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I am a bit suprised by Khattab invoking peace upon Allah (s.w.t.):
> "We are fighting where it is convenient for us, not where
> it is convenient for the Russians. Allah, peace be upon him, is with
> us and we have no fear of death."
Maybe Khattab is not that learned, which is a bit strange for a one time
Saudi resident, or maybe the quote is
"not quite right".
NS>> **It might be correct that "those forces", or some of them, will
NS>> calm down, but this doesn't change the facts. With the exception
NS>> of Basayev's and Raduyev's hostage-takings in Russia and Daghestan
NS>> during CW1 (Dudayev btw. declared that Basayev would be
NS>> court-martialed for that, though he didn't live to take care of
NS>> it, he was killed in a Russian terrorist attack),
> By which definition do you call this attack 'terrorist'? Dudayev was
> not even a civilian. (Actually, I think in the old Soviet RSFSR
> Criminal Code a 'terrorist act' was defined as murder of a high
> official, but I doubt you would rely on a source like that).
So, if a Chechen kill Putin today, it won't be called any terror by
NS>> there hasn't
NS>> been one single act of terrorism that anybody was able to hang on
NS>> official or Islamist Chechen fighters.
> What about the hijacking of a passenger ship in Turkey during the
> first war? What about the hijacked plane during the current war? I
> mean the hijackers who are onw to be tried (or already under trial?)
> in Saudi Arabia.
And how many people were killed by them?
NS>> So if some hypocritical
NS>> opportunist politicians want to deceive their own bad conscience
NS>> on Chechnya by convincing themselves that the Chechens are
NS>> "terrorists", they'd better come up with some evidence quickly.
NS>> It's hard enough, presumably, to suppress the knowledge about the
NS>> terrorist acts and war crimes committed by the Yeltsin-Putin gang,
NS>> and the sneaking nausea caused by the close cooperation with such
NS>> Nazi-style fellows. N.S.
> These 'Nazi-style fellows' are only guilty, at worst, of the same kind
> of colonial warfare that Allied, not Axis, powers were engaged in, all
> the way until the 70s. No need to involve the Nazis, who really
> committed much worse crimes. Especially right after the 60th
> anniversary of the Babiy Yar massacres, done by the Nazis in Kiev; in
> the massacres 200,000 civilians perished -- this number alone is
> greater than the alleged number of civilian casualties of both
> Chechnya wars.
Peercentage is the key. Poland had a _highest_ pecentage casaulties in
the WWII (1 of 6 killed) - statistics of the Chechen war are similiar.
http://www.zus.cc.pl tego potrzebujesz !
DESTRUCTION OF KHATTAB'S CHIEF OF INTELLIGENCE IN DETAIL
KHANKALA, October 1, 2001. /from RIA Novosti correspondent/--Russian
law-enforcers shot dead Abu Yakub, Khattab's chief of intelligence,
in the course of a special operation in Chechnya.
The Russian Interior Ministry provisional press-centre officials told
RIA Novosti correspondent that this had happened during the Sunday
combat in Starye Atagi village (Grozny rural district). Two
mercenaries were killed, and another was captured.
Participants in the special operation told RIA Novosti that the
bandits had concealed themselves in a well-camouflaged cache arranged
in a street of Starye Atagi. As soon as bandits realized they had
been detected they began shooting on federal law-enforcers. Three of
them were killed in return fire, and one gunman was captured.
The body of the Arab, Khattab's chief of intelligence, has been
identified and evidence found to confirm his identity. Two other
killed persons were gunmen's commanders.
The captured person is the so-called emir of an armed formation
subordinated to Khattab. His identity has been established, but his
name is not reported for the investigation interests. He has started
to give testimony.
A large number of weapons and ammunition was confiscated from the
bandits' cache, including a self-made mortar with combat load, two
grenade-launchers, 7 Kalashnikov assault rifles with clips, two
underbarrel grenade-launcher rounds, 18 combat grenades, 3 artillery
shells and 400 automatic weapon cartridges.
RUSSIAN BORDER GUARDS COME UNDER CHECHEN GRENADE-LAUNCHER FIRE ON
STAVROPOL, October 1, 2001. /from RIA Novosti correspondent Valery
Olyanchuk/--Militants fired Sunday evening at a position of Russian
border guards assigned to the Kerigo border unit deployed in the
Chechen sector of the Russian-Georgian border.
The press service at the North Caucasus Regional Department of the
Russian Frontier Service reported Monday the militants were shooting
from underbarrel grenade launchers.
Before the engagement, the border guards registered that militants
encountered a signal mine planted in the mountains. The border guards
opened immediate fire from a mounted automatic grenade launcher. The
militants responded with automatic fire.
No casualties among Russian personnel had been reported. The area of
engagement had been also shelled from a mortar.
Reconnaissance groups started searches in the location in the early
hours of Monday.
> The Russians were locked in negotiations with Saudi authorities over the two
> hijackers - Iriskhan Arsayev and Deni Magomerdzayev - who survived after the
> plane, which initially carried 162 passengers and 12 crew, was stormed by
> commandos in Medina on Friday.
> Russian officials identified the third hijacker, who was killed in the
> operation, as Supyan Arsayev. An air stewardess was stabbed to death and a
> Turkish passenger also died. Another stewardess who had earlier been stabbed
> was among those freed.
Oh. So they weren't shot in the head by Saudis now?
http://www.zus.cc.pl tego potrzebujesz !
--- In chechnya-sl@y..., ryp <ryp@c...> wrote:
> I met Marie in Tiblisi before she went in with Maggie O'Kane. I
don't think either of them got very far inside. Marie's story that she
won an award for was mostly about her escape back out over the
mountains. I think you can find it if you search.
> Khattab was pretty busy at the time in Khankala and other spots.
Thanks for the hint Robert,
I've found her article in our archives that was published by The
Sunday Times on 12th of Dec. 1999. But, as far as I know in the second
of week of Dec. Grozny was completely surrounded by the Russian forces.
I guess, she had reached Komsomolskoye(which is south of Grozny)below
is her story about this village:
Moscow's Wrath Leaves No Place for Chechens to Hide
From the mountains, Komsomolskaya looks as it must from the cockpit
of a plane-a place of white roofs, dirt streets and barn yards of
cows and chickens. Smoke rises from the few chimneys, yet pilots dive
on this village day and night. All last week Russian artillery
crashed into homes.
The inhabitants of the village are no different from villagers
anywhere. It is not a military base. The victims are the old, the
poor and women and children. Any sons who may be fighting with the
rebels are not here.
The worst hit so far have been the Zakriyev family. They are too poor
to have a basement. Dakov, the 51-year-old father, works as a
labourer on building sites and their house is made of mud and straw
Last week the family was asleep on the floor of the front room when a
missile crashed into the house and exploded. Adem, Dakov's
18-year-old son, died instantly.
"I was knocked out," said Virlant, 39, his mother. "The crying of the
children woke me." The youngest of her four surviving children,
two-year-old Medina, is now a very quiet child who clings constantly
The family buried Adem just before dawn because, they say, the
Russians have been bombing funerals. Komsomolskaya is a village in shock.
The Sunday Times
Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything about her meeting with
Khattab. You said that Khattab was pretty busy at that time (Nov-Dec)
in Khankala. My understanding is that Khattab and his mujahedin were
in the mountains that time and they never defended Grozny. Remember
the Chechen withdrawal from Grozny in February?. Basayev is losing
his foot, gets operated in Alkhan-Kala and Khattab's group after 40km
march is reaching Basayev's fighters there, taking Shamil and the
wounded back to the mountains.
Anyway, it still puzzles me, when and where Marie met Khattab, but I
think it's possible that she could have talked to him somewhere in
the mountains. She is a very brave lady, sending reports also from
the other "hot spots" like Kosovo, Afghanistan, Erithrea, East Timor.
The below is excerpted Marie's story and her escape from Chechnya:
Highway to the Danger Zone
That's the road Marie Colvin travels to the world's battlefields. Her
vivid writing, sometimes first person, and clear point of view make
for compelling reading in the Sunday Times of London. But do her
techniques cross the line? By Sherry Ricchiardi
From AJR, April 2000
THE PITCH BLACKNESS slipped away, stealing their
only cover as they drove through a snowy mountain pass deep in
Chechen-held territory. The first shafts of sunlight served as a
Suddenly, it came. A bone-chilling screech shattered the quiet of the
gray, subzero morning in the towering mountains south of Grozny.
Russian warplanes swooped like menacing hawks, spitting fire onto
the narrow, dirt road. At the center of a bull's-eye was a lone
four-wheel-drive vehicle carrying Chechen fighters and one of Europe's
most daring war correspondents.
There was no time for Marie Colvin to wonder if she had gone too
far this time, smuggling herself past Russian checkpoints into the
heart of the carnage. Trapped in the back seat with no escape route,
she braced for the final impact.
Milliseconds later, slivers of glass and steel went flying as a
burst of high-caliber machine gun fire ripped into the back end of the
mud-caked vehicle. Operating on instinct, Colvin scrambled free of the
wreckage, running with Chechen fighters into a field of thorny bushes
and barren birch trees, scant cover from an airattack. She remembers
thinking, "This is a death trap."
For the next nine hours, Colvin lay with her body pressed to the
frozen earth, not daring to move as Russian planes continued to bomb
and strafe the sloping valley in a morbid game of hide-and-seek. Once,
a shell exploded so close that shrapnel sliced off the tree branches
that hung above her.
"It was torturous. I knew if I cracked and ran, I was dead," the
reporter recalls. After dark, she crept back to the road and thumbed a
ride with Chechen fighters returning from the firing line in a rickety
1950s-vintage pickup truck. By daybreak she was deeper into forbidden
In December, the reporter shared a 20-by-6-foot filth-encrusted
sleeping area with more than a dozen Chechen fighters in a remote
command post. Once, when hard lumps disrupted her sleep, she reached
down and pulled out two hand grenades. The rebels "would come off the
firing line and just collapse," Colvin says, adding, "They were very
kind to me."
A Chechen commander paved the way by announcing: "There are no
women here. Just a journalist." To his fighters, many of them Islamic,
the edict was a release from conventions based on gender. "They were
very respectful. They weren't protective, just accepting," says
Colvin, who was accompanied by a Russian photographer working for the
Yet journalists covering brutal wars, such as in Chechnya, have
few options. They either report the story from the "safe" side,
allowing their activities to be directed and monitored, or they defy
authority and smuggle themselves beyond safety zones to act as
"I didn't see American journalists inside Chechnya," Colvin says.
"I felt very strongly about going to look at the inside story. Here we
have a former superpower with a military of 1.5 million that is
indiscriminately bombing and killing civilians. Everybody else was
covering it from the Russian side." In December, she went to her
editor and volunteered to slip inside.
To readers in London, there is nothing unusual about a
front-page story that tells them, "Pinned down by fire, Marie Colvin
shares the anguish of the Chechen rebels" or a paragraph that scolds
Russian pilots for bombing civilians. Her stories tend to center on
the suffering of innocents--women, children, elderly victims--or
underdog combatants in pursuit of what might be considered a noble or
She had this to say about the Chechen rebels: "There is this
notion that Chechens all are thugs, and if you go in as a journalist
you could be beheaded. That certainly was not true of the people I met
there. I felt very passionately that [the war] is wrong. I saw
indiscriminate killing of civilians."
WHILE COLVIN WAS NO stranger to danger, the travel-at-your-own-risk
bar was raised in Chechnya, a place she calls "far worse" than Kosovo.
Staying alive became an obsession after a road offering her best
chance for retreat was captured by Russian paratroopers.
A reign of terror followed, with Russian MiGs firing on any
vehicle that attempted to pass. Alternative routes were blocked by
heavy fighting. The only possibility of escape into neighboring
Georgia was over a 12,600-foot ice-covered mountain where the risks of
robbery and kidnapping became new enemies.
It was, says Colvin, "a terrible nightmare" that drove her to
break her own rules about making herself the focus of a story. "I am a
city girl, and I am not particularly fit. I never planned to climb a
12,000-foot mountain. It was test enough that it was worth writing
about," she explains. "I feel I played chicken with my life a lot
during that trip."
Within an hour we were zigzagging up a mountain on a 6 inch-wide
path covered in snow and ice. I was carrying a pack with a satellite
telephone and a computer and wearing a flak jacket. I felt every
ounce... I regretted every cigarette I had ever smoked--and I had
smoked a lot in the past few days: cheap Russian tobacco that gave me
some respite from the bombs and the decisions... We walked up the
slope, looking down thousands of feet into a gorge that one slip would
take us into. Magomet [a guide] hauled me by the hand to the last
summit. I slept for an hour sitting against a stone in the snow until
Magomet woke us at dawn with a warning that we were still in Chechnya
and would have to move.
It was a discouraging day. Traveling up the next river, I stepped
in the wrong spot and plunged through the ice up to the hip into
raging torrent below.
The next 12 hours were passed in a daze, one foot in front of the
other, up and over another mountain. The air was so thin that I could
not fill my lungs, and the wind was so strong that several times I was
almost blown off the mountainside. Just before dawn we reached a
snow-covered field amid the peaks.
For the next two days we lived in the shepherd's hut on flour and
water. I supplemented the porridge once with wild onions. They tasted
horrible but they would give us some vitamins. Magomet gave me a
pistol loaded with nine bullets--telling me not to shoot a wild animal
until it was 10 meters away but to shoot a man the moment one
appeared--and set off to find a way forward.
In the riveting account, Colvin described how on December 29, the
bedraggled group came upon a pile of stones that marked the Georgian
border. But, before they could cross, shots rang out. As they dove for
cover more rounds were fired. Colvin remembers thinking, "It seems
unfair that here, yards from the border, we will die."
On instinct, the guide began shouting wildly in Chechen. Suddenly,
the gunfire stopped. Then, the beginning of a miracle. Just before
dark, a helicopter thundered into view and quickly landed. As Colvin
rushed down the slope she was greeted by a hulk of a man, a Hemingway
figure in white beard and blue snow jacket. He uttered words that
would become indelible: "Jack Hariman, American Embassy. Are we glad
to find you!"
Back in London, her editor passed the news to family and friends
that "Marie was out alive," then cracked a bottle of champagne to
celebrate. Colvin, physically exhausted, climbed into the helicopter
and headed to the Georgian capital of Tblisi toward what, at the
moment, she craved the most: a steaming hot bath and a clean bed
Kadyrov Reports On His Middle East Tour
TEXT: Gazeta.Ru - combined Report
Upon his return from a weeklong visit of four Middle East countries,
the Head of the Chechen Civil Administration Akhmad Kadyrov spoke
optimistically about the results of his meetings with state officials
in Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. However, Kadyrov was not so upbeat
about his contacts with representatives of Chechen communities in
"This trip was very important for me as I had been branded a national
traitor. I had been accused of apostasy, and it had been said that I
have betrayed Islam and gone over to the side of the infidels,"
Kadyrov told the press in Moscow on Saturday.
On his 6-day trip Akhmad Kadyrov visited Syria, Egypt, Iraq, and
Jordan. He held talks with leaders of those states and with religious
leaders, and also met with Chechen nationals living permanently in
Kadyrov said that his tour had been planned long before the terrorist
attacks in the US on September 11th. Chechnya's Chief Administrator
passed messages from Vladimir Putin to the leaders of the countries
Kadyrov claimed that the primary goal of his Middle East visit had
been achieved. The four leaders of the Arab states whom he met with
in an official capacity, all backed Russia's policy in Chechnya and
said they would endevour to block financial aid to Chechen rebels
emanating from their countries and to assist the restoration of the
In the near future the Egyptian leadership is to discuss rendering
financial and humanitarian aid to Chechnya. And Iraq's deputy prime
minister of Tareq Aziz promised that a representation office of a
Russian oil company or a firm employing specialists from Chechnya
would soon open in Baghdad.
The unofficial part of Kadyrov's visited included meetings with
leading representatives of the Chechen diasporas in the Middle East
states. Unfortunately, those contacts failed to be as fruitful as his
For instance in Jordan, where the 15 thousand strong Chechen
community is considered the most prosperous and influential and the
in the Middle East (Chechen nationals even hold high state posts and
some of them are members of the parliament), he failed to meet with
The planned meeting with community heads was cancelled due to
security reasons, the Jordanian foreign ministry explained to Kadyrov.
Kadyrov said he was not surprised by such an outcome. According to
Kadyrov in Jordan some Chechens support Maskhadov, others - Basayaev.
"Or, maybe, some information came from Khattab; they always said he
comes from Jordan," Kadyrov surmised.
Kadyrov said that in Iraq he had discovered something interesting
about the notorious and elusive warlord Khattab. Iraqi officials
informed him that Khattab "is not a Jordanian, but a Yemeni Jew".
"He does not have Islam, because he does not pray, and the
information according to which he is a Jew is clearly correct, for he
named his daughter Sara," Kadyrov said.
Speaking of the situation in Chechnya that noticeably deteriorated
even in the course of his brief absence Kadyrov did not shine with
Kadyrov said there are no grounds for talks with most rebels and
ousted president of the de-facto independent yet unrecognized Chechen
Republic of Ichkeria (1996-99) Aslan Maskhadov. Kadyrov claimed that
even if the federal troops are withdrawn from the rebels and their
leaders are doomed.
"Imams are killed. There heads of district police departments are
killed ? He (Maskhadov), as a Muslim, is responsible for all this
blood," Kadyrov said.
Kadyrov then said that the federal forces are "not fighting well,"
and said that bad coordination between the various military forces
and federal ministries was one of the main drawbacks.
Kadyrov also spoke of the expected US attacks on Afghanistan: He said
that bombing Afghanistan would be senseless - civilians would die
while militants would escape using secret routes.
But Kadyrov said there could be no talks with terrorists either in
Chechnya or in Afghanistan ? "There is too much blood on their hands
Also Kadyrov said he had evidence of contacts between the Chechen
separatists and Osama bin Laden.
"I know about such contacts, and what's more, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev
(former president of Chechnya-Ichkeria) was Ichkeria's representative
in Afghanistan, occupying the Soviet embassy building in Kabul, and
talks were held between Movladi Udugov (chief Ichkeria ideologist)
and the Taleban on mutual recognition," Kadyrov said on Saturday.
When asked if there is a possibility that bin Laden might be hiding
in Chechnya, Kadyrov replied a firm no and noted that the Taliban
were not hiding the fact that the world?s most wanted man is on
Kadyrov added that fundamentalist Islamic militants from Afghanistan
and "from all corners of the Earth" are fighting on the side of the
Chechen rebels and claimed that there were also Chechens in bin
01 October 13:58
09:47 Sep.1, 2001
Russian Forces Launch New Operations in Chechnya
Russian forces launched new operations against separatist guerrillas
in Chechnya on Sunday, news agencies reported, a day after a series
of coordinated attacks by rebels on a series of towns in the region.
The rebels announced no new activity, but said the aims of the
operation had been achieved several days after President Vladimir
Putin issued a call for disarmament and talks.
Itar-Tass news agency quoted an Interior Ministry spokesman as saying
that 15 operations had been undertaken in the regional capital Grozny
and in areas to the south and east where many of Saturday's rebel
attacks had occurred.
Explosives and weapons were seized, 10 suspects were detained and one
was killed after offering armed resistance.
RIA news agency said one policeman was killed and another was injured
when gunmen attacked a building housing security forces in Avtury.
Other reports said two officers had died and 19 were injured in
Saturday's rebel attack on a police station in Kurchaloi. They said
no deaths were recorded in a similar strike on military and police
buildings in Shali, further west.
News reports on Saturday had put the toll in Kurchaloi at three dead
and 14 wounded with four dead in Shali. A rebel spokesman had put
security forces killed at 200 or more.
The www.kavkaz.org Internet site quoted rebel commanders as saying
that "the main aims of the operation have been achieved with a
minimum of losses and in the shortest possible time".
The attacks were the first since Putin last Monday gave the rebels 72
hours to start discussing disarmament with Moscow. Russian officials
have since acknowledged making informal contacts with some rebels,
but with little effect on events.
Chechnya's chief military commandant, Sergei Kizyun, told the TV6
channel that authorities were getting many enquiries about what
Putin's statement meant for those handing in weapons.
"There have been many instances where relatives have tried to make
contact with military commandants to find out what was meant by the
president's statements, what the consequences might be for people who
give in weapons," he said.
Officers, he said, were explaining that those having committed no
crimes involving blood could go free.
The attacks occurred weeks after rebels launched a big offensive
against Russian, attacking several towns and shooting down a
helicopter carrying two generals and eight other top officers.
Russia has secured control over Chechen territory since launching its
second major offensive in the region in 1999, but its troops still
face attacks and ambushes. //Reuters//
Monday, October 01, 2001, 2:10:05 AM, Norbert Strade <nost@...> wrote:
>> (Dudayev btw. declared that Basayev would be NS> court-martialed
>> for that, though he didn't live to take care of NS> it, he was
>> killed in a Russian terrorist attack),
>> By which definition do you call this attack 'terrorist'? Dudayev was
>> not even a civilian. (Actually, I think in the old Soviet RSFSR
>> Criminal Code a 'terrorist act' was defined as murder of a high
>> official, but I doubt you would rely on a source like that).
NS> Dudayev certainly was a civilian in his role as Chechen president.
Russian soldiers are civilians in their role of purchasers on a
market, yet when they are killed, you don't call it terrorism. And
besides, the role of Commander-in-Chief is not really separate from
the role of President.
NS> was in this role when he was murdered in the most treacherous way.
NS> Remember, he was in a call to Russia on his sat-phone, when he was
NS> brought to connect long enough to be located by satellite technology,
NS> with the promise that he could talk to a Russian leader (probably
NS> Chernomyrdin). This connection was then used to home in on his phone
NS> with missiles. Though Dudayev might have been very naive on that day,
NS> regarding his experience with Russian "honour", this was still a
NS> treacherous act and the assassination of a foreign head of state. That
NS> it happened under the pretext of peace talks was especially disgusting.
NS> I'd call this behaviour by the Russian authorities "terrorist".
This 'head of state' was not recognized by any state. He was the
supreme commander of a military structure at war with Russia. He was
assassinated while performing the duties of such commander, namely
trying to talk to Russian officials. I see nothing terrorist in this.
Remember. from the viewpoint of Russia - and international law,
because nobody recognized Chechnya - this was a big police operation
against an armed insurgence. What's wrong with killing the head of the
>> These 'Nazi-style fellows' are only guilty, at worst, of the same
>> kind of colonial warfare that Allied, not Axis, powers were engaged
>> in, all the way until the 70s. No need to involve the Nazis, who
>> really committed much worse crimes. Especially right after the 60th
>> anniversary of the Babiy Yar massacres, done by the Nazis in Kiev;
>> in the massacres 200,000 civilians perished -- this number alone is
>> greater than the alleged number of civilian casualties of both
>> Chechnya wars.
By the way, according to a recent Russian TV report (if I understood
it correctly), only half of the Babiy Yar victims were Jews.
[regarding Putinites being 'Nazi-style':]
NS> No. There is a difference to the "standard" colonial warfare of Western
NS> powers, as brutal and criminal it might have been.
In this case, name one kind of action done by the Russian Army or
other Russian state units in Chechnya, that was not done by US armed
forces or other US units in Viet Nam. (While my favourite comparison
is the French in Algeria, there is more publicized information about
And the USA was not 'Nazi-style', right?
NS> I've been reluctant
NS> to call the Putinites "Nazis", but the current attempts to whitewash
NS> this bloody regime, the most murderous in Europe since 1945, for the
NS> sake of some geopolitical interests, forces everyone to make clear
NS> definitions, IMO.
NS> You need these things to be a Nazi: a fascist state ideology, racism on
NS> the level to kill the "subhumans", expansionist goals plus the principle
NS> idea that human lives, of whichever group -also one's own-, don't count.
NS> I think that the Putin regime fulfills all these conditions.
I do not think so.
There is no 'fascist state ideology'; a state ideology is something
published, not secret schemes in a secret service. Published
propaganda on Chechnya is - we're protecting ourselves and the Chechen
civilians from the bandits and terrorists. In published state
propaganda there is no racism and no 'bad Chechen people'.
Nor are there stated expansionist goals. Chechnya is not expansionism,
but preservation. Nazi expansionist goals were published in their
fundamental book, Mein Kampf.
Indeed, if we look at real published propaganda and real stated goals,
we can see a typical picture of a Western colonial empire fighting to
preserve its integrity. The propaganda is about maintenance of order
and destruction of banditry. The stated goals are about preservation.
And I hold that this, not Nazism, is the right context. With the
recent return of Western civilization supremacy in Western political
discourse (I mean the statement by Berlusconi - details available in
private for those interested, it's off topic here), this context might
be up for some very interesting public discussion in the coming
NS> The holocaust committed by German Nazis was of course a historical
NS> singularity, and the European/Christian anti-Semitism it was based on
I state disagreement with this slander of Christianity; details off
NS> I'm not attempting to be cynical when I say that the Chechens owe
NS> their continuing existence as a people to two factors: a) the
NS> incredible inefficiency, corruption and crime-ridden
NS> disorganisation of the Russian armed forces and secret services,
NS> and b) the heroic Chechen fighters who didn't allow the Russian
NS> side to herd their people to the cattle waggons once more.
On what information do you base the assertion that, if no fighters
have been present in Chechnya, the Russian side would have herded
anyone into cattle wagons? After all, there are no open fighters and
many Chechens in Ingushetia now, and nobody is herded into cattle
Yours, Mikhail Ramendik
05:49 [Monday 1st October, 2001]
Kadyrov: Offer not invitation for talks
MOSCOW (AP) - Russian air and artillery attacks and Chechen rebel
raids Saturday accompanied rigid rhetoric on both sides that
threatened to derail the first tentative steps toward possible
negotiations in the 2-year-old war.
Akhmad Kadyrov, head of the Kremlin-appointed Chechen administration,
insisted that President Vladimir Putin's offer Monday for talks on
rebel disarmament was not an invitation to negotiate peace.
"There should be contacts with guerrilla representatives, but only on
how and where rebels will hand over their weapons," Kadyrov said in
Kadyrov said there could be no dialogue with rebel leader Aslan
Maskhadov because "he has taken too much blood," according to the
Interfax news agency.
After repeatedly rejecting Western and rebel calls for negotiations,
Putin on Monday made a three-day offer for disarmament talks.
The president's envoy to negotiations, Viktor Kazantsev, said
Thursday that a Maskhadov envoy had approached his delegation. He and
rebel representative Akhmad Zakayev said there would be further
discussions but would not say when or where.
The steps came on the backdrop of continuing clashes.
Russian aircraft fired on suspected rebel bases Saturday in the
southern districts of Shali, Vedeno and Itum-Kale and artillery
pounded a swath across the southern mountains, an official in the
Kremlin-backed Chechen administration said.
Six Russian servicemen were killed and 10 were wounded in 21 rebel
attacks on Russian outposts and positions over the past 24 hours, the
official said on condition of anonymity.
The most intensive clashes took place Friday in the Kurchaloi and
Shali districts, where rebels attacked local administration buildings
and the offices of the Russian commandant, the official said.
"President Vladimir Putin has shown good will and given a chance to
the people who are ready to surrender. But the rebels have so far not
shown activity, and this indicates that they intend to continue the
bloodshed," presidential Security Council chief Vladimir Rushailo was
quoted by ITAR-Tass as saying Saturday.
Meanwhile, the rebel web site Kavkaz.org site highlighted the
fractures that plague the rebel command.
Maskhadov, who fought the Russians in a 1994-6 war and was key in
negotiating the Russian pullout, welcomed Putin's peace talks offer.
But his control over the rebel force has waned, and warlord Shamil
Basayev was quoted on the web site as saying the continued rebel
raids were the Chechen response to Putin's "ultimatum." The site
claimed dozens of Russians were killed in attacks Saturday.
/The Associated Press/
Russia: Seeing The Chechen War Through Moscow's Eyes
By Jeremy Bransten
Russian President Vladimir Putin has consistently portrayed Moscow's war in
Chechnya as a struggle against terrorism. Up to now, that view has not been
shared by Western governments, which have criticized Russia for its alleged
indiscriminate use of force against civilians. But yesterday, German
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder hinted that it might be time for the West to
reassess its attitude toward the conflict. While not going as far as
Germany, the U.S. State Department also softened its statements on the
issue. Will the West now make common cause with Russia?
Prague, 26 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- It was the Germans who coined the term
"realpolitik" to define politics based on pragmatism rather than idealism.
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder appeared to reaffirm that notion yesterday
during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Schroeder said it is
time for the West to apply a "more differentiated" approach to Chechnya than
at present, recognizing that Russia is also battling terror in the breakaway
"Regarding Chechnya, there will be and must be a more differentiated
evaluation in world opinion."
Schroeder's words came after Putin's address to the German parliament, in
which the Russian leader offered the West a new partnership with Moscow to
combat terrorism, in the wake of this month's attacks against the United
The trade-off appears clear: The West needs Russia's help to launch an
effective war on terrorism, and Russia is willing to offer that help if
criticism of its actions in Chechnya is hushed.
Oksana Antonenko of the London-based International Institute for Strategic
Studies puts it this way:
"It is quite clear that Russia is looking at the moment for some sort of
bargain under which the U.S. and European criticism towards its actions in
Chechnya is going to be re-evaluated, if one can say so -- muted -- in
exchange for more Russian cooperation in the U.S.-led coalition against
Frank Umbach, a senior research fellow at the German Council on Foreign
"There is a certain bargain today. To build up and maintain a coalition for
the forthcoming military attacks in Afghanistan and maybe some other
countries, such as Iraq, we certainly need Russia at our side or at least
not being an open opponent of our policies."
But Umbach faults Schroeder for making such an open declaration of support
for the Russian position, saying it blurs the important distinctions between
how Russia is fighting its war in Chechnya and how the West fights its own
"The wording of our chancellor was not very fortunate, in my view. There was
certainly a need for giving Putin an answer and also calling for closer
actions between the West [or] between Germany and Russia, in coping with
international and fundamentalist terrorist threats. But at the same time, I
think there is a danger of mixing things up whereas there are still a lot of
differences in the Russian and Western approach."
"The use of armed forces in itself is not a strategy. On the Western side
and on the German side, it was always part of a long-term political strategy
involving also political concepts and economic concepts for resolving those
problems in a long-term way. That is the reason why, besides the use of our
armed forces in Yugoslavia, we have created a so-called Stability Pact,
which is addressing the roots [of the problem] and seeking a long-term
solution by acknowledging that a military strategy in itself is useful for
containing such a conflict. It's useful also for forcing the aggressor side
to go back to the negotiating table and find a political solution. But it's
not a tool for finding a political solution in itself."
Michael Emerson, senior research fellow at the Brussels-based Center for
Foreign Policy Studies, is less critical of Schroeder. He tells RFE/RL that
the German chancellor should not be accused of abandoning humanitarian
principles in favor of political expedience.
"I wouldn't put it like that, because the war against big international
terrorism, that is, of course, a human rights and humanitarian issue of the
first order. The question is whether European happiness over how Russian
forces behave in Chechnya is a reason not to go ahead with a substantially
enhanced cooperation over global terrorism. I think the answer to that is:
This is, indeed, a new situation."
Emerson says both sides have much to gain in this new era:
"There's a whole agenda of actual or potentially reinforced cooperation
ranging from trade, energy, environment, through to these security concerns.
What this situation now means is that there's a top-priority security issue
that can become a major mechanism of cooperation, whereas the security
agenda until now has been a bit roadblocked by the NATO question."
And so, it appears, the West's concerns about the situation in Chechnya will
take second place. Emerson also notes that concern expressed by the Council
of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and
European governments over alleged abuses by Russian forces in the republic
has not translated into admiration or sympathy for Chechnya's self-styled
"I don't think there's much -- if any -- sympathy lobby for the Chechens in
Western Europe. Even before the war -- the first and the second Chechen war
of the '90s -- it was evident to those who observed Chechnya that the regime
was utterly repulsive, completely criminalized, and completely ruthless. And
so Chechnya hasn't got any other good marks, as it were, recently."
Thus, Chechnya's own internal political situation may be another reason
Western politicians are becoming more inclined to view the conflict in the
republic through Moscow's eyes. More will become clear when the EU and
Russia hold their next summit, in Brussels, on 3 October.
(NCA's Bruce Pannier contributed to this report.)
It looks like those leader who make such statements about the state of
Chechen Government between two wars believe that the Russian Government
was democratic, nice bunch of people wo were trying to do their best to
promote democracy and economic prosperity in Chechnya. I think that some of
the so called chaos was caused by the Russian Secret Service in Chechnya.
The world knows it, but refuses to say so.
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Putin offers a 'real partnership' in West's battle
By Imre Karacs in Berlin
26 September 2001
Russia wants to become a leading player in the new world order, President
Vladimir Putin declared yesterday in a historic speech, offering the West
"real partnership" in exchange for acceptance of his country's fight against
"The Cold War is over," President Putin told the Bundestag. He was the first
Russian leader to address the German parliament since the Second World War,
and the first foreign statesman to do so in German.
He used the venue to project to the world a new Russia, at peace with Europe
and shoulder to shoulder with the West in its forthcoming battle.
He did not need to name his price for the support his government has already
provided. Mr Putin equated the terror attacks in Russian cities that
precipitated the second Chechnya invasion two years ago with this month's
attacks on America. "Religious fanaticism", he said, was a common foe, and
the Russian variety operated out of Chechnya.
His host, Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, had already made clear that Russia
now had carte blanche in the Caucasus. "The international community must and
will re-evaluate the situation in Chechnya," Mr Schröder said at a joint
press conference. In other words, there will be no further criticism from
Western leaders if Russian troops scorch the breakaway republic once more,
as Mr Putin is threatening to do.
Mr Schröder was candid enough to admit that, in the aftermath of the suicide
hijackings in America two weeks ago, the Western coalition could no longer
afford to be so fussy about its partners. "It has now become clear that
anyone who seeks better security in the world must work closely with
Russia," the German Chancellor said.
And who better to turn to at the dawn of a new war than the former head of
the KGB, who learnt his German while stationed in Dresden for five years?
Russia's invaluable intelligence, Mr Putin assured his German audience, will
now be flowing freely.
Modesty prevented him from mentioning the other big favours already
rendered. Russia has leant on its former satellites in central Asia to open
their military facilities to the erstwhile imperialist enemy. Bases in
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are likely to provide the key to the expected
Before his arrival in Berlin, President Putin promised more weapons for the
dispirited Afghan opposition forces ranged against the Taliban in the north
of the country.
Russia has also volunteered to participate in "search and rescue" missions
in the region. What Moscow will not provide are ground troops; 13,000 Soviet
soldiers perished during the last invasion in the 1980s. The lesson has been
Mr Putin spoke about the pain endured by a country that vanished from the
map of the civilised world in 1917. But he felt Russia had been in the
doghouse for too long, and pleaded for urgent rehabilitation. Without
mentioning the new US administration, he voiced anger at the Cold War
thinking still prevalent in some quarters. "The world is not divided into
two camps," he asserted. "The world has become much more complex."
Three days ago, the Russian leader spent an hour talking on the telephone to
President George Bush. That conversation was apparently enough to dissipate
his concerns about America's planned new missile shield, NMD. Yesterday, in
stark contrast to his last visit to Germany, he skirted the issue.
Did President Bush promise, in the light of recent development, that "Son of
Star Wars" was dead in its present form? That is certainly the conclusion
that Mr Putin and his German hosts are drawing. "I'm sure the discussion in
the US over NMD will now switch direction," said Karl Lamers, the foreign
policy expert for the opposition Christian Democrats.
Gernot Erler, his counterpart in the governing Social Democrat party, was
more explicit. "I can imagine that the Americans will reward his support by
considering co-operation with Russia on this project," he said.
Anything, apparently, is now possible. Mr Putin spoke about plans for joint
Russian- German military exercises next year. He demanded "consultation" by
Nato and the EU on military matters, and access for Russian industry to the
latest Western technology.
He even refused, when asked by a mischievous journalist, to dismiss out of
hand the distant prospect of Russian membership of Nato. Seasoned
politicians were pinching themselves. Wolfgang Thierse, the Speaker of the
Bundestag, said: "A global coalition of this kind would have been seen as
Utopia only two weeks ago."
Only when President Putin spoke about his country's desperate financial
needs did German MPs start shifting in their seats. About half of the nearly
$50bn (£34bn) owed by Russia to the West is burning holes in German banks.
More cash is unlikely to be forthcoming, much to the regret of Moscow's
opulent élite. But after a century's interruption, normal business with
Russia is about to resume. For Chechnya, though, tough times are
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World: Analysis From Washington -- More Than A Colony, Less Than An
By Paul Goble
Washington, 26 September 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin
said this week that the international community should oppose the emergence
of what he called "quasi-states" because the absence of effective government
control there often makes such entities into breeding grounds for terrorism.
In a country-wide broadcast on 24 September, Putin named Chechnya and
portions of the Philippines as examples of such states, and he called on the
world community to back the strengthening of central governments to overcome
these ethnic and religious challenges to the territorial integrity of
Putin's argument is consistent with much current thinking about the
international system in principle if not in the specific cases he cites. But
it fails to take into account arrangements, common a century ago but rare
today, that allow particular territories to develop as more than colonies
but less than fully independent states.
At present, there is one clear example of this kind of arrangement:
Greenland. It seldom attracts much attention, but a government change there
this week in the wake of charges that the leader of the Social Democratic
Party was to blame for the poor performance of that northern island has
called attention to its special status.
Since 1979, Greenland's 56,000 residents have governed themselves and
controlled all aspects of their lives except for foreign and defense
policies, which continue to be set by the Danish government in Copenhagen
that continues to claim sovereignty over Greenland.
A century ago, many territories around the world, including Canada, Bokhara,
and Newfoundland, had a similar status somewhere between that of a colony
and that of an independent state. And such arrangements worked because they
allowed the residents of a particular territory to enjoy most of the
privileges of independence without threatening the territorial arrangements
of the larger and sovereign power.
But since the end of World War II, such arrangements fell into disfavor,
with colonies and national movements all seeking full independence. The
international community backed this process in most cases and pressed others
that aspired to independence to fully integrate themselves into existing
states either through federal or other domestic arrangements.
This insistence of the international community, however, has had an
unintended and unwanted consequence. It has caused ever more territorially
based groups to assume that the only way they can fully defend their
interests is to seek complete state independence.
Responding to such challenges, the international community has typically
sided with the existing state rather than the challenger or urged that the
existing state create federal structures in order to allow minorities of
various kinds to have greater control over their lives. But generally, the
international community has argued that the minorities must make their peace
with the central governments rather than the other way around.
In the best case, that has led to integration and cooperation, but often, it
has led to the kind of violence that undermines any possibility of civic
peace. And it has also undermined the authority of international
institutions by putting them in the position of defending the existing state
system even when parts of it are manifestly unjust and when claims against
it rest on the principle of national self-determination.
Greenland is clearly a special case, a distant island with relatively few
people. But the political arrangement between Greenland and Denmark serves
as a possible model for what other countries might try. And if that happens,
media attention to that ice-locked land this week could have a major impact
on the way in which individual countries and the international community
deal with such challenges now and in the future.
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Monday, 1 October 2001 - Volume VII, Issue 179
MONITOR - A daily briefing on the former Soviet states
REBELS ATTACK MORE CHECHEN TOWNS.
The situation in Chechnya has considerably worsened following
the passing of President Vladimir Putin's seventy-two-hour
deadline for rebels to lay down their arms. The rebel
leadership, perhaps operating on the assumption that the
federal forces are planning a massive attack on rebel
positions in the mountainous regions of southern Chechnya,
have apparently decided that the best defense is a good
offense. Over the weekend, rebel fighters attacked
checkpoints and the local offices of the Interior Ministry
and military command in the towns of Shali and Kurchaloi.
According to Colonel Aleksei Kuznetsov, deputy commander of
the Combined Group of Forces in the North Caucasus, the
attacks were carried out by groups of rebels each numbering
up to ten men and armed with small arms and grenade
launchers. Kuznetsov claimed, however, that Russian policemen
and army troops were able to drive the attackers off. He did
not indicate whether there were losses on the Russian side
(Strana.ru, September 29). The administration in Avtury
reported today that a group of rebels entered the village
last night and killed six persons, including an undisclosed
number of policemen. The attackers, reportedly numbering
around twenty, went to specific addresses and, in one case,
set a home on fire and kidnapped a resident (Interfax,
October 1). Meanwhile, the Russian military command in
Chechnya claimed today that Abu Yakub, intelligence chief of
the rebel unit headed by rebel field commander Khattab, was
killed during a battle with Russian forces in Starye Atagi
(Lenta.ru, October 1). Federal forces claimed that, in all,
they killed sixteen rebels yesterday (Itar-Tass, October 1).
The rebels, of course, presented a different version of the
weekend's events. The pro-rebel website Kavkaz.org reported
that large rebel units moved on several fronts over the
weekend, attacking the capital Djohar (Grozny), the towns of
Argun, Shali, Kurchaloi and Vedeno, along with the villages
and settlements of Serzhen-Yurt, Tsa-Vedeno, Avtury, Starye
Atagi and Novye Atagi. There was also, it reported, heavy
fighting in Shali (about 40 kilometers southwest of Djohar),
where rebel fighters were using 120mm and 82mm cannon, along
with grenade launchers, Strella rocket launchers and heavy
machineguns. Most of Shali, it claims, is in rebel hands. It
also reported that rebel forces took control of a number of
roads in the Chechen lowlands and that dozens of federal
troops were killed in the attacks, including officers
(Kavkaz.org, October 1). The Chechenpress news agency, which
is connected to rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, reported that
federal forces sustained "significant losses" when a mobile
unit of rebels attacked a checkpoint in the village of
Pervomaisk (Chechenpress, October 1). Last month, the rebels
attacked government buildings in Gudermes, Chechnya's second
largest city, and Argun (see the Monitor, September 17-18,
TALKS BETWEEN KREMLIN AND CHECHEN REBELS MAY START NEXT
Despite the upsurge in fighting in Chechnya, there is still
debate in Russia over what President Vladimir Putin intended
when he gave the rebels seventy-two hours to appear before
federal officials and begin a process of disarmament. His
aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky and other Russian officials have
insisted that the deadline, which Putin laid down in a
September 24 televised speech outlining Russia's policy
concerning the American-led campaign against international
terrorism, was not an "ultimatum." Yastrzhembsky also denied
that the deadline was a prelude to a major military
escalation (see the Monitor, September 28). At the same time,
Russian authorities imposed a curfew on the republic and
declared all of Chechnya's mountainous regions "closed zones"
(Kommersant, October 1). These steps could be interpreted as
constituting preparation for a new military offensive.
There are also indications, however, that contacts between
the Russian authorities and the rebel leadership are
continuing. The Spanish newspaper El Pais reported on
September 28 that Council of Europe Commissioner for Human
Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles had agreed to serve as an
intermediary in setting up meetings between the Russian
government and rebel representatives, "including people close
to Aslan Maskhadov." The first such meeting, which is to
address ways to bring "an end to violence in the republic,"
is set to take place in November under the Council of
Europe's aegis, El Pais reported (Vremya Novostei, October
1). Last week, Viktor Kazantsev, Putin's representative in
the Southern federal district, confirmed that he had already
made contact with rebel representatives, while Maskhadov
deputized the vice premier of his self-styled government,
Akhmed Zakaev, to be his representative in talks with the
federal authorities (see the Monitor, September 28).
According to Russian and Swiss press reports, a group of
Russian parliamentarians met secretly with emissaries of
Maskhadov in Switzerland during the third week of August (see
the Monitor, September 4, 10).
Some Russia observers insist that Putin's September 24 speech
was a real step toward a negotiated settlement of the Chechen
conflict. During last night's edition of Itogi, the weekly
news analysis program on TV-6, show host Yevgeny Kiselev
noted that in his speech Putin did not once use the words
"ultimatum" or "terrorist"--which he and other Russian
officials have routinely used to describe the Chechen rebels.
Kiselev also said that Putin, by asserting that there were
people in Chechnya who had taken up arms under the influence
of "false" and "distorted" values, was for the first time
stepping away from the official propaganda line that the
rebels are simply mercenaries, terrorists and kidnappers with
whom it is impossible to negotiate. By laying down the
seventy-two-hour deadline--which looks at first glance like a
very strict condition--Putin was, in Kiselev's view, trying
to "sweeten the pill for those who support... a war to the
victorious end, to the last Chechen" (TV-6, September 30). It
is interesting to note that last week TV-6's owner, the
oligarch and declared opponent of Putin, Boris Berezovsky,
also welcomed Putin's speech as a shift away from a hard line
toward Chechnya (Kommersant, September 28).
Whatever the case, it is by no means certain that the two
sides are genuinely sincere about negotiations or, if they
are, that they can overcome opposition from hardliners in
their respective ranks. There are other large hurdles, such
as an apparent disagreement over whether Putin's ultimatum
meant that the rebels should disarm as a precondition for
talks, which is how Yastrzhembsky is interpreting it, or that
the talks should begin prior to rebel disarmament, which is
the way Kakaev interprets it. It is also unclear what
guarantees the rebels would be given were they to disarm,
both in terms of personal security and a livelihood after
being "reintegrated" into Chechen society (Vremya Novostei,
Interfax October 1, 2001
Eighteen Chechen officials, including eleven heads of local
administrations, have been killed in Chechnya this year. The rebels
have also killed three religious leaders, Chechen Prosecutor Vsevolod
Chernov told Interfax on Monday.
All of these cases and 24 attempts on the lives of local officials
are under criminal investigation, he said.
Chechen prosecutors have exposed the criminal activity of a group led
by Kharayev, which murdered six leaders of local administrations and
the imam of the village of Noviye Atagi.
Thirty five murders of the Chechen Interior Ministry's workers and
officials are also under investigation, Chernov said.
--- In chechnya-sl@y..., Norbert Strade <nost@p...> wrote:
> Chemical attack by rebels feared in Chechnya
> BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Sep 29, 2001
> Text of report by Russia TV on 29 September
> [Presenter] A special operation is under way in several Districts of
> Chechnya at once after Russian counterintelligence has intercepted
> information that chemical warfare against the federal forces is
> preparation by the rebels. It has not been unsuccessful. Our
> correspondent Aleksey Averchuk has sent this report from Chechnya:
In this connection it is worth noticing that the delegation
of Chechen NGOs at the last week's session of PACE repeatedly
warned the leadership of PACE (the secretary general, lord judd,
and the human rights commissioner) that the recent Russian reports
that Chechens preparing a chemical attack is very alarming and
means only one thing: that Russians plan to use chemical weapons
in Chechnya again. It was also their concern related to the
72 hours deadline imposed by Putin last week.
> *The public is already used to a lot of cynicism from the Russian
> fascists, but this claim is especially dirty. "Special operations in
> order to protect the Chechen civilians against the rebels". By the
> terrorist state formation that killed 200,000 civilians already! The
> Russian mass media sound as if they have been manned by clones of
> Goebbels and Himmler.
> **"I was caught red-handed"! What a wonderful act. The guy must have
> been imported directly from the Bolshoy Theatre. Hopefully they had
> equipped him with some nice theatre torture marks. The public wants
> get something for their roubles.
> ps. I changed the headline because it's an experience value that the
> Russian so-called army uses to blame the Chechen side in advance
> time they are planning to use weapons of mass destruction against
> civilians. N.S.
I met Mary in Tbilisi as well in December 1999. She wanted to go inside
Chechnya with a Russian camera man. It was risky to go inside for foreign
journalists as the bombing raids were very intense along the Chechen -
Georgian route. Gergian authorities too refused to let foreigners into
Chechnya. She was pleading with us and so we took her in. She said that she
needed to go in as she would expose horrors of the war in Chechnya to the
westerners and that would save Chechna from destruction. She said she saved
that way East Timorese. I had my own share of experience with the
journalists and was learned not to trust them. I remember she told me once
all journalists who go in talk about how big heroes they are and I am
different, I will talk about the sufferings of the people. Well, we took her
in and took her out so that she would say how great she was oversoming
terrible hardships in Chechnya trying to escape from Chechnya as the
russians blocked off the only escape route to georgia. She spent eight days
trying to go out along with two Chechen fighters from Hussein's team.
I do not know exactly if she had met Hattab or any other major Chechen
commander. I really doubt she did, but I k now for a fact that not one
Chechen fighter or a mujahid is scared of Hattab. There are plenty who
respect him for courage though. Also, Chechens fighters are free to leave
the war any time they want. Neither Maskhadov, Basaev or anyone will try or
even be able to hold them back. We dod not fight on coercion. Chechens fight
voluntarily as staying out of the fight is considered to be a shame by our
customs. I guess Mary has her own view of the conflict in Chechnya and she
probably had it before she even walked into Chechnya. I am just sorry that I
might have been of help to her to write this nasty piece of an article. I am
sure that those Chechen fighters who risked their lives to save hers would
He had shoulder-length, oiled black ringlets, a tall fur hat and an
American camouflage uniform. He swaggered a bit and his clean and
pressed kit contrasted with the squalor of the local fighters.
Phrases about God and paradise rolled off his tongue.
Marie Colvin won Foreign Correspondent of the year at the last
National Newspaper awards.
> > I would like to know when and where in Chechnya, Ms Marie Colvin did
> > have talk with Khattab. Also somehow, it's hard for myself to imagine
> > Khattab wearing a papakha (a tall fur hat). But, who knows maybe for
> > this interview he took off his beret and put on the papakha.
> > In the eyes of a pretty, foreign correspondent everyone wants to look
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> Khattab could have dictated the letter found in the luggage of
> Mohammed Atta, one of the pilots who flew a plane into the World
> Trade Center. It exhorted the hijackers to crave death and "be
> optimistic," as the prophet Muhammad had always been optimistic.
> Even the Chechens fighting alongside Khattab expressed their
> scepticism about his beliefs. During their few moments away from the
> front they preferred a drink and the company of women, both banned by
> fundamentalists. >
> Marie Colvin won Foreign Correspondent of the year at the last
> National Newspaper awards
What a rubbish lie !! Yesterday I was in New Hampshire to see a Christian =
gatheringcelebrating some milestones of the spread of evangelism and solidif=
ication of it in New England. I heard the singers, the prayers and the keyn=
ote speakers. If I could exchange the labels and references of their keyword=
s from'christian' to "muslim" from "God" to "Allah" from "Jesus" to "Mohamme=
d" from "missionarist" to "jihadist" etc.. then I would have thought that I =
was not at an "evangelist" but at a "wahabist" togetherness. /However the a=
ccompanying pig roast helped to bring back reality./In times when the usual =
more less peaceful coexistence isdisturbed, there are people who spring to i=
nterpret the "events" for the disturbed 'masses" by advocating their own ver=
y limited view of the word usually covered by some purposeful eclectical rub=
bish, lie and misinterpretation.
That is exa ctly what this Marie Colvin is doing here.János /who does not b=
elieve in any supreme being./
Chechen web site: 14 Russians killed in attack on armoured column in
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 1, 2001
Text of report by Chechenpress news agency web site
1 October: A clash took place in the settlement of Kirov, out the
outskirts of Groznyy yesterday [30 September]. The command of subunits
of the CRI [Chechen Republic of Ichkeria] Armed Forces learnt that a
Russian army armoured column was to travel through this settlement. A
decision was taken to attack it. There is only one road to this village
from the capital, and it was clear that the column would have to use it.
It was decided to lay an ambush on a section where one side of the road
is screened by a forest belt and the other by a hill. Several
remote-controlled mines were planted on this stretch of the road.
All the mines were detonated simultaneously when the column was passing
over this section. A blown-up infantry fighting vehicle was left
spinning on the spot, while the leading armoured personnel carrier burst
into flames. Fighters of the CRI armed forces took advantage of the
element of surprise and their well-placed firing positions and subjected
the enemy to concentrated fire. The Chechens with grenade-throwers, who
are justifiably feared by the enemy, managed to put out of action
another armoured personnel carrier with their well-aimed fire and
another precise shot hit the petrol tank of a GAZ-66 vehicle, causing it
to burst into flames.
The Chechen soldiers' crossfire confused the Russian soldiers making
them fire at each other. The outcome of the clash seemed clear. Four
pieces of armoured hardware were burnt out and there was no let-up in
the firing of the Chechen fighters. The column's demise looked
inevitable, but the Russians should be given their due - some of them
had the presence of mind to use smoke pots and, with the help of the
smokescreen created, the rest of the column managed to get away and move
back towards Groznyy.
Once the smoke cleared, the fighters of the CRI armed forces took their
captured weapons and ammunition and returned to their temporary bases.
The clash lasted less than an hour, during which time the enemy lost
four pieces of armoured hardware and 14 soldiers (that is the number who
were left lying on the battlefield), although it is possible that the
number of dead was even higher since nothing is known about the losses
among those who managed to get away.
On the side of the attackers, four fighters of the CRI armed forces were
The [Groznyy] Oktyabrskiy district internal affairs department was
attacked in the evening by a mobile group of fighters of the CRI armed
forces. They surrounded the district internal affairs department for
four hours (!)
The fighters managed to blow up two vehicles - one Ural and one UAZ by
methodically firing on the Russian policemen.
The fighters of the CRI armed forces withdrew from this territory when
it became clear that no help was coming to relieve those who were
surrounded because the fighters' aim had been to wipe out the column
sent in to rescue the policemen.
There are no figures for casualties in this operation, but two vehicles
were knocked out and burnt out.
We should note that we learnt about these operations thanks to a phone
conversation with the commandant of Groznyy, I. Munayev.
Source: Chechenpress web site, Tbilisi, in Russian 1 Oct 01
Russian TV says 24 troops killed in Chechnya
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Sep 30, 2001
Russian TV6 reported on Sunday that 24 Russian servicemen died in
clashes with Chechen rebels in Kurchaloy on Saturday.
A TV6 correspondent in Chechnya said that 16 servicemen from the defence
ministry and eight interior ministry soldiers were killed during the
fighting in Kurchaloy. Another 24 were injured in the fighting, which
centred on the commandant's office.
The TV did not identify the source of its figures, and said that the
military reported only two policemen dead.
Rebel casualties were unknown, but the TV said that "some rebels were
There was blood found at the rebel positions, it said, adding that the
group probably took the dead and wounded away when it withdrew.
There were up to 70 rebels in the group, the TV added.
Source: TV6, Moscow, in Russian 0700 gmt 30 Sep 01
Chechens withdraw from towns in stage two of latest military operation
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 1, 2001
Text of report by Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency web site
1 October: The headquarters of the Chechen mojahedin command reports
that after completing the first phase of their combined operation
against the Russian occupying terrorist grouping at the weekend, Chechen
subunits have now moved on to the second stage of this operation. The
mojahedin have withdrawn their main forces from settlements in
Shalinskiy, Kurchaloyevskiy Districts and from part of Urus Martanovskiy
and Groznyy Village Districts, as well as from the towns of Shali and
Argun. The mojahedin continue to maintain the positions they occupied in
the country's Vedenskiy District around the settlements of
Zhanni-Vedeno, Tsa Vedeno and on the outskirts of the district centre
Vedeno. Although the main subunits have been redeployed, the Chechen
command is keeping individual mobile units in the districts listed.
Their task is to limit the movement of the enemy's armoured columns and
According to the Chechen side's information, a clash took place on
Sunday evening [30 September] on the road between the villages of Novyye
Atagi and Shali. An armoured column of the Russian forces was attacked
by a mobile subunit of Chechen fighters. After losing two armoured
personnel carriers, the aggressors halted the column and took up an
all-around defence position. In Shali itself the Russians, using grenade
throwers, fired on their own Ural vehicle as it tried to get through to
the commandant's office at full speed. As a result, the vehicle was
destroyed and at least 20 Russian soldiers were killed by the Russians
in the commandant's office. The Chechen side also confirms that one
local woman was killed by a Russian sniper shooting from the roof of the
commandant's office of the occupiers.
The headquarters of the Chechen mojahedin command reports that in
accordance with the second stage of this combined operation, mobile
subunits of Chechen fighters have started carrying out the military task
set them. Practically all the roads in the zone where this operation is
being conducted are controlled to a greater or lesser extent by the
mojahedin, who are able to make use of their great manoeuvrability to
move quickly to areas where there are clashes and mount surprise attacks
on the enemy. Kavkaz-Tsentr sources in the headquarters of the mojahedin
command report that the second stage of the combined operation is a
preparatory stage. The aim of the mojahedin's actions at this stage is
to prepare for major combined measures planned by the Chechen command.
Source: Kavkaz-Tsentr news agency web site in Russian 1 Oct 01
Russians display body of senior Chechen rebel, plus his hideout
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 1, 2001
Text of report by Russia TV on 1 October
[Presenter Mikhail Antonov] Let's turn now to events in Chechnya. Today
[1 October] it was learnt that an influential rebel who was one of the
closest associates of the well-known field commander Khattab has been
eliminated. Abu Yakub was killed during a special operation in Staryye
Atagi village. He handled finance and intelligence for Khattab. Our
correspondent Aleksey Averchuk has the details in this report from
[Correspondent] The special operation in Staryye Atagi has been going on
for five days now. Yesterday evening three rebels were killed in a
shoot-out with federal forces. They included Abu Yakub, Khattab's
right-hand man. Abu Yakub was the principal financier for Khattab's
detachments. As soon as identity checks started in Staryye Atagi, he and
his counterfeiters, the Sadayev brothers, hid themselves in a
[Spokesman for the Federal Security Service's public relations centre,
Ilya Shabalkin, captioned] Abu Yakub has been destroyed. He had been
staying here for quite a long time. He even had his family here with
him. He is a former professional soldier in the armed forces of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
[Correspondent] The hideout was two metres underground. Abu Yakub hid
here for five days. His supporters kept him informed about the actions
of federal forces by radio.
[Commander of the joint grouping of federal forces in the North
Caucasus, Valeriy Baranov, captioned] The stocks of food there would
have been enough to keep him going there for up to a month. This was a
proper shelter in which people could have lived for up to one month.
[Correspondent] As soon as FSS [Federal Security Service] agents found
out about Yakub's hideout, the Interior Ministry and the Defence
Ministry sent special forces in straightaway. First, soldiers with metal
detectors found the secret entrance to the hideout. Then special forces
[Video shows shoot-out, a grenade being thrown, with much shouting,
explosions and shooting, and a cry of "He's trying to throw a grenade".]
Federal forces arrested 12 rebels during the five-day operation in
Staryye Atagi. A huge quantity of arms and ammunition and over 70 kg of
explosives were seized from members of the public. But the most amazing
find is probably this modern medical diagnosis centre which the rebels
bought for their own needs. They also intended to send this consignment
of medical supplies into the hills. Only the command of federal forces
knows how many more days the operation in Staryye Atagi will last.
However, according to intelligence reports, at least 10 more fighters
are hiding in the village.
This is Aleksey Averchuk, Andrey [name indistinct], Aleksandr Ponomarev
and Aleksey Shvatov reporting for "Vesti" from Chechnya, with assistance
from the press service of the joint grouping of forces in the Northern
[Video shows federal troops and APCs in a village. The bodies of three
men are shown in the back of a truck. A cameraman films senior officers
who are giving an interview by the truck. A step of metal steps lead
down from a trapdoor entrance to a cellar, where soldiers are digging
with spades. A clip, captioned "operational footage from the Interior
Ministry press service", shows soldiers with guns at the ready throwing
open a trapdoor. Edited footage, shot on the surface, then shows a man
spread-eagled on the ground, soldiers running for cover, an exchange of
gunfire, the spread-eagled man getting up and staggering forwards, a
puff of smoke, apparently from a grenade. Other shots show a group of
arrested men and a display of captured weapons, ammunition and medical
equipment. Final clip shows a helicopter landing.]
Source: Russia TV, Moscow, in Russian 1600 gmt 1 Oct 01
*Does somebody know anything about this alleged Abu Yakub? I'm not
convincend, after all those many raids by the Russian terrorist
formations on Starye Atagi. How can anyody keep a "well-camouflaged
cellar" in such a place? He won't be the first "finance and intelligence
man for Khattab" killed by the Russian propaganda. As the next step
they'll probably "find" more documents, videos and cd-s. N.S.
Chechen web site says Kremlin disillusioned with pro-Moscow leader
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Oct 1, 2001
Text of report by Chechenpress news agency web site
1 October: The Moscow puppet [Akhmad] Kadyrov, has returned home to
Moscow after completing his tour of the Middle East.
According to him, his trip was very successful - "he handed over a
message from Russian President Vladimir Putin to the leaders of Middle
He boasts that he was received "at such a high level", but how can this
person with a slave mentality not realize that he was only received
because he is Putin's courier, and Putin represents Russia.
Kadyrov tries not to mention his meeting with the Chechen diaspora,
because there was no such meeting! Regardless of where they might be,
Chechens are Chechens! Regardless of their geographical location, all
Chechens know that they have a legitimately elected president - Aslan
Maskhadov. Therefore, they simply ignored Kadyrov.
And what about his statement regarding Khattab? It emerges that Khattab
"is not Jordanian, but a Yemeni Jew, who called his first daughter
Sara". Even on "such an important visit", Kadyrov could not refrain from
expressing his anti-Semitic views and his dislike for Jews! To what
extent must a person hate children to reproach a girl for her name!?
Kadyrov also complains that the Russian soldiers operate badly in
Chechnya!!! I quote: "The soldiers fight very badly - over two years
even I have realized how one should fight"! How can a person say this
after the capital of Chechnya, Groznyy, has been wiped from the face of
the earth, along with dozens of other settlements, after tens of
thousands of people have been killed... how can a person say that
soldiers have carried out their work badly after all that has happened
in Chechnya!? Can anyone doubt after this that agent "Adam" has no human
An informer who managed to gain power, but who has nobody to rule, while
the centre pays little. One more quote: "The federal centre gives
Chechnya (for Chechnya, read Kadyrov) very little."
If Kadyrov had enough intelligence he would ask himself why they sent
the alleged "head of Chechnya" as far as possible from Chechnya? Because
he is useless. The Kremlin has realized that it made a mistake and that
agent "Adam" is incapable of rising above the level of a rank-and-file
informer. What can they do though? They do not have a great deal of
We all know that for some reason it happens with all the world's special
services that after one of their agents is "exposed", 98 per cent of
them have an "accident", while the remaining 2 per cent die of some
There is food for thought here, but Kadyrov is used to just carrying out
orders and serving and his greed for money has clouded what was left of
his intelligence as Kadyrov loves money most of all, as anybody who
knows him even slightly can confirm.
What more is there to be said here - a puppet is a puppet, and this
puppet's "life" will clearly be very short. The director himself is not
happy that he changed his role and made him a puppet as he was more
useful as an informer. Now, according to the rules of the game, it is
time to write off the puppet KGB-FSB [Federal Security Service] agent
Source: Chechenpress web site, Tbilisi, in Russian 1 Oct 01
We need justice. Bombs will only create more martyrs
Independent on Sunday
Sep 30, 2001
BY VANESSA REDGRAVE
Last week Harold Evans called on the West to wage war to defeat
terrorism. Vanessa Redgrave felt compelled to reply
You've been my publisher and friend for some years. We have so much in
common. But you have issued a challenge to those who oppose the military
solution to the terrorist act of 11 September. I want to take it up. You
wrote last week that bombing and invading Afghanistan was a last resort,
and posed the question: "But if you are not prepared to do that, just
what would you do in response to the spread of terror across the globe?"
Harry, the United States and Britain are advocating and preparing for
bombing as a first and only resort. No government leader who has
advocated bombing - even if they have spoken of caution and
proportionality or sagely demanded proof of Osama bin Laden's guilt for
the New York atrocities - has posed any policy other than war.
I totally agree that the United States has the right and the duty to
defend its citizens from terrorism. Likewise, the Council of Europe and
all national governments have the same urgent responsibility. I see two
fundamental tasks. The first is the issue of justice. We must seek and
establish the responsibility, the identity, and all the connections of
those who organised this unprecedented act and ensure that they answer
for their crimes in a court of justice. The second is prevention of
further acts of terror by this group or any others. Terror is indeed
spreading across the globe, and states are involved, as well as armed
factions, paramilitaries and the new mafia.
Terrorism is a criminal act according to all jurisdictions, whether
relatively small numbers are killed, as in Omagh, many more, as in
Oklahoma, or a far greater number, as in the horrifying mass murder
committed on 11 September. The targeting of the World Trade Centre was
aimed at the whole world. It is still, nevertheless, by definition a
criminal act, not an act of war. The ultimatist philosophy and terrible
methods are shared by those American groups of which Timothy McVeigh was
The ideology, the methods and the physical targets are apocalyptic. They
seem to seek an Armageddon - which makes me doubly insistent that we
should not risk giving it to them by inviting escalation. Calls for a
"holy war" or a "crusade" cannot transform the act into other than what
it was: a criminal act of terror. There is a specific course of action
that must be taken if there is to be justice for the murdered and their
families, security for peoples and governments, and the prevention of
further acts of terrorism from all sources.
The evidence, the suspects and the indictments must be brought before
the International Court of Justice. This was established in the
aftermath of the Nuremberg trials, within the auspices of the United
Nations; created for all crimes that transcend the limits of national
sovereignty and jurisdiction, which cannot be tried under the domestic
national law of any country. Every nation and faith, and all citizens,
must and may then be able to see and believe that justice is being done.
If the accused, or a sheltering state, were to refuse extradition, or
evade arrest, then the International Court of Justice is empowered to
request the UN Security Council to take such measures as are appropriate
and necessary to bring the accused and their legal representatives
before the court. If this course of action is taken, I believe that
Americans, and other peoples, would be convinced that justice could be
secured, from the beginning to the end.
The same cannot be said for bombing and missiles as a response to this
crime. They will bring neither the specific criminals to justice, nor
obtain justice, nor protect civilians and governments. Bombing will
ensure that the criminals will never be found.
Slobodan Milosevic had lost all his popularity with the Serbian people
and the Orthodox Church, and even most of the collaborators closest to
him were despised. Then Nato bombed Serbian civilians in trains and
factories, on roads and in their homes, instead of military targets and
the tanks in the mountains. Milosevic became a hero. A hero was created
by bombs, I might add. Indicted far too late, he is now in prison,
awaiting trial for the murder of tens of thousands. Because Nato bombed
Serbian civilians, he is a greater hero than ever to many Serbs and
Russians, even if he sits in prison.
Besides the immediate ill-effects, I am convinced that bombing
Afghanistan and/or Iraq will strengthen terrorists and terror
organisations everywhere, as well as terror factions within states.
Suspected criminals will become heroes. Civil wars will break out anew
all over the globe, some very bad people will be strengthened and the
innocent will pay the price.
This will be the absolutely inevitable consequence of the bombing, and
there will be no return once it has started. Then it will be impossible
for any government to establish security and protection for the
populations in the cities.
Please remember, also, as I am sure you do, that in spite of Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani's magnificent speech for unity and tolerance, a
Pakistani shopkeeper, whose son was murdered in the attack on the twin
towers, was beaten up by racists outside his shop in Brooklyn. Such
outrages occurred in cities all over Europe before 11 September, and
will increase a thousandfold if bombing missions begin. People of all
races will suffer.
You write with contempt, Harry, for the "professional handwringers", and
then you say that we have no answer to the question "what would you do?"
You might listen to the organisation Rabbis for Human Rights or the
Israeli members of Gush Shalom for the human rights solutions to
terrorism, be it Israeli or Palestinian. You might listen to the Russian
human rights leaders, such as Elena Bonner, and the elected Chechen
president, whose representatives have gone to Washington to urge
All these voices speak for the civilised world. As did Mary Robinson
when she headed the UN High Commission for Human Rights - even though
she was forced to retire by governments' lack of support for the
The globe is devastated by leaders' contempt for the international
conventions to which they are signatories. You might say to me, "But we
must deal with the world as it is." My answer is that no one can accept
the world as it is right now, including you. I am not interested in
making the USA feel guilty. I regard and love so much that is uniquely
American. There are truly civilised people in the United States who want
to go a better way. Harry, open your ears to this America.
The Financial Times
Nato soft pedals on Russian arms treaty breach
By Judy Dempsey, Diplomatic Correspondent, in Brussels
Published: September 30 2001
Russia is breaking the treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe
(CFE) but Nato and European Union officials are reluctant to raise the
issue with President Vladimir Putin when he arrives in Brussels on
With the US administration anxious to keep Russia on board its global
coalition against terrorism, several European diplomats said Washington
would not push Mr Putin to comply with a treaty aimed at reducing the
levels of conventional weapons in 30 countries, ranging from Canada and
Europe to the new republics of the former Soviet Union.
"Such pressure would be politically inconvenient," said one European
diplomat. "Trying to push Russian compliance is not a priority for the
Americans, even though many of us believe Moscow will exploit the fight
against terrorism to its own advantage."
Indeed, diplomats warn that if Washington and the Europeans do not press
Russia to comply, it could have far-reaching consequences for the
northern Caucasus, the region at the heart of the CFE dispute between
Russia and Nato.
The independence of Georgia, to the south, and Moldova, to the west,
could be undermined, especially as Georgia depends on Russia for its gas
supplies. Turkey, a key Nato ally with close ties to the region, is also
concerned. Without compliance with CFE, Turkey sees Russia entrenching
itself in a region where it could control vital gas and electricity
supplies to Ankara.
The 1999 CFE treaty (often called CFE2) is an adaptation of the original
1990 CFE1 treaty that established ceilings of conventional weapons for
Warsaw Pact and Nato military blocs.
After the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and Nato expansion, ceilings were
modified to apply to individual countries. The weapons categories -
armoured personnel carriers (APCs), tanks and artillery pieces -
remained the same. The new treaty, diplomats say, takes better account
of Russia's security interests, especially along its southern borders.
However, neither Congress nor the Duma has yet ratified it. This means
that, technically speaking, the CFE1 treaty is still valid. Even so,
diplomats said Russia had frequently breached those ceilings.
Moscow is now also violating the CFE2 treaty, they note. Under its
terms, Russia undertook to withdraw its remaining forces from Georgia
and Moldova. By last July, the deadline set for disbanding its military
base of Gudauta, northern Georgia, Moscow was still entrenched.
Russia claims it needs the base as a "rest and recreation" facility for
monitors from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
"But we know, and the Russians know we know, that they are staying in
Gudauta to prevent supplies reaching the rebels in Chechnya," said a
Russia also said it would destroy or withdraw the 40,000 tons of
ammunition it keeps in the trans-Dnestr region in Moldova, home to a
Russian ethnic minority. One phase was recently completed. Despite
repeated offers of western financial assistance, diplomats said Russia
had refused to complete the final two phases.
There is also substantial non-compliance along the northern Caucasus.
Russia tried hard in 1999 to have this flank treated as an exclusion
zone with no weapons limitations. It insisted it needed flexibility to
deal with the Chechnya rebellion.
Nato members refused such a zone. "However, we bent over backwards to
accommodate Russia," said a European military attache. The size of the
flank zone was reduced and Russia's APC allowance was increased from
1,380 to 2,140. Nevertheless, said western defence experts, Russia had
exceeded that allowance by 500 APCs and tanks by 300. It has also
refused to allow inspections into Chechnya, claiming travelling there is
too dangerous. "The bottom line", said a senior defence official, "is
that Russia is in breach of CFE." More important, Moscow may well use
its non-compliance as one condition of remaining in any US-led
That's what some of us have been saying all the time: The Russian
leadership acts exactly like Hitler did in the 30s: For each instance of
appeasement policy, they increase their violations. N.S.
Moscow pushes own agenda as price for role
The Washington Times
September 30, 2001
By Fred Weir CHRISTIAN SCIENCE-MONITOR
MOSCOW. As Russia falls into stride alongside the United States in its
campaign to root out terrorists, the Kremlin is swiftly repackaging many
of its own long-standing geopolitical goals to give them an
anti-terrorist hue - and soften Western criticism.
For several years, Moscow has accused Georgia of harboring Chechen
rebels in the rugged Pankisi Gorge, near the border with Chechnya.
Georgia retorts that the Kremlin is trying to coerce it into reversing a
planned withdrawal of Russian troops, who have been based in the
republic since Soviet times. Until now, Western backing for the
NATO-aspiring Georgia has held Russia at bay.
But now Russia has a whole new language to deploy: the global battle
against terrorism. Two weeks ago, Moscow issued a diplomatic memo, using
some of the strongest language yet in pressuring Georgia to clean out
"bases o finternational terrorism" in the Pankisi Gorge. "It is high
time for Georgia to join, not in words but in deeds, the common front of
civilized states against international terrorism," the note said.
The new hard line is no coincidence, experts say.
"The changed atmosphere in the world enables Russia to be politically
tougher with Georgia than in the past," said Boris Shmelyov, director
ofthe Center for Comparative Political Studies in Moscow. "Georgia has
to make some difficult choices, just like all of us."
Meanwhile, Moscow is demanding that the West drop all criticism of its
bloody, decade-long campaign to crush a secessionist rebellion in
Chechnya, on the grounds that it is just another battlefront in the
common struggle for civilization.
"The war on terrorism has been Russia's priority for years," said
Yevgeny Kozhokhin, director of the government-funded Institute of
Strategic Research in Moscow. "Now that the U.S. sees what we've been
facing, perhaps they'll understand us better."
"The Americans should drop their double standards," Mr. Kozhokhin added.
"A terrorist is a terrorist, whether he kills Russians or Americans."
Officially, Russia has set no conditions for joining the U.S.-led
campaign to punish the perpetrators of the Sept. 11 attacks, thought to
be hiding in Afghanistan.
President Vladimir Putin on Monday declared that Russia will share
intelligence with the United States, open Russian air corridors for
"humanitarian supplies" to the war zone, agree to American use of former
Soviet military bases in Central Asia, and perhaps even take on a more
active role as the operation develops.
Mr. Putin also used his speech to demand that rebelsdisarm within 72
hours - in an attempt, some speculate, to avoid engaging in a new
conflict before the Chechen one is settled.
But not far beneath the surface efforts of cooperation with the United
States, the Russians are making clear they expect American attitudes on
issues ranging from missile defense to NATO expansion to be transformed
in exchange for Russian help in the war on terrorism.
"We hope the Americans will understand how divisive some of their
policies have been," said Konstantin Kosachov, deputy chairman of the
Duma's foreign affairs committee. "The U.S. insistence on building an
antimissile shield was no help in preventing a terrorist attack, yet it
did alienate several important partners, including Russia, who are
needed if the world terrorist threat is to be contained."
Mr. Kosachov said Russia could extend its support, even to direct
military participation in operations against terrorist bases in
Afghanistan, if the United States offers incentives.
"If the Americans want us to just obey orders while they run the show,
no big international coalition will work," he said. "But genuine
partnership, legally grounded through mandates of the United Nations
SecurityCouncil - that could be a different story."
The most difficult challenge may be to resist Russian demands that the
West mute its criticism of Russian human-rights violations in Chechnya
and treat that war as part of the common global struggle against
Chechnya, a mainly Muslim republic on Russia's southern flank, declared
independence as the Soviet Union was breaking up in 1991. Russia invaded
three years later, only to be defeated by Chechen fighters in a savage,
20-month war that ended in a vague armistice agreement.
Russia claims - with considerable evidence - that following the first
war, Chechnya degenerated into a lawless "bandit state" that took in
extremists from around the Muslim world and exported Islamic extremism
to neighboring regions of Russia.
After a string of apartment bombings that killed 300 Russians in 1999 -
which the Kremlin blamed on Chechen rebels but never conclusively proved
- Russian troops invaded Chechnya again. This time, they advanced across
the tiny republic behind a screen of heavy weapons fire that human
rights monitors say killed thousands of civilians and left a quarter
The Kremlin says at least 400 Afghan-trained "mercenaries" - directly
linked to prime terrorist suspect Osama bin Laden - are fighting with
Chechen rebels against Russian forces.
"The terrorist connections in Chechnya have long been proven,"
Mr.Shmelyov said. "This is the moment of truth for the West. We want to
hear them clearly define their attitude toward Chechen terrorism."
But critics caution against oversimplifying the conflict just because
Russia and the United States are moving closer in the fight against
common terrorist threats.
"Things like this should be defined carefully, and handled with
restraintand intelligence," said Sergei Grigoryants, head of the
Glasnost Foundation, a Moscow-based human rights watchdog.
Human Rights Watch
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EUROPEAN UNION: SAFEGUARD RIGHTS IN ANTI-TERROR CAMPAIGN
(New York, September 27, 2001)-As U.S. President George Bush meets in
Washington today with the current European Union president Guy
Verhofstadt, Human Rights Watch is urging leaders on both sides of the
Atlantic to make human rights protection part of the fight against
"The September 11 attacks were crimes against humanity, an assault on
the most basic human rights principle of safeguarding civilian life,"
said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "However
the United States and Europe respond, that response should comply
strictly with human rights standards."
In separate letters to leaders and policy makers in Washington and
Brussels since September 11, the rights group has cautioned against
forging unconditional alliances with repressive regimes.
"The U.S., the E.U. and other leaders in this effort need to make clear
that this campaign is about reaffirming the rule of law and respect for
human rights," Roth said. "States that use the fight against terrorism
to justify their own internal crackdowns on perceived political
opponents, peaceful advocates of separatism, or religious activists only
undermine the cause."
Human Rights Watch has written separately to German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder, to question remarks he made on Tuesday calling for a
"differentiated evaluation of the war in Chechnya" in light of the
antiterrorism campaign. Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently
on a state visit to Germany.
Human Rights Watch urged the international community to step up
humanitarian assistance for more than five million Afghanis displaced by
ongoing civil war, drought, and the threat of U.S. military attacks.
U.N. relief agencies are warning of a "humanitarian crisis of stunning
proportions" unless emergency steps are quickly taken.
Acknowledging that additional security measures may be warranted, Human
Rights Watch also expressed concern about proposed restrictions on civil
liberties in both the U.S. and Europe. "We must remain vigilant against
vague or broad measures that discriminate against unpopular views or
disfavored minorities," Roth explained.
Copies of Human Rights Watch letters to E.U. President Guy Verhofstadt,
who is also the Prime Minister of Belgium, and German Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder are below.
******* September 27, 2001
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
Dear Chancellor Schröder,
We are writing to urge you to clarify German policy toward Russia in
light of your public remarks on Tuesday. Your statement that in the new
global struggle against terrorism there must be "a more differentiated
evaluation in world opinion" about the conflict in Chechnya sent a clear
message: Russia's reward for cooperation in anti-terrorism is
international silence and inaction on atrocities committed in the
Chechnya conflict. This approach seriously questions the credibility of
Germany's human rights concerns in the region and indicates tacit
approval for the Russian government to continue to employ the brutal
methods for which it has been repeatedly censured by the European Union,
Council of Europe, the OSCE, and the United Nations Commission on Human
There can be no doubt that the September 11 attacks warrant justice. But
the search for justice must make distinctions between the guilty and the
innocent, between perpetrators and the civilians who may surround them,
and between those who commit atrocities and those who simply share their
religious or political beliefs, ethnicity, or national origin. Belgian
Foreign Minister Louis Michel, speaking on behalf of the E.U.
presidency, gave voice to these principles last week in Washington,
where he said that "combating terrorism is both about protecting the
lives of our citizens from terrorist attacks and about safeguarding the
fundamental values of our open democratic and multicultural societies."
Now more than ever, Germany should insist that its allies in the fight
against terrorism also uphold these standards.
Many governments around the world have exploited the September 11
attacks to justify further crackdowns against those they deem to be
"terrorists" and "separatists." The Russian government was among the
first to compare the U.S. war on terrorism to its own actions in
One of the hallmarks of Russia's campaign in Chechnya has been its
failure to differentiate between suspected rebels and civilians, and its
failure to comply with international human rights and humanitarian law.
As a member of the E.U., the German government took a principled stand
against the indiscriminate bombing, massacres, torture, and forced
disappearances committed by Russian forces against civilians in
Chechnya, and made clear that Russia's fight against terrorism could
never be used to condone these atrocities. Germany supported two
E.U.-sponsored resolutions at the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that
condemned terrorist attacks related to the Chechnya conflict and
breaches of humanitarian law perpetrated by Chechen forces, as well as
the methods often used by Russian federal forces in Chechnya. The
Council of Europe and the European Union have equally principled records
on Chechnya-they have condemned terrorism and urged the Russian
government to respect European human rights law and international
humanitarian law in the conflict.
European institutions and the U.N. have engaged Russia to ensure access
to the conflict zone, exposure of abuses, and accountability for their
perpetrators. Even though Russian forces continue to commit many of the
same abuses, the international community has achieved a presence in the
area and a dialogue with the Russian government on accountability. These
serve as an element of restraint. If a "differentiated" approach
suggests disengagement-and many in Russia already have chosen to
interpret it this way-Russian forces' abuses in Chechnya will worsen and
the dialogue on accountability will end.
Softening the stance on Russia's record in Chechnya now cannot but send
the message that restraint in counterterrorism to ensure the protection
of civilians is valued only when the interests of Germany and its allies
are not at stake. This double standard could jeopardize European
credibility in pursuing human rights protections throughout the world
for years to come.
Clarifying Germany's stance on Chechnya, to the Russian government and
the European public, is particularly important in light of the
forthcoming E.U.-Russia summit. Under these circumstance we urge you to
ensure that Germany's policy toward Russia is in line with European and
international institutions, and that it require Russia to comply with
its international obligations in Chechnya.
We thank you for your attention to these concerns.
Europe and Central Asia division
Human Rights Watch
September 26, 2001
Rue de la Loi
16 1000 BRUXELLES
Dear Prime Minister Verhofstadt:
We are writing on the eve of your meeting with U.S. President George
Bush to urge your close attention to the significant human rights
concerns raised by joint E.U.-U.S. efforts to combat terrorism.
We condemn the horrific September 11 attacks as a crime against humanity
and welcome E.U. efforts to prevent the recurrence of such atrocities
and bring those responsible to justice. We are equally appreciative of
the sentiment expressed by Foreign Minister Michel last week in
Washington, that "combating terrorism is both about protecting the lives
of our citizens from terrorist attacks and about safeguarding the
fundamental values of our open democratic and multicultural societies."
As this comment suggests, it is essential that in the course of this
anti-terrorism campaign the E.U. and its member states scrupulously
adhere to international standards and maintain the crucial distinctions
between the perpetrators of crimes and the innocent, between combatants
and the civilians who may surround them, between those who commit
atrocities and those who simply share their religious beliefs,
ethnicity, or national origin. Equally important, the E.U. should
insist that its allies in the fight against terrorism also uphold these
We are deeply concerned that these fundamental human rights norms will
be challenged in the wake of the September 11 attacks, with some
politicians and policy makers arguing that the concern for civilians and
non-combatants dictated by international humanitarian law is a luxury
they cannot afford in this "war." Others will argue that the fight
against terrorism requires fewer rights for suspects or tougher measures
against refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants. Still others may
cynically exploit the fight against terrorism to justify on-going or
increased repression of their political opponents.
We hope that alongside measures to combat terrorism, the E.U. will
undertake an equally rigorous campaign to address the humanitarian
impact of the war on terrorism, to ensure that internal E.U. security
measures respect fundamental rights, and to remain vigilant in its
stance against human rights abuse throughout the world, particularly
against any opportunistic use of the fight against terrorism to justify
violations. Our specific concerns and recommendations on each of these
fronts are outlined below.
Humanitarian Relief Afghanistan is on the verge of a massive
humanitarian catastrophe, with five million people, most of them women
and children, displaced both internally and externally, and the civilian
population at risk of starvation. Deplorable conditions brought on by
twenty years of civil war, continuing human rights violations under the
Taliban regime, and severe drought have only been exacerbated in recent
weeks by the closure of all borders with Afghanistan's neighbors, the
withdrawal of international relief agency staff, the seizure of food
supplies by Taliban authorities and the shutting down of U.N.
communication networks within Afghanistan, as well as large new
movements of people in anticipation of possible U.S.-led military
It is imperative that the E.U. and the U.S. develop a strategy to
minimize the civilian impact of their efforts to combat terrorism and to
address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and neighboring
countries. Human Rights Watch believes that the following are critical
elements of any such strategy:
· All neighboring countries and countries in the region should
reopen their borders to ensure that refugees from Afghanistan enjoy
their right to seek asylum and relief agencies have full and unhindered
access to civilians in need. These countries' legitimate security
concerns can be met by screening out armed elements at the borders.
· As a matter of urgency, host and donor governments, and United
Nations agencies should develop a coordinated strategy to identify and
separate militants and armed elements from civilian refugees. Separation
should take place inside host countries at the border and involve an
international monitoring presence.
· Displaced persons should not be forced to remain in camps, safe
havens, or humanitarian zones within Afghanistan, but rather they should
be permitted to seek refuge in neighboring states.
· Governments outside the region, particularly industrialized
states, should explore emergency resettlement possibilities for Afghan
· Donor countries need to make emergency commitments to the United
Nations and international aid agencies and Afghanistan's neighbors to
meet the humanitarian needs of the displaced and civilian populations.
E.U. humanitarian assistance, augmented yesterday by a new 4 million
Euro commitment, are welcome; but the mobilization of resources on a far
grander scale will be required just to meet UNHCR's emergency appeal for
$252 million, let alone longer term needs.
· Donor governments, U.N. and international relief agencies must
urgently explore ways in which humanitarian assistance can reach all
affected civilians inside Afghanistan, especially the internally
E.U. Security Measures Human Rights Watch recognizes the heightened
concern for the development of internal E.U.-wide security measures in
the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. However, we urge the E.U. to
proceed with caution, through transparent and deliberate decision-making
procedures, to ensure that any security measures taken provide adequate
safeguards to guarantee the protection of individual civil liberties. A
number of recent E.U. proposals to combat terrorism contain elements of
concern to Human Rights Watch:
· The European Commission Proposal for a Council Framework
Decision to Combat Terrorism of September 19, 2001, provides a broad
definition of terrorism that threatens to quell legitimate dissent.
Human Rights Watch is concerned that public demonstrations and
protests-such as those against nuclear weapons and those in favor of
more transparent procedures governing international financial
institutions-could be subject to the provisions of the proposal, thus
infringing on the rights to freedom of association and assembly.
· The European Commission Proposal for Council Framework Decision
on the European Arrest Warrant of September 19, 2001 is meant to replace
the current system of extradition between E.U. member states with mutual
recognition of court judgments ordering a case referred to another court
pursuant to a European arrest warrant. Human Rights Watch hopes that
these new procedures will not come at the expense of safeguards giving
surrendering countries an explicit exemption from honoring warrants in
cases where the issuing country may fail to observe fair trial
standards. This will be particularly important as the E.U. explores the
possibility of extending the European arrest warrant system to E.U.
applicant states and other non-member states.
· Both the Conclusions and Plan of Action of the
Extraordinary European Council Meeting of September 21, 2001 and the
Commission Proposal for a Council Framework Decision to Combat Terrorism
include measures to identify terrorist organizations and criminalize
their activities. The Commission Proposal for a Council Framework
Decision to Combat Terrorism would make "promoting of, supporting of or
participating in a terrorist group" a criminal offense with a penalty of
up to seven years imprisonment. Human Rights Watch is concerned that
broad, undefined terms such as "promoting" and "supporting" could result
in findings of "guilt by association" of persons sharing the same
political ideology, nationality, or ethnicity as persons who commit acts
of terrorism. Indeed, with mere expressions of sympathy for terrorists
one could run afoul of such provisions.
· The Conclusions adopted by the extraordinary meeting of
the Justice and Home Affairs Council of September 20, 2001, include an
invitation to the Commission "to examine urgently the relationship
between safeguarding internal security and complying with international
protection obligations and instruments." This conclusion suggests that
E.U. authorities will be exploring ways in which E.U. member states can
expel or exclude from their territory a refugee proven to pose a threat
to national security. The obligation of states not to deport in any
manner a refugee to a country where their "life or freedom would be
threatened" is an established principle of international customary law
and enshrined in the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
Provisions do exist under this Convention to expel or return a refugee
for whom "there are reasonable grounds for regarding as a danger to the
security of the country." This provision must be applied strictly and
according to its terms and sufficient procedural safeguards should be
put in place to protect refugees from discriminatory exclusions based
solely on nationality, ethnicity or religion. In any event, refugees
must be protected against deportation, either directly or indirectly, to
a country where their lives or freedom would be threatened on account of
race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or
While we understand the security imperative that has informed these
recent proposals, we urge you to ensure that no such measures infringe
the basic human rights of people in E.U. member states.
Opportunistic Crackdowns Human Rights Watch is seriously concerned that
abusive governments will take advantage of the September 11 attacks to
step up their repressive practices. Some will expect latitude to
silence their critics as a quid pro quo for their cooperation in the
fight against terrorism. Others will try to justify their internal
crackdowns on perceived political opponents, peaceful advocates of
separatism, or religious activists as a necessary part of the global
anti-terrorism effort. Either way, these opportunists will undermine
the basic human rights principles that were under assault by the
September 11 attacks.
Already these tendencies are apparent. Russian President Vladimir Putin
has pointed to alleged links between Osama bin Laden and rebels in
Chechnya and suggested that Russia and the west face "a common foe,"
implying that Russia now expects international acquiescence in a
campaign that has indiscriminately targeted civilians. We were deeply
troubled to hear that yesterday German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
validated President Putin's expectations, commenting that "as regards
Chechnya, there will be and must be a more differentiated evaluation in
The Chinese foreign ministry has said that the United States should give
its "support and understanding in [China's] fight against terrorists and
separatists" - a reference to Tibet as well as to the Muslim region of
Xinjiang, where Chinese authorities are engaged in a campaign of arrests
and summary executions, with little or no due process. In Israel,
before the current efforts to restore a cease fire, Defense Minister
Binyamin Ben Eliezer bragged that on the Thursday after the attacks his
forces had killed fourteen Palestinians, "with the world remaining
absolutely silent." Egyptian Prime Minister Atef Abeid lashed out at the
United States and United Kingdom for "calling on us to give these
terrorists their 'human rights,'" referring to criticism of torture and
unfair trials. "After these horrible crimes committed in New York and
Virginia," he added, "maybe Western countries should begin to think of
Egypt's own highly abusive fight against terror as their new model." In
Macedonia, Prime Minister Georgievski said NATO should now be more
supportive of his government's sometimes abusive campaign against its
predominantly Muslim Albanian opponents.
The danger of such a response may be particularly acute in Central Asia,
which will be a staging area for operations in Afghanistan. This region
faces a genuine armed threat from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan,
which has been allegedly linked to Osama bin Laden's organization. But
it is also home to brutal dictatorships that use tools of repression
they inherited from the Soviet Union against any political or religious
group they cannot control. Since 1997, for example, Uzbekistan has
arrested thousands of non-violent, pious Muslims for offenses such as
praying at the wrong mosques, reading the wrong religious literature and
listening to the wrong sermons, sentencing many to terms of up to 20
years in prison.
As the E.U. and the U.S. build the coalition of states to fight
terrorism, we hope that you will make clear that you will not tolerate
opportunistic crackdowns, and that you consider respect for human rights
and international humanitarian law a necessary element of an effective
anti-terrorism strategy. In particular, we hope that the E.U. and its
member states will:
· Refuse to provide assistance to the military, paramilitary, law
enforcement, and intelligence forces of abusive governments unless
credible safeguards are in place to ensure it is not used against
peaceful opponents or to commit human rights violations.
· Make clear in public statements and in private diplomacy
that the E.U. and its member states will expect from its allies what it
will demand of itself: that counter-terrorism efforts respect civilian
life, and that they distinguish between those who commit atrocities like
the attacks of September 11th and those who simply share their religious
or political beliefs, ethnicity or national origin.
· Instruct ambassadors around the world to watch for
statements or actions by governments that take advantage of these tragic
events to advance domestic campaigns of repression and publicly condemn
them wherever they occur.
· Continue to report fully and candidly any human rights
violations committed by allies in the coalition against terrorism, and
use available instruments such the human rights conditions on
Partnership and Cooperation Agreements without regard to a country's
place in that coalition.
· Avoid cooperative activities that will be read by
abusive governments-and their innocent victims-as implying support for
Taking these steps will not rule out cooperation with any country or
otherwise compromise the campaign against terrorism. It would simply
send a message that how the coalition fights will be as important as
what it is fighting. We know that these issues are at the forefront of
policy-makers minds in Washington and we hope that our observations
contribute to productive discussions with your U.S. interlocutors
tomorrow. We look forward to addressing these critical issues with you
and your colleagues in the weeks and months ahead.
I think that the list volume is big enough these days so we shouldn't
engage in the old bad custom of splitting an issue into 117 others, half
of them unrelated, and to go in circles about questions discussed ad
nauseam here, in spite of lots of easily accessible background
information. So I'll try to make my answer short.
Mikhail Ramendik wrote:
> NS> Dudayev certainly was a civilian in his role as Chechen president.
> Russian soldiers are civilians in their role of purchasers on a
> market, yet when they are killed, you don't call it terrorism. And
> besides, the role of Commander-in-Chief is not really separate from
> the role of President.
Dudayev was first of all a head of state who was assassinated in a
treacherous move by state officials who faked the wish to talk about
ending the war. I don't know a better word for that than terrorism.
Russian soldiers don't suddenly become civilians while moving around in
an occupied country being off duty. They are combattants. If they want
to safeguard themselves, they should stay in their forts. Or even
better, leave. Nobody would shoot at them at home. At least no Chechens.
> This 'head of state' was not recognized by any state. He was the
> supreme commander of a military structure at war with Russia. He was
> assassinated while performing the duties of such commander, namely
> trying to talk to Russian officials. I see nothing terrorist in this.
That's nonsense. The Russian side had been talking with him on various
occasions as a head of state. Even if we for a moment assume that he
"just" was a military commander - to lure him into peace talks in order
to get a chance to assassinate him is medieval barbarism, the trademark
of Russian internal and external policy since the "Terrible" guy.
"Terrorism" is just a more modern term.
> Remember. from the viewpoint of Russia - and international law,
> because nobody recognized Chechnya - this was a big police operation
> against an armed insurgence. What's wrong with killing the head of the
I know that this is beyond the reaches of your comprehension, but as
stated here many times, there is a difference between international law
in both its written and customary parts, and the recognition given to
it by the governments of this world.
The Western governments are criticized exactly of this, of recognizing
and following international law only in cases where they benefit from
it. Chechnya is an example. And btw., one shouldn't talk about the
viewpoint of Russia (who knows that viewpoint at all, and how can a
totally un- and disinformed majority have any useful viewpoints), but
about the viewpoint of the Russian leadership. Perhaps even this is
wrong. Their viewpoint is different - it's the viewpoint of
international gangsters - what you call their "viewpoint" are their
propaganda standpoints which they don't even believe themselves.
> In this case, name one kind of action done by the Russian Army or
> other Russian state units in Chechnya, that was not done by US armed
> forces or other US units in Viet Nam. (While my favourite comparison
> is the French in Algeria, there is more publicized information about
> Viet Nam).
> And the USA was not 'Nazi-style', right?
You are constantly referring to the (alleged or real) crimes of others
in order to relativate the Russian crimes. That's exactly what modern
defenders of Nazi Germany do ("Hitler was Stalin's fault" etc.).
What the USA did or didn't in Vietnam has nothing to do with what Russia
does in Chechnya. The crimes in Chechnya are committed here and now, and
nobody can be relieved from his guilt and responsibility by pointing at
previous crimes by others.
And whatever the USA did, it wasn't directed at the extermination of the
Vietnamese people. They e.g. didn't murder 20% of the Vietnamese
civilians. They had no previous record of deporting all Vietnamese to
the Chilean desert, and they had no 200 years record of massacres in
that part of the world. And in spite of individual expressions of racism
during that conflict, there was no organized racist persecution of
Vietnamese and other Asians. And the USA of those days didn't have a
fascist state system. These are some of the differences between a
colonial and imperialist war and a Nazi-style campaign.
> There is no 'fascist state ideology'; a state ideology is something
> published, not secret schemes in a secret service. Published
> propaganda on Chechnya is - we're protecting ourselves and the Chechen
> civilians from the bandits and terrorists. In published state
> propaganda there is no racism and no 'bad Chechen people'.
I'm not talking about secret schemes. Try and read something about
Mussolini's "corporative state" and compare it with Putin's accomplished
and planned so-called "reforms".
> Nor are there stated expansionist goals. Chechnya is not expansionism,
> but preservation. Nazi expansionist goals were published in their
> fundamental book, Mein Kampf.
Well, it is quite clear to everybody who deals with the area that it is
one of the principal goals of Russia (though currently unachievable
because of the rotten Russian structures) to reinstall Russian supremacy
over the "Near Abroad", or at least the CIS countries. This is what I
would call "revanchism", one of the principal driveforces behind the
Nazi expansion. Chechnya is today the main obstacle for Russian
re-expansion in the Caucasus area. That's why Russia is fighting "to the
last Chechen" with such a barbarian energy.
> On what information do you base the assertion that, if no fighters
> have been present in Chechnya, the Russian side would have herded
> anyone into cattle wagons? After all, there are no open fighters and
> many Chechens in Ingushetia now, and nobody is herded into cattle
Well, right now and for more than a year, Russia has been trying all
means to force the Chechen refugees back into the war zone. There were
even attempts to move the complete trains these people mostly live in.
This is a war crime according to the Geneva convention and has mainly
two goals: to remove the Chechen refugees from contacts with the world
community and humanitarian organizations, and to get killed more of
them and to do it quicker than possible by hunger and diseases in the
camps. A case of planned genocide.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001. Page 13
Russia as Rudderless Vessel
By Boris Kagarlitsky
Vladimir Putin's main political virtue is his ability to be all
things to all people. To some, he appears to be a Western-leaning,
liberal reformer, while others are convinced he is reviving the
traditions of the Soviet state. To some, he promises that order will
be established without balking at the use of tough measures. To
others, that human rights will be observed. Alas, this situation is
not compatible with making serious decisions.
To give our president his due, however, he has managed to occupy the
presidency for more than a year without making a single decision of
significance for the fate of the country (reorganization of the
administrative apparatus doesn't count, as it doesn't affect the
lives of ordinary citizens). The favorable economic situation has
allowed the country to drift along in an unclear direction without
hitting any reefs so far. The fall of 2001 could see an end to this.
The conflict in Afghanistan and the war in Chechnya require that the
Kremlin takes a decisive stance. The defeats meted out to Russian
forces in Chechnya in August and September demonstrate the
pointlessness of military operations there. Talk of new, tougher
measures to be taken by the military are little more than a bluff.
Everything that could have been done already has been. Regarding
Afghanistan, the Kremlin cannot ignore a potentially huge
conflagration on Russia's borders. The Russian authorities must
therefore resolve two issues at once: Whether to make peace with the
Chechen fighters and whether they are ready to get involved in the
Afghan conflict on the American side?
The Kremlin's response is very revealing. Putin has proposed
negotiations, but only on terms of unconditional capitulation.
Furthermore, the offer was couched as an ultimatum. The result came
as no surprise: Had the rebels planned on surrendering, they would
have done so with or without an ultimatum. It is comical to propose
that your enemy surrenders when it has just beaten you in Vedeno and
Gudermes. Of course there was no surrender, but Chechen President
Aslan Maskhadov received Putin's proposal positively. He understood
that Putin was simply unable to offer him negotiations in any other
form. It's another matter that the offer of serious negotiations
means that Moscow has made serious concessions (the war began with
Putin's promise that there would be no negotiating with bandits).
Words and actions are therefore at odds with one another. Moscow is
ready to give in but expresses its readiness by demanding that the
other side capitulate.
The situation with Afghanistan is similar. Putin promises
participation in the American operation but not in military
operations. Rather, he says, Russia will provide "humanitarian
supplies" and "search and rescue operations." Moscow seems to think
American bombardments will be some kind of natural disaster. However,
in practice, Moscow's promises serve an entirely different purpose.
While not offering Moscow's direct assistance in military operations,
Putin has opened up the possibility of the country gradually being
dragged into war. Humanitarian supplies could mean transport,
foodstuffs, and medical supplies for the Americans and their allies.
"Search and rescue operations" could include covert operations
conducted by Russia's reconnaissance units to make sure that U.S.
missiles hit their targets.
The mass supply of military hardware to the Northern Alliance will
sooner or later lead to the arrival of numerous military instructors,
followed by tank divisions made up of volunteers and could end with
While in Chechnya a path has been opened for escalating the peace
negotiations, in Afghanistan it has been opened for the escalation of
military efforts. But while the results of the decisions adopted
appear contradictory, the method is the same. The Kremlin is avoiding
an intelligible and unambiguous position. No matter what Putin's
administration does, it will reserve the option of pulling back. It
allows its words to be interpreted ambiguously and even disowns them
if necessary. The Kremlin clearly considers this to be the highest
form of political wisdom. Nothing has been decided for sure, and thus
no one has to take responsibility for anything.
The Russian authorities may, however, find themselves hostage to
processes beyond their control. Storm clouds have replaced the
political calm of the past 1 1/2 years. By allowing itself to be
carried along by the waves, the administration risks sooner or later
being smashed against a reef.
Boris Kagarlitsky is a Moscow-based sociologist.
Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2001. Page 1
Sniper-for-Hire Dreams of Her Own Home
By Nabi Abdullaev
Igor Tabakov / MT
Galina Sinitsyna, who once competed in the sport of shooting, talking
about her hopes to become a sniper in Chechnya and earn enough money
to buy an apartment.
VLADIMIR, Central Russia -- Galina Sinitsyna has spent months trying
to persuade military recruitment officers to send her to Chechnya to
kill rebels for money.
Inspired by the sudden wealth of contract soldiers returning from the
war zone, she wants to use her skills as a competitive shooter to
become a sniper.
"Where else can I earn enough to buy a new apartment for us?" said
Sinitsyna, 40, who has an 18-year-old son.
She lost her job last year as a sports instructor for the trolleybus
park in Vladimir, a city about 200 kilometers east of Moscow, when new
management decided to cut the budget. The best job offer she's gotten
since then was as a contract killer, but she turned it down.
"I've heard that snipers in Chechnya are paid 1,800 rubles ($60) a
day, plus some extra for every Chechen rebel they kill," she said last
week while cuddling her kitten in her home, a communal apartment on a
Even though the military is eager to hire contract soldiers to fight
in Chechnya, enlistment officers in Vladimir have repeatedly turned
down her application, saying she is too old.
A duty officer in the Vladimir regional military enlistment office
said Monday that Sinitsyna is not eligible to serve in the army.
"According to the law on military service, the first army contract can
be offered to a person older than 18 but younger than 40," the duty
But Sinitsyna refuses to give up the idea. "I will go as a cook or as
a nurse," she said. "There, in Chechnya, I'll make up my way to the
snipers, who receive the highest wages among the troops."
Despite what Sinitsyna says, the so-called kontraktniki serving in
Chechnya are paid about 6,000 rubles ($200) a month, according to
independent military analyst Pavel Felgenhauer, who said no
distinction in pay for snipers has ever been announced.
"They used to make the standard pay for contract soldiers of 2,000
rubles, plus combat pay of 850 rubles to 950 rubles a day, but the
Defense Ministry cut their pay in May. Now, privates in Chechnya are
paid double the standard pay, plus a 60 ruble per diem, which come out
to about 6,000 rubles."
"There are few volunteers today to go to Chechnya for 6,000 rubles a
month," Felgenhauer said. "Moreover, those kontraktniki who went to
Chechnya earlier are deserting their units because of the low pay."
In August, when NTV television came to film a report about her,
Sinitsyna used the opportunity to storm into the regional enlistment
office, or voyenkomat.
"I brought the TV crew with me to the voyenkomat and pleaded with them
again to sign me up," she related agitatedly. "The voyenkomat officers
did not say no then and promised to contact me soon."
Sinitsyna said she has nothing personal against Chechens. "The
Chechens I know are great people. In a way, they are better than our
Russian guys, and I'd never ever think of killing any of them.
"As for the rebels, I don't know them personally, so I wouldn't care
about shooting at them," she said.
Since losing her job, Sinitsyna has earned a meager living sweeping
entry ways in her native town, Lesnoi, some 20 kilometers from
Vladimir. The town's 3,000 residents inhabit 12 crumbling, five-story
concrete buildings, the property of a giant pig farm that is the
town's only employer.
Cigarettes here are usually sold separately because few can afford to
buy a full pack at once. And in the local cafe, town people offer
visitors electric tools made at a plant in Vladimir for absurdly low
Eleven years ago, the farm, where Sinitsyna worked taking care of the
pigs after graduating from school, gave her and her son a room of 12
square meters in a communal apartment.
"We share a common kitchen, bathroom and toilet with another family
and I am sick and tired of this kind of communism," Sinitsyna said,
flashing a smile of decaying and missing teeth.
Her shabby furniture -- two worn sofas, a wardrobe with doors that no
longer close and a writing table with a Soviet-made television set on
top of it -- leave little free space in the room. But everything is
very neat and, with her kitten Styopa roaming the room, it is quite
But Sinitsyna is obsessed with getting her own place. "Serving in
Chechnya for just six months is enough to buy a new apartment," she
said with conviction.
When she showed up at the military enlistment office for the first
time, the officers looked at me wide-eyed. "They asked me whether I
knew what the war was," she recalled. "And I asked them whether they
knew what work in a pig sty was."
The 10 years she worked on the pig farm, spending her days in
unventilated barns, stuffy with the ammonia smell of pig excrement,
took a toll on her health, Sinitsyna said. Cuts refused to heal and
her limbs swelled so much that at times she had trouble moving.
"Working in a pig barn and in a war are pretty similar occupations,"
she said. "You may die here and there."
Sinitsyna, who was once the regional champion in long-distance
running, swimming and shooting, said she was offered a job as a
contract killer by one of her old friends, who, as she put it, became
"a serious businessman."
"Once he was giving me a lift in his Alfa-Romeo and suddenly he
offered me a job killing his rivals," Sinitsyna said. "To test me, he
produced a Colt revolver, handed it to me and, as we were driving
through the forest, asked me to hit the trees that he pointed to. I
did it six times without a single miss."
The businessman promised to buy her a new apartment, a car and to pay
a hefty sum for each successful assignment. She declined. Asked her
reasons, she did not offer any ethical arguments.
"Contract killers don't last long," she said simply.
Her son, Viktor, whom she brought up alone, is now in the army.
"He wrote me a letter asking for my permission to volunteer for
Chechnya," Sinitsyna said, tousling her boyish hairdo nervously. "I
agreed, because where else can the boy earn money in this country?
When he returns, a grown-up man, how will he live in this small room
She said her acquaintances and relatives understand her desire to go
to Chechnya, with the exception of her 76-year-old mother.
"Mom told me that I will make it through any medical examination but
the psychiatrist will stop me," Sinitsyna said, grinning wryly.
The idea of fighting in Chechnya was first planted in her mind by
reports about the so-called White Stockings, female snipers from the
Baltic countries or Ukraine, said to have fought on the rebel side
during the first Chechnya conflict in 1994-96.
In the second war, the relative wealth accumulated by contract
soldiers has turned the idea into an obsession.
Sinitsyna said her own nephew recently signed up for a second
six-month tour in Chechnya, after coming home from his first tour and
buying a car and new clothes.
"I asked Vova what he needed all this money for when he returned home
in the summer from his first trip," she said. "And he told me that he
cannot live with our misery any more and a week later he went back to
Contract personnel -- split about evenly between men and women --
account for 100,000 to 200,000 of Russia's 1.3 million servicemen this
year, according to Felgenhauer.
The dramatic decrease in their salaries is said to be one motive for
the troops to loot civilian homes and extort bribes from the local
population. Chechens and international observers say the contract
soldiers are most to blame for the human rights abuses.
Still believing that the military enlistment office will consider her
appeal, Sinitsyna has not given up.
"I'll survive through the winter, I have my fridge fully stuffed now,"
she said with pride. "With mushrooms and berries, but no meat, of
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