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  • Norbert Strade
    Crimes of War: Nivat on Chechnya http://www.crimesofwar.org/onnews/news-chechnya.html Chechnya: Brutality and Indifference By Ann Nivat January 6, 2003 It was
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 31, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Crimes of War: Nivat on Chechnya

      http://www.crimesofwar.org/onnews/news-chechnya.html

      Chechnya: Brutality and Indifference
      By Ann Nivat

      January 6, 2003

      "It was Thursday, 24th October ­ the second day of the Nord-Ost hostage
      crisis. Around three in the afternoon, six men in balaclavas kicked down
      the door and burst into our home. They were armed and wearing camouflage
      fatigues with the insignia of the Russian interior ministry. Without a
      word they seized Ahmed, my twenty-two year old eldest son, and dragged
      him outside. They tied him to a telegraph pole. Then they shot him to
      pieces and vanished. I had to go and pick up scattered bits of his
      brains." The hollow-voiced speaker is Fatima, thirty-seven, a mother.

      This horrific scene took place in the village of Kalinina, a section of
      Grozny. The entire family (the mother, four daughters, and two other
      sons less than ten years old) witnessed the killing of Ahmed, yet they
      have all kept silent, overwhelmed. What can they say? What can they do?
      What legal recourse could they hope to have? Operations of this sort,
      undertaken by "death squads", have become commonplace in Chechnya, where
      nothing shocks anybody any more. "They didn't explain a thing, and I
      can't prove it even happened. I'll never know why my boy was killed when
      he wasn't a soldier," says Fatima simply.

      I've been to Chechnya many times since the beginning of the war more
      than three years ago, and it is always the same: the drone of distant
      bombers, the dirty and dusty armoured cars posted along the roads, the
      indolent yet always arrogant way that the soldiers stop any vehicle and
      ask for documents from the drivers, but above all the accounts of the
      "zatchiski", the violent mopping up operations carried out by the
      Russian forces among the civilian population. According to Aslan
      Maskhadov, the separatist president whom I interviewed yet again in
      July, "nobody really knows what the raids are for, and the effect is
      counter-productive: every zatchiska adds to the numbers of the
      resistance! The will to fight, to kill and avenge the blood of our
      fathers and mothers and sisters increases all the time. Those who until
      a short time ago were still loyal to Russia now see the true face of the
      enemy, and understand that Chechnya can never be subject to Russia
      again. We have nothing in common. After the shameful barbarism that
      we've witnessed, what human relationship could we conceivably have?"

      Since the Nord-Ost hostage-taking, the tolls at road crossings have
      doubled, and the raids have become more dangerous and more frequent than
      ever. At a public call box in the capital, which I visited precisely to
      garner this kind of information, I overheard a Russian non-commissioned
      officer tell his wife shamelessly, "We'll be back when only skirts are
      left in this place". In the queue of Chechens waiting, like him, to call
      their loved ones, there was no great reaction ­ just a few ironic
      smiles. At least his answer was clear. A good half of the population,
      convinced that it will set back the Chechen cause, are critical about
      what took place at the theatre. Others have some difficulty hiding their
      sympathy for an act which, while certainly barbaric, did no more than
      "do to a handful of Muscovites what Chechens have endured routinely for
      three years".

      Rumour has it that Movsar Barayev, the leader of the unit that seized
      the theatre, simply could not have acted alone, that he must have had
      accomplices among the ranks of high Russian officials. Although this
      hasn't been reported in the Russian media, the word is that Zelimkhan
      Yandarbiev (the separatist president from 1996 to 1997, now fled to
      Qatar) and Shamil Bassayev had for a long while been looking for someone
      to lead such an action in the hope of persuading the Russians to agree
      to peace talks. Barayev's team, it is said, would have accepted to do it
      for $600,000. The unit apparently expected that they would not be killed
      by the Russians ­ this would explain why they refrained from killing the
      hostages when the gas was first let in to the building, although they
      would have had the time to do so. Bassayev, long suspected of having
      links with the FSB, the former KGB, had apparently promised them that
      they would emerge unscathed.

      More worrying still, personal statements that I have collected make
      clear that, two months before the hostage-taking, the GROU, the secret
      service of the Russian army, had announced Barayev's arrest. The
      implication is that he would have been held until his "release" to lead
      the hostage taking at the Doubrovka theatre. At Assinovsski, a village
      close to the border with Ingushetia, which is where two of the unit's
      women came from, their mothers say that they had been arrested and taken
      to an unknown destination at the end of September. Secretive in the
      presence of the outsider that I am, and still considerably shocked, they
      won't say more. "Barayev was specifically sent to Moscow to discredit us
      in world opinion by making plausible links between al-Qaeda and our
      fight for freedom," storms Daoud, 55, a refugee in Ingushetia recently
      forced to come home. "They made him believe that he'd be a hero, a
      peacemaker, and the idiot believed them!" On the same tack, nobody quite
      manages to believe that there were fifty hostage-takers "given that we
      were never shown more than six or seven corpses," as Daoud puts it. "As
      for the explosives strapped around the waists of the women, they hardly
      seemed real. And what's more, they never used them."

      At Grozny, as elsewhere, every night crackles with almost uninterrupted
      machine-gun fire after seven in the evening. Fired at random, for no
      reason, by bored soldiers from a nearby position who have nobody to
      fight. In the morning, at Novye Atagui, waiting to board the bus for
      Chali, the passengers hesitate to get on as a tank has blocked the
      centre of the road and is moving forward at walking-pace. Two soldiers
      accompany it and empty their magazines into the houses beside them. "Are
      they drunk, or what?" somebody asks. At his wheel, the driver volubly
      annotates the political situation: "Everything has always been done to
      keep us Chechens down. It's not to the advantage of anybody, in the
      Kremlin or anywhere else, that this situation should end!" The old women
      bow their heads, reflectively. As they go past the graveyard they open
      their palms in the sign of prayer and murmur a few verses of the Koran.
      Outside, a group of kids, each equipped with a fifty-litre jerrycan on
      wheels, is off to get water from the well. Since the shops have been
      destroyed, there are only a few scrappy notices on the walls. "Video
      tapes," they say, "drinks for 6 roubles, radiators repaired, wedding
      dresses." Mercedes cars, Volgas, Ladas, and BMWs keep each other company
      on roads each in worse repair than the next, without any visible rules
      of the road. Young soldiers, seemingly with nothing to do, gather around
      makeshift braziers not far from their armoured vehicles, which are
      hunkered down on the roadside verges. "That's how they protect us!" one
      young woman comments ironically, before undoing her blouse to offer her
      breast to her howling child. Behind her, not far off, helicopters at
      daisy-cutter height fire a few rocketsŠ

      In Grozny, on a Monday at the end of November, it's hard to carve a path
      between the shoppers crowding around the stalls of the central bazaar ­
      even though the aisles were widened last summer. But the market remains
      a dangerous place, where one can sometimes pick up the latest number of
      Ichkéria, the banned journal of the separatist government, and where one
      also comes across large numbers of "narks", the plainclothes Chechen
      policemen whose job is to denounce "any individual whose behaviour or
      appearance might be suspect". At the end of an aisle, Ramzan, an
      ex-boyevik or Chechen fighter in his thirties, has made a new career
      with his wife, selling socks: "Those who are still in the mountains
      still believe in it all, but I've let it all go", he says, constantly
      checking to make sure he's not overheard. "Fighters even give each other
      away for a hundred dollars," he sighs. "Last week, when they heard that
      a boyevik was here, the OMON [special units of the official Chechen
      police] arrived and killed him right in front of everybody! " According
      to Ramzan, the Chechen people are exhausted ­ "they turn a blind eye to
      everything," and in so doing put up with Russian authority.

      On what used to be Lenin Avenue, now Liberty Avenue, an army of old
      women in turbans picks up the dead leaves as municipal workers re-lay
      the tarmac here and there. Close by the town hall, the seat of the
      Russian-appointed mayor of Grozny, Oleg Zhidkov ­ and formerly the
      palace of Aslan Maskhadov ­ a few pavements have been relaid and a few
      buildings given a coat of paint. Their pastel colours make a stark
      contrast with the prevalent dirty grey. There's even a park of thuja
      trees being constructed next to the town hall.

      Recently, a huge traffic roundabout has appeared in the middle of the
      Minoutka crossroads, even though the conical piles of debris all around
      have not yet gone. The novelty is that, in the absence of traffic
      lights, traffic policemen in brand-new uniforms have started appearing
      there. In Chechnya today there is a growing gulf between those have been
      able to find some kind of governmental work, in the pension
      administration, the railways, the schools or in various institutes and
      the others, those who still aren't working, not knowing how to choose
      between "joining the police and becoming a traitor or going on the
      building sites and not getting paid", in the phrase used by several of
      those I spoke to. "Our wages are paid, our pensions, there's electricity
      and gas, and the zatchiski are now after specific people. What more can
      one ask for? Sure, it's still war. Sure, it's inhumane and ought to be
      stoppedŠBut meanwhile, life has to go on", wearily explains Medina, 50,
      and married to a teacher. She adds that during the three days of the
      hostage crisis, people were frightened that Putin would agree to make a
      deal with the hostage-takers, in the manner of what happened after the
      hostage incident at the Boudyonnovsk hospital in 1995, which could have
      resulted in the formation of a "weak" government like that of Maskhadov
      in the period between the wars, "when nobody was paid".

      According to Biboulat (48), Medina's husband, forty-eight schools are
      operating today in the capital and about twice that number are needed.
      He teaches in school 44, which re-opened in the spring of 2000. There
      are 280 pupils, compared with 150 last year, and all classes take place
      in Russian (but there is a Chechen language class). "The state gives
      absolutely no help at all. Neither books, nor heating, nor tables and
      chairs ­ nothing," the teacher observes bitterly. "The only thing that
      comes from the state is our wages, 4000 roubles (125 Euros) a month."

      In the October district, one of the worst affected by the destruction,
      the army quite openly does business. Every day, soldiers methodically
      dismantle the houses in whichever street they have previously closed for
      the purpose, and sell the "spare parts" (windows or doors, tiles and so
      on) for modest prices. Their behaviour shocks even the few Russians in
      the district, who know how difficult it is to protect property from
      marauders. As for the buyers, they, too, are well aware of where the
      merchandise comes from. They too have been dispossessed the minute their
      back was turned.

      After the group under the warlord Ruslan Gelayev returned to Chechnya
      from Georgia ­ he's currently receiving medical attention in the
      mountains ­ several hundred boyeviki scattered over the west of the
      country, not to mention over the border into Ingushetia. Khamzat, 35, is
      one of them. Temporarily based in Ingushetia, he moves around at night
      and never stays in the same place two days running. "The local
      authorities over there were beginning to take notice of our presence,"
      he explains. "That's why we left." According to him, when they first
      reached the gorges in May of 2000, his group numbered some 300. Now, he
      reckons they are more like 700. In all the time they were there, the
      Georgian authorities, and indeed the Russian ones, "knew we were there
      but took no measures against us." "The fighters were spread over several
      villages in the Pankisi valley, where we set up four separate training
      camps," he explains. "Some of the youngsters from other republics such
      as Kabardino-Balkaria or Ingushetia did not really know how to handle
      arms and weren't in good physical condition. We had to teach them. It
      took us three exhausting months on the march to come back, during which
      we suffered very much from lack of provisions. We only met Russians at
      Galashki, in Ingushetia, and there it was very bloody. They lost many
      more men than they let it be known in the media." Today, Khamzat and his
      group (perhaps thirty boyeviki) are "hibernating" while they wait for
      precise orders from the "high-command" of Aslan Maskhadov.

      Also in Ingushetia, some very peculiar negotiations have been known to
      take place. On Thursday November 28, near the border, I chanced upon a
      scene which is not all that unusual. A car containing two Russian
      conscripts, prisoners of war, awaited the arrival of another car bearing
      officers of the FSB. As soon as the Russian secret serviceman had handed
      over, in cash, $2500 for the return of each prisoner, the soldiers
      furtively switched cars. The following day, Rossia, the number two
      Russian television channel, announced the "heroic" liberation of these
      prisoners with no mention of the ransom. For many Chechens, this kind of
      trade is good proof that those who profit from the war are working hand
      in hand with a single shared purpose: that the war should not end.

      Translated from the French by Francis Hodgson.

      Anne Nivat is the Moscow correspondent of Le Nouvel Observateur and
      author of "Chienne de Guerre: A Woman Reporter Behind the Lines of War
      in Chechnya".

      This article is taken from a forthcoming collection of pieces about the
      Chechen conflict, which will appear on this site shortly.


      This site © Crimes of War Project 1999-2003
      Chechnya: Brutality and Indifference
      January 6, 2003
    • Johan Lagerfelt
      Dear all, I have in vain tried to log on to the link below, but after a couple of seconds the followng link appears and I am told that I do not have access.
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 22, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        Dear all,

        I have in vain tried to log on to the link below, but after a couple of
        seconds the followng link appears and I am told that I do not have
        access. What does this mean?

        http://www.crimesofwar.org/Templates/styles.css

        Norbert Strade wrote:

        > Crimes of War: Nivat on Chechnya
        >
        > http://www.crimesofwar.org/onnews/news-chechnya.html
        >
        > Chechnya: Brutality and Indifference
        > By Ann Nivat
        >
        > January 6, 2003
        >
        > "It was Thursday, 24th October ? the second day of the Nord-Ost
        > hostage
        > crisis. Around three in the afternoon, six men in balaclavas kicked
        > down
        > the door and burst into our home. They were armed and wearing
        > camouflage
        > fatigues with the insignia of the Russian interior ministry. Without a
        >
        > word they seized Ahmed, my twenty-two year old eldest son, and dragged
        >
        > him outside. They tied him to a telegraph pole. Then they shot him to
        > pieces and vanished. I had to go and pick up scattered bits of his
        > brains." The hollow-voiced speaker is Fatima, thirty-seven, a mother.
        >
        > This horrific scene took place in the village of Kalinina, a section
        > of
        > Grozny. The entire family (the mother, four daughters, and two other
        > sons less than ten years old) witnessed the killing of Ahmed, yet they
        >
        > have all kept silent, overwhelmed. What can they say? What can they
        > do?
        > What legal recourse could they hope to have? Operations of this sort,
        > undertaken by "death squads", have become commonplace in Chechnya,
        > where
        > nothing shocks anybody any more. "They didn't explain a thing, and I
        > can't prove it even happened. I'll never know why my boy was killed
        > when
        > he wasn't a soldier," says Fatima simply.
        >
        > I've been to Chechnya many times since the beginning of the war more
        > than three years ago, and it is always the same: the drone of distant
        > bombers, the dirty and dusty armoured cars posted along the roads, the
        >
        > indolent yet always arrogant way that the soldiers stop any vehicle
        > and
        > ask for documents from the drivers, but above all the accounts of the
        > "zatchiski", the violent mopping up operations carried out by the
        > Russian forces among the civilian population. According to Aslan
        > Maskhadov, the separatist president whom I interviewed yet again in
        > July, "nobody really knows what the raids are for, and the effect is
        > counter-productive: every zatchiska adds to the numbers of the
        > resistance! The will to fight, to kill and avenge the blood of our
        > fathers and mothers and sisters increases all the time. Those who
        > until
        > a short time ago were still loyal to Russia now see the true face of
        > the
        > enemy, and understand that Chechnya can never be subject to Russia
        > again. We have nothing in common. After the shameful barbarism that
        > we've witnessed, what human relationship could we conceivably have?"
        >
        > Since the Nord-Ost hostage-taking, the tolls at road crossings have
        > doubled, and the raids have become more dangerous and more frequent
        > than
        > ever. At a public call box in the capital, which I visited precisely
        > to
        > garner this kind of information, I overheard a Russian
        > non-commissioned
        > officer tell his wife shamelessly, "We'll be back when only skirts are
        >
        > left in this place". In the queue of Chechens waiting, like him, to
        > call
        > their loved ones, there was no great reaction ? just a few ironic
        > smiles. At least his answer was clear. A good half of the population,
        > convinced that it will set back the Chechen cause, are critical about
        > what took place at the theatre. Others have some difficulty hiding
        > their
        > sympathy for an act which, while certainly barbaric, did no more than
        > "do to a handful of Muscovites what Chechens have endured routinely
        > for
        > three years".
        >
        > Rumour has it that Movsar Barayev, the leader of the unit that seized
        > the theatre, simply could not have acted alone, that he must have had
        > accomplices among the ranks of high Russian officials. Although this
        > hasn't been reported in the Russian media, the word is that Zelimkhan
        > Yandarbiev (the separatist president from 1996 to 1997, now fled to
        > Qatar) and Shamil Bassayev had for a long while been looking for
        > someone
        > to lead such an action in the hope of persuading the Russians to agree
        >
        > to peace talks. Barayev's team, it is said, would have accepted to do
        > it
        > for $600,000. The unit apparently expected that they would not be
        > killed
        > by the Russians ? this would explain why they refrained from killing
        > the
        > hostages when the gas was first let in to the building, although they
        > would have had the time to do so. Bassayev, long suspected of having
        > links with the FSB, the former KGB, had apparently promised them that
        > they would emerge unscathed.
        >
        > More worrying still, personal statements that I have collected make
        > clear that, two months before the hostage-taking, the GROU, the secret
        >
        > service of the Russian army, had announced Barayev's arrest. The
        > implication is that he would have been held until his "release" to
        > lead
        > the hostage taking at the Doubrovka theatre. At Assinovsski, a village
        >
        > close to the border with Ingushetia, which is where two of the unit's
        > women came from, their mothers say that they had been arrested and
        > taken
        > to an unknown destination at the end of September. Secretive in the
        > presence of the outsider that I am, and still considerably shocked,
        > they
        > won't say more. "Barayev was specifically sent to Moscow to discredit
        > us
        > in world opinion by making plausible links between al-Qaeda and our
        > fight for freedom," storms Daoud, 55, a refugee in Ingushetia recently
        >
        > forced to come home. "They made him believe that he'd be a hero, a
        > peacemaker, and the idiot believed them!" On the same tack, nobody
        > quite
        > manages to believe that there were fifty hostage-takers "given that we
        >
        > were never shown more than six or seven corpses," as Daoud puts it.
        > "As
        > for the explosives strapped around the waists of the women, they
        > hardly
        > seemed real. And what's more, they never used them."
        >
        > At Grozny, as elsewhere, every night crackles with almost
        > uninterrupted
        > machine-gun fire after seven in the evening. Fired at random, for no
        > reason, by bored soldiers from a nearby position who have nobody to
        > fight. In the morning, at Novye Atagui, waiting to board the bus for
        > Chali, the passengers hesitate to get on as a tank has blocked the
        > centre of the road and is moving forward at walking-pace. Two soldiers
        >
        > accompany it and empty their magazines into the houses beside them.
        > "Are
        > they drunk, or what?" somebody asks. At his wheel, the driver volubly
        > annotates the political situation: "Everything has always been done to
        >
        > keep us Chechens down. It's not to the advantage of anybody, in the
        > Kremlin or anywhere else, that this situation should end!" The old
        > women
        > bow their heads, reflectively. As they go past the graveyard they open
        >
        > their palms in the sign of prayer and murmur a few verses of the
        > Koran.
        > Outside, a group of kids, each equipped with a fifty-litre jerrycan on
        >
        > wheels, is off to get water from the well. Since the shops have been
        > destroyed, there are only a few scrappy notices on the walls. "Video
        > tapes," they say, "drinks for 6 roubles, radiators repaired, wedding
        > dresses." Mercedes cars, Volgas, Ladas, and BMWs keep each other
        > company
        > on roads each in worse repair than the next, without any visible rules
        >
        > of the road. Young soldiers, seemingly with nothing to do, gather
        > around
        > makeshift braziers not far from their armoured vehicles, which are
        > hunkered down on the roadside verges. "That's how they protect us!"
        > one
        > young woman comments ironically, before undoing her blouse to offer
        > her
        > breast to her howling child. Behind her, not far off, helicopters at
        > daisy-cutter height fire a few rocketsS
        >
        > In Grozny, on a Monday at the end of November, it's hard to carve a
        > path
        > between the shoppers crowding around the stalls of the central bazaar
        > ?
        > even though the aisles were widened last summer. But the market
        > remains
        > a dangerous place, where one can sometimes pick up the latest number
        > of
        > Ichkéria, the banned journal of the separatist government, and where
        > one
        > also comes across large numbers of "narks", the plainclothes Chechen
        > policemen whose job is to denounce "any individual whose behaviour or
        > appearance might be suspect". At the end of an aisle, Ramzan, an
        > ex-boyevik or Chechen fighter in his thirties, has made a new career
        > with his wife, selling socks: "Those who are still in the mountains
        > still believe in it all, but I've let it all go", he says, constantly
        > checking to make sure he's not overheard. "Fighters even give each
        > other
        > away for a hundred dollars," he sighs. "Last week, when they heard
        > that
        > a boyevik was here, the OMON [special units of the official Chechen
        > police] arrived and killed him right in front of everybody! "
        > According
        > to Ramzan, the Chechen people are exhausted ? "they turn a blind eye
        > to
        > everything," and in so doing put up with Russian authority.
        >
        > On what used to be Lenin Avenue, now Liberty Avenue, an army of old
        > women in turbans picks up the dead leaves as municipal workers re-lay
        > the tarmac here and there. Close by the town hall, the seat of the
        > Russian-appointed mayor of Grozny, Oleg Zhidkov ? and formerly the
        > palace of Aslan Maskhadov ? a few pavements have been relaid and a few
        >
        > buildings given a coat of paint. Their pastel colours make a stark
        > contrast with the prevalent dirty grey. There's even a park of thuja
        > trees being constructed next to the town hall.
        >
        > Recently, a huge traffic roundabout has appeared in the middle of the
        > Minoutka crossroads, even though the conical piles of debris all
        > around
        > have not yet gone. The novelty is that, in the absence of traffic
        > lights, traffic policemen in brand-new uniforms have started appearing
        >
        > there. In Chechnya today there is a growing gulf between those have
        > been
        > able to find some kind of governmental work, in the pension
        > administration, the railways, the schools or in various institutes and
        >
        > the others, those who still aren't working, not knowing how to choose
        > between "joining the police and becoming a traitor or going on the
        > building sites and not getting paid", in the phrase used by several of
        >
        > those I spoke to. "Our wages are paid, our pensions, there's
        > electricity
        > and gas, and the zatchiski are now after specific people. What more
        > can
        > one ask for? Sure, it's still war. Sure, it's inhumane and ought to be
        >
        > stoppedSBut meanwhile, life has to go on", wearily explains Medina,
        > 50,
        > and married to a teacher. She adds that during the three days of the
        > hostage crisis, people were frightened that Putin would agree to make
        > a
        > deal with the hostage-takers, in the manner of what happened after the
        >
        > hostage incident at the Boudyonnovsk hospital in 1995, which could
        > have
        > resulted in the formation of a "weak" government like that of
        > Maskhadov
        > in the period between the wars, "when nobody was paid".
        >
        > According to Biboulat (48), Medina's husband, forty-eight schools are
        > operating today in the capital and about twice that number are needed.
        >
        > He teaches in school 44, which re-opened in the spring of 2000. There
        > are 280 pupils, compared with 150 last year, and all classes take
        > place
        > in Russian (but there is a Chechen language class). "The state gives
        > absolutely no help at all. Neither books, nor heating, nor tables and
        > chairs ? nothing," the teacher observes bitterly. "The only thing that
        >
        > comes from the state is our wages, 4000 roubles (125 Euros) a month."
        >
        > In the October district, one of the worst affected by the destruction,
        >
        > the army quite openly does business. Every day, soldiers methodically
        > dismantle the houses in whichever street they have previously closed
        > for
        > the purpose, and sell the "spare parts" (windows or doors, tiles and
        > so
        > on) for modest prices. Their behaviour shocks even the few Russians in
        >
        > the district, who know how difficult it is to protect property from
        > marauders. As for the buyers, they, too, are well aware of where the
        > merchandise comes from. They too have been dispossessed the minute
        > their
        > back was turned.
        >
        > After the group under the warlord Ruslan Gelayev returned to Chechnya
        > from Georgia ? he's currently receiving medical attention in the
        > mountains ? several hundred boyeviki scattered over the west of the
        > country, not to mention over the border into Ingushetia. Khamzat, 35,
        > is
        > one of them. Temporarily based in Ingushetia, he moves around at night
        >
        > and never stays in the same place two days running. "The local
        > authorities over there were beginning to take notice of our presence,"
        >
        > he explains. "That's why we left." According to him, when they first
        > reached the gorges in May of 2000, his group numbered some 300. Now,
        > he
        > reckons they are more like 700. In all the time they were there, the
        > Georgian authorities, and indeed the Russian ones, "knew we were there
        >
        > but took no measures against us." "The fighters were spread over
        > several
        > villages in the Pankisi valley, where we set up four separate training
        >
        > camps," he explains. "Some of the youngsters from other republics such
        >
        > as Kabardino-Balkaria or Ingushetia did not really know how to handle
        > arms and weren't in good physical condition. We had to teach them. It
        > took us three exhausting months on the march to come back, during
        > which
        > we suffered very much from lack of provisions. We only met Russians at
        >
        > Galashki, in Ingushetia, and there it was very bloody. They lost many
        > more men than they let it be known in the media." Today, Khamzat and
        > his
        > group (perhaps thirty boyeviki) are "hibernating" while they wait for
        > precise orders from the "high-command" of Aslan Maskhadov.
        >
        > Also in Ingushetia, some very peculiar negotiations have been known to
        >
        > take place. On Thursday November 28, near the border, I chanced upon a
        >
        > scene which is not all that unusual. A car containing two Russian
        > conscripts, prisoners of war, awaited the arrival of another car
        > bearing
        > officers of the FSB. As soon as the Russian secret serviceman had
        > handed
        > over, in cash, $2500 for the return of each prisoner, the soldiers
        > furtively switched cars. The following day, Rossia, the number two
        > Russian television channel, announced the "heroic" liberation of these
        >
        > prisoners with no mention of the ransom. For many Chechens, this kind
        > of
        > trade is good proof that those who profit from the war are working
        > hand
        > in hand with a single shared purpose: that the war should not end.
        >
        > Translated from the French by Francis Hodgson.
        >
        > Anne Nivat is the Moscow correspondent of Le Nouvel Observateur and
        > author of "Chienne de Guerre: A Woman Reporter Behind the Lines of War
        >
        > in Chechnya".
        >
        > This article is taken from a forthcoming collection of pieces about
        > the
        > Chechen conflict, which will appear on this site shortly.
        >
        >
        > This site © Crimes of War Project 1999-2003
        > Chechnya: Brutality and Indifference
        > January 6, 2003
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • bconley@USHMM.org
        That sometimes happens when I try to go directly to a website s interior page (I do not have any technical skills to explain this). I just visited the site and
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 24, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          That sometimes happens when I try to go directly to a website's interior
          page (I do not have any technical skills to explain this). I just visited
          the site and its operating just fine. I suggest going to the homepage
          (www.crimesofwar.org) and then clicking on the Nivat interview from there.

          Bridget



          Johan Lagerfelt
          <johan.lagerfelt@... To: chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com
          enordia.se> cc:
          Subject: Re: Crimesofwar.org: Nivat on Chechnya
          02/22/03 01:59 PM
          Please respond to
          chechnya-sl






          Dear all,

          I have in vain tried to log on to the link below, but after a couple of
          seconds the followng link appears and I am told that I do not have
          access. What does this mean?

          http://www.crimesofwar.org/Templates/styles.css

          [Long quoted Nivat article removed by the moderator]
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