual relations or get something for sexual relations, shall be judged guilty of a crime qualified as licentious actions. Those guilty of such crime shall be punished by flagellation with no more than 100 leashes, or imprisonment for no more than three years.

A whorehouse is any place prepared for the meeting of men, women or men and women, who are not married couples or relatives, in conditions where sexual acts become most probable.


Those guilty of theft punishable in accordance with the provisions of the Shariah shall have their right hand cut off. If the criminal was found guilty of this crime for a second time, the punishment shall be the cutting off of his/her left foot.


A seeing eye, if it was fully removed.

The nose up to the place where it joins the bridge.

An ear, if it was cut off completely. If the crime concerns a part of an ear, punishment in kind shall not be applied.

A tooth, if the examination reveals that no other tooth will grow in its place.

The tongue, if it was cut off completely.

An arm, if it was cut off at the junction. If cut off above the junction, the victims shall receive compensation for the additional part.

The same concerns punishment in kind for leg injuries.

The fingertips and fingers of hands and feet, if they were cut off at the junction.

The sexual organ, if it was cut off completely or below the head.

The balls; if one of the balls remained intact, the guilty will have only one of his balls cut off.

Any wound going as deep as the bone.



Kommersant, March 15, 2000

An army intelligence group found a weapons and munitions depot at the Moslem cemetery outside the village of Syati (Shatoi Region). If not for the fresh graves, the village residents would have never believed the military, who told them that the bandits used the old Moslem cemetery for their dirty aims.

The last burial at the cemetery was held in February, when a local woman died. But roughly two weeks ago fresh graves appeared there. The locals did not pay attention to that, thinking that the fighters buried one of their deceased there.

They did not believe the military who suggested that those were not graves by weapons caches. They argued that the fighters "never offended anyone here" and were against desecrating the cemetery. But the federal forces demanded that the graves be opened.

Deserters informed the military intelligence of the caches. According to them, before leaving Shatoi, Basayev's men could not take along all their weapons and decided to bury the weapons, hoping to return. They ordered the Russian prisoners of war to dig the graves. When the military opened tow graces, they saw an air Defence machine-gun, and 82mm mortar, submachine-guns, a Fagot guided anti-tank rocket system, 30,000 bullets, 260 mortar charges, and 650 electric detonators (used for land mines). The graves also contained several textbooks, one of them the instructions on "How to Explode a Residential Block, a Bridge, and a Railway Line, and "How to Make a Land Mine."

Those textbooks provided architectural plans of five-story blocks, saying that the bombs should be placed in the middle as "this would have a greater destruction effect." They also included such advice: "When they carry munitions, the railways move very slowly," "the softer the soil, the weaker the explosion." One of the textbooks provided a scheme of distributing money between field commanders, whose names were given in capitalized initials. Judging by that scheme, the lion's share went to Maskhadov, Basayev and Raduyev, while commanders of a lower rank got considerably less money.

The killed field commanders were crossed out of the scheme. For example, the initials denoting Lezha Dudayev, who was killed outside Alkhan-Kala, and several others, were crossed out. It is interesting that the sources of money were given as some Arab countries, with the pointers from these countries leading to Khattab and on to the other bandit leaders.

The residents of Syati were shocked when the military extracted weapons and munitions from the graves. "Nobody knew that there were weapons there," said Khasan Nalayev, 40. "This is a sacred place and no Moslem, or any other person, would think of doing this. They [the fighters] pose as Islamists and Wahhabis. But they are godless persons, this is clear now. I even think that there must be other such graves at other cemeteries. There are 37 villages in the Shatoi district, and each has a cemetery."



March 5, 2000

When I think of Chechnya, I think above all that the Chechen people fell victim to international extremism, that common people in Chechnya are suffering from the policy which was pursued by Russia in the past few years. I want to draw your attention to the fact that Chechnya was de facto - I repeat, de facto - granted complete state independence in 1996. But no state formation appeared in the territory of Chechnya. The extremist forces used that vacuum to break up Chechnya into small units. Each such unit was headed by a leader, the so-called field commander, who acted contrary to the constitution and laws, and we got a kind of a mini-Afghanistan. They were the rulers of life in that small territory, of that small and proud people.

The extremist forces became established in that territory and started getting weapons, money and mercenaries from abroad. By the way, 220,000 Russians fled from Chechnya in those years. Just imagine. And 550,000-600,000 Chechens left the republic, too. They all voted with their feet; they all fled from that regime.

Last summer they [the bandits] launched an unprovoked invasion Daghestan. They attacked residential blocks in Moscow, Volgodonsk and other regions and cities of the Russian Federation. Pretending to act in revenge, they exploded and killed nearly 1,500 peaceful civilians. Of course, as of that moment, we understood that if we do not strike at the terrorist test itself, their bases in the territory of Chechnya, we will never get rid of that disease and that gangrene. By taking action, the terrorists forced us to reciprocate. I think they simply did not expect us to act so resolutely.

.The terrorists, who kidnap hundreds of innocent people, keep them in cellars, torture and execute them - I repeat, innocent people - not for political reasons, but with the purpose of getting a ransom, exclusively for criminal reasons. Are they better than the Nazi criminals? We are curing the Chechen people of this disease, proceeding from the belief that we must do this in the interests of the Chechen and other people of the Russian Federation. We have always stressed, and still stress, that all our actions are designed to minimize losses. In fact, there have been no major losses among the peaceful population. Why would we do something with regard to peaceful population? We hope to get their assistance, and we are getting it. Why should we set the peaceful population against us? .We want to help the Chechen people and promote the restoration of peace in Chechnya, at long last. This is absolutely impossible without cooperation with Chechens.



The National Public Opinion Research Centre (VTsIOM) polled 1,600 people in 83 settlements of 33 regions of Russia (150 polling sites) on March 10-13, 2000. The permissible statistical error is 3.8%.


Certainly yes


Rather yes


Rather not


Certainly not


Difficult to say



Elected by the people


Appointed by Moscow


Difficult to say




November 1999

February 2000

March 2000

Continue the offensive




Launch talks with Chechen leaders




Difficult to say




IF THE TROOPS SUSTAIN MAJOR LOSSES DURING THE OFFENSIVE, SHOULD IT BE CARRIED ON NEVERTHELESS, OR SHOULD PEACE TALKS BE LAUNCHED WITH THE CHECHEN LEADERS IN THIS CASE? (we provide the answers of only those who spoke up for continuing the offensive, or had no ready answer, in the above table)


November 1999

February 2000

March 2000

Carry on the offensive




Launch talks with the Chechen leadership




Difficult to say




No answer






February 11-14

February 18-21

February 25-28

March 10-13

Certainly yes, and rather yes





Certainly no, and rather no





Difficult to say







February 11-14

February 25-28

March 10-13

Launch talks with Aslan Maskhadov




Launch talks with other, more respected figures on the Chechen side




Not talk with Chechen leaders, but restore local bodies of power with the assistance of those local people who are ready to recognize the authority of the federal centre




Not talk with anyone, but appoint a military governor general to Chechnya




Difficult to say






February 18-21

February 25-28

March  10-13

Certainly yes, and rather yes




Rather not, and certainly not




Difficult to say






February 18-21

February 25-25

March 10-13

Certainly yes, and rather yes




Rather not, and certainly not




Difficult to say







(From Moskovskaya Promyshlennaya Gazeta)

By Pyotr Nikolsky

The TV shows Basayev's pale face, blood, and his amputated leg. In an hour, another channel shows the same footage. And lastly, I see it again in a night news show and suddenly understand, with horror, that I like it. The only thing I don't like is that Basayev lost a leg, and not his head. I diagnose myself with the Chechen syndrome. Time to snatch a few things and head for "a small psychiatric hospital."

It is strange but the Chechen syndrome has not been seriously studied yet. The people who look with suspicion at a sack standing by his residential block, soldiers whose life was crippled by war, dislike for "persons of Caucasian descent." This is painful and bitter, but this is only the external layer. The problem lies deeper.

I made this conclusion not only from my own experience. I try to understand a quotation from Andrei Babitsky's interview on Radio Liberty. He said: "It should be said that the Chechens cut the throats of Russian soldiers not because they are sadists and want to be ruthless with regard to soldiers, but because they want to make the war more vivid, better visible." I come to the conclusion that I should wait for Babitsky and take him along to the psychiatric hospital.

Maybe I'm unlucky, but when I think about the people I know, from neighbours to prominent Russian politicians, journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and political scientists, I cannot find a single person who would not be affected by the Chechen syndrome. All of them are affected, although to a different degree. Virtually all Americans suffered from the Vietnam syndrome. Now it's our turn.

The two Chechen campaigns in the past decade are rooted back in the past Caucasian wars, which Russia waged. But never before was the kickback so strong or painful as now. Why this pain? And why cannot anybody do something about it?

Let's begin with "why?" One of the explanations is apparent and can be seen by everyone. It is humiliation from the defeat in the first war, the complaint that, although we paid an exorbitant price in Russian blood for the victory, we gave it up. That humiliation was superimposed over the rest of the negative background (the disintegration of the country, economic flops, corruption, and the loss of hopes for a quick release from the crisis), and hence it is very easy to understand why virtually everyone suffers from this syndrome now.

On the other hand, the country suffered not only from the phantom pains in the severed part of the once united Soviet Union. Everything was much worse. The Russian people, who suffered a defeat in that war, lived for a very long time in conditions of constant humiliation by Chechen bandits.

There is nothing surprising in that, in view of the Russians' traditional trend for self-flagellation and the verbosity of the human rights activists, who have quite a few bats in their belfries, just as all do. Remember how they told us about Chechen Robin Hoods, and the evil that Russians brought to Chechnya?

The Chechen syndrome developed as we learned the truth about the genuine state of affairs in Chechnya, the slave trade and the bandit rein. It grew with each new shameless appearance of Basayev and Raduyev on our TV screens, with each new unintelligible statement by Maskhadov, who turned out to be politically impotent. The syndrome grew also because it took the Russian authorities so long to elaborate a reasonable policy with regard to the Caucasus and protect its citizens there. The Kremlin came to only when Chechen bandits invaded Daghestan and exploded homes in Moscow and other Russian cities.

The mass media had the second largest (after politicians) role to play in provoking the Chechen syndrome. A TV screen is a highly destructive weapon, and it is difficult to imagine how the Russian people reacted to the Caucasian War in the 19th century, if they were constantly shown reports from the theatre of war, which criticized General Yermolov. The more so that the Caucasian wars were always waged not by European, but by the local, highly original and cruel, rules of the game. Russians did not invent those rules, but they had play by them, because the wild mountain people could not be fought otherwise.

Try to answer the following question: Should the Russian people see the tape showing how bandits cut off heads? The more so that the case of Babitsky gave us a chance to once again discuss this question. A rather aged (look at the faces of prominent journalists) yet infantile Russian democratic press tends to think that the people must know the whole truth about the war. A mature American democracy, burdened with numerous experiences, settled the question differently.

If you want to stop a war, show everything, as during the Vietnam War. But don't do it if you want to win a war, as in the Gulf. Journalists were allowed to see only a virtual picture of the war during the desert Storm operation. So, do we want to stop, or to win the Chechen war?  If a part of our politicians and journalists don't know the answer to this question, society has long answered it: The overwhelming majority of the people want to win the second Chechen campaign.

As for the subject at hand, it appears that Putin is just what the doctor prescribed. To cure the Chechen syndrome, like any other inferiority complex, the patient must believe in his strength and abilities. This is the point of departure, and Putin calculated it very correctly and timely. Russia is fighting in Chechnya not only with slave-traders or for territorial integrity, but for its own mental health and dignity.



There were examples in the history of the 20th century when the winning country, using the stick and the carrot method, gradually turned the conquered people from an enemy into a partner and even an ally. Take Germany, which the USA actually smothered in its "economic embrace" of the Marshall Plan after the Second World War. Take the history of US-Japanese relations, which knows both the defeat of the US fleet in Pearl Harbour and the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It seemed that those two nations were doomed to quietly hate each other, but no. Like West Germany, Japan both had US military bases and enjoyed its investments. The Japanese were forced to adopt many elements of the UN democracy, and soon surprised the world with their "economic miracle."

Of course, Chechnya is not Japan. But why not use the same principle of economic expansion, that "voluntary/obligatory" enforcement of civilization in that wild province?

Can we change the way of life and the mentality of that mountain people? We put this question to prominent Russian politicians. Their opinion differed.

Yevgeny PRIMAKOV, ex-premier and leader of the OVR faction in the State Duma:

- Of course, we can. And we must. I would not spread negative mentality to the whole people, for this could reduce us to racism. If we say that the whole people are bad through and through, we will have to admit that Stalin was right to deport Chechens."

Nikolai KOVALEV, ex-FSB director and Duma deputy:

Can we civilise Chechnya? Possibly, although this would take more than just one decade. The last Chechen bandit was caught in the mountains 23 years after the Great Patriotic War, in 1968. Although we had a totalitarian state then, and powerful law enforcement structures. Imagine what we will have now. But there is no way other than try to "tame" Chechnya.

Grigory YAVLINSKY, Yabloko leader:

Certainly, Russia can end its conflict with Chechnya without granting independence to it. And it has proved that it can do this in the second half of the 19th century, when the Caucasian War was replaced with a Caucasian policy. That policy should be based on demonstrative respect for the national dignity of the Chechens, Russians, Ingush and all other people living in the North Caucasus.

Vladimir RYZHKOV, Duma deputy and deputy chairman of Our Home's political council:

To begin with, we must liquidate the terrorists. Next we should establish a military-militia regime there for some time, with curfew, passport checks, and informers in the bandit groups, who would tell us about planned terrorist acts. Next we should find people in the Chechen elite, who would be prepared for dialogue with Moscow, and discuss broad Chechen autonomy with them. We must try to use their assistance to stop the bulk of the Chechen population from playing at guerrillas and terrorists. At the same time, we must ferret our in the mountains those whom Russia will never accept.

Sergei STEPASHIN, ex-premier and Duma deputy:

Not Moscow puppets, but those who will be accepted by Chechens must come to power in Chechnya. Maybe those who have long left Chechnya and are doing successful business in Russia. But we must not smother anyone. Not even in embraces. The Chechens must feel that they can live and work calmly. Take Ingushetia, where roughly the same people live. Only a lazy person did not criticize the offshore zone created there. But in three years it allowed Ingushetia to breathe a sigh of relief.

Sergei KARAGANOV, secretary of the Council on External and Defence Policy:

First, we must complete the liquidation of the bandit groups. Second, we must establish complete military occupation of Chechnya. Third, we must gradually, in small parts, restore the economy, first in the valley before the Terek, and then in the southern regions. But it would be senseless to pump excessive money there. In principle, I think the Chechen problem cannot be resolved in the next 50 years. Simply, we must maintain as much order as possible there.

Boris BEREZOVSKY, Duma deputy:

I think the Chechen problem, and the Caucasian problem in general, is an eternal problem for Russia. It has no final solution. But what is the difference between the current situation and what we had 50 years ago? Fifty years ago, most Chechens thought that they can get independence, and wanted to get independence. Today, most of them probably still want to get independence, but at least 90% think this is impossible. They understand that armed resistance is senseless.

"Argumenty i Fakty"




In 1999, 155 citizens of our multiethnic republic were kept in Chechnya as hostages. Many were later released. Eight people are still hostages. Every one of them is a special case and our common pain. Two terrible acts of terrorism have been staged in our republic. On March 19, 1999, as many as 67 people died in an explosion in the Vladikavkaz marketplace. Many people were killed in the Sputnik township of the military. We have gone through this horrible ordeal earlier than Moscow, Volgodonsk and other Russian cities did.

For me, just like for other North Caucasus politicians, assessing the Chechen situation is not the main thing. My concern is what should be done, how do we act together, in order to ameliorate it, to keep it from exacerbating or, even worse, from repeating itself. What do I mean? Let me list the most crucial directions of our activity.

First. There has not been a single day, let alone week, when we did not try to convey our sincere concern over the developments to the Chechen leaders.  We have never missed an opportunity to try and help establish contacts between the federal authorities and the Chechen Republic, and seek ways to keep down the loss of life and destruction.

Second. We have done everything to promote an intra-Chechen dialogue. For today, Chechnya's society is not only split into those who stay in and those who live outside the republic. It is split into extremists and Defenceless, desperate peaceful civilians who do not know a place they can hide in from the terrible war.

Third. Psychological rehabilitation of Chechnya's society. We have to help Chechen citizens, who have been living in extreme conditions for more than a year or two, to see another world and to return to normal life as soon as possible.

This is a very serious problem. For the young people have seen nothing but war these past few years, and have learned nothing apart from handling weapons and getting what they need with the help of an assault rifle.

We have decided to open a Suvorov cadet school in Vladikavkaz. The first class will consist of 450 boys. Enrolment is underway. The cadets are representatives of 19 nationalities, including Chechens and representatives of other peoples of the Caucasus. This is an example of 11-year old boys of different nationalities living under one roof. This is of a colossal pedagogic importance.

I think that by the start of the next academic year the state should decide - on the federal level - what universities in what cities could provide tuition to Chechen young people of both sexes. Let us not forget that there are many interesting people among Chechens and the better conditions Chechen boys and girls have for studying - no expense should be spared - the better sense it will make.

The striving for the republic's mono-ethnic nature is counterproductive. It entails isolation from other spiritual cultures and a faulty tuition process. It takes kindness to overcome alienation. Psychological and humanitarian rehabilitation is a must. There is no avoiding it. And it should be done in a way, which would show even the most callused people that the authorities are making really constructive, humane steps.



'I believe that the introduction of troops in Chechnya was unavoidable. There was no more tolerating the tumour, which would have penetrated deep into Russia's body and contaminated it. Some people suggest building a cordon, but it would not help fence Chechnya off. For there are huge Chechen diasporas in Russia which would establish ties with bandit formations in the fenced-off republic. Moreover, terrorists of the world would find their way through the cordon.'

Yelena Panina holds that a two-pronged administrative system - the institute of military commandants and administration by the central authorities - should be preserved for at least another year. The army has to be present at the initial stage, she believes, because bandit sallies after the end of the war cannot be ruled out. Also, local governments should be founded in every district and every village - in the form of community or clan councils.

In Panina's opinion, a group of experts should be tasked to identify forms of administration best suited for the Chechen Republic. 'All peoples cannot be measured with the same yardstick. Every nation has its traditions and peculiarities. The members of the expert group, which must include Chechens, should travel to the republic to communicate with the common people and intellectuals, and then decide what form of administration is best suited for the nation. The Chechens may dislike the power of one man - whether a governor or a president. Teip relations are very strong there. If a representative of a clan or a teip is made the governor, other teips may be offended. The republic may prefer something like a council of sheiks, i.e. people highly respected in society,' Panina muses.

Having visited Chechnya, representatives of the Zemstvo Movement concluded: 'The people are ready for peaceful life. They are ready to work and to create.' Women in the streets would say: 'We want to work, we want to earn a normal salary and to send our children to study at schools and universities.' The delegation's members say that Chechens remember the Soviet times as the golden age - they had enough money, vacationers would come to them, and educational establishments worked in Grozny.

When representatives of the movement went to a school and asked students about their choice of a future vocation, the students said: teachers, physicians. Not a single boy wanted to be in the military, and not a single girl wanted to be a housewife.

Panina believes that the Chechen people have to have initial assistance in restoring the war-ravaged economy. To date, this assistance may take on the form of humanitarian supplies, and the movement's representatives have brought 17 tons of cargoes to the republic. Teachers got aids, because they have not been teaching to several years.

But it should not go on for long, Panina holds, or the people would get used to it and start sponging. So as soon as order is established in the republic, jobs must be established in and Russian capital should be attracted to the republic. Panina believes that both private and mixed companies, plus major government corporations may come to Chechnya.

The republic is rich in mineral resources which are not being mined these days. The production and processing of oil should be restored there. Housing construction and building materials production re two promising spheres of doing business in Chechnya. The tilled lands in Chechnya are so rich they can produce two harvests in a year. There are also mineral water springs which have to be restored.

"Nezavisimaya gazeta"



The current campaign cardinally differs from the 1994-96 campaign in both tactics and methods of delivering strikes. The troops have been given a free hand of sorts, and the country's leadership, while conducting an adequate monitoring in connection with concern for the fates of peaceful civilians, did not interfere in the Defence ministry's plans of organizing and conducting the counter-terrorism operation. At the same time, the international pressure notwithstanding, the Russian president and the premier categorically reject the idea of suspending hostilities and initiating peace talks. The military command in the North Caucasus is rather stable, and its backbone is made up of representatives of the Defence ministry and the General Staff.

What tactical innovations is the military command using in Chechnya? What is the peculiarity of the current hostilities as distinct from the previous campaign? An analysis of the open information received from Chechnya, prompts the following conclusions.

Just like previously, the troops, while readying to free the territory of Chechnya from terrorists, faced well-prepared rebel defences. Although the heavy armaments of the illegal armed formations had been destroyed in the course of the previous war, field commanders had managed to concentrate the remaining and newly supplied armaments - mine throwers, grenade launchers, shoulder-launched rockets, heavy machine-guns - on the directions of the Russian army's onslaught and to build mighty engineering Defence.

In this connection, the army group in Chechnya had to be fast reinforced - effectively within the month of September. On the eve of entering the Chechen territory, the federals had 5-7 times more troops and armaments than the terrorists. It should be noted that the Defence ministry's troops - no less than 50,000 men - were supplemented with the interior troops, the militia and the spetsnaz - no less than 40,000 troops - plus no less than 1,000 combat and other machines. The federal force had not been so large in numerical strength and equipment in the previous campaign.

The tasks and objectives, plus the directions, the groups were allocated were different. The left bank of the Terek was taken without combats to speak of, by a frontal attack from the North. Group West operated out of Mozdok, moving along the watersheds of the Terek and the Sundzha. Losses were thereby minimized. Group East attacked from both the North and the East. Many villages in Chechnya's East were taken without a single shot fired, following talks between the army command and the teip elders. All villages in Chechnya's flatlands were first sealed off and then 'mopped up'.

The troops moved ahead without leaving a single 'wild' village in the rear. The foothills provided dependable protection for checkpoints and patrols. Three months after the operation's start, a tactical landing party was airlifted to the South, to the gorges of the main mountain chain, to form the backbone of Group South. Now that the hostilities are waged in the mountains, the Southern direction has become strategic.

Importantly, politicians did not interfere with the federals' actions in this campaign. From the very beginning and to the end, the groups were directed by the same body of the Defence ministry, based on the staff of the North Caucasus Military District. Practically all tasks of delivering strikes were tackled by the combat aircraft and helicopters - 80% - and the artillery - 15-20%. Tanks and armoured vehicles were used in the already suppressed areas to destroy a limited number of targets, which, as a rule, presented no serious threat to the federal lives. Earlier, the artillery and tank and motorised vehicle units (paratroops) had been tasked to deliver strikes, which had led to an unnecessary loss of human life.

The united command in Chechnya effectively excluded hand-to-hand combats with the opponent. As distinct from the previous campaign, the troops moved ahead avoiding villages, and in the mountains, along the upper watersheds, in particular off roads, and wide manoeuvres were not rare. As a result, villages would be surrounded, and bandits faced the choice of either surrendering or retreating if they wanted to stay alive.

In the liberated areas, the army command helped build a rigid vertical of power riveted on representatives of military commandants' offices. They are in charge of not only security matters, but also are tasked to interact with the local elders, public and other healthy forces in tackling the urgent social and economic matters of the population. Salaries and bonus payments are paid to teachers, medics, the local militia, and other workers in budget-subsidized organisations by the military commandants' pursers.

Plenipotentiary representative of the Russian government in Chechnya Nikolai Koshman points out that the military commandants' offices will operate in Chechnya another 8-10 months. Moscow plans to use the time to stabilise the situation.

On the one hand, the current campaign is very similar to the previous one, in particular because the bands suppressed by the federals are adopting methods of guerilla warfare. But as distinct from the previous campaign, the federal centre demonstrates exceptional resolution to put an end to terrorism in Chechnya and establish the rule of the law there. The troops are active and thus far confident that politicians will not betray them, the way it had been after Khasavyurt.

Clearly, that the federal authorities will be using operational units of the Defence ministry and the interior ministry to fight guerillas. First deputy commander of the General Staff Colonel-General Valery Manilov reports that apart from the militia and spetsnaz, a motorised infantry division of 15,000 men will be stationed in the republic on a permanent basis, reinforced by a brigade of the interior troops (10,000 men) and a 1,000 strong unit of border guards. In all, they will make a third of the federal force currently staying in Chechnya. This is a lot. But it should be noted that the great number of troops are needed there in peacetime in connections with the factors of surprise attacks and great distances between units and garrisons. A regiment of Alpine riflemen will be stationed in the mountains, in Itum-Kale, in a fortress specifically constructed for the purpose. The main forces will be stationed in the flatlands - in the village of Kalinovskaya, in Khankala and Shali. The interior troops will also be stationed in the flatlands.

Chechnya's mountainous parts are hardly populated at all-mostly by farmers; there used to be resorts there, too. But economic returns are meager. The flatland is where the main oil and gas pipelines, power transmission lines, industrial enterprises (mostly refineries) and oil fields are located. The republic's economic recovery rivets on their development. They will have to be guarded, of course. Therefore, more troops will be stationed in the valleys.

Why mostly the Defence Ministry's troops? The answer is simple. The army possesses heavy armaments. This means that the centre does not exclude the eventuality of a scaled guerilla war and acts of terrorism, which will be hard to be combated with assault rifles only. CIA director George Tenet warns against future destabilizing factors in Chechnya, too. He spoke at hearings in the Senate committee on intelligence in early February to say that the CIA possesses information to the effect that Saudi millionaire Usama bin Laden plans to turn Chechnya into a 'training ground' for new generations of terrorists, which in his opinion threatened the US and might generate a chain reaction of terrorism in other parts of the world.

In this connection, one should not expect an early onset of peaceful life with the end of hostilities in Chechnya. Shootouts, combats and terrorism may scare the peaceful population of both Chechnya and Russia for a long time to come. But the Kremlin is confident it is right. A third of all planned allocations will be spent in 2000 to build a military infrastructure in Chechnya-townships of the military, fortresses, airfields, etc. This is yet another proof that the Kremlin is largely staking on the military factor in its plans for the recovery of the mutinous member of the Federation.

"Nezavisimaya gazeta"



The Russian Foreign Ministry views as unacceptable the accusing tone of the State Department's annual report on the state of human rights in 1999.

The US State Department has produced a regular annual report on the state of human rights in 194 countries of the world in 1999. The report contains a large section on the situation in Russia. The Russian authorities are accused of worsening the human rights situation in a number of regions, and above all violations of human rights in the course of the counter-terrorism operation in the North Caucasus.

The State Department bases its conclusions on unverified and biased data on the activities of the federal force in Chechnya. The report hushes down the scale of illicit activities of the Chechen terrorists, which has forced the Russian authorities to take extraordinary steps to install Constitutional order and defend the territorial integrity of Russia. The impression is that the State Department fully ignores the fact that one of the key objectives of the counter-terrorism operation is to restore human rights in the Chechen Republic and law and order there.

While making accusations against Russia, the State Department clearly underestimates the effort of Russian courts, prosecutors and civilian institutions to promote and protect all civil rights. The report makes no allowance for the measures taken by the Russian authorities to streamline constructive interaction and cooperation with international human rights mechanisms.

The accusing tone of the report is unacceptable, including attacks on the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is indicative of a biased, prejudiced vision of the human rights situation in Russia on the part of the State Department.

The anti-Russia tone is especially surprising against the background of systematic and massive violations of civil rights in Latvia and Estonia, which the American report ignores.

The situation in Kosovo is presented in a biased way. Violations of human rights in the course of the aggression of the US and NATO in Yugoslavia, and the continuing US air strikes at Iraq are fully hushed up.

Also, one feels surprised to see no section on the state of human rights in the US which many independent human rights champions believe is not perfect and not improving - in the matters of capital punishment, racial discrimination and anti-Semitism. Clearly, one can only endeavour to teach democracy and human rights only if one realistically observes them at home.



"Moscow News"

We have endeavoured to picture a model of international terrorism built in Chechnya by the Dudayev and Maskhadov regimes.

An analysis of the process indicates that the initial funds have been obtained on the first two levels of destruction: the destruction of social props and the undermining of the economy in both Chechnya and Russia as a whole. In 1991-92, over 1,200 homicides were committed in Chechnya for mercenary considerations - theft of property and money - ten times more than in 1989-90. The practice of killing for money and abducting people for ransom has become an important element of accumulating resources for the upper levels of terrorism. No neighbouring region felt safe. Violent crimes for mercenary purposes have been on the rise throughout the subsequent years in Daghestan, Kabarda-Balkaria, Ingushetia, North Ossetia and the Stavropol Territory. Between 1995 and the beginning of the known events in Daghestan in the fall of 1999, over 1,700 people were abducted officially, and over 2,000, unofficially, in the North Caucasus. Ransoms vacillated between US$ 10,000 and a million dollars plus. If all plans of terrorists came true, they could well have collected 200-300 million dollars. Appreciable funds were accumulated by Chechens under the Dudayev regime while plundering trains on the Grozny leg of the North Caucasus Railroad. In 1993-94, the overall harm done by this type of criminal activities topped US$ 4 million.

The other level of destruction, economic, focused on illicit sales of oil and petroleum products-no less than 40 million tons in 1991-94. All revenues were spent on arms, terrorist training bases and training, and international contacts. In that period, the terrorist geniuses organised and pulled off unprecedented thefts of financial resources with the use of bogus advice notes and Rossia bonds-to a tune of 600 million dollars. Chechnya was turned into the main transshipment point for diamonds and gold stolen at Russian mines.

Mechanisms of misappropriation of resources for the terrorist 'purse' were built in effectively all financial and economic centres of Russia. Before the first Chechen campaign, no less than 20% of banking in Russia, in Moscow included, was fully controlled by terrorists.

By the end of 1994, the thus collected funds could be used to finance other levels of destruction: destabilising Russia politically, undermining its state and spiritual pillars, and disrupting international relations. It was then that the international Islamic extremist centres and transnational corporations competitors of Russia recognised Chechnya's terrorist regime as a full partner in their geostrategic quests. Experts indicate that the Chechen regime received, in 1994-95, 1.5-2 billion dollars from international non-governmental organisations as payment for terrorist operations aimed to block Russia's oil pipelines.

Following the 1996 Khasavyurt accords, the Maskhadov regime started getting assistance from two directions: from the ideologists of a Global Islamic Revolution for the creation of an Islamic state in the Caucasus, and from transnational financial structures for control of the Caspian oil shipments. These plans took dozens of billions of dollars to be invested into Chechnya's terrorist regime, but the returns were even larger-hundreds of billions.

The terrorists expected to use the resources to tear the North Caucasus away from Russia, establish a similar Islamic state in the Volga Area and to control the production of diamonds and gold and no less than a half of the banking system in Russia.



Albania: MAC-Albania, Vakefi Islamik, Al-Haramein;

Algeria: Islamic Front of Salvation, Armed Islamic Group;

Afghanistan: Taleban movement, Islamic Party of Afghanistan, Al-Qaida;

Bulgaria: Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Supreme Moslem Council;

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Organization of Moslem Bosnian Youth, Oil Travnik factory, Baddar Bosna combine, Agency of Information and Documentation;

Britain: London branch of Vainakh, International Alert, Émigré Movement, Info Software 2000 Ltd., Centre of Islamic Enlightenment;

Germany: German-Caucasian Society, Herbera;

Egypt: Al-Jihad-al-Islamiy, Al-Jihad;

Jordan: Front of Islamic Salvation, Chechen and Caucasian-Cherkess communities, Gulf bank branches, Islamic Liberation Party, Cherkess Charity Society;

Iran: Naqshbandiya Sufi sect, Qadyriya Sufi sect, Adherents of Sunna;

Yemen: Islah Party, Salvation Group;

Qatar: Qatar Charity Society;

Kuwait: Society of Social Reforms, Kuwait Charity Organization of Islamic Heritage Resurrection, At-Tabliq val-Irshad, Islamic Constitutional Movement, Moslem Committee Asia, Teiba charity;

Lebanon: Organization of Islamic Ulemas;

Morocco: Islamic Conference;

United Arab Emirates: Regional bureau of Daava Islamiya (Islamic Call);

Pakistan: Jamaat-i-Islami (Jamaa Islamiya), Jamaat-e-Ulema Islam-DUI, Pakistani Society of Ulemas, Pakistani Islamic Society, Pakistani-Chechen Friendship Association, Jihad World Front, Safa, Allah's Mercy, Moujaheddin, Victory Force, Youth Wing;

Palestine: Hamas, Al-Jihad al Islamiy, Irreconcilables: Jamaa Islamiya va Tauhid, Asbat al-Ansar, Jamaat al-Irshad, Jamaat al-Ittihad;

Poland: Chechen Information Centre, Poland-Chechnya Committee;

Saudi Arabia: World Islamic League, Jamaat-ad-Daghestaniin-al-Qudama, Moslem Brotherhood, Islamic Congress, Committee for Daghestani Moslems' Victory, Daava Islamiaya, Al-Haramein Foundation, Al-Igasa, World Islamic Youth Assembly;

USA: Caucasian-American Chamber of Trade and Industry, Islamic Banking Group in Chechnya, Islamic Supreme Council of America;

Turkey: Shamyl Foundation, Jamaat-ad-Daghestaniin-al-Atraq, Right Way Party, Islamic Order, Mideastern Turkic Union, Turkey-Saudi Arabia Friendship Fund.

From the "Moscow News" files



Opinion by Sergei MARKOV, director, Political Research Institute

When the federal troops have 'mopped up' the whole of Chechnya, they will not have won a complete victory yet. A victory means a pro-Russia civil administration and free elections involving all political organisations favouring Chechnya's secession from Russia. Once the pro-Russia Chechen organisations triumph in the election that would be the end of the Chechen campaign.

Is this possible? The current opinion is that the majority of Chechens want independence. I insist on the contrary: what with the deep split in Chechnya's society, the majority of the republic's population stands for staying in Russia. They will win a landslide victory in case of free elections staged in the region with the participation of all political forces.

Chechnya is inhomogeneous, of course. There are six conventional groups in its population, and their positions have to be heeded while charting Moscow's policy line for the North Caucasus and preparing elections.

The first group: Chechens and Russians living North of the Terek. This is the 'Russian Chechnya' proper. Its members had a very negative vision of the anti-Russia hysteria in Grozny. They resisted Dudayev de facto. They formed the first opposition to Dudayev.

The second group: the populations of the flatlands, the valley teips living in between the Terek and the Mountainous Chechnya. They are tired of lawlessness. They are rather civilised and will support a force capable of establishing firm order in Chechnya.

The third group: the population of Grozny, the industrial advance guard of the republic. Up to 40% of Chechnya's population lived in Grozny before the 1991 mutiny. Close to 30% of the Grozny population were Chechens, and 50%, Russians. Grozny was a rather cosmopolitan city culturally and socially. Grozny Chechens were initially swept by the dreams of independence, of Chechnya as a new Kuwait. But they were soon sobered by the realities of the Dudayev regime and later of the Maskhadov regime. The majority saw that Chechnya's independence threatens them with poverty, endangered life, rightlessness and no prospects of normalcy. Their political stance is therefore as follows: the passive majority dreams of a return of Russian authorities in Chechnya but has no political or military means of expressing its opinion. The active minority is very anti-Russia, having monopolized all economic, political and military resources.

The fourth group: the population of the Mountainous Chechnya, members of mountainous teips. They are the main military force of the anti-Russia formations. Separatism and the laws of adat (traditional, effectively mediaeval life) are the strongest there. The people there would support no state authority and would fight for decades any central power. This part of Chechnya's population is consistently anti-Russia.

The fifth group: Russians, not only those who stayed in Chechnya, but also those who fled to Russia. Why is their opinion important? As the author sees it, the only legitimate reason for the proclamation of Chechnya's independence is a referendum of all citizens of Chechnya in accordance with the norms of international law and in the presence of foreign observers representing prestigious organisations-the UN, OSCE, CIS, CU. For this reason, no voting in Chechnya-whether elections or a referendum on independence-can be seen as legitimate unless it involves Russians residing of Chechnya before 1991 and evicted by bandits and officials. They make up a quarter of Chechnya's population. They fully support the establishment of a strictly pro-Russia administration in Chechnya.

The sixth group: the diaspora in Russia, consisting of ethnic Chechen refugees in 1992-99, and those who have been living in large Russian cities for longer period of time. On the whole, the diaspora is pro-Russia.

The evident conclusion is that of the six groups, three are all pro-Russia, one is fully anti-Russia and two are of two minds.

The forecast is therefore logical: in case of a referendum or elections in Chechnya, the advocates of staying in Russia will certainly win.

One important task of the federal government is to establish political and other institutes to enable the pro-Russia citizens of Chechnya to express their will and establish the proper power. In this case, political decisions will be supported by a majority of the people of Chechnya.

One important consideration: Chechnya's territory can be divided into three parts militarily. One is the Northern territory which has easily fallen into the hands of the federal troops in view of the absolute domination there of pro-Russia Chechens and Russians.

Another is the flatlands where anti-Russia and pro-Russia sentiments are equal. There are problems there, but nothing that cannot be resolved.

Finally, there is the mountainous part populated with very anti-Russia people. A low-intensity war is likely to continue there for a long time to come. Russia has to learn to live with it.

Also, albeit there are two active political forces-anti-Russia and pro-Russia-neither really wants Chechnya's complete independence.

"Rossiiskie vesti"



Deputy premier and plenipotentiary envoy of the Russian government in Chechnya Nikolai KOSHMAN discusses initial steps to normalise life in the region

The October decree by the Russian president provides for the restoration of life-supporting systems, economy and bodies of law-enforcement in the republic. In the Northern districts-Shelkovskaya, Nadterechny and Naurskaya-whose population approaches 300,000, 90% of all local administrations have already been formed. In Gudermes and other similar districts, the index is no higher than 60%. Apart the local administrators and department heads, all industrial and state farm (a survivor of the Soviet times) managers are all appointed. What is in the making is a civilian administration vertical.

Other districts are ruled by military commandants who have the local interior departments, FSB and draft stations subordinated to them. The district commandant is also the commander of all troops stationed in his district. This 'two-pronged' power system is a temporary affair, of course, but it cannot be done without today.

The system operates as follows. The commandant and the interior department chief register all residents of their district and list them in groups: pensioners, mothers with children in need of financial assistance, teachers, medics. Each list is then signed and stamped by the local government, and we verify them and duly forward them to the pension fund, the ministry of health, the ministry of education. From thence, money is transferred to the settlement account of the directorate of restoration. The director of restoration gives the money to the commandant who distributes the money to teachers, medics, and pensioners as listed.

Foodstuffs-mostly flour, sugar, vegetable oil, baby food-is delivered to the liberated districts. Canned meat is only delivered to hospitals, senior citizens' homes, children's recreation camps, etc.

Clearly, Russia cannot feed all the hungry. Since the majority of the flatlands' population are farmers, everything must be done to enable them to sow grain, grow grapes, keep cattle, restore housing and auxiliary facilities, cultural institutions-and be duly paid for their work. Work is underway to restore the means of transportation, power supplies, poultry farms, and distilleries. Everything must be done to teach people to work, to channel their lives into a peaceful, constructive bed. It is an open secret that many Chechens, especially young ones, have become bandits for want of other methods of winning daily bread.

People are coming to understand that if Russia will not help them, nobody will. This understanding is stronger in the flatlands, of course. The people know that in the three years of Ichkeria's independence, there have not appeared 'taps of gold' in their homes. They have had to forget about normal life, having effectively returned to the Middle Ages. Not a single school or hospital has been built in that time. Only the elite have built several villas for themselves. The young people are ten years behind in their development. Teenagers of 13 or 14 can neither read nor write and have to be taught from scratch.

There are a lot of sick people. TB is rampant. We are now X-raying the population. Hospital conditions are so bad that women give birth at sub-zero temperatures.

Speaking of a program of restoration work for the year, we are planning only the most urgent jobs: to give power, water and heat to the people, to open schools for kids. The program for next year will also provide for, say, the restoration of high school and university education, in particular the oil university, the teachers' training institute and vocational schools.

We have plans to form local military units, in particular two brigades of the ministry of emergencies, where young people would undergo army service and help restore normal life in the republic at the same time. In the years long past, Chechens were working at construction sites throughout Russia. Let them now work in the native parts.

"Russian Federation Magazine", February, 2000



(An excerpt from the book "In the First Person. Conversations With Vladimir Putin')

Question: Your objective in Chechnya is more or less clear: to exterminate bandits. Do you know what you want to do in Chechnya after that?

Answer: Right, the military operation has to be completed first. What does it mean? Crush major bandit formations, i.e. units of ten bandits and more. The law enforcement agencies must be reinforced in parallel, and bodies of authority and management restored. Then come the social tasks-schools and hospitals. An active effort to create new jobs. Then stage elections. The republic should also elect a member of its own to the Duma. Depending on the developments, introducing direct presidential rule is a possibility.

Question: Direct presidential rule? For how long?

Answer: For 18-24 months. The time must be used to restore all bodies of authority and management and go over to other political procedures: elect the local governments and the republic's head. But first, build the proper base and prepare people that can be relied on.

Question: Do you mean people appointed by Moscow? Russians or Chechens?

Answer: There can be options, mixed leadership included. There are many possibilities. We have to decide. We have to decide proceeding from business qualities, rather than from nationality.

Question: This has been done before, albeit in a different format-elections, bodies of authority, social assistance. And then bandits have won back Grozny, hands down. And there is no guarantee of non-repetition.

Answer: You want to know if there is a guarantee? I can only repeat: bandits will be exterminated. Whoever takes up arms will be annihilated. And we are ready to deal with all others. Let them elect the republic's head. We are ready to sign an accord with Chechnya. Do you know how many agreements on the delineation of powers we have signed? Humankind has amassed a lot of options of different peoples coexisting in one state. Yes, we will need a compromise solution, and we will seek it.  But nobody will ever force any decision on us.

Question: Will we not force a decision on them? Do you really think there is a single Chechen who will not be seeking revenge for somebody?

Answer: Russia has been provoked into doing what it is doing. Bandits have robbed their people, Chechnya blind. For three years, they have been robbing people of wages, pensions, and subsidies. The majority of people in Chechnya today place the blame at the door of those who has been running Chechnya all these years.

Question: But you want to dictate conditions, do you not?

Answer: Absolutely not. We are using force to bandits, not the people. They are the ones who have tried to dictate to Chechens a way to live and a God to worship. We will establish order, and when peace and tranquillity rule in the republic, we will stage elections and agree with the new leadership on the delineation of powers between Chechnya and the Federal Centre, provide the understanding is that we will live together. Do you know of other options? Withdraw again, and wait until they attack us again? Was it not a crime?  We abandoned the common Chechens and placed Russia in a losing position.

Question: What about the army?

Answer: The army will do its job and return to the barracks.





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