Re: JFM: Babatsky shares his current view on Chechen war
- Dear sschange and list,
Let me start with stating that I agree with Marius. The people who post
news stories and comments to this list can't be expected to do research
work for others in their spare time.
There is a huge list archive that contains coverage of almost everything
that happened in connection with Chechnya since 1995 and partly before.
You can search the latest items at
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chechnya-sl/messages > and older material
at <http://www.man.torun.pl/cgi-bin/wa?S1=chechnya>. Your questions
about documentation for my statements can be answered there. I won't be
surprised if there are hundreds of messages containing material about
the Budyonnovsk events.
Just a few more comments:
> > I'm a bit surprised about the easiness with which formerly reliable"Terrorism" is defined in different ways by different interested
> > now joins those who take Russian propaganda allegations,
> distortions as
> > well as deliberate, directed simplifications at face value. First,
> > Basayev's and Raduyev's raids into Russian territory. It depends of
> > course on the definition of "terrorism"
> the broad definition of of "terrorism" is direct actions against
> civilians (hostage taking, killing etc)
parties. E.g., the Russian propaganda defines *every* action by the
Chechen Resistance, even military operations directed soleley against
military personnel, as "terrorism" and "crime". They do this both for
obvious propagandistic reasons (to sneak their genocidal campaign into
the world-wide fight against terrorism) and because of their own
problems with defining the events in Chechnya, which clearly constitute
a *war* but which the Russian side in violation of its own constitution
treats like a mix of external war and internal "police action", both
illegal according to their own definitions. So "terrorism" comes in
"Webster's" defines terrorism quite shortly: "The systematic use of
terror esp. as a means of coercion". Accordinng to this definition,
neither Basayev's raid on Budyonnovsk nor Raduyev's raid on Kizlyar can
be called "terrorist", since in both cases the harming of civilians
happened due to the failure of some military operations and thus wasn't
"systematic". They used civilians as human shields in a military action,
which fulfills the definition of a "war crime" (according to the Geneva
conventions which can be accessed on the web).
IMO it is important to make these clear definitions, since the Russian
side abuses the "terrorism" definition for its own political goals.
Otoh, the actions of the Russian troops in Chechnya constitute "state
terrorism", since they clearly aren't directed against the Chechen
military in the first place but are spreading terror among the Chechen
civilians as means of coercion. Political commentators shouldn't get
away with deliberately confusing these things.
> > I'm also a little disappointed that the JFM Monitor doesn't mentionAs already mentioned, the list archive is full of descriptions of the
> > killed the civilians in connection with those raids. For those who
> > remember it, the text implies that it was Basayev's people. But in
> > the Basayevites didn't kill one single civilian
> I am doubtfull that you have any reliable sources to state it,
> but if you do, please share them.
events. Btw., that happened back then when there still was full media
coverage of the events (the Russian side has learned that lesson in the
meantime). You could watch the Russian interior forces shell the
hospital with heavy machine guns and mortars live on TV. You could also
watch Basayev and some of his hostages give live interviews inside the
hospital. And finally, you could watch the Chernomyrdin Show, with the
prime minister negotiating with Basayev, also on live TV.
> > Raduyev's raid on Kizlyar was very similar, a copycat action inI haven't seen any credible (independent) source saying that Raduyev
> which he
> > tried to imitate Basayev. Here too, the civilian losses were due to
> > indiscriminate Russian shelling.
> yes, but not only by them
killed civilian hostages (btw., the Russian side counted killed
so-called "policemen", i.e. members of the interior military forces, as
"civilians"). What Raduyev did was taking hostages and fortifying
himself in that unfortunate village, thus putting civilians in harm's
way. But the civilians were killed by indiscriminate Russian shelling.
This, too, was on live TV.
> I am wondering how you will justify Basaev's Dagestan raid.If you had had a look at the archive, you would know that I never
> (as far as I know it gave cause for the beginning of "anti-terrorist
> operation". Even if we define the previous military conflict as war,
> at that time both sides were under condition of the truce, so
> entering enemy's territory was casus belli (?) Am I right?
justified Basayev's Daghestan raid, and I never would. I called him a
war criminal after Budyonnovsk and I see no reason to change that. Btw.,
after Budyonnovsk, then Chechen president Johar Dudayev told the
international press that Basayev would be court-martialed after the end
of the war. As we know, Dudayev was murdered and things developed in
another direction. But such was the political and legal situation at the
I don't want to repeat the well-known facts about the "beginning of the
'anti-terrorist operation'" once again. Just do a search for
"Stepashin", and you'll find out that the man who was Putin's
predecessor as KGB/FSB chief and prime minister was put in charge of
organizing the reinvasion of Chechnya in April 1999, according to his
own statemens to among others Western journalists. He himself stated the
kidnapping of Gen. Shpigun (by, as it now seems, FSB-affiliated Chechen
gangsters) as the "last straw" that led to the decision. Basayev's
intrusion into Daghestan half a year later was thus just a pretext with
regard to the concrete timing. As the world knows as well, this wasn't
enough to prepare the Russian public for a war, so the KGB had to blow
up the appartment blocks in Russia before the public hysteria was big
--- In chechnya-sl@y..., Norbert Strade <nost@p...> wrote:
He himself stated the kidnapping of Gen. Shpigun (by, as it now
seems, FSB-affiliated Chechen gangsters) as the "last straw" that led
to the decision.
> Best regards,
The kidnapping and the death of Gen. Shpigun is still very murky,
it's really hard to grasp where is truth, lie or deception in this
Viacheslav Izmailov tries to shed some light on it in no. 19 issue of
Too bad, that this article hasn't been translated to English yet.
Anyway, the only thing almost certain now is, that Shpigun was
kidnapped by Baudi Bakuyev's people, who allegedly had also some
connections with Arbi Barayev and the Akhmadovs brothers.
If one goes back to our archives one can draw a whole set of
speculations, that the kinapping was ordered by someone in Moscow
(Berezovsky?), that Basayev and Khattab were involved in it, that
someone wanted to avenge people who were tortured and killed in
filtration camps (Shpigun was in charge of those camps in the first
war), that Russian secret services with some Chechen did it and so on.
Izmailov in his article writes that V. Rushailo (Minister of Interior)
and his assistent Lieutenant General Orlov were not interested at all
in any operation or some attempt to free Shpigun.
The weirdest thing is when he writes that Shpigun's body got into
Russian hands in exchange for treatment in Nalchik of Chechen
commander Doku Umarov and who later was moved to Georgia. This is
very weird indeed, because according to our archives his remains were
found in forest near Itum Kale and had to be identified.