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DOCUMENTS AND TESTIMONIES

Izvestia,

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)

 

SITUATION AROUND MILITARY UNITS AND COMPOUNDS IN CHECHNYA IN 1992

TO CHAIRMAN OF THE DEFENCE AND SECURITY COMMITTEE

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

 

REPORT TO GENERAL PROSECUTOR OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

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

 

TELEGRAM TO CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPREME SOVIET OF THE CHECHEN-INGUSHI REPUBLIC,

CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE CHECHEN-INGUSHI REPUBLIC

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

 

TO COMMANDER OF FORCES OF THE NORTH CAUCASUS MILITARY DISTRICT

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

 

FROM AN APPEAL TO THE LEADERS OF THE NATIONAL CONGRESS OF THE CHECHEN PEOPLE (NCCP)

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

 

APPEAL

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

DEAR COMPATRIOTS!

DEAR COMRADES!

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)

 

RESOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT OF CHECHEN REPUBLIC

November 8, 1991

No.25

Grozny

"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.

Kh.Akhmadov,

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

 

FROM A DECREE

of the President of the Chechen Republic

December 16, 1991

Grozny

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

 

FROM A STATEMENT

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

 

FROM THE NEWSPAPER "VOICE OF THE CHECHEN REPUBLIC"

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

 

DECREE

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.

T.Kh.Pashayev,

deputy director of the factory

M.G.Gamzatov,

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.

INTERFAX

October 27, 1994

DZHOKHAR DUDAYEV: RUMOURS ABOUT VIOLENCE AGAINST RUSSIANS IN CHECHNYA UNFOUNDED

"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.

 

CONVERSATION INTERCEPTED BY RADIO BETWEEN DZHOKHAR DUDAYEV AND AZERBAIJAN'S FORMER INTERIOR MINISTER ISKANDER GAMIDOV, LEADER OF THE BOSKURT PARTY

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.

 

INTERFAX

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."

 

FROM THE TESTIMONY GIVEN BY MERCENARY

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."

 

FROM AN INTERVIEW GIVEN BY RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN IN 1996

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.

 

BASED ON MATERIALS OF GENERAL PROCESUTOR'S OFFICE OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

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

 

JOINT COMMUNIQUE

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

 

PRINCIPLES

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.

 

EXCERPT FROM SPEECH OF RUSSIAN MINISTER OF INTERIOR ANATOLY KULIKOV IN STATE DUMA

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?»

 

TREATY ON PEACE AND PRINCIPLES OF RELATIONS

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

Moscow

May 12, 1997

 

NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA ON THE FIRST CHECHEN CAMPAIGN

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.

 

RODINA MAGAZINE. DISCUSSION OF THE SITUATION IN THE NORTH CAUCASUS, 2000

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.

EXCERPT FROM OGONYOK MAGAZINE

2000

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.

FALSE LETTERS OF ADVICE

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."

EXCERPT FROM AN OFFICIAL DOCUMENT