[Fwd: RusLife OnLine: THE RUSSIAN EYE]
- -------- Original Message --------
Subject: RusLife OnLine: THE RUSSIAN EYE
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 1999 22:37:56 +0100
From: Dmitri Daniline <ambrus@...>
Reply-To: The Chechnya List <CHECHNYA@...>
To: Multiple recipients of list CHECHNYA <CHECHNYA@...>
RusLife Online is a weekly online review of news and opinion from the
publishers of Russian Life magazine, a bimonthly print magazine of
culture, history, travel and life. We're online at:
THE RUSSIAN EYE
Why Russia Must Stand Firm in Chechnya
By Mikhail Ivanov
Tomorrow in Oslo, Norway, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will
undoubtedly be subjected to criticism about Chechnya by US President
Clinton (who recently said the Chechen problem cannot be solved by
means and that all problems similar to the one in Chechnya could be
"only by political means"). Meanwhile, over the course of last week, US
Secretary of State Strobe Talbot has been twisting the arm of Russian
Minister Igor Ivanov, expressing America's concern over the scale of
operations in Chechnya. Finally, Germany's Minister of Cooperation and
Development Haide Maria Zeul said one cannot give money to a country
"carries out military actions against its own people."
These sympathies are at best puzzling to most Russians. First, Chechnya
sovereign territory of the Russian Federation. It is not a separate
principality. It is a region on the borders of Russia that has become a
haven for international terrorists. (Even, Great Britain made a point of
ignoring Aslan Maskhadov when he latter arrived to London, so certainly
somehow accepted in Western circles.) Second, there is an amazing double
standard here. Somehow it is acceptable for the US and NATO to bomb
oblivion to avert a humanitarian disaster, or for the US to bomb
bases in sovereign nations (Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan) with impugnity.
Russia seeks to eradicate terrorists on its own soil, it is
In fact, the "true humanitarian catastrophe" broke out in Chechnya long
the recent military actions. The local population's pensions have been
shanghaied by Chechen field commanders to buy arms; unemployment is the
rather than the exception, forcing young men to either join the rebels
starve; production of drugs and counterfeit dollars is rampant; the
business thrives at the expense of local Russian families and the
international journalists and aid workers ...
This issue aside, those who demand a halt to Russia's military
Chechnya and a dialogue with terrorists fail to understand the very
their demands. By asking Russia to relinquish its plans to nip the
terrorism in the bud, they are asking Russia to resign itself to a total
of Russian influence in the Caucasus and a wildfire spreading of
throughout the country. As Sevodnya daily put it, "American politicians
to gradually realize that Russia's retreat in the Caspian region and the
Caucasus is over." And they seem not to like having to deal with a more
assertive, confident Russia ...
Of course, there is no quick solution to the problem of international
in Chechnya. But Russian authorities seem to agree that a prerequisite
breaking the back of the terrorists' military machine. As Russian
Minister Marshall Igor Sergeev said last weekend while inspecting
positions near Grozny: "We are here for good."
As Putin said recently, "one cannot make a whole people kneel down, and
not Russia's intent. But then one can and must destroy terrorists ..."
will begin the negotiations "when it will be profitable to her." And
is a legitimate party to negotiate with - one that does not espouse and
terrorism against Russia, like Maskhadov.
As to the IMF-centered blackmail, Putin phrased the problem well in a TV
interview Sunday on ORT: The West seeks to give us "loans for candies"
exchange for "giving up the whole territory from the Black Sea to the
But even if we give it up, they won't stop there and will further expand
aggression against Russia."
Chechnya has never been independent from Russia. And if the military
to reintegrate it into Russia is interrupted again, the consequences
disastrous for the whole country. Now that Russian troops have driven
warlords into a corner, separatists in other subjects of the Russian
Federation--such as Tatarstan for instance--are keeping a low-profile.
Governor of Sverdlovsk region Eduard Rossel, who in a fit of separatism
proclaimed a so-called called Republic of the Urals, now seems to be
about Russia's territorial integrity and said he wants Russia to return
old pre-Revolutionary territorial division of guberniyas.) But if Russia
down on Chechnya, what is to stop Russia from devolving to a city-state
by the territory of Moscow? After all, one can always find an axe to
a reason to separate oneself from one's neighbors. Finding unity is so
Which brings to mind Prime Minister Putin's tongue-in-cheek remark
(which could be restated to good effect tomorrow): "Clinton is saying
we are saying ... that ethnic conflicts cannot be solved by coercive
am grateful to Bill Clinton for his support..."
Mikhail Ivanov is Executive Editor of Russian Life magazine.
- -------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: RusLife OnLine: THE RUSSIAN EYE
Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 00:24:14 -0800
From: witold1 <witold1@...>
Reply-To: The Chechnya List <CHECHNYA@...>
To: Multiple recipients of list CHECHNYA <CHECHNYA@...>
Dmitri Daniline wrote:
>I think Clinton got this unique recognition the old fashion way: he
> Which brings to mind Prime Minister Putin's tongue-in-cheek remark recently
> (which could be restated to good effect tomorrow): "Clinton is saying just what
> we are saying ... that ethnic conflicts cannot be solved by coercive means. I
> am grateful to Bill Clinton for his support..."
Shame on you Mister President, this is your legacy now. Hard to believe
it happened just like that, without your clear intentions. Shame on you
for permitting the biggest, state sponsored genocide in a time of
- Dmitri Daniline <ambrus@...> wrote:
> THE RUSSIAN EYE(snip)
> Why Russia Must Stand Firm in Chechnya
> By Mikhail Ivanov
> These sympathies are at best puzzling to most Russians. First,
> isFirst mistake. Chechnya is a former Russian colony that declared
> sovereign territory of the Russian Federation. It is not a separate
> country or
independence in 1991. It has since been an independent unit under
international law. Russia is now waging its second war in order to
restore this part of the old empire, though Russian president Yeltsin
himself had signed an international treaty with Chechnya in which among
other things the use of force was abandoned.
But the current Russian leadership uses treaties in the same way as
Hitler did: They are good for deceiving the public, but to be broken if
needed. Just now we see how Putin is manoeuvering with the CFE treaty
(broken for "as long as necessary".)
> It is a region on the borders of Russia that has become aof
> haven for international terrorists. (Even, Great Britain made a point
> ignoring Aslan Maskhadov when he latter arrived to London, socertainly
> this isThis smart sentence connects two issues which have little to do with
> somehow accepted in Western circles.)
each other. First, Great Britain did not totally ignore Maskhadov when
he was there. Some officials in fact talked with him about some British
hostages. The hostages were the sole reason why the British talked to
Chechnya at all. Otherwise, they follow the line of the other Western
governments, which is to bend international law in the Chechen case and
regard it as part of Russia. The reasons are clear, economical
interests personalized in the "family", and geopolitical regards.
And the "safe haven for international terrorists" is pure propaganda,
at least when it comes from Russia of all places! A country which is
the safe haven for a majority of mafia crime all over Europe, and whose
government is now massacring the civilian population of Chechnya in a
19th-century style colonial war, doesn't have the right to talk about
terrorism anywhere in the world. Those guys belong in the Hague for
their own part in international terrorism, among other things.
> Second, there is an amazing doubleThis is also nonsense. I called it "kindergarden argumentation"
> standard here. Somehow it is acceptable for the US and NATO to bomb
> Serbia into
> oblivion to avert a humanitarian disaster, or for the US to bomb
> bases in sovereign nations (Afghanistan, Libya, Sudan) with impugnity.
> But when
> Russia seeks to eradicate terrorists on its own soil, it is
somewhere else. It might be an attempt at sophism too, but it isn't
really working. "Others do it too" - it's still a crime! And Russia
isn't fighting terrorists in Chechnya but mainly the local civilian
population and its legal (and previously recognized by Russia)
If there's any similarity between Kosova and Chechnya, we have Russia
in Slobo's role. And there would have been even more reason for the
world community to take measures in the Chechnya case, because we here
have to do with international aggression.
> In fact, the "true humanitarian catastrophe" broke out in Chechnyalong
> the recent military actions. The local population's pensions have
> shanghaied by Chechen field commanders to buy arms; unemployment isthe
> rule,First of all, besides a couple of propaganda lies in this part, there's
> rather than the exception, forcing young men to either join the rebels
> starve; production of drugs and counterfeit dollars is rampant; the
> business thrives at the expense of local Russian families and the
> families of
> international journalists and aid workers ...
the more principal question: Who's responsible for the situation in
Chechnya? After its defeat in 96, Russia signed several agreements with
Chechnya about the payment of pensions, the restauration of destroyed
facilities, and so on. Russia broke *every single* of these signed
agreements and instead tried to isolate the country economically. The
little money which was finally dispatched, disappeard even before it
reached Chechnya. There have been many news stories about this. The
version that the pensions had been stolen by Chechen field commanders
didn't appear in the Russian "information" services before the start of
the new war. Also the story about counterfeit dollars has been spread
by Russian agencies from time to time, but they never gave any proof.
I have to repeat myself again: The sole responsible for the social and
crime situation in Chechnya is the Russian leadership which actively
created the circumstances in which this could develop and had to
develop. So-called foreign terrorists are Russia's best friends in this
connection, since they helped to further destabilize Chechen democracy
and gave Russia cheap arguments for their information war.
It shouldn't be forgotten that the bulk of kidnapping cases were
Chechens, not local Russians and foreigners. There's no space here to
go into that, but it has to be mentioned that there are many layers in
this question. There are simple "economically-motivated" kidnappings as
a result of the situation created by Russian aggression and isolation,
and there are politically motivated cases, and finally atrocities which
were aimed at scaring away foreigners who had been helping to
reconstruct Chechnya. The news stories are full of strange links
between especially the latter category and Russian services and
> This issue aside, those who demand a halt to Russia's militarytotal
> operations in
> Chechnya and a dialogue with terrorists fail to understand the very
> essence of
> their demands. By asking Russia to relinquish its plans to nip the
> terrorism in the bud, they are asking Russia to resign itself to a
> lossHere we are closer to the truth. First of course we have to forget
> of Russian influence in the Caucasus and a wildfire spreading of
> throughout the country.
about the propaganda language ("fight against terrorists", "domestic"
etc.). What remains is the fight against the "total loss of Russian
influence in the Caucasus and a wildfire spreading of separatism
throughout the country". This is of course the real reason behind the
current war. Russia is trying to restore parts of its long-lost
colonial empire, if necessary (and if accepted by the international
community) by the physical extermination of the most resisting
"tribes". The gangsters in the Russian leadership are perfectly aware
that if Chechnya finally, after 200 years of fight, gets away with its
rejection of Russian conquest, others could develop the same idea. If
we look at Russian colonial history, the country would become
relatively small if all the conquered territories left. Especially,
most of the still profit-producing third-world style raw material sites
are almost all located in Russia's colonial rim.
So the "best" Russia can do, if it can't keep Chechnya in the long run,
is at least to devastate it so much that others would lose appetite for
Russia could of course try something else, e.g. to keep the old empire
together by developing into a shining example of democracy and freedom,
which possibly could attract former colonies to some kind of
co-operation. But this seems still far away in a country whose
political philosophy hasn't changed principally since the Khan of
Moscow overthrew his over-khans and made himself "Czar of all Russians".
> As Sevodnya daily put it, "American politiciansthe
> to gradually realize that Russia's retreat in the Caspian region and
> Caucasus is over." And they seem not to like having to deal with amore
> assertive, confident Russia ...It's smart to turn the fight for a lost empire into a case of
arm-bending with America. But this could also backfire. Russia as we
know it exists today only because it is financed by America and other
Western countries. The reason why they are still financing the family
and its wars are not "nice", but at least absolutely material. If
Russia starts pressing too much, other options could become more
feasible. Mr. Putin and others should be very careful not to fall into
the trap prepared by their own bravado language. In real life, they
rule an "Upper Volta" in which even the nukes are beginning to fail.
> Of course, there is no quick solution to the problem of internationalAnd anyway, there have been kidnappings and other atrocities, but I
> in Chechnya.
can't see the huge wave of international terrorism in Chechnya. All we
have are those explosions where the only people who got caught were
FSB-men on "exercise".
As a citizen of Western Europe, I'd rather like the Russian authorities
to take steps against their various mafias committing widespread
organized car-theft, robberies, smuggling of refugees, kidnapping of
women and kids for prostitution, murder, and last but not least
frequent bomb attacks against each other and our local criminals here
in our part of the world. That would make their words sound a little
> But Russian authorities seem to agree that a prerequisite"Breaking the back of the terrorists' military machine" means to
> breaking the back of the terrorists' military machine. As Russian
> Minister Marshall Igor Sergeev said last weekend while inspecting
> Russian troop
> positions near Grozny: "We are here for good."
massacre the civilian population in order to force the Chechen army to
give up large parts of the country to save them. It's using the Chechen
civilians as hostages against their own government.
Well, Mr. Sergeyev won't stay in Chechnya forever. He will have to run
like Pasha Mercedes and his successors did. Perhaps even one day a
democratic Russia will arrest all those responsible for this
international crime and send them to the Hague. Remember Pinochet.
Never say never.
> As Putin said recently, "one cannot make a whole people kneel down,and
> this is..."
> not Russia's intent. But then one can and must destroy terrorists
Talking like this while the Russian army is committing genocide in
Chechnya is the language of Goebbels. No, it doesn't sound smart. Even
if it is meant for internal use only, it's still incredible that
politicians in such positions can get away with it.
> RussiaThat will be when they are beaten again.
> will begin the negotiations "when it will be profitable to her."
> when there
> is a legitimate party to negotiate with - one that does not espouse
> supportThis is the most ridiculous part. But again, was it Goebbels who said
> terrorism against Russia, like Maskhadov.
"even the most stupid lie will finally be believed if it's repeated
> Chechnya has never been independent from Russia.In fact it has never been part of Russia. It has been under Russian
occupation, but that's another story. Russian rulers never understood
the difference, and that's one of the reasons for the present misery in
both Chechnya and Russia.
> And if the militaryThese guys equal their own power and latifunds with the interests of
> to reintegrate it into Russia is interrupted again, the consequences
> would be
> disastrous for the whole country.
the whole country. That's typical for this third-world-general
mind-set. In real life, it would be a benefit for Russia if it learned
to let its colonies go in a peaceful and negotiated way, establishing
peaceful and mutually profitable relations in the course.
Russia will never rise as long as these bloody Khans rule the country.
> Now that Russian troops have drivenExactly. Finally some open language.
> warlords into a corner, separatists in other subjects of the Russian
> Federation--such as Tatarstan for instance--are keeping a low-profile.
> Governor of Sverdlovsk region Eduard Rossel, who in a fit of
> proclaimed a so-called called Republic of the Urals, now seems to be
> about Russia's territorial integrity and said he wants Russia to
> to theEverybody is afraid now that the present government would do the same
> old pre-Revolutionary territorial division of guberniyas.)
even to "Russian" parts of the conglomerate. They can also remember how
Uncle Borya dealt with his own parliament when he had grown tired of it.
> But if Russiacity-state
> down on Chechnya, what is to stop Russia from devolving to a
> definedUnintended, the truth. That's what "Russia" is. The duchy of Moscow and
> by the territory of Moscow?
its colonies. Under democratic circumstances, many of them might find
it reasonable to stay with Moscow, but that should be by their own free
The Russian rulers simply don't understand this part, and the majority
of the population seems still to be under the influence of 19th-century
Pan-Slavist nationalism - a useless base for dealing with our time's
> After all, one can always find an axe toRussia makes it easy for you: Stop grinding that axe or face total
> grind and
> a reason to separate oneself from one's neighbors. Finding unity is so
devastation and extermination. A hard unity.
All in all an interesting article. As always, between the lines of
rather brainless propaganda, we find the truth behind the motives.
- Article transmitted by Danilin:
> > These sympathies are at best puzzling to mostStrade:
> Russians. First,
> > is
> > sovereign territory of the Russian Federation. It
> is not a separate
> > country or
> > principality.
> First mistake. Chechnya is a former Russian colonyFor those who want to avoid ANY partiality in judging
> that declared
> independence in 1991. It has since been an
> independent unit under
> international law. Russia is now waging its second
> war in order to
> restore this part of the old empire, though Russian
> president Yeltsin
> himself had signed an international treaty with
> Chechnya in which among
> other things the use of force was abandoned.
> But the current Russian leadership uses treaties in
> the same way as
> Hitler did: They are good for deceiving the public,
> but to be broken if
> needed. Just now we see how Putin is manoeuvering
> with the CFE treaty
> (broken for "as long as necessary".)
Ichkeria's international status, there is a very
useful expression: "disputed state". Israel, Taiwan
etc. have been in the same position before.
I am every day really irritated by such news as BBC
who refer to Ichkeria as "the Russian rebel province
of Chechnya". Even if they want to follow the Russian
interpretation, they shouild call Ichkeria a republic,
not a province. The definition of "rebel" is also
quite oddly interpreted - but that's of course nothing
new... The legal and elected government and president
of Georgia were called rebels, too. So, it seems
"rebel" anywhere in the CIS region means "someone who
stays critical at Moscow". International recognition,
and recognition of sovereignty by Russia herself (for
Georgia, Azerbaijan...) doesn't seem to mean anything.
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