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’Caucasus Emirate’ – where is the beef?

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  • Mikael Storsjö
    Caucasus Emirate – where is the beef? The recent debate over the Caucasus Emirate has been very confusing for most people monitoring the situation in
    Message 1 of 14 , Nov 5, 2007
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      'Caucasus Emirate' – where is the beef?

      The recent debate over the "Caucasus Emirate" has been very confusing
      for most people monitoring the situation in Chechnya.

      We have read declarations signed by many prominent persons, there
      have been a lot of rumors and accusations published by various web
      sites, and the leadership of President Umarov has not only been
      questioned but also denied by high officials.

      Still we lack one ingredient of intellectual debate – despite wordy
      statements we have got hardly any evidence or proofs testifying
      accusations of abuse of power. The Constitution of ChRI has been a
      weapon in the debate, but nobody seems to define what articles have
      been violated or what articles would justify their own planned
      actions. To some extent it looks like a number of Mischief Makers has
      captured the stage, showing us a theatrical performance with quite
      few artistic merits.

      Maybe it's time to search and unearth the facts, and base our
      opinions upon such findings? This present conflict tends to split
      the Resistance with tragic consequences for the people of Chechnya
      and sorrow among the true friends of the Chechens. United we stand,
      divided we fall –becoming a tool of the enemy's divide and conquer
      tactics is a fatal mistake.


      "Proclamation of Caucasus Emirate"

      The President is the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. His
      official decisions are published as decrees, as we all know. These
      presidential decrees are published publicly; they are dated and
      numbered, signed and provided with stamp. As these decrees are
      publicly published in official media channels, there are never any
      doubts about the validity and authenticity of the decree.

      Regarding "Caucasus Emirate", we have not seen any official decree in
      public - the basic fact is that there has been no "Emirate
      declaration" by President Umarov yet. Those who tend to make hasty
      actions should carefully consider this fact.

      So far, we have no more than a text published 29.10.2007 on the minor
      web site chechenews.com, which alleges that they received the
      proclamation anonymously by e-mail! This web site is not the channel
      where Umarov's decisions and orders are published for the public.
      Further, the text was said to be written by Movladi Udugov. It's not
      very credible that Udugov would give world premiere to his texts on
      that obscure web site. I'm sure we all agree that he has much better
      media in his proposal.

      The Chechen service of the U.S. financed Radio Marsho (Radio Liberty)
      broadcasted an excerpt of a video tape of President Umarov
      30.10.2007. Again – the radio station had received the tape
      anonymously by mail! The recording is said to be done somewhere in
      the forests 7.10.2007. We don't know the full context of this speech,
      which makes an analyze impossible. Only small fragments of Umarov's
      speak in Russian language was heard, the program includes mostly
      inexact translations of the speech and the reporter's commentaries in
      a mix. One essential thing – Umarov did not speak about Al-Quaida, he
      did not abolish the statehood of ChRI and he did not mention the word
      Emirate or Caliphate at all. He did express sympathy with Moslems in
      other occupied countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine).
      Such expressions of sympathy we can hear on a daily basis also from
      non-Moslem European liberals, the statements are not more radical
      than that.

      President Umarov did speak about Sharia and Jihad. Let's remind
      ourselves, that Sharia is a part of the Chechen Constitution, and
      describing the Caucasian fight for independence in terms of Jihad or
      Gazavat has been common in centuries, as can be seen already from
      Tolstoy's novels from the Caucasian War.

      It should be apparent for all people, that the President of ChRI
      never uses Radio Marsho as the official channel of publishing his
      orders or decrees. When we today read harsh statements against Umarov
      and the "Caucasus Emirate" it should be kept in mind that the
      argumentation is directed towards a mix of anonymous e-mails, a radio
      reporters commentaries and one sentence long excerpts from some
      speech. There is no real beef in this hamburger, so far.

      Anybody is free to speculate how this situation has erupted. Who
      might be sending anonymous e-mails and video recordings, and what is
      the purpose of such actions? Who lacks loyalty to the leadership of
      ChRI to such extent, that they want to link President Umarov to Al-
      Quaida, allege him for starting a world-wide jihad against the world
      et cetera? Who has interests in creating stories that President
      Umarov has declared not only an Emirate in North Caucasus, but he
      want to extend it also to Transcaucasus? An obvious answer is the
      divide et impera tacticians of FSB, but some people are helping the
      putinists quite a lot.

      Chechenpress knows exactly how presidential decrees are distributed.
      Still the agency publishes articles under headline "Doku Umarov
      proclaimed Caucasian Emirate" with references to some odd Al-Quaida
      influence in the Resistance. This does not make sense at all, without
      diving deep into conspiracy theories and similar speculations. The
      web site of the Chechen MFA should have other objectives than making
      serious harm to the Head of the State, I suppose.


      Zakayev's actions

      We can't discuss the media turbulence regarding "Caucasus Emirate"
      without scrutinizing the actions of Ahmed Zakayev, who has published
      a number of statements during the last two weeks.

      Zakayev use repeatedly about himself the epithet "the government of
      the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria" which sounds a bit strange. The
      President is the Head of State and highest executive officer. The
      highest authority of the State is the defense committee Majlis-al-
      Shura. The huge majority of the Ministers live in Chechnya. These are
      the bodies that we all have regarded as the legal bodies of ChRI.
      Zakayev is not even speaking for all of the 4-5 Ministers and Deputy
      Ministers residing in Europe, so how is it possible that he has
      promoted himself to the position of Government?

      Zakayev's position and legal status as Minister of Foreign Affairs is
      based upon a decree of President Umarov. Zakayev must have
      misunderstood the concept of chain of command, when he suddenly finds
      himself in a higher position than his superior. In his latest
      statement, Zakayev tells that he can no longer represent Doku Umarov,
      and urges other officials henceforth give their allegiance directly
      to Parliament. Isn't this action an unhidden attempt to seizure of
      power, coup d'état?

      Zakayev explains his actions with a wish to preserve the
      Constitution. A person with a good memory, although, remembers
      Zakayev's Manifesto in June 2006, which stated that the Constitution
      (i.e. legal status of ChRI) may be negotiated with the Russians.

      In the present situation Zakayev urges the government and armed
      forces of ChRI to be directly subordinate to the Parliament. This is
      a strange and very unconstitutional view! How do Zakayev think it's
      possible to protect a constitution by violating this constitution?

      Article 71 of the Chechen constitution clearly condemns Zakayev's
      aims to be illegal: "Other elections or nomination to a post, and
      equally allotting the authorities of the President of the republic
      are illegal and void." Article 74 tells the procedure how the
      President can be relieved from the post – no such procedure has been
      seen, and such also seems to be impossible. According to article
      74, "the decision about relieve of the President of Chechen Republic
      of the post is considered as made if not less than two-thirds of
      votes of common number of the members of Parliament voted".

      Unfortunately, the Parliament is not a working governmental body
      today. The Parliament elected 1997 had more than 40 members. Half of
      them have passed over to the side of the occupiers and some 10 have
      died. No more than some 10 persons are still able to independent work
      for ChRI. This means that even Kadyrov could arrange a bigger ChRI
      parliamentarian meeting than the Chairman of the Parliament is able
      to!

      If the President really would be relieved of the post, then the Vice-
      president becomes the President. The third in range is the Chief of
      the High Sharia Court. The Constitution admits no rights for the
      Parliament to overtake the authority of the President.

      Further, in July 2002 the Great Majlis Shura under the leadership of
      President Maskhadov made some amendments to the Constitution, much of
      which were motivated by the exceptional circumstances during wartime.
      According to this Constitution, respected by all so far, the highest
      authority of ChRI is now the Majlis-al-Shura.

      Does Zakayev really suggest, that a handful of parliamentarians, less
      than a forth of the elected number, should seize the power in ChRI.
      Such action would comprise very serious infringements upon the
      Constitution. The legacy of such a government would hardly be
      accepted by any serious party, least of all by the international
      community.

      I suggest that Zakayev et consortes should carefully read their own
      statement 30.10.2007, which states: "Any infringement of the CRI
      constitutional order should be viewed as the gravest crime against
      the Chechen state and its heroic people."


      A Russian plot?

      The arguments, that there would be some kind of FSB plot behind
      actions of Umarov are quite weird. There are "reliable sources"
      telling that FSB would have paid 500 million dollar (!) to organize
      this plot! The credibility of this argument is on zero level. In
      plain text it means that Udugov got 500 million on his bank account
      in order to convince Umarov to make a declaration?
      It sounds like rubbish.

      Here we can witness some harsh attempts to smear and defame persons
      who are working within the Chechen authorities. Especially Movladi
      Udugov is in the firing line. Udugov has been demonized by the
      Russians due to his splendid work as Minister of Information during
      the first Russian war against Chechnya. It was a propaganda war which
      the Russians lost, as they had to admit themselves. Without Udugov's
      achievements, there might never have been any Khasavyurt agreement.

      Repeating Russian antagonism against Udugov seems a bit ill-
      considered. Russian propaganda is not a trustworthy source of
      knowledge; we don't believe either that Maskhadov or Zakayev are
      terrorists, do we? People interested in Udugov's political thinking
      should preferably read his study "Security in Exchange for
      Independence" (to be found on kavkazcentrer.com web page).

      Not only Udugov and Umarov are criticized in the present discussion.
      Astonishingly, a recent statement told us that "the `North Caucasus
      Emirate' is to play a similar provocative role as that of the Chechen
      and Dagestan Peoples Congress which had paved the way for the second
      Russian intervention in Chechnya. The same people who had taken part
      in the founding of the Congress have been involved in the preparation
      of the `Emirate' operation."

      The first signature of this declaration is Ilias Musaev – one of the
      members of the working committee of this Peoples Congress! But Musaev
      was not in any bad companion when he worked for this Peoples
      Congress –on the establishing meeting of the Congress took part also
      the Chechen Presidents Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and Sadulaev and Vice-
      presidents Arsanov, Basaev and Abdullaev! Sadukaev and Abdulaev made
      both big jobs for this Congress.

      Does Zakayev really mean that all these honorable men "paved way for
      the second Russian intervention in Chechnya"? It's really a strange
      new history writing we are witnessing! I think that Chechens
      shouldn't undeservedly victimize themselves in this matter. The war
      started due to illegal Russian aggression. The war in Dagestan in
      August 1999, as well as the Russian apartment bombings a couple of
      weeks later did not initiate the Second war against Chechnya! Prime
      Minister Stepashkin has admitted that the final decision to invade
      was taken already in the spring that year, what happened thereafter
      did not affect their plans at all.

      There has been proposed many other ungrounded arguments in this
      present discussion. It has been stated that a possible (yet to be
      seen) declaration of "Caucasus Emirate" would motivate Putin to send
      more troops to Caucasus and suppress the people of Caucasus even more
      than before. I don't think Putin has that kind of restrictions in his
      policy – he will send more soldiers to Caucasus regardless of such
      sophisticated argumentation. He does not need to argue, just watch
      his activities in the past.

      Another line of arguments is that a "Caucasus Emirate" would make the
      Chechens loose support in the Western community. Also, the situation
      of refugees would be worsened. What support the Chechens have today,
      which could become in danger? In Europe, there are a number of good
      working non-governmental human rights organizations and a handful of
      parliamentarians – on the governmental level Europe has allowed the
      genocide of Chechens to happen without noticeable actions of protest.
      The refugee issue is handled in all European countries on a
      humanitarian and individual level, the idea of some kind of
      collective punishment does not belong to the real life.


      The idea of a "Caucasus Emirate"

      As stated above, there has been no declaration of a "Caucasus
      Emirate". However, this is an interesting issue, which should be
      discussed.

      Many of the late Chechen Presidents have supported widening the war
      outside the borders of Chechnya and opening new fronts. As a military
      strategy this is a well-grounded strategy, following the framework of
      both von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.

      The Chechens have during centuries been the avant garde in resisting
      the colonization in Caucasus. That is the situation today as well.
      When the Chechens are defeated, it means bad times for all other
      Caucasian peoples. Thus, the Circassian Genocide took part not before
      the defeat of Imam Shamil, when Russia had available forces to put
      also that people to death.

      The Chechens are not fighting alone today; representatives of all
      other Caucasian peoples also take part in this fight for freedom and
      independence. Many of these people have also high position in the
      Resistance. Amir Magas, who is an ethnic Ingush, is the Commander of
      the Caucasian Front, and recently promoted to top military commander
      of the ChRI forces. Recently Anzor Astermirov, the leader of the
      Kabardino-Balkar jamaat, was appointed to the position of the Head of
      the Sharia Court. If the President and Vice-president of the ChRI
      should die simultaneously, the leadership post automatically passes
      to the Chief of the High Sharia Court, which makes Astermirov a
      figure of importance for the whole region.

      In these circumstances, I believe, it is well-grounded to have some
      organizational framework that motivates also troops from other
      Caucasian regions. It's not enough for a Karachay just to fight for
      the freedom of Chechnya; he wants freedom for Karachai-Cherkessia
      also. I suppose that President Umarov had such thinking in his mind
      when he spoke in the beginning of October.

      Actually, this is not a new idea that President Umarov (or Udugov)
      has created. ChRI started to implement its new strategy of exporting
      the war from Chechnya to the other parts of the North Caucasus
      already in April 2004, under the leadership of President Maskhadov.

      President Sadulaev stated in February 2006 in videos and messages on
      Chechenpress and Daymokh the new goals of the Resistance. Sadulaev
      said (citation from Chechnya Weekly):

      "The peoples of the Caucasus have common history, a common struggle
      for freedom and independence, a common religion, common ideals and
      values. It is international practice, and a striking example of that
      is the unification of Europe. In the future there are plans for the
      creation of a Majlis Shura of the Caucasus [and] a Shura Alimov of
      the Caucasus, and for the creation of a confederative state of the
      type of the European Union." Attempts by the Kremlin "to portray the
      natural desire of the peoples of the Caucasus to unite in order to
      throw off the imperial yoke of Russia as a threat to the whole world
      are mendacious and futile" Sadulaev added.

      I think that gratitude to former Presidents, such as Maskhadov and
      Sadulaev, should not be written in the same statement as criticism of
      Umarov, as some people have done lately. President Umarov is just
      continuing the work of his predecessors, no more no less. And he has
      made no attempt to change or abolish the Constitution of ChRI.

      A suitable end of this writing is a citation of President Sadulaev in
      February 2006:

      "Enormous work has been carried out over 15 years in the matter of
      strengthening freedom and establishing an independent Chechen Islamic
      State. And this work is being carried out today. Thus today all
      mujahideen are joined in a single structure, together are waging war
      on the path of Allah, on the path of building a full-fledged Islamic
      state. And on that path, the mujahideen, by the grace of Allah, are
      trying in everything to adhere to Sharia, to adhere to the rules and
      norms of behavior of Islam…and to strengthen our unity.
      And it would be very good if all of our brother and sister muhajirs
      [refugee, immigrant or emigrant] located outside Nokhchich'o
      [Chechnya] adhered the same way. But even more important today is to
      make clear to all muhajirs, to everyone who is not taking active part
      in combat operations, who are not openly fighting in jihad, [that]
      the mujahideen have the advantage over the muhajirs. And all muhajirs
      should know that they are assistants and advisers to the mujahideen,
      and not their superiors. And if each observes their obligations and
      knows their place, then we will have mutual understanding, harmony
      and a speedy victory."

      "An Islamic State" – that might sound like radical fundamentalism and
      wahhabism for people suffering from islamophobia? Well, in that case
      we have many fundamentalistic movements among major parties in Europe
      also, as they are demandeing government to be based on Christian
      values?

      Mikael Storsjö
      Helsinki, Finland
    • mariuslab2002
      ... -snip- ... -snip- ... Mikael, You are wrong that Aslan Maskhadov participted in this Congress, he was against it, I don t also believe that Sadulayev took
      Message 2 of 14 , Nov 6, 2007
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        --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Mikael Storsjö
        <mikael.storsjo@...> wrote:
        >
        > 'Caucasus Emirate' – where is the beef?

        -snip-


        > Not only Udugov and Umarov are criticized in the present discussion.
        > Astonishingly, a recent statement told us that "the `North Caucasus
        > Emirate' is to play a similar provocative role as that of the Chechen
        > and Dagestan Peoples Congress which had paved the way for the second
        > Russian intervention in Chechnya. The same people who had taken part
        > in the founding of the Congress have been involved in the preparation
        > of the `Emirate' operation."
        >
        > The first signature of this declaration is Ilias Musaev – one of the
        > members of the working committee of this Peoples Congress! But Musaev
        > was not in any bad companion when he worked for this Peoples
        > Congress –on the establishing meeting of the Congress took part also
        > the Chechen Presidents Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and Sadulaev and Vice-
        > presidents Arsanov, Basaev and Abdullaev! Sadukaev and Abdulaev made
        > both big jobs for this Congress.
        >
        -snip-


        > Mikael Storsjö
        > Helsinki, Finland
        >


        Mikael,

        You are wrong that Aslan Maskhadov participted in this Congress, he
        was against it, I don't also believe that Sadulayev took part in it. I
        think, they both knew that this kind of actions won't do anything good
        for Chechnya.

        Sometimes I have feeling that you've fallen under some spell of Udugov
        and have problem with Zakayev.

        It's very unfortunate that Udugov has acquired such influence over the
        situation in Chechnya. One thing is sure, he's the one, who from the
        beginning has been trying to create his "Islamic utopia that stretches
        from the Black to the Caspian Sea".
        It's been known already during the first Chechen presidential
        election, in which Maskhadov won easily against other candidates, what
        kind of ideas were in Udugov's head. Let me recall for you that he got
        less than 1% percent of the votes in the election, while campaining on
        that programme.

        Let's also not forget that Udugov has been always in opposition to
        Maskhadov. Leaving aside all the conspiracy theories who was behind
        Khattab's and Basayev's invasion on Dagestan, it could be assumed that
        Udugov as a leader of this Congress has had his hand in convincing
        both of them to invade the Dagestan's Botlikh region.

        Marius


        http://www.man.torun.pl/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9709&L=chechnya&P=R10122&m=8197


        In late August in Grozny, 35 Islamic parties and movements of Chechnya
        and Daghestan gathered for a conference, chaired by Chechnya's first
        deputy premier Movladi Udugov, to establish a new movement
        conspicuously named Islamic umma (nation, or community). The
        proclaimed aim is the formation of an Imamat, a kind of state
        emulating Shamil's Imamat.
        Islamic umma elected its parliament, or mejlis. Its amir, or chairman,
        Udugov says that the "Islamic nation aims to restore Daghestan within
        its historic boundaries," meaning unification with Chechnya.
        The Chechen unionists are mostly counting on the mountainous peoples
        of Daghestan who were led into fierce battles against Russian troops
        by Imam Shamil, an Avar by birth, in the course of the 19th century
        Caucasus war.
        Thus, the festivities to mark 200 years since Shamil's birthday, held
        at Vedeno, Chechnya, the former capital of Shamil's Imamat and
        Daghestan, were attended by several Daghestani politicians, including
        Gadzhi Makhachev, leader of the Avar popular front named, obviously,
        after Shamil, and Magomed Khachilayev, chairman of the Laks
        Qazi-Kumukh movement.
        The dominating slogans of the festival were "Chechnya, Daghestan
        Forever Together and Free" and "Freedom Is Not Granted, Its' Won."



        The more active moves by the fundamentalists alarmed not only the
        Daghestani leaders of the traditional Islam who called on Makhachkala
        - and
        Moscow - to take measures, but also the Chechen authorities. Having
        appreciated the threat, Chechnya's president Aslan Maskhadov issued a
        decree on 13 August to ban the proliferation of all forms of Islam
        which "introduce dissidence and hostility" in Chechnya's society. The
        Chechen leadership clearly has the Vahhabi in mind. The republic's
        Mufti was advised to seek and crush all attempts to proliferate the
        alien religious movement, and the interior ministry was ordered to
        "take measures to cut short actions of citizens that undermine the
        basics of Islamic unification." The culprits are supposed to be
        evicted from the republic within three days.

        The reaction was fast to come: *ten days after the publication of the
        presidential decree, a representative of Daghestani Moslems told a
        congress of the Islamic umma: "Starting today, we are no longer
        Chechens, Daghestanis or Lakts; starting today, we are the Islamic
        nation!" And although delegates to the congress stressed they meant
        spiritual, rather than political, unity, the leader of the Islamic
        umma proclaimed that Chechens and Daghestanis were uniting in a single
        state - for the first time since the times of Sheikh Shamil.
        This statement could not but trigger a reaction of the Russian
        President who expressed concern over the statements voiced at the
        congress of the Caucasus Islamists. It seems that Moscow should brace
        up for a new reality in the Caucasus. The militant Islamic
        fundamentalism, i.e. Vahhabism, is fast growing. Contrary to popular
        expectations, it has the best chance in the multi-ethnic Daghestan
        rather than in Chechnya which is drunk with nationalism. The majority
        of Daghestani peoples are so small that their Lebensraum is limited to
        one or several tiny villages.


        *FIRST VICE-PREMIER OF CHECHEN GOVERNMENT MOVLADI UDUGOV BECOMES
        LEADER OF THE PARTY ISLAMIC UMMA UNITING 35 PUBLIC AND POLITICAL
        MOVEMENTS OF CHECHNYA AND DAGHESTAN

        GROZNY, AUGUST 24 (RIA NOVOSTI's correspondent Kometa Tepsayeva) -
        Today Grozny has seen the creation of a new political movement
        "Islamic Umma" ("Islamic Nation"). The participants in the constituent
        congress have proclaimed First Vice-Premier of the Chechen government
        Movladi Udugov its leader. Both Moslems of Chechnya and Daghestan have
        become members of the new party. The congress has proclaimed as its
        basic goal the creation of a single Islamic nation. A representative
        of Daghestan Moslems said at the congress that "from now on we'll not
        be called Chechens, Daghestans or Laktsy; from today we are the
        Islamic nation. We must unite at least the Moslems of Northern Caucasus."

        The newly-born religious movement sees its prospects in distributing
        Islam around the globe and consolidating the public and political
        forces of Caucasus. In an interview with RIA Novosti Movladi Udugov
        who was an organiser of the forum said that "the Islamic nation" has
        set the goal of "restoring Islam in its previous historical borders."
        He added that this involves the unity of political forces of this
        region and not a new state formation. According to the Chechen leader,
        his supporters intend to "create in the Caucasus the conditions which
        would prevent the expansion of anti-Islamic forces." The resolution
        adopted by the congress stresses that all the problems of the Caucasus
        must be resolved by political methods. "This will become a priority
        also in the issues of creating conditions for the physical protection
        of the Islamic nation from aggression and genocide," says the document
        (fed)


        RFE/RL Newsline 18.12.1997

        CHECHNYA REPEATS TERRITORIAL CLAIMS ON DAGESTAN 17 December congress
        of First Deputy Prime Minister Movladi Udugov's Islamic Nation party
        has repeated calls for Chechnya to annex territories in neighboring
        Dagestan populated by some 70,000 Akkin Chechens, RFE/RL's North
        Caucasus correspondent reported. The party wants to create an
        independent state in the North Caucasus. Chechen Deputy Prime Minister
        Shamil Basaev said Chechnya intends to "liberate" Dagestan from its
        present "unworthy" status as a Russian colony. Nadirshah Khachilaev,
        the chairman of the Union of Muslims of Russia, expressed his support
        for the concept of an independent Dagestan. But Dagestani Security
        Council secretary Magomed Tolboev said that Chechen attempts to
        "export its ideology" are "impermissible." He added that he would like
        Russia to give Dagestan greater autonomy in acknowledgment of its
        loyalty to Moscow. LF



        EVOLUTION OF THE CHECHEN JAMAAT

        By Mayrbek Vachagaev

        http://groups.yahoo.com/group/chechnya-sl/message/32783

        The Congress of the Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan has not existed
        for a long time. It was abolished and reorganized into the "Majlis of
        the Muslims of Ichkeria and Dagestan" as early as in April 1999.
        Moreover, following the historic unification of all structures of the
        Chechen resistance movement in summer 2002, the foundation of the
        State Defence Committee - Majlis ul-Shura of the Chechen Republic of
        Ichkeria as a supreme military and political government body of the
        Chechen state, and ensuing official abdication of the powers of the
        head of the Majlis of the Muslims of Ichkeria and Dagestan by Shamil
        Basayev in autumn 2002, all structures of that organization have been
        reorganized and subordinated to the fronts and sectors of the armed
        forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.
      • Norbert Strade
        Dear Mikael, I have a few comments on your analysis of the current Emirate row. Well, actually, I don t really think that it is an analysis, but rather a
        Message 3 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
        • 0 Attachment
          Dear Mikael,

          I have a few comments on your analysis of the current "Emirate" row.
          Well, actually, I don't really think that it is an analysis, but rather
          a series of demagogic attempts to divert the focus from the real issues.
          And let me expand on Marius' observations about Mr. Udugov's influence,
          that it seems to go so far that you are trying to imitate his personal
          style of writing ;).

          The first issue dealt with in your text has become moot in the meantime,
          in my opinion. There can't be any doubt about the content of Mr.
          Umarov's declaration after the full-length video has been published on
          various sites. And as far as I can see, what he says is identical with
          the text versions published earlier. Mr. Umarov declared loudly and
          clearly that en Emirate has been established and that he is the supreme
          leader of this entity. He also renounces all other laws and legal
          systems except Sharia, and he declares all non-Emirate state formations
          to be irrelevant. Furthermore, he declares war on the USA, Great
          Britain, Israel and implicitly the entire "kafir" world.
          There is nothing to discuss here anymore, it's an established fact.
          Let's imagine that the current President of Finland suddenly declared
          herself the Khanum of a North Eurasian Khanate with a system based on
          the customary law of Tannu-Tuva. I'm rather confident that Finnish law
          experts would say that this would be equivalent to her abdication as
          Finnish President.
          Mr. Umarov declared himself leader of a political entity different from
          the ChRI, with a different political and legal system and different
          borders. He can't be the leader of two different and competing political
          entities at the same time. Now of course the pro-Emiratists and Mr.
          Umarov himself (at least implicitly) claim that the President of the
          ChRI can change the identity and system of the ChRI into something
          completely different. This is nonsense. Mr. Umarov has sworn an oath on
          the Chechen Constitution, and he can only be relieved of his post, or
          relieve himself of his post, according to the rules laid down in this
          Constitution.
          Article 72 of the ChRI Constitution says the following: "In taking
          office the President swears an oath of the following content: 'I
          solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of Chechen Republic, to
          strengthen and to protect its sovereignty, to strictly observe the
          Constitution and laws of Chechen Republic, to guarantee the rights and
          freedom of the citizens, to honestly execute the high responsibilities
          of the President of Chechen Republic imposed on me'.
          Nowhere in the legal paragraphs is the President given the right to make
          changes or amendments to the Constitution, not to mention to abolish it
          in its entirety. This right is exclusively reserved to the Parliament,
          cf. Article 62 of Constitution of the ChRI:
          "The Parliament of the Chechen Republic has the competence to accept
          into consideration and to decide any question. Under the exclusive
          management of the Parliament of Chechen Republic are:
          1. Adoption of the Constitution of Chechen Republic, introducing
          changes and amendments thereto. (...)". (My translations of both quotes).
          With other words, by declaring himself the leader of a different
          political entity and simultaneously renouncing the very existence of the
          ChRI and all its political and legal institutions, Mr. Umarov abandoned
          his post as President of the ChRI. Personally I find this to be a tragic
          event, both for the Chechen nation and for Mr. Umarov himself, who used
          to be a respected military leader.
          Furthermore, because the President doesn't have the competence to
          abolish the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, this political entity doesn't
          simply go away just because its President defects it. There are rules
          for the transfer of power in such cases. In the first step, presidential
          powers are automatically transfered to the Vice President, as it
          lamentably had to be done several times already after the deaths of the
          Presidents Dudayev, Maskhadov and Sadulayev. Now of course there is a
          problem with the current Vice President, a long-time leader of Chechen
          salafists, who per definition don't recognize the Chechen state. His
          appointment by former President Umarov was a sign of things to come. I'm
          fairly sure that Vice President Abdullayev will follow Mr. Umarov to his
          new political entity, so there will be nobody to take over. In this case
          the supreme authority is automatically transfered back to Parliament.
          With other words, it is now up to the Parliament of the ChRI to find a
          solution for the constitutional crisis created by Mr. Umarov's move.

          Finally, a general comment: The Chechen state institutions are partly
          responsible themselves for the current situation, by allowing the slow,
          step-by-step erosion of the constitutional system of the ChRI. The
          Constitution clearly prescribes that it can only be changed by the
          Parliament (see above). Therefore, all major "changes" which have been
          introduced after 1992 are null and void. This is especially valid for
          the (in)famous "changes" of 2002 which virtually abolished the core of
          the Constitution. The body that "passed" these "changes" had no
          legitimate basis to interfere with the Constitution. It was - in a legal
          sense with regard to constitutional changes - a private congregation
          consisting of some members of Parliament, some politicians, some
          military leaders, some Muslim scholars, and a couple of other persons
          who weren't authorized by anyone except themselves. The currently valid
          version of the Constitution of the ChRI is still the one adopted by a
          referendum in 1992.
          Some demagogues are trying to confuse a perfectly legitimate political
          proposal to introduce Sharia law with the question if the existing
          political and legal system has to be followed in such a drive. In the
          current system of the ChRI, anyone, an individual, a party, the
          President, etc has the right to propose such a move. And they can
          achieve the desired changes if they are able to reach the necessary
          majorities in the responsible bodies, in this case if they can get a
          parliamentary majority for the proposal. Since this possibility seems
          far away, some people with Mr. Udugov as their public spearhead began to
          claim that because they are acting on behalf of God, they don't have to
          respect any man-made laws. Just read the long polemics between Messrs.
          Udugov and Zakayev about this issue, which ran on Kavkaz-Center some
          time ago. It all boiled down to Mr. Udugov's claim that only those who
          are actively fighting on an Islamic platform have the right to decide
          about the form and character of the State (which is quite ironic, since
          Mr. Udugov isn't known to have participated in any military activity
          himself). The Chechen people and the opinions of its majority don't play
          any role - since Chechens are Muslims per definition, they have to obey
          the orders of the self-appointed guardians of religious correctness.
          Stripped of all the pseudo-religious lingo, Mr. Udugov simply
          paraphrased Mao Tsetung's famous line that "political power comes from
          the barrel of a gun".
          Uneducated and weak personalities might be scared into submission by the
          onslaught of religious phrases and threats of hellfire, but it's always
          a good exercise to strip these phrases away from a text and see what's
          left. That is the political content. Then we can see clearly the basis
          of the "Udugovite" state form: A society without democratic
          institutions, based on the dictatorial rule of a few individuals who are
          the "best" according to their own self-definition, and based on the fact
          that it's those people who have the guns, with other words, a state
          based on the "fuhrer principle", also known as Fascism. By the way, one
          only needs a look at Mr. Udugov's "Chechen Times" today
          (http://tinyurl.com/2ua3yb), featuring yet another article that defames
          democracy in exactly the same way as the Nazi propagandists did in the
          1930s ("Democracy is a Religion - Parliament is a Palace of the
          Unbelievers"). Goebbels' remains are rotating joyfully in their drawer
          in the basement of the Lubyanka building.

          Best regards,
          Norbert



          Mikael Storsjö wrote:
          > 'Caucasus Emirate' – where is the beef?
          >
          > The recent debate over the "Caucasus Emirate" has been very confusing
          > for most people monitoring the situation in Chechnya.
          >
          > We have read declarations signed by many prominent persons, there
          > have been a lot of rumors and accusations published by various web
          > sites, and the leadership of President Umarov has not only been
          > questioned but also denied by high officials.
          >
          > Still we lack one ingredient of intellectual debate – despite wordy
          > statements we have got hardly any evidence or proofs testifying
          > accusations of abuse of power. The Constitution of ChRI has been a
          > weapon in the debate, but nobody seems to define what articles have
          > been violated or what articles would justify their own planned
          > actions. To some extent it looks like a number of Mischief Makers has
          > captured the stage, showing us a theatrical performance with quite
          > few artistic merits.
          >
          > Maybe it's time to search and unearth the facts, and base our
          > opinions upon such findings? This present conflict tends to split
          > the Resistance with tragic consequences for the people of Chechnya
          > and sorrow among the true friends of the Chechens. United we stand,
          > divided we fall –becoming a tool of the enemy's divide and conquer
          > tactics is a fatal mistake.
          >
          >
          > "Proclamation of Caucasus Emirate"
          >
          > The President is the Head of State and Commander-in-Chief. His
          > official decisions are published as decrees, as we all know. These
          > presidential decrees are published publicly; they are dated and
          > numbered, signed and provided with stamp. As these decrees are
          > publicly published in official media channels, there are never any
          > doubts about the validity and authenticity of the decree.
          >
          > Regarding "Caucasus Emirate", we have not seen any official decree in
          > public - the basic fact is that there has been no "Emirate
          > declaration" by President Umarov yet. Those who tend to make hasty
          > actions should carefully consider this fact.
          >
          > So far, we have no more than a text published 29.10.2007 on the minor
          > web site chechenews.com, which alleges that they received the
          > proclamation anonymously by e-mail! This web site is not the channel
          > where Umarov's decisions and orders are published for the public.
          > Further, the text was said to be written by Movladi Udugov. It's not
          > very credible that Udugov would give world premiere to his texts on
          > that obscure web site. I'm sure we all agree that he has much better
          > media in his proposal.
          >
          > The Chechen service of the U.S. financed Radio Marsho (Radio Liberty)
          > broadcasted an excerpt of a video tape of President Umarov
          > 30.10.2007. Again – the radio station had received the tape
          > anonymously by mail! The recording is said to be done somewhere in
          > the forests 7.10.2007. We don't know the full context of this speech,
          > which makes an analyze impossible. Only small fragments of Umarov's
          > speak in Russian language was heard, the program includes mostly
          > inexact translations of the speech and the reporter's commentaries in
          > a mix. One essential thing – Umarov did not speak about Al-Quaida, he
          > did not abolish the statehood of ChRI and he did not mention the word
          > Emirate or Caliphate at all. He did express sympathy with Moslems in
          > other occupied countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine).
          > Such expressions of sympathy we can hear on a daily basis also from
          > non-Moslem European liberals, the statements are not more radical
          > than that.
          >
          > President Umarov did speak about Sharia and Jihad. Let's remind
          > ourselves, that Sharia is a part of the Chechen Constitution, and
          > describing the Caucasian fight for independence in terms of Jihad or
          > Gazavat has been common in centuries, as can be seen already from
          > Tolstoy's novels from the Caucasian War.
          >
          > It should be apparent for all people, that the President of ChRI
          > never uses Radio Marsho as the official channel of publishing his
          > orders or decrees. When we today read harsh statements against Umarov
          > and the "Caucasus Emirate" it should be kept in mind that the
          > argumentation is directed towards a mix of anonymous e-mails, a radio
          > reporters commentaries and one sentence long excerpts from some
          > speech. There is no real beef in this hamburger, so far.
          >
          > Anybody is free to speculate how this situation has erupted. Who
          > might be sending anonymous e-mails and video recordings, and what is
          > the purpose of such actions? Who lacks loyalty to the leadership of
          > ChRI to such extent, that they want to link President Umarov to Al-
          > Quaida, allege him for starting a world-wide jihad against the world
          > et cetera? Who has interests in creating stories that President
          > Umarov has declared not only an Emirate in North Caucasus, but he
          > want to extend it also to Transcaucasus? An obvious answer is the
          > divide et impera tacticians of FSB, but some people are helping the
          > putinists quite a lot.
          >
          > Chechenpress knows exactly how presidential decrees are distributed.
          > Still the agency publishes articles under headline "Doku Umarov
          > proclaimed Caucasian Emirate" with references to some odd Al-Quaida
          > influence in the Resistance. This does not make sense at all, without
          > diving deep into conspiracy theories and similar speculations. The
          > web site of the Chechen MFA should have other objectives than making
          > serious harm to the Head of the State, I suppose.
          >
          >
          > Zakayev's actions
          >
          > We can't discuss the media turbulence regarding "Caucasus Emirate"
          > without scrutinizing the actions of Ahmed Zakayev, who has published
          > a number of statements during the last two weeks.
          >
          > Zakayev use repeatedly about himself the epithet "the government of
          > the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria" which sounds a bit strange. The
          > President is the Head of State and highest executive officer. The
          > highest authority of the State is the defense committee Majlis-al-
          > Shura. The huge majority of the Ministers live in Chechnya. These are
          > the bodies that we all have regarded as the legal bodies of ChRI.
          > Zakayev is not even speaking for all of the 4-5 Ministers and Deputy
          > Ministers residing in Europe, so how is it possible that he has
          > promoted himself to the position of Government?
          >
          > Zakayev's position and legal status as Minister of Foreign Affairs is
          > based upon a decree of President Umarov. Zakayev must have
          > misunderstood the concept of chain of command, when he suddenly finds
          > himself in a higher position than his superior. In his latest
          > statement, Zakayev tells that he can no longer represent Doku Umarov,
          > and urges other officials henceforth give their allegiance directly
          > to Parliament. Isn't this action an unhidden attempt to seizure of
          > power, coup d'état?
          >
          > Zakayev explains his actions with a wish to preserve the
          > Constitution. A person with a good memory, although, remembers
          > Zakayev's Manifesto in June 2006, which stated that the Constitution
          > (i.e. legal status of ChRI) may be negotiated with the Russians.
          >
          > In the present situation Zakayev urges the government and armed
          > forces of ChRI to be directly subordinate to the Parliament. This is
          > a strange and very unconstitutional view! How do Zakayev think it's
          > possible to protect a constitution by violating this constitution?
          >
          > Article 71 of the Chechen constitution clearly condemns Zakayev's
          > aims to be illegal: "Other elections or nomination to a post, and
          > equally allotting the authorities of the President of the republic
          > are illegal and void." Article 74 tells the procedure how the
          > President can be relieved from the post – no such procedure has been
          > seen, and such also seems to be impossible. According to article
          > 74, "the decision about relieve of the President of Chechen Republic
          > of the post is considered as made if not less than two-thirds of
          > votes of common number of the members of Parliament voted".
          >
          > Unfortunately, the Parliament is not a working governmental body
          > today. The Parliament elected 1997 had more than 40 members. Half of
          > them have passed over to the side of the occupiers and some 10 have
          > died. No more than some 10 persons are still able to independent work
          > for ChRI. This means that even Kadyrov could arrange a bigger ChRI
          > parliamentarian meeting than the Chairman of the Parliament is able
          > to!
          >
          > If the President really would be relieved of the post, then the Vice-
          > president becomes the President. The third in range is the Chief of
          > the High Sharia Court. The Constitution admits no rights for the
          > Parliament to overtake the authority of the President.
          >
          > Further, in July 2002 the Great Majlis Shura under the leadership of
          > President Maskhadov made some amendments to the Constitution, much of
          > which were motivated by the exceptional circumstances during wartime.
          > According to this Constitution, respected by all so far, the highest
          > authority of ChRI is now the Majlis-al-Shura.
          >
          > Does Zakayev really suggest, that a handful of parliamentarians, less
          > than a forth of the elected number, should seize the power in ChRI.
          > Such action would comprise very serious infringements upon the
          > Constitution. The legacy of such a government would hardly be
          > accepted by any serious party, least of all by the international
          > community.
          >
          > I suggest that Zakayev et consortes should carefully read their own
          > statement 30.10.2007, which states: "Any infringement of the CRI
          > constitutional order should be viewed as the gravest crime against
          > the Chechen state and its heroic people."
          >
          >
          > A Russian plot?
          >
          > The arguments, that there would be some kind of FSB plot behind
          > actions of Umarov are quite weird. There are "reliable sources"
          > telling that FSB would have paid 500 million dollar (!) to organize
          > this plot! The credibility of this argument is on zero level. In
          > plain text it means that Udugov got 500 million on his bank account
          > in order to convince Umarov to make a declaration?
          > It sounds like rubbish.
          >
          > Here we can witness some harsh attempts to smear and defame persons
          > who are working within the Chechen authorities. Especially Movladi
          > Udugov is in the firing line. Udugov has been demonized by the
          > Russians due to his splendid work as Minister of Information during
          > the first Russian war against Chechnya. It was a propaganda war which
          > the Russians lost, as they had to admit themselves. Without Udugov's
          > achievements, there might never have been any Khasavyurt agreement.
          >
          > Repeating Russian antagonism against Udugov seems a bit ill-
          > considered. Russian propaganda is not a trustworthy source of
          > knowledge; we don't believe either that Maskhadov or Zakayev are
          > terrorists, do we? People interested in Udugov's political thinking
          > should preferably read his study "Security in Exchange for
          > Independence" (to be found on kavkazcentrer.com web page).
          >
          > Not only Udugov and Umarov are criticized in the present discussion.
          > Astonishingly, a recent statement told us that "the `North Caucasus
          > Emirate' is to play a similar provocative role as that of the Chechen
          > and Dagestan Peoples Congress which had paved the way for the second
          > Russian intervention in Chechnya. The same people who had taken part
          > in the founding of the Congress have been involved in the preparation
          > of the `Emirate' operation."
          >
          > The first signature of this declaration is Ilias Musaev – one of the
          > members of the working committee of this Peoples Congress! But Musaev
          > was not in any bad companion when he worked for this Peoples
          > Congress –on the establishing meeting of the Congress took part also
          > the Chechen Presidents Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and Sadulaev and Vice-
          > presidents Arsanov, Basaev and Abdullaev! Sadukaev and Abdulaev made
          > both big jobs for this Congress.
          >
          > Does Zakayev really mean that all these honorable men "paved way for
          > the second Russian intervention in Chechnya"? It's really a strange
          > new history writing we are witnessing! I think that Chechens
          > shouldn't undeservedly victimize themselves in this matter. The war
          > started due to illegal Russian aggression. The war in Dagestan in
          > August 1999, as well as the Russian apartment bombings a couple of
          > weeks later did not initiate the Second war against Chechnya! Prime
          > Minister Stepashkin has admitted that the final decision to invade
          > was taken already in the spring that year, what happened thereafter
          > did not affect their plans at all.
          >
          > There has been proposed many other ungrounded arguments in this
          > present discussion. It has been stated that a possible (yet to be
          > seen) declaration of "Caucasus Emirate" would motivate Putin to send
          > more troops to Caucasus and suppress the people of Caucasus even more
          > than before. I don't think Putin has that kind of restrictions in his
          > policy – he will send more soldiers to Caucasus regardless of such
          > sophisticated argumentation. He does not need to argue, just watch
          > his activities in the past.
          >
          > Another line of arguments is that a "Caucasus Emirate" would make the
          > Chechens loose support in the Western community. Also, the situation
          > of refugees would be worsened. What support the Chechens have today,
          > which could become in danger? In Europe, there are a number of good
          > working non-governmental human rights organizations and a handful of
          > parliamentarians – on the governmental level Europe has allowed the
          > genocide of Chechens to happen without noticeable actions of protest.
          > The refugee issue is handled in all European countries on a
          > humanitarian and individual level, the idea of some kind of
          > collective punishment does not belong to the real life.
          >
          >
          > The idea of a "Caucasus Emirate"
          >
          > As stated above, there has been no declaration of a "Caucasus
          > Emirate". However, this is an interesting issue, which should be
          > discussed.
          >
          > Many of the late Chechen Presidents have supported widening the war
          > outside the borders of Chechnya and opening new fronts. As a military
          > strategy this is a well-grounded strategy, following the framework of
          > both von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.
          >
          > The Chechens have during centuries been the avant garde in resisting
          > the colonization in Caucasus. That is the situation today as well.
          > When the Chechens are defeated, it means bad times for all other
          > Caucasian peoples. Thus, the Circassian Genocide took part not before
          > the defeat of Imam Shamil, when Russia had available forces to put
          > also that people to death.
          >
          > The Chechens are not fighting alone today; representatives of all
          > other Caucasian peoples also take part in this fight for freedom and
          > independence. Many of these people have also high position in the
          > Resistance. Amir Magas, who is an ethnic Ingush, is the Commander of
          > the Caucasian Front, and recently promoted to top military commander
          > of the ChRI forces. Recently Anzor Astermirov, the leader of the
          > Kabardino-Balkar jamaat, was appointed to the position of the Head of
          > the Sharia Court. If the President and Vice-president of the ChRI
          > should die simultaneously, the leadership post automatically passes
          > to the Chief of the High Sharia Court, which makes Astermirov a
          > figure of importance for the whole region.
          >
          > In these circumstances, I believe, it is well-grounded to have some
          > organizational framework that motivates also troops from other
          > Caucasian regions. It's not enough for a Karachay just to fight for
          > the freedom of Chechnya; he wants freedom for Karachai-Cherkessia
          > also. I suppose that President Umarov had such thinking in his mind
          > when he spoke in the beginning of October.
          >
          > Actually, this is not a new idea that President Umarov (or Udugov)
          > has created. ChRI started to implement its new strategy of exporting
          > the war from Chechnya to the other parts of the North Caucasus
          > already in April 2004, under the leadership of President Maskhadov.
          >
          > President Sadulaev stated in February 2006 in videos and messages on
          > Chechenpress and Daymokh the new goals of the Resistance. Sadulaev
          > said (citation from Chechnya Weekly):
          >
          > "The peoples of the Caucasus have common history, a common struggle
          > for freedom and independence, a common religion, common ideals and
          > values. It is international practice, and a striking example of that
          > is the unification of Europe. In the future there are plans for the
          > creation of a Majlis Shura of the Caucasus [and] a Shura Alimov of
          > the Caucasus, and for the creation of a confederative state of the
          > type of the European Union." Attempts by the Kremlin "to portray the
          > natural desire of the peoples of the Caucasus to unite in order to
          > throw off the imperial yoke of Russia as a threat to the whole world
          > are mendacious and futile" Sadulaev added.
          >
          > I think that gratitude to former Presidents, such as Maskhadov and
          > Sadulaev, should not be written in the same statement as criticism of
          > Umarov, as some people have done lately. President Umarov is just
          > continuing the work of his predecessors, no more no less. And he has
          > made no attempt to change or abolish the Constitution of ChRI.
          >
          > A suitable end of this writing is a citation of President Sadulaev in
          > February 2006:
          >
          > "Enormous work has been carried out over 15 years in the matter of
          > strengthening freedom and establishing an independent Chechen Islamic
          > State. And this work is being carried out today. Thus today all
          > mujahideen are joined in a single structure, together are waging war
          > on the path of Allah, on the path of building a full-fledged Islamic
          > state. And on that path, the mujahideen, by the grace of Allah, are
          > trying in everything to adhere to Sharia, to adhere to the rules and
          > norms of behavior of Islam…and to strengthen our unity.
          > And it would be very good if all of our brother and sister muhajirs
          > [refugee, immigrant or emigrant] located outside Nokhchich'o
          > [Chechnya] adhered the same way. But even more important today is to
          > make clear to all muhajirs, to everyone who is not taking active part
          > in combat operations, who are not openly fighting in jihad, [that]
          > the mujahideen have the advantage over the muhajirs. And all muhajirs
          > should know that they are assistants and advisers to the mujahideen,
          > and not their superiors. And if each observes their obligations and
          > knows their place, then we will have mutual understanding, harmony
          > and a speedy victory."
          >
          > "An Islamic State" – that might sound like radical fundamentalism and
          > wahhabism for people suffering from islamophobia? Well, in that case
          > we have many fundamentalistic movements among major parties in Europe
          > also, as they are demandeing government to be based on Christian
          > values?
          >
          > Mikael Storsjö
          > Helsinki, Finland
        • Bill Pearce
          Dear Norbert, I would normally try to strictly adhere to a no-debate policy on this list, but your comment seems to violate the spirit of neutrality, and
          Message 4 of 14 , Nov 7, 2007
          • 0 Attachment
            Dear Norbert,
            I would normally try to strictly adhere to a no-debate policy on this
            list, but your comment seems to violate the spirit of neutrality, and
            therefore, I feel I should write a rebutal, which I trust will be published
            on this list.

            I am in complete agreement that IF president Umarov has indeed disolved
            ChRI, and declared an Emirate, then he is no longer capable of serving as
            President. And even though it seems to all appearances that he did just
            that, we must all admit that the circumstances of this declaration are
            suspect. I think that affirmations by parliament and Government ChRI that
            state institutions are inviolate are appropriate and good, but rash
            assumptions about this declaration are unwise. I would think that, over
            the years, we have learned that our enemies are very sophisticated, and to
            take a more cautious and well thought out view on these things.
            But my biggest critique of your last post is your constitutional
            analysis. The constitutional changes of 2002 are indeed legitimate. First
            of all, one must understand that, during time of Martial Law (which all
            must agree, the current situation certainly applies), the State Defense
            Counsel, with the President ChRI as its chairman, is the sole authority of
            State. The authority of Parliament is greatly reduced. Furthermore, the
            meeting of 2002 included representatives of all branches of State,
            including the president, judiciary, and MPs. The changes made then were
            accepted as legitimate by EVERY Chechen official and representative for 4
            years now. It is a little late to say "I didn't really mean it" now. You
            throw blame on Udigov for trying to replace the established political
            systems, but by trying to overthrow the changes of 2002, you are doing the
            same thing. And I sincerely hope no Chechen official attempts the same.
            Now, concerning parliament as a whole: by strict adherence to the
            constitution, parliament is disolved de facto by the lack of a quorum.
            Only 1/4 of the parliament is left alive, and still true to the cause. Now
            I am not advocating disolving parliament. I believe that the extreme
            conditions of Chechnya demand some flexability in interpretation on that
            point, and I am perfectly OK with Parliament having a role. But as long as
            martial law continues, they have no constitutional authority, only the
            State Defense Council does. I think it is appropriate for Parliament to
            investigate how far the trechery of the executive branch goes. So far, the
            only one implicated is Umarov. If he, and the large majority of the State
            Defense Council have all betrayed ChRI, thenI would not be opposed to
            Parliament picking a new President and State Defense Council even though
            their constitutional authority to do so is tenuous, because of plain lack
            of options. However, such a step must onlybe done after careful
            investigation implicates the whole of the State Defense Council. This is
            the plain understanding of the constitution.
            Now, concerning presidential succession, one cannot assume that
            (assuming umarov is guilty), the vice-president must also be guilty.
            Statements like "he is a Salafi, therefore he must think..." is not
            sufficient to upset the constitutional system. I am a Fundamental Baptist,
            and I am often quite annoyed by people saying, "Oh, he is a fundamentalist,
            he must be against..." Unfounded allegations do not take president over
            constitutional mandate. If Umarov is guilty of treason, than the vice
            president is president unless 1) he is dead 2) he commits treason himself
            3) he voluntarily declines the post. If he is compromised, the next in
            succession is the head of the courts (his exact title escapes me at the
            moment). Parliament therefore has no authority to take power unless
            1)Umarov's treason in confirmed, 2)the next in line of succession is found
            to be implicated as well, not just assumed to be, 3)the vast majority of
            the State Defense Council is found to be implicated also.
            I am not blindly loyal to Umarov, nor am I an islamist (im a baptist
            preacher). But for parliament to take State authority despite a clear
            absense of of a quorum and the fact of martial law, is premature and
            foolish. If a careful and transparent investigation reveals the total
            corruption of the Executive branch, then Parliament must act, being within
            the spirit of the constitution, if not the letter. But one must be careful
            with such things.
            Norbert, my respect for your important work, faithful assistance to
            Chechnya, and personal integrity has not waned in the slightest. But I
            think you are mistaken in your analysis of the situation. I firmly believe
            that you are motivated by sincere love for ChRI, but do not be too rash, or
            you will find yourself an unwitting servant of the Enemy.

            Bill Pearce
            Chechen citizen (by adoption) and Baptist preacher
          • Mikael Storsjö
            Best Norbert, I want to comment some issues of your mail. I am still not prepared to make any drastic conclusion from the transcription of Umarov s alleged
            Message 5 of 14 , Nov 8, 2007
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              Best Norbert,

              I want to comment some issues of your mail.

              I am still not prepared to make any drastic conclusion from the
              transcription of Umarov's alleged video. Is it authentic? To whom was
              it directed? What is the full context of the speech? How is an
              Emirate defined? Et cetera.

              I will wait for Umarov's official declaration. Meanwhile, we can
              study some quotations from previous Presidents, and make a comparison
              with "Caucasus Emirate". As we all know, since ages the Chechen fight
              has not been restricted only to Independence for Chechnya, but it has
              had the whole North Caucasus in mind.

              Listen to President Dudaev in one interview 1994
              (http://tinyurl.com/2o3m42): "My plan foresaw the creation of a union
              of Caucasus countries directed against Russian imperialism,
              signifying a united Caucasus. Our chief goal was the achievement of
              independence and liberation, acting together with the Caucasus
              republics which have been oppressed by Russia over the course of 300
              years." Further, the Chechen authorities under Dudaev publicly
              promoted the idea of North Caucasian unity and common struggle – ChRI
              was the only government represented in the Confederation of the
              Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus, for example.

              In his early years as President, Maskhadov frequently presented
              himself as an opponent of spreading the war from Chechnya to its
              neighbors, but he changed his mind. In 2005 Maskhadov described the
              necessity of "broadening the front of military resistance" after the
              Russian invasion of Chechnya in 1999: "On my orders, additional
              sectors were established: Ingush, Kabardino-Balkar, Daghestan, etc.
              Emirs [commanders] of these fronts were appointed, and they are all
              subordinate to the military leadership of the Chechen resistance."
              (http://tinyurl.com/ywwfub) Didn't this mean that President Maskhadov
              was the supreme leader of this entity? If we call the entity e.g.
              Emirate, then we may make interesting conclusions, don't we?

              As a reference only, Emir or Amir, meaning "chieftain"
              or "commander", is derived from the Arabic root Amr, "command". A
              state ruled by an independent emir is an emirate, but Emirates can
              also be constitutive parts of a state.
              (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emir)

              President Sadullaev's profound views about the "creation of a
              confederative state" can be read in quotation in my previous mail.

              What is so radical and repellent within Umarov's alleged speech? What
              is the big difference to his three predecessors?

              Broadening the war outside Chechnia? No - already Maskhadov made that
              decision.

              Acting as Commander (emir) of soldiers in other Caucasian republics?
              No – already Maskhadov was the híghest commander for those troops
              abroad.

              The Sharia (Gazavat) ingredient? No - Dudaev introduced Sharia
              courts and Sharia Law was fully introduced by Maskhadov.

              I want also to comment upon the juridical argumentation of Norbert.
              The legitimacy of ChRI is a most valuable characteristic of the
              Chechen fight, and that should never be jeopardized.

              I fully agree with Bill Pearce that the amendments to the
              Constitution, made under Maskhadov's leadership in July 2002, must be
              followed. If these amendments are declared not valid today - that is
              admitting that the government of ChRI has been illegal during last
              five and a half (5½) year! Seriously, has anybody that opinion? Why
              did nobody speak about it during all these years? Abolishing the
              amendments of 2002 suddenly, it would just mean introducing banana
              republic jurisprudence to ChRI.
              (http://www.kavkazcenter.com/eng/content/2007/03/14/7720.shtml)

              The superior agency of authority CRI is Majlisul-Shura headed by the
              leader of state, according to the principle - "Amir for Schura". Head
              of State is supreme commander-in-chief and highest, executive,
              official. If the position of the President is questioned, the
              decision shall be made by the military counsel Majlisul-Shura.

              The Chairman of the Parliament is now trying to make a Coup d'État.
              He is taking to himself personally such authority that not even the
              whole Parliament had according to old Constitution (from 12.3.1992,
              http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/cc01000_.html).

              Article 74 of that Constitution tells that the President can be
              relieved of the post in case of perpetration of crime. The decision
              must be made by the majority of not less than two third of votes. If
              such majority is found, then the matter shall be transmitted to the
              Constitutional Court. The final decision is made by the Parliament
              upon the conclusion of this court. The decision about relieve of the
              President of the post is considered as made if not less than two-
              thirds of votes of common number of the members of Parliament voted.
              Nota Bene - it is two thirds of the members of the Parliament, not
              the number of members present at the meeting! Yeah, there has to be
              arranged meetings also, "decrees" from the Chairnan has no vakue.

              This procedure has not been followed, not to any extent. Are some
              people really ready to throw away the legitimacy of ChRI so lightly,
              without reflection and consideration? Who would respect such a
              decision? The international community would hardly consider a
              new "president" to be legal and worth listening to. Do you think such
              a dirty game would find approval by the Mujahideens?

              The probable outcome would be just a sorry sight – a "president"
              without authority, respect, soldiers or subjects.

              Let's also consider the status of the Parliament. The Parliament had
              43 members, although the Parliament should have got 63 members
              elected. Some 8-10 of these might be available for a meeting outside
              Chechnya today. Ahmat Kadyrov got more than 20 members of Parliament
              gathered in order to impeach President Maskhadov, if I remember
              right. (http://tinyurl.com/38udx3). If a gang of 8 people would
              declare themselves being the whole ChRI Parliament (!), it means that
              6 persons could impeach the President, i.e. less than 10 % of the
              full number of Parliament! Sorry to say, but that violates the
              Constitution!

              Would there be any kind of credibility for such a process? I'm quite
              sure there wouldn't. It would just be a tragedy for all those
              involved, although regarded as a comedy in Kremlin, Brussels, Groznyi
              etc.

              Mikael Storsjö





              --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Norbert Strade <nost@...> wrote:
              >
              > Dear Mikael,
              >
              > I have a few comments on your analysis of the current "Emirate"
              row.
              > Well, actually, I don't really think that it is an analysis, but
              rather
              > a series of demagogic attempts to divert the focus from the real
              issues.
              > And let me expand on Marius' observations about Mr. Udugov's
              influence,
              > that it seems to go so far that you are trying to imitate his
              personal
              > style of writing ;).
              >
              > The first issue dealt with in your text has become moot in the
              meantime,
              > in my opinion. There can't be any doubt about the content of Mr.
              > Umarov's declaration after the full-length video has been published
              on
              > various sites. And as far as I can see, what he says is identical
              with
              > the text versions published earlier. Mr. Umarov declared loudly and
              > clearly that en Emirate has been established and that he is the
              supreme
              > leader of this entity. He also renounces all other laws and legal
              > systems except Sharia, and he declares all non-Emirate state
              formations
              > to be irrelevant. Furthermore, he declares war on the USA, Great
              > Britain, Israel and implicitly the entire "kafir" world.
              > There is nothing to discuss here anymore, it's an established fact.
              > Let's imagine that the current President of Finland suddenly
              declared
              > herself the Khanum of a North Eurasian Khanate with a system based
              on
              > the customary law of Tannu-Tuva. I'm rather confident that Finnish
              law
              > experts would say that this would be equivalent to her abdication
              as
              > Finnish President.
              > Mr. Umarov declared himself leader of a political entity different
              from
              > the ChRI, with a different political and legal system and different
              > borders. He can't be the leader of two different and competing
              political
              > entities at the same time. Now of course the pro-Emiratists and Mr.
              > Umarov himself (at least implicitly) claim that the President of
              the
              > ChRI can change the identity and system of the ChRI into something
              > completely different. This is nonsense. Mr. Umarov has sworn an
              oath on
              > the Chechen Constitution, and he can only be relieved of his post,
              or
              > relieve himself of his post, according to the rules laid down in
              this
              > Constitution.
              > Article 72 of the ChRI Constitution says the following: "In taking
              > office the President swears an oath of the following content: 'I
              > solemnly swear to faithfully serve the people of Chechen Republic,
              to
              > strengthen and to protect its sovereignty, to strictly observe the
              > Constitution and laws of Chechen Republic, to guarantee the rights
              and
              > freedom of the citizens, to honestly execute the high
              responsibilities
              > of the President of Chechen Republic imposed on me'.
              > Nowhere in the legal paragraphs is the President given the right to
              make
              > changes or amendments to the Constitution, not to mention to
              abolish it
              > in its entirety. This right is exclusively reserved to the
              Parliament,
              > cf. Article 62 of Constitution of the ChRI:
              > "The Parliament of the Chechen Republic has the competence to
              accept
              > into consideration and to decide any question. Under the exclusive
              > management of the Parliament of Chechen Republic are:
              > 1. Adoption of the Constitution of Chechen Republic, introducing
              > changes and amendments thereto. (...)". (My translations of both
              quotes).
              > With other words, by declaring himself the leader of a different
              > political entity and simultaneously renouncing the very existence
              of the
              > ChRI and all its political and legal institutions, Mr. Umarov
              abandoned
              > his post as President of the ChRI. Personally I find this to be a
              tragic
              > event, both for the Chechen nation and for Mr. Umarov himself, who
              used
              > to be a respected military leader.
              > Furthermore, because the President doesn't have the competence to
              > abolish the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, this political entity
              doesn't
              > simply go away just because its President defects it. There are
              rules
              > for the transfer of power in such cases. In the first step,
              presidential
              > powers are automatically transfered to the Vice President, as it
              > lamentably had to be done several times already after the deaths of
              the
              > Presidents Dudayev, Maskhadov and Sadulayev. Now of course there is
              a
              > problem with the current Vice President, a long-time leader of
              Chechen
              > salafists, who per definition don't recognize the Chechen state.
              His
              > appointment by former President Umarov was a sign of things to
              come. I'm
              > fairly sure that Vice President Abdullayev will follow Mr. Umarov
              to his
              > new political entity, so there will be nobody to take over. In this
              case
              > the supreme authority is automatically transfered back to
              Parliament.
              > With other words, it is now up to the Parliament of the ChRI to
              find a
              > solution for the constitutional crisis created by Mr. Umarov's move.
              >
              > Finally, a general comment: The Chechen state institutions are
              partly
              > responsible themselves for the current situation, by allowing the
              slow,
              > step-by-step erosion of the constitutional system of the ChRI. The
              > Constitution clearly prescribes that it can only be changed by the
              > Parliament (see above). Therefore, all major "changes" which have
              been
              > introduced after 1992 are null and void. This is especially valid
              for
              > the (in)famous "changes" of 2002 which virtually abolished the core
              of
              > the Constitution. The body that "passed" these "changes" had no
              > legitimate basis to interfere with the Constitution. It was - in a
              legal
              > sense with regard to constitutional changes - a private
              congregation
              > consisting of some members of Parliament, some politicians, some
              > military leaders, some Muslim scholars, and a couple of other
              persons
              > who weren't authorized by anyone except themselves. The currently
              valid
              > version of the Constitution of the ChRI is still the one adopted by
              a
              > referendum in 1992.
              > Some demagogues are trying to confuse a perfectly legitimate
              political
              > proposal to introduce Sharia law with the question if the existing
              > political and legal system has to be followed in such a drive. In
              the
              > current system of the ChRI, anyone, an individual, a party, the
              > President, etc has the right to propose such a move. And they can
              > achieve the desired changes if they are able to reach the necessary
              > majorities in the responsible bodies, in this case if they can get
              a
              > parliamentary majority for the proposal. Since this possibility
              seems
              > far away, some people with Mr. Udugov as their public spearhead
              began to
              > claim that because they are acting on behalf of God, they don't
              have to
              > respect any man-made laws. Just read the long polemics between
              Messrs.
              > Udugov and Zakayev about this issue, which ran on Kavkaz-Center
              some
              > time ago. It all boiled down to Mr. Udugov's claim that only those
              who
              > are actively fighting on an Islamic platform have the right to
              decide
              > about the form and character of the State (which is quite ironic,
              since
              > Mr. Udugov isn't known to have participated in any military
              activity
              > himself). The Chechen people and the opinions of its majority don't
              play
              > any role - since Chechens are Muslims per definition, they have to
              obey
              > the orders of the self-appointed guardians of religious
              correctness.
              > Stripped of all the pseudo-religious lingo, Mr. Udugov simply
              > paraphrased Mao Tsetung's famous line that "political power comes
              from
              > the barrel of a gun".
              > Uneducated and weak personalities might be scared into submission
              by the
              > onslaught of religious phrases and threats of hellfire, but it's
              always
              > a good exercise to strip these phrases away from a text and see
              what's
              > left. That is the political content. Then we can see clearly the
              basis
              > of the "Udugovite" state form: A society without democratic
              > institutions, based on the dictatorial rule of a few individuals
              who are
              > the "best" according to their own self-definition, and based on the
              fact
              > that it's those people who have the guns, with other words, a state
              > based on the "fuhrer principle", also known as Fascism. By the way,
              one
              > only needs a look at Mr. Udugov's "Chechen Times" today
              > (http://tinyurl.com/2ua3yb), featuring yet another article that
              defames
              > democracy in exactly the same way as the Nazi propagandists did in
              the
              > 1930s ("Democracy is a Religion - Parliament is a Palace of the
              > Unbelievers"). Goebbels' remains are rotating joyfully in their
              drawer
              > in the basement of the Lubyanka building.
              >
              > Best regards,
              > Norbert
              >
            • Mikael Storsjö
              Best Marius, With all due respect for your outstanding knowledge in issues related to Chechnya, I want to express a deviating opinion. When The Congress of
              Message 6 of 14 , Nov 8, 2007
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                Best Marius,

                With all due respect for your outstanding knowledge in issues related
                to Chechnya, I want to express a deviating opinion.

                When "The Congress of the peoples of Chechnya and Daghestan" was
                established in Groznyi 26.4.1997, Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and Arsanov
                were present, also keeping short speeches. Well, also Akhmed Kadyrov
                was there. Present Vice-president Abdullaev was chairman at this
                meeting. Former President Sadullaev took part in this first meeting,
                and was quite active in the work of the Congress afterwards. Basaev
                was elected chairman of the Congress.

                I do know that a conflict between Basaev and Maskhadov erupted
                shortly afterwards, not to be solved before summer 2002. That's
                another story.

                I do find it quite remarkable, that a statement telling that this
                Congress paved the way for the Russian invasion in Chechnya in 1999,
                has as first signer the present Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,
                Ilias Musaev. He was a full time employee of this Congress,
                apparently as long as it existed or worked!

                I don't know whether Udugovs share of votes in the presidential
                elections has any signification in this discussion regarding the so-
                called Caucasus Emirate. But if it has, then maybe we should also
                mention that Zakaev was a candidate in this same election - getting
                less votes than Udugov.

                The question about a "Islamic utopia that stretches from the Black to
                the Caspian Sea" is a bit complex. I don't think it's a black and
                white issue, which may be condemned without an analysis.

                As such we all know, the active efforts to bring the war outside
                Chechnya has been a fact during last three presidencies. We also know
                that a remarkable part of the active Resistance consists of fighters
                from other North Caucasian peoples. Further, it is inevitable, that
                Sadullaev has a point in his statement:
                "The peoples of the Caucasus have common history, a common struggle
                for freedom and independence, a common religion, common ideals and
                values.... In the future there are plans for the creation of a Majlis
                Shura of the Caucasus [and] a Shura Alimov of the Caucasus, and for
                the creation of a confederative state of the type of the European
                Union. ... [It is a] natural desire of the peoples of the Caucasus to
                unite in order to throw off the imperial yoke of Russia"

                Towards this background I am very astonished about all harsh
                statements during last weeks. We have no official statement from
                Umarov about an Emirate, even less a statement that would abolish
                ChRI. Maybe his ideas are the same as Sadullaev's - who has the
                knowledge to rule out that possibility? If those ideas were
                acceptable in February 2006, what made them a Russian plot in October
                2007?

                I think it would be quite clever to wait for Umarov's official
                statement, and after that everybody should feel free to enter the
                steps of action that they find appropriate.

                Mikael Storsjö



                --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, "mariuslab2002" <mariuslab@...>
                wrote:
                >

                >
                > Mikael,
                >
                > You are wrong that Aslan Maskhadov participted in this Congress, he
                > was against it, I don't also believe that Sadulayev took part in
                it. I think, they both knew that this kind of actions won't do
                anything good for Chechnya.
                >
                > Sometimes I have feeling that you've fallen under some spell of
                Udugov and have problem with Zakayev.
                >
                > It's very unfortunate that Udugov has acquired such influence over
                the situation in Chechnya. One thing is sure, he's the one, who from
                the beginning has been trying to create his "Islamic utopia that
                stretches from the Black to the Caspian Sea".
                > It's been known already during the first Chechen presidential
                > election, in which Maskhadov won easily against other candidates,
                what kind of ideas were in Udugov's head. Let me recall for you that
                he got less than 1% percent of the votes in the election, while
                campaining on that programme.
                >
                > Let's also not forget that Udugov has been always in opposition to
                > Maskhadov. Leaving aside all the conspiracy theories who was behind
                > Khattab's and Basayev's invasion on Dagestan, it could be assumed
                that Udugov as a leader of this Congress has had his hand in
                convincing both of them to invade the Dagestan's Botlikh region.
                >
                > Marius
                >

                snip
              • Norbert Strade
                Dear Mikael, I ll respond in more detail later. Right now, just one thing. I don t understand why some commentators and websites continue to discuss the value
                Message 7 of 14 , Nov 8, 2007
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                  Dear Mikael,

                  I'll respond in more detail later. Right now, just one thing. I don't
                  understand why some commentators and websites continue to discuss the
                  value of the transcripts of Dokka Umarov's speech, when the *video* is
                  available on the net *in its entirety*. Please forget the transcripts
                  for a moment and listen to the man:
                  http://www.chechenpress.info/g/displayimage.php?album=lastup&cat=-2&pos=0
                  I posted this link yesterday, and I also mentioned that as far as I can
                  see, the published transcripts are true to the original.
                  May I also add that the text of the declaration read out by Mr. Umarov
                  has been discussed in Chechen circles (including high officials from
                  both "sides") for almost a month before it was published.
                  Finally: My own comments about the constitutional situation aren't based
                  on what this or that Chechen official is saying, but only on the text of
                  Mr. Umarov's declaration.

                  Best regards,
                  Norbert



                  Mikael Storsjö wrote:
                  > Best Norbert,
                  >
                  > I want to comment some issues of your mail.
                  >
                  > I am still not prepared to make any drastic conclusion from the
                  > transcription of Umarov's alleged video. Is it authentic? To whom was
                  > it directed? What is the full context of the speech? How is an
                  > Emirate defined? Et cetera.
                  [snip]
                • mariuslab2002
                  Mikael, I guess, you must have some info about this from the first hand . I haven t been able to find anything about the Congress on that specific date
                  Message 8 of 14 , Nov 9, 2007
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                    Mikael,

                    I guess, you must have some info about this from "the first hand". I
                    haven't been able to find anything about the Congress on that specific
                    date (26.04.1997) So again, (I've already posted in my previous post
                    some other materials) I'm enclosing some more info about it.
                    Before that, please read this excerpt from Maskhadov speech in his
                    televises address of January 20, 1999 - which clearly shows that he
                    knew where the danger was coming from.

                    "The worst thing about it is the fact that it seeks to divide us
                    according to our faith. And this happens in every place that Islamism
                    wins over. They divide us according to faith, which subsequently leads
                    to civil war.... They say that only they are Allah's chosen ones that
                    only they are walking along the true path. And everyone else is their
                    enemy.... We have always been proud of the fact that we are Chechens.
                    And now they are telling us: '...Do not say that you are the Chechen
                    nation.' They want to deprive us of the faith of our fathers, our
                    sheikhs and ustadhs. They want to rob us of our customs and traditions
                    and adats.... They are not even content with the fact that we call
                    Chechnya an Islamic state.... They say that the president, the
                    parliament, and the grand mufti are meaningless. Everything is to be
                    in the hands of the Emir. The Emir who, I must add, came here from God
                    knows what country and who furthermore is not even Chechen....They
                    take the Koran in...and find words in it that claim it is permissible
                    to abduct people...that they can use them as a source of income….
                    Their calls for the immediate start of a war in Dagestan aim to pit
                    Chechnya and Dagestan against one another.[33]"


                    Well, it's kind of strange that your claims about Maskhadov and his
                    ties to that Congres are only mentioned by Then Putin's aide
                    Yatrzehembsky and Utro ru (a tube of FSB). I couldn't find another
                    sources stating this.

                    Best,
                    Marius


                    jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=13&issue_id=553&...

                    A pro-Putin website in Russia, Utro.ru, stated that the Russian
                    government provided Washington with information about the three groups
                    to "help the State Department make its decision." According to Utro,
                    the Congress of Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan has "direct ties with
                    Aslan Maskhadov," but the website failed to provide specific evidence
                    of this.

                    www.cdi.org/Russia/242-10.cfm

                    Replying to ITAR-TASS, Yastrzhembskiy said that "the Congress of
                    Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan had direct connections with [Chechen
                    separatist president] Aslan Maskhadov in the past", while its leaders
                    included, from the very start, such odious figures as Movladi Udugov
                    and one of the Khachilayev brothers.


                    below are the dates:

                    www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/chronology.asp?groupId=36504

                    Aug 17, 1997 former Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbayev founded a
                    political party aimed at creating a Caucasian federation of states
                    free from Russian domination. The party's objective would be to
                    "liberate the Caucasus from the yoke of the Russian empire" and create
                    a "union of independent states on the historic lands of the Caucasus."
                    The congress called on the peoples of the Caucasus to "come to the
                    defense of Ichkeria and its independence"(afp).



                    Aug 24, 1997 35 Islamic public and political movements of Dagestan and
                    Chechnya gathered in the capital of Groznyy to establish a new
                    religious- political movement. The goal of the movement, called the
                    Islamic Nation was "to prevent anti-Islamic expansion in the Caucasus,
                    promote the consolidation of the Islamic public and political forces
                    and ensure real unification of peoples of the Caucasus". Movladi
                    Udugov, Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the movement
                    said that "the Islamic Nation would work to revive Dagestan in its
                    historical borders". The new movement, however, set itself goals which
                    went far beyond the limits and borders of the Caucasus. Udugov said,
                    that "the movement will work for the unification of Islamic ideas in
                    the world" (bbc).



                    We have a different date here (I think, maybe because there were
                    actually two congresses held)


                    www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2000/01/chechen98/282.htm

                    Late in April 1998, the first congress of Chechen and Daghestani
                    fundamentalists, Islamic Nation, was held in Grozny with Basayev's
                    assistance and at Movladi Udugov's initiative. Basayev was elected
                    chairman of the congress and immediately announced that it was
                    necessary to merge Chechnya and Daghestan into a single state.

                    Maskhadov's response to that challenge was also styled as another
                    diplomatic warning: "I ... will not allow any parties, movements or
                    congresses to heighten tensions in Chechnya and perform actions which
                    can complicate relations with the neighbouring states..." How else
                    could Maskhadov reply to the person to whom he had to delegate part of
                    his constitutional powers following a mild palace coup in January? And
                    he did that because Basayev actually had the backing of a third of
                    Chechnya which had never recognised Maskhadov as their president, the
                    author of the article concludes.
                    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

                    --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Mikael Storsjö
                    <mikael.storsjo@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Best Marius,
                    >
                    > With all due respect for your outstanding knowledge in issues related
                    > to Chechnya, I want to express a deviating opinion.
                    >
                    > When "The Congress of the peoples of Chechnya and Daghestan" was
                    > established in Groznyi 26.4.1997, Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and Arsanov
                    > were present, also keeping short speeches. Well, also Akhmed Kadyrov
                    > was there. Present Vice-president Abdullaev was chairman at this
                    > meeting. Former President Sadullaev took part in this first meeting,
                    > and was quite active in the work of the Congress afterwards. Basaev
                    > was elected chairman of the Congress.
                    >
                    > I do know that a conflict between Basaev and Maskhadov erupted
                    > shortly afterwards, not to be solved before summer 2002. That's
                    > another story.
                    >
                    > I do find it quite remarkable, that a statement telling that this
                    > Congress paved the way for the Russian invasion in Chechnya in 1999,
                    > has as first signer the present Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs,
                    > Ilias Musaev. He was a full time employee of this Congress,
                    > apparently as long as it existed or worked!
                    >
                    > I don't know whether Udugovs share of votes in the presidential
                    > elections has any signification in this discussion regarding the so-
                    > called Caucasus Emirate. But if it has, then maybe we should also
                    > mention that Zakaev was a candidate in this same election - getting
                    > less votes than Udugov.
                    >
                    > The question about a "Islamic utopia that stretches from the Black to
                    > the Caspian Sea" is a bit complex. I don't think it's a black and
                    > white issue, which may be condemned without an analysis.
                    >
                    > As such we all know, the active efforts to bring the war outside
                    > Chechnya has been a fact during last three presidencies. We also know
                    > that a remarkable part of the active Resistance consists of fighters
                    > from other North Caucasian peoples. Further, it is inevitable, that
                    > Sadullaev has a point in his statement:
                    > "The peoples of the Caucasus have common history, a common struggle
                    > for freedom and independence, a common religion, common ideals and
                    > values.... In the future there are plans for the creation of a Majlis
                    > Shura of the Caucasus [and] a Shura Alimov of the Caucasus, and for
                    > the creation of a confederative state of the type of the European
                    > Union. ... [It is a] natural desire of the peoples of the Caucasus to
                    > unite in order to throw off the imperial yoke of Russia"
                    >
                    > Towards this background I am very astonished about all harsh
                    > statements during last weeks. We have no official statement from
                    > Umarov about an Emirate, even less a statement that would abolish
                    > ChRI. Maybe his ideas are the same as Sadullaev's - who has the
                    > knowledge to rule out that possibility? If those ideas were
                    > acceptable in February 2006, what made them a Russian plot in October
                    > 2007?
                    >
                    > I think it would be quite clever to wait for Umarov's official
                    > statement, and after that everybody should feel free to enter the
                    > steps of action that they find appropriate.
                    >
                    > Mikael Storsjö
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, "mariuslab2002" <mariuslab@>
                    > wrote:
                    > >
                    >
                    > >
                    > > Mikael,
                    > >
                    > > You are wrong that Aslan Maskhadov participted in this Congress, he
                    > > was against it, I don't also believe that Sadulayev took part in
                    > it. I think, they both knew that this kind of actions won't do
                    > anything good for Chechnya.
                    > >
                    > > Sometimes I have feeling that you've fallen under some spell of
                    > Udugov and have problem with Zakayev.
                    > >
                    > > It's very unfortunate that Udugov has acquired such influence over
                    > the situation in Chechnya. One thing is sure, he's the one, who from
                    > the beginning has been trying to create his "Islamic utopia that
                    > stretches from the Black to the Caspian Sea".
                    > > It's been known already during the first Chechen presidential
                    > > election, in which Maskhadov won easily against other candidates,
                    > what kind of ideas were in Udugov's head. Let me recall for you that
                    > he got less than 1% percent of the votes in the election, while
                    > campaining on that programme.
                    > >
                    > > Let's also not forget that Udugov has been always in opposition to
                    > > Maskhadov. Leaving aside all the conspiracy theories who was behind
                    > > Khattab's and Basayev's invasion on Dagestan, it could be assumed
                    > that Udugov as a leader of this Congress has had his hand in
                    > convincing both of them to invade the Dagestan's Botlikh region.
                    > >
                    > > Marius
                    > >
                    >
                    > snip
                    >
                  • Mikael Storsjö
                    Best Marius, My knowledge of the Congress of Chechen and Dagestani people is based partly upon a heavy study by the help of my friend Google. And also, I know
                    Message 9 of 14 , Nov 9, 2007
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Best Marius,

                      My knowledge of the Congress of Chechen and Dagestani people is based
                      partly upon a heavy study by the help of my friend Google. And also,
                      I know personally the secretary of this first meeting, he gave me
                      some additional information.

                      He missed a fact that we could read today in Mairbek Vatchagaev's
                      analysis in Chechnya Weekly. Also Zakaev was there at the first
                      meeting of foundation of this Congress! I asked my friend about it,
                      he said that he missed Zakaevs presence, probably because Zakaev has
                      never been a big politician in Chechnya - he was made that in Europe
                      only. I will send you, Marius, on private mail the contact
                      information of this my friend, you are very welcome to check my
                      information. If you find out that I am wrong, then tell it to this
                      list.

                      President Mskhadov's words in your mail are impressive, truly. But
                      things change for politicians. Those quotations of Maskhadov that I
                      presented in my mail yeasterday, they show that Maskhadov had ordered
                      his soldiers to open fronts all over North Caucasus, and that he
                      regarded himself cheif (=emir) of all those forces. Another quotation
                      I presented to this list shows that President Sadullayev went even
                      much forward - he wanted a coalition of the Moslem states from Black
                      Sea to the Caspian. If we would call his coalition an Emirate - then
                      we should critisize President Umarov just of being a late comer to
                      already accepted ideas? Dokku, don't just repeat old things, create
                      something new .... !

                      I don't know too much of the background of this dispute
                      about "Caspian Emirate". I just know that it is a totally artificial
                      conflict having its roots somewhere else. Dudaev, Maskhadov,
                      Sadullayev (not to speak about Yandarbiev) had the idea to join the
                      Chechen fight for independence to the decolinization of North
                      Caucasus. Nobody then deared to oppose, but now Udugov is the bad
                      guy. The revised Constitution of 2002 is now some bad thing - why
                      didn't Zakaev et consortes oppose it when Maskhadov brought it
                      through? I see a lot of hypocrazy, double standards, bad memory and
                      personal ambitions behind the storm during last weeks.

                      President Maskhadov is for me, personally, the symbol of the rights
                      for the Chechen nation to get freedom and independence. But I can't
                      understand those who speak good about Maskhadov but rejects his
                      deeds. The amendments to the Constitution in July 2002 were really
                      done under his leadership, it was not a Russian plot financed by some
                      500 millions of FSB-money. The Sharia law was introduced by Maskhadov
                      as well, its not from the desktop of Udugov, I don't think he was
                      even present at the meeting making this amendment.

                      Another thing that is disgusting is the attemption to put power of
                      the government of ChRI to the parliament. How the hell would they
                      have that right? How can you protect a Constitution by violating it.
                      Don't those people really have capability to read what the
                      Constitution says about procedures to reveal a president from his
                      duty? Do they have such a low estimate of the audience, that they
                      think we are so easily fooled?

                      While we are disputing, the fight in Caucasus goes on, just read
                      recent reports from Kavkazcenter (sorry for the advertisement). This
                      mess that Zakaev started will probably end up in a situation, where
                      the disloyal people are dismissed. Many people (almost 20 out of a
                      diaspora of 100.000) like to use their titles in different odd
                      statements - well, all titles are given by the Presidency of ChRI
                      according to Constitution of 2002! My suggestion - if you find it
                      illegal, leave away your titles! Either you eat the cake or keep it
                      intact.

                      I don't like situations of conflict. But some times it clears the
                      air, I hope it will happen now. We can witness a great amount of
                      disloyality towards ChRI, I hope President Umarov will enter proper
                      actions to dismiss these people, so that the true friends of the
                      Chechen nation may continue their work without disturbances.

                      Best wishes,

                      Mikael Storsjö

                      --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, "mariuslab2002" <mariuslab@...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Mikael,
                      >
                      > I guess, you must have some info about this from "the first hand". I
                      > haven't been able to find anything about the Congress on that
                      specific
                      > date (26.04.1997) So again, (I've already posted in my previous post
                      > some other materials) I'm enclosing some more info about it.
                      > Before that, please read this excerpt from Maskhadov speech in his
                      > televises address of January 20, 1999 - which clearly shows that he
                      > knew where the danger was coming from.
                      >
                      > "The worst thing about it is the fact that it seeks to divide us
                      > according to our faith. And this happens in every place that
                      Islamism
                      > wins over. They divide us according to faith, which subsequently
                      leads
                      > to civil war.... They say that only they are Allah's chosen ones
                      that
                      > only they are walking along the true path. And everyone else is
                      their
                      > enemy.... We have always been proud of the fact that we are
                      Chechens.
                      > And now they are telling us: '...Do not say that you are the Chechen
                      > nation.' They want to deprive us of the faith of our fathers, our
                      > sheikhs and ustadhs. They want to rob us of our customs and
                      traditions
                      > and adats.... They are not even content with the fact that we call
                      > Chechnya an Islamic state.... They say that the president, the
                      > parliament, and the grand mufti are meaningless. Everything is to be
                      > in the hands of the Emir. The Emir who, I must add, came here from
                      God
                      > knows what country and who furthermore is not even Chechen....They
                      > take the Koran in...and find words in it that claim it is
                      permissible
                      > to abduct people...that they can use them as a source of income….
                      > Their calls for the immediate start of a war in Dagestan aim to pit
                      > Chechnya and Dagestan against one another.[33]"
                      >
                      >
                      > Well, it's kind of strange that your claims about Maskhadov and his
                      > ties to that Congres are only mentioned by Then Putin's aide
                      > Yatrzehembsky and Utro ru (a tube of FSB). I couldn't find another
                      > sources stating this.
                      >
                      > Best,
                      > Marius
                      >
                      >
                      > jamestown.org/publications_details.php?volume_id=13&issue_id=553&...
                      >
                      > A pro-Putin website in Russia, Utro.ru, stated that the Russian
                      > government provided Washington with information about the three
                      groups
                      > to "help the State Department make its decision." According to Utro,
                      > the Congress of Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan has "direct ties
                      with
                      > Aslan Maskhadov," but the website failed to provide specific
                      evidence
                      > of this.
                      >
                      > www.cdi.org/Russia/242-10.cfm
                      >
                      > Replying to ITAR-TASS, Yastrzhembskiy said that "the Congress of
                      > Peoples of Ichkeria and Dagestan had direct connections with
                      [Chechen
                      > separatist president] Aslan Maskhadov in the past", while its
                      leaders
                      > included, from the very start, such odious figures as Movladi Udugov
                      > and one of the Khachilayev brothers.
                      >
                      >
                      > below are the dates:
                      >
                      > www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/chronology.asp?groupId=36504
                      >
                      > Aug 17, 1997 former Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbayev founded
                      a
                      > political party aimed at creating a Caucasian federation of states
                      > free from Russian domination. The party's objective would be to
                      > "liberate the Caucasus from the yoke of the Russian empire" and
                      create
                      > a "union of independent states on the historic lands of the
                      Caucasus."
                      > The congress called on the peoples of the Caucasus to "come to the
                      > defense of Ichkeria and its independence"(afp).
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Aug 24, 1997 35 Islamic public and political movements of Dagestan
                      and
                      > Chechnya gathered in the capital of Groznyy to establish a new
                      > religious- political movement. The goal of the movement, called the
                      > Islamic Nation was "to prevent anti-Islamic expansion in the
                      Caucasus,
                      > promote the consolidation of the Islamic public and political forces
                      > and ensure real unification of peoples of the Caucasus". Movladi
                      > Udugov, Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the
                      movement
                      > said that "the Islamic Nation would work to revive Dagestan in its
                      > historical borders". The new movement, however, set itself goals
                      which
                      > went far beyond the limits and borders of the Caucasus. Udugov said,
                      > that "the movement will work for the unification of Islamic ideas in
                      > the world" (bbc).
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > We have a different date here (I think, maybe because there were
                      > actually two congresses held)
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2000/01/chechen98/282.htm
                      >
                      > Late in April 1998, the first congress of Chechen and Daghestani
                      > fundamentalists, Islamic Nation, was held in Grozny with Basayev's
                      > assistance and at Movladi Udugov's initiative. Basayev was elected
                      > chairman of the congress and immediately announced that it was
                      > necessary to merge Chechnya and Daghestan into a single state.
                      >
                      > Maskhadov's response to that challenge was also styled as another
                      > diplomatic warning: "I ... will not allow any parties, movements or
                      > congresses to heighten tensions in Chechnya and perform actions
                      which
                      > can complicate relations with the neighbouring states..." How else
                      > could Maskhadov reply to the person to whom he had to delegate part
                      of
                      > his constitutional powers following a mild palace coup in January?
                      And
                      > he did that because Basayev actually had the backing of a third of
                      > Chechnya which had never recognised Maskhadov as their president,
                      the
                      > author of the article concludes.
                      > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                      --
                      >
                      > --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Mikael Storsjö
                      > <mikael.storsjo@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Best Marius,
                      > >
                      > > With all due respect for your outstanding knowledge in issues
                      related
                      > > to Chechnya, I want to express a deviating opinion.
                      > >
                      > > When "The Congress of the peoples of Chechnya and Daghestan" was
                      > > established in Groznyi 26.4.1997, Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and
                      Arsanov
                      > > were present, also keeping short speeches. Well, also Akhmed
                      Kadyrov
                      > > was there. Present Vice-president Abdullaev was chairman at this
                      > > meeting. Former President Sadullaev took part in this first
                      meeting,
                      > > and was quite active in the work of the Congress afterwards.
                      Basaev
                      > > was elected chairman of the Congress.
                      > >
                      > > I do know that a conflict between Basaev and Maskhadov erupted
                      > > shortly afterwards, not to be solved before summer 2002. That's
                      > > another story.
                      > >
                      > > I do find it quite remarkable, that a statement telling that this
                      > > Congress paved the way for the Russian invasion in Chechnya in
                      1999,
                      > > has as first signer the present Deputy Minister of Foreign
                      Affairs,
                      > > Ilias Musaev. He was a full time employee of this Congress,
                      > > apparently as long as it existed or worked!
                      > >
                      > > I don't know whether Udugovs share of votes in the presidential
                      > > elections has any signification in this discussion regarding the
                      so-
                      > > called Caucasus Emirate. But if it has, then maybe we should also
                      > > mention that Zakaev was a candidate in this same election -
                      getting
                      > > less votes than Udugov.
                      > >
                      > > The question about a "Islamic utopia that stretches from the
                      Black to
                      > > the Caspian Sea" is a bit complex. I don't think it's a black and
                      > > white issue, which may be condemned without an analysis.
                      > >
                      > > As such we all know, the active efforts to bring the war outside
                      > > Chechnya has been a fact during last three presidencies. We also
                      know
                      > > that a remarkable part of the active Resistance consists of
                      fighters
                      > > from other North Caucasian peoples. Further, it is inevitable,
                      that
                      > > Sadullaev has a point in his statement:
                      > > "The peoples of the Caucasus have common history, a common
                      struggle
                      > > for freedom and independence, a common religion, common ideals
                      and
                      > > values.... In the future there are plans for the creation of a
                      Majlis
                      > > Shura of the Caucasus [and] a Shura Alimov of the Caucasus, and
                      for
                      > > the creation of a confederative state of the type of the European
                      > > Union. ... [It is a] natural desire of the peoples of the
                      Caucasus to
                      > > unite in order to throw off the imperial yoke of Russia"
                      > >
                      > > Towards this background I am very astonished about all harsh
                      > > statements during last weeks. We have no official statement from
                      > > Umarov about an Emirate, even less a statement that would abolish
                      > > ChRI. Maybe his ideas are the same as Sadullaev's - who has the
                      > > knowledge to rule out that possibility? If those ideas were
                      > > acceptable in February 2006, what made them a Russian plot in
                      October
                      > > 2007?
                      > >
                      > > I think it would be quite clever to wait for Umarov's official
                      > > statement, and after that everybody should feel free to enter the
                      > > steps of action that they find appropriate.
                      > >
                      > > Mikael Storsjö
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, "mariuslab2002" <mariuslab@>
                      > > wrote:
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > > >
                      > > > Mikael,
                      > > >
                      > > > You are wrong that Aslan Maskhadov participted in this
                      Congress, he
                      > > > was against it, I don't also believe that Sadulayev took part
                      in
                      > > it. I think, they both knew that this kind of actions won't do
                      > > anything good for Chechnya.
                      > > >
                      > > > Sometimes I have feeling that you've fallen under some spell of
                      > > Udugov and have problem with Zakayev.
                      > > >
                      > > > It's very unfortunate that Udugov has acquired such influence
                      over
                      > > the situation in Chechnya. One thing is sure, he's the one, who
                      from
                      > > the beginning has been trying to create his "Islamic utopia that
                      > > stretches from the Black to the Caspian Sea".
                      > > > It's been known already during the first Chechen presidential
                      > > > election, in which Maskhadov won easily against other
                      candidates,
                      > > what kind of ideas were in Udugov's head. Let me recall for you
                      that
                      > > he got less than 1% percent of the votes in the election, while
                      > > campaining on that programme.
                      > > >
                      > > > Let's also not forget that Udugov has been always in opposition
                      to
                      > > > Maskhadov. Leaving aside all the conspiracy theories who was
                      behind
                      > > > Khattab's and Basayev's invasion on Dagestan, it could be
                      assumed
                      > > that Udugov as a leader of this Congress has had his hand in
                      > > convincing both of them to invade the Dagestan's Botlikh region.
                      > > >
                      > > > Marius
                      > > >
                      > >
                      > > snip
                      > >
                      >
                    • Norbert Strade
                      Dear Bill, The list as such is neutral, but it has always been a news and discussion list from its origins in 1995. Nobody demands that the contributors to a
                      Message 10 of 14 , Nov 10, 2007
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Dear Bill,

                        The list as such is neutral, but it has always been a "news and
                        discussion list" from its origins in 1995. Nobody demands that the
                        contributors to a discussion are neutral - there would be nothing to
                        discuss in that case. And no spirit is violated here if people air their
                        opinions about any issue with relevance to Chechnya. Opinions are welcome.

                        As always, I'd like to repeat that I'm speaking only for myself, as an
                        outside observer. I have always tried to be reluctant with publishing my
                        opinions about Chechen interior policy, based on my conviction that the
                        Chechens must know best themselves how to settle their conflicts. But
                        there are situations when it is necessary for the friends of Chechnya to
                        speak out. And I can't think of a more important issue than the very
                        existence of the sovereign Chechen state, founded in 1991 and twice
                        attacked by Russia with the explicit goal to eliminate Chechen
                        sovereignty and the legitimate Chechen state structures.

                        With regard to the content of Mr. Umarov's declaration, I can only refer
                        again to my comment in another reply: Please watch the video and hear
                        the man himself. He says loudly and clearly that he does no longer
                        recognize the ChRI and its state form, and that he considers himself the
                        leader of a different entity. I understand that some forces want to keep
                        the discussion away from the core issues by continuing to saw doubt
                        about the content of the declaration (maybe they became shocked by the
                        quick reactions), but that is a really silly attempt, since everything
                        is in the public sphere. It's like saying that the entire video in which
                        Mr. Umarov reads up that declaration is a forgery. In that case they
                        should deliver the proof. It's technically possible to analyse it.

                        Back to your message.

                        Firstly. You don't agree with my constitutional analysis. Well, let's go
                        into more detail. The "State Defense Committee" was established in a
                        combined emergency session of the ChRI Parliament and Government on 23
                        September, 1999, as a consequence of the Russian attack on Chechnya. Its
                        task was to take over the highest *executive* power in the country
                        during the period of martial law, while Parliament and Government are
                        temporarily unable to work under normal and regular conditions. There is
                        no mention of a "State Defense Committee" in the ChRI Constitution (any
                        version). It is *not* a constitutional body but an ad-hoc organ to which
                        some powers *under* the Constitution have been transfered for a special
                        period in a special situation. The Constitution defines clearly which
                        body has the power to make changes/amendments to it, and I quote it again:

                        "Article 62
                        'The Parliament of the Chechen Republic has the competence to accept
                        into consideration and to decide any question. Under the exclusive
                        management of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic are:
                        1. Adoption of the Constitution of Chechen Republic, introducing changes
                        and amendments thereto. (...)'".
                        (My translation).

                        I repeat, "under the *exclusive* management of the Parliament of the
                        Chechen Republic". If the authors of the Constitution had wanted to
                        provide for other organs than Parliament to have the right to change the
                        Constitution, they would have had to define them, including their
                        constitutional powers.
                        I believe that the establishment of the State Defense Committee was a
                        necessary act under the prevailing circumstances, but in relation to
                        changes to the Constitution, this Committee is an undefined, private
                        congregation with no rights whatsoever. This is valid for all "changes"
                        made by the mentioned committee, as well as all other "changes" made
                        without a 2/3 majority in a Parliament session with the necessary
                        quorum. In this sense, even Chechenpress carries an invalid version of
                        the ChRI Constitution on its site.
                        Finally, as in any other democratic system, legal changes only become
                        valid after being published in a form prescribed by the Constitution.
                        This happens usually by publishing them in a "State Gazette". In the
                        case of Chechnya, they have to be published by Parliament (with no
                        mention of the form), and in case of Presidential decrees, by the President:

                        "Article 67
                        'The laws of Chechen Republic are signed and published by the Chairman
                        of the Parliament of the Chechen Republic latest 10 days from the date
                        of their adoption, and they are are communicated to the President of the
                        Chechen Republic latest one day from their signing. The President of
                        Chechen Republic has the right during 10 days from the date of reception
                        of the text of the law to issue a veto against the passed law.'
                        'Article 73
                        The President of Chechen Republic:
                        16. Publishes decrees latest 10 days from the date of their signature'".
                        (My translation).

                        The 2002 "changes" were never published in the prescribed way, neither
                        by the prescribed body nor in due time. They only became known much
                        later when various politicians mentioned them in interviews etc. They
                        are illegal on these grounds alone.

                        Summary: The "changes" weren't passed by the relevant organ defined by
                        the Constitution. The "organ" that passed them is not even mentioned in
                        it. Besides that, they were never published in the prescribed way. With
                        other words, they are invalid.

                        Some people might say that all this is irrelevant under war conditions,
                        but constitutional law, or any law, doesn't work like that. It is not
                        flexible and it is not applied by approximation. Its provisions are made
                        with good reason and must be followed by the letter.

                        Secondly. You are correct that the remains of the ChRI Parliament are
                        unable to reach the quorum necessary for legitimate decisions. This
                        means with regard to the Constitution, that it cannot be changed or
                        amended until after the election of a new and complete Parliament. It
                        also means that Mr. Umarov's action has created a serious crisis for the
                        Chechen state, which doesn't have any 100% legitimate body left which
                        can act immediately as a temporary authority. But there is no other way
                        than either to accept that the entire ChRI has been temporarily "put on
                        ice" due to lack of legislators, or to find a construction which can
                        temporarily assume the legal functions. And since Parliament or what is
                        left of it is the only remaining structure that holds at least a part of
                        the authority of the ChRI, maybe together with the remaining officials
                        who got their positions in a legitimate way, any solution must in my
                        opinion be based on these forces. The request by the Chairman of the
                        Parliament for all remaining PMs to report to him was a good step in
                        this direction. But now they have to be careful how to define
                        themselves, before taking new and more serious steps.

                        Thirdly. I'm not quite happy with your language describing my attitude
                        toward the people who have left or may be leaving the Chechen state
                        structures. I don't think it is up to us outsiders to hang names like
                        "traitors" or "guilty" on various personalities. It is the job of the
                        Chechen justice system to decide such questions, under conditions when
                        it can work normally and legally. Especially the notion of Mr. Umarov
                        being "guilty" sounds strange to me, because this is exactly the way in
                        which the Russian "justice" system would operate. In that system, people
                        are declared "guilty" at the moment a search warrant is issued for them.
                        I prefer a system, which is also contained in the Chechen Constitution,
                        according to which a person is guilty if and when a regular court has
                        proven his/her responsibility of a crime.

                        Fourthly. I didn't blame the Vice President, Mr. Abdullayev, by
                        association, as you seem to imply. I just mentioned that he has been one
                        of the Salafi leaders (actually their top leader) all the way since the
                        1990s, and that I *won't be surprised* if he follows Mr. Umarov to his
                        new Emirate. I'm basing this assumption on his political activity, not
                        his religious convictions. Especially on his positions in the past,
                        starting with his nicely spoken ambiguous role as leader of the "Sharia
                        Guard" during the Wahhabi attempt to derail the ChRI structures in 1998,
                        in the middle of Russia's simultaneous attempts to blow up the ChRI from
                        within via their own FSB-owned "Islamists" and bandits. One should
                        remember President Maskhadov's actions and decisions in that context and
                        compare them with former President Umarov's recent rehabilitation of
                        some anti-state forces of the 1997-9 period, all the way from
                        reestablishing the Sharia Guard to rehabilitating the top bandit, fake
                        "Islamist" and open FSB agent Arbi Barayev, who was even posthumously
                        appointed "Brigadier General", something that can only be understood as
                        a mockery of all the brave deceased bearers of that title.
                        (http://www.chechenpress.info/events/2007/10/08/04.shtml). But that's
                        another discussion.
                        In my opinion, VP Abdullayev should be given an adequate time under the
                        current communication conditions to declare himself on the "Emirate"
                        issue, and in case that he decides to unconditionally support the legal
                        framework of the ChRI, he would automatically become President. In any
                        other case, he would automatically withdraw from his post, just like
                        Dokka Umarov did by his declaration.

                        Best regards,
                        Norbert



                        Bill Pearce wrote:
                        > Dear Norbert,
                        > I would normally try to strictly adhere to a no-debate policy on this
                        > list, but your comment seems to violate the spirit of neutrality, and
                        > therefore, I feel I should write a rebutal, which I trust will be published
                        > on this list.
                        >
                        > I am in complete agreement that IF president Umarov has indeed disolved
                        > ChRI, and declared an Emirate, then he is no longer capable of serving as
                        > President. And even though it seems to all appearances that he did just
                        > that, we must all admit that the circumstances of this declaration are
                        > suspect. I think that affirmations by parliament and Government ChRI that
                        > state institutions are inviolate are appropriate and good, but rash
                        > assumptions about this declaration are unwise. I would think that, over
                        > the years, we have learned that our enemies are very sophisticated, and to
                        > take a more cautious and well thought out view on these things.
                        > But my biggest critique of your last post is your constitutional
                        > analysis. The constitutional changes of 2002 are indeed legitimate. First
                        > of all, one must understand that, during time of Martial Law (which all
                        > must agree, the current situation certainly applies), the State Defense
                        > Counsel, with the President ChRI as its chairman, is the sole authority of
                        > State. The authority of Parliament is greatly reduced. Furthermore, the
                        > meeting of 2002 included representatives of all branches of State,
                        > including the president, judiciary, and MPs. The changes made then were
                        > accepted as legitimate by EVERY Chechen official and representative for 4
                        > years now. It is a little late to say "I didn't really mean it" now. You
                        > throw blame on Udigov for trying to replace the established political
                        > systems, but by trying to overthrow the changes of 2002, you are doing the
                        > same thing. And I sincerely hope no Chechen official attempts the same.
                        > Now, concerning parliament as a whole: by strict adherence to the
                        > constitution, parliament is disolved de facto by the lack of a quorum.
                        > Only 1/4 of the parliament is left alive, and still true to the cause. Now
                        > I am not advocating disolving parliament. I believe that the extreme
                        > conditions of Chechnya demand some flexability in interpretation on that
                        > point, and I am perfectly OK with Parliament having a role. But as long as
                        > martial law continues, they have no constitutional authority, only the
                        > State Defense Council does. I think it is appropriate for Parliament to
                        > investigate how far the trechery of the executive branch goes. So far, the
                        > only one implicated is Umarov. If he, and the large majority of the State
                        > Defense Council have all betrayed ChRI, thenI would not be opposed to
                        > Parliament picking a new President and State Defense Council even though
                        > their constitutional authority to do so is tenuous, because of plain lack
                        > of options. However, such a step must onlybe done after careful
                        > investigation implicates the whole of the State Defense Council. This is
                        > the plain understanding of the constitution.
                        > Now, concerning presidential succession, one cannot assume that
                        > (assuming umarov is guilty), the vice-president must also be guilty.
                        > Statements like "he is a Salafi, therefore he must think..." is not
                        > sufficient to upset the constitutional system. I am a Fundamental Baptist,
                        > and I am often quite annoyed by people saying, "Oh, he is a fundamentalist,
                        > he must be against..." Unfounded allegations do not take president over
                        > constitutional mandate. If Umarov is guilty of treason, than the vice
                        > president is president unless 1) he is dead 2) he commits treason himself
                        > 3) he voluntarily declines the post. If he is compromised, the next in
                        > succession is the head of the courts (his exact title escapes me at the
                        > moment). Parliament therefore has no authority to take power unless
                        > 1)Umarov's treason in confirmed, 2)the next in line of succession is found
                        > to be implicated as well, not just assumed to be, 3)the vast majority of
                        > the State Defense Council is found to be implicated also.
                        > I am not blindly loyal to Umarov, nor am I an islamist (im a baptist
                        > preacher). But for parliament to take State authority despite a clear
                        > absense of of a quorum and the fact of martial law, is premature and
                        > foolish. If a careful and transparent investigation reveals the total
                        > corruption of the Executive branch, then Parliament must act, being within
                        > the spirit of the constitution, if not the letter. But one must be careful
                        > with such things.
                        > Norbert, my respect for your important work, faithful assistance to
                        > Chechnya, and personal integrity has not waned in the slightest. But I
                        > think you are mistaken in your analysis of the situation. I firmly believe
                        > that you are motivated by sincere love for ChRI, but do not be too rash, or
                        > you will find yourself an unwitting servant of the Enemy.
                        >
                        > Bill Pearce
                        > Chechen citizen (by adoption) and Baptist preacher
                      • mariuslab2002
                        ... -snip- I m basing this assumption on his political activity, not his religious convictions. Especially on his positions in the past, starting with his
                        Message 11 of 14 , Nov 10, 2007
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                          --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Norbert Strade <nost@...> wrote:
                          >
                          -snip-
                          I'm basing this assumption on his political activity, not
                          his religious convictions. Especially on his positions in the past,
                          starting with his nicely spoken ambiguous role as leader of the
                          "Sharia Guard" during the Wahhabi attempt to derail the ChRI
                          structures in 1998, in the middle of Russia's simultaneous attempts to
                          blow up the ChRI from within via their own FSB-owned "Islamists" and
                          bandits. One should remember President Maskhadov's actions and
                          decisions in that context and compare them with former President
                          Umarov's recent rehabilitation of some anti-state forces of the 1997-9
                          period, all the way from reestablishing the Sharia Guard to
                          rehabilitating the top bandit, fake "Islamist" and open FSB agent Arbi
                          Barayev, who was even posthumously appointed "Brigadier General",
                          something that can only be understood as a mockery of all the brave
                          deceased bearers of that title.
                          > (http://www.chechenpress.info/events/2007/10/08/04.shtml).
                          > -snip-
                          >
                          > Best regards,
                          > Norbert
                          -----------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Hello Norbert,

                          Thanks for that info on Umarov about the appointment of Arbi Barayev
                          posthumously. That's really abhorrent, never mind that in one of his
                          previous decrees, he also awarded posthumously "Honour of the Nation"
                          medals to a couple of notorious Akhmadov brothers from Urus-Martan.
                          I guess, "the ghosts" from the Gudermes battle of 1998, that took
                          place between Maskhadov's forces and the Islamists there, finally have
                          their last laugh.

                          Best,
                          Marius
                        • Norbert Strade
                          Dear Mikael, My apologies for the late reply. Many of the mentioned issues have been commented on in the meantime, so I won t repeat myself here again. Some
                          Message 12 of 14 , Nov 11, 2007
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                            Dear Mikael,

                            My apologies for the late reply. Many of the mentioned issues have been
                            commented on in the meantime, so I won't repeat myself here again. Some
                            other remarks:

                            The question of the validity of the transcripts of Mr. Umarov's
                            declaration is settled now that the entire video is available. In it, he
                            makes some explicit statements, and it's them we ought to discuss.
                            Let me point out just one thing: I don't believe there is any sense in
                            waiting for Mr. Umarov's official decrees about this or that. He made it
                            absolutely clear that he is now the leader of a new entity, and that he
                            renounces everything connected with the ChRI. It would hereafter be
                            inconsistent of him to continue issuing decrees as the President of the
                            ChRI. He has publicly relieved himself of the post, and thus given up
                            the right to speak on behalf of that authority. It might still be
                            interesting what he has to say, but I guess it will come in the form of
                            fatwas from the Emir of the North Caucasian Emirate, so it won't have
                            any legal force for the ChRI and its structures.

                            You mention in your message that other presidents from Dudayev to
                            Sadulayev have proposed a "Union of Caucasian Countries", a
                            "Confederation" etc. Yes, that's correct. But by equaling these with the
                            North Caucasian Emirate, you are confusing two entirely different
                            issues. A "North Caucasian Confederation" would be the result of firstly
                            the decolonization of the entire North Caucasus, which means the
                            establishing of independent North Caucasian States, and secondly the
                            free and democratic decision by the peoples of these states to join such
                            a new entity. I think that the mentioned presidents all made that very
                            clear.
                            Contrary to that, the "North Caucasian Emirate" is an entity which its
                            proponents openly say will be established by military force. Their
                            ideology is opposed to the democratic choice by the peoples. They are
                            constantly explaining in their publications how they hate "western"
                            democracy. They claim that because this or that territory is or once was
                            Muslim, they have the right to establish their personal absolute power
                            in it. As I said elsewhere, it all boils down to Mr. Udugov's claim that
                            the guys who have the guns automatically have the right to decide. That
                            position is extremely primitive, and nothing established that way will last.
                            I wonder how many percent of the Chechen population actually support
                            this ideology. Polls aren't possible right now, and I doubt that there
                            would ever be made a survey if the "Emiratists" gained power. Last time
                            there were elections, those guys received only a few percent of the
                            voices. And what about the other North Caucasian states that they are
                            claiming for themselves? Maybe they would get up to 10% in Daghestan?
                            Less in Ingushetia? By the way, Ingushetia is the only North Caucasian
                            country which has actually voted in a democratic referendum for joining
                            the Russian Federation, and Dudayev's Chechen Republic accepted this
                            without any problems in brotherly solidarity. And what about places like
                            North Ossetia, which has its own "Jamaat" among the local Muslim
                            minority? They got perhaps fewer than 100 members, and the "Emiratists"
                            are now telling us that this gives them the right to conquer this
                            predominantly Christian territory and to enforce their personal Fascist
                            version of an "Islamic" state on those people.
                            No. One should accept that people aren't generally so dumb that they
                            can't distinguish between the two scenarios.
                            I for one see some positive potential in a North Caucasian
                            Confederation, because it would give the involved nations better
                            security from Russia, better conditions to develop their economy, and a
                            greater weight in international politics. But there is a simple
                            precondition: that the North Caucasian peoples want it. I.e. that there
                            is a majority in each of them which wants to liberate itself from
                            Russian colonialism. You can't "liberate" people against their will. Of
                            course, if some authentic liberation movements should develop in the
                            rest of the North Caucasus, it would be natural and necessary for the
                            experienced Chechen freedom fighters to aid and assist them and to
                            coordinate their activity with them.

                            But the best possible support for a liberation of the entire North
                            Caucasus is a sovereign and recognized Chechen state.

                            The "Emirate" drive is promoting exactly the opposite. Firstly, its
                            proponents have opposed an independent Chechen Republic since its first
                            day, and they have always been especially active during the periods when
                            the Republic was under pressure, both internally and because of the
                            Russian aggressions. Secondly, they are splitting and dividing the North
                            Caucasian nations with their attempt to enforce their own power and
                            political system on them by violent means, the main consequence of which
                            is the estrangement of the North Caucasians from their Chechen brothers,
                            whose struggle still had a high status in the area at the beginning of
                            the Russian invasions. Thirdly, their military doctrine, combined with
                            the mentioned political consequences, would create a situation of
                            eternal, complicated in-fighting between North Caucasians. The Russian
                            rulers would be able to lean back and let the North Caucasian Resistance
                            destroy itself and in the process provide the Muscovite regime with the
                            low-scale conflict that it needs for its own survival. And I haven't
                            even started to mention the suffering among the innocent civilians of
                            the North Caucasus, which would result from an attempt to blow up the
                            whole area on behalf of the "Emirate" drive. It would be a crime of
                            unspeakable dimensions. This is the imperial Russian way to govern - to
                            split and to rule, and to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of civilians
                            for political machinations and provocations around a constructed "cause".
                            No, again. One doesn't have to be very smart to see that the "Emirate"
                            drive is exactly what the KGB regime needs, it is in its interests in
                            every single aspect - whatever the agitators of this policy are aware of
                            the fact or not.

                            A couple of shorter issues:

                            Mikael wrote:
                            > What is so radical and repellent within Umarov's alleged speech? What
                            > is the big difference to his three predecessors?
                            >
                            > Broadening the war outside Chechnia? No - already Maskhadov made that
                            > decision. '
                            >
                            Extending the military activity beyond Chechnya is a completely
                            different thing from establishing a new political entity while
                            abolishing the ChRI, and the two shouldn't be confused. President
                            Maskhadov always stated that international conventions allowed the sides
                            in a war to attack the military and command structures, as well as the
                            infrastructure of the enemy, and that this included Russian structures
                            in the North Caucasus. In that context the small North Caucasian
                            liberation movements recognized him as their supreme commander-in-chief.
                            Actually, Maskhadov never made a clear decision to start major attacks
                            against targets outside Chechnya. In one of his last statements he
                            announced that he could be forced to do so, but as we know, he preferred
                            to initiate a last peace attempt, which ended with the Putinites
                            murdering him.
                            But all other things equal, waging war for the introduction of a
                            pseudo-Islamic dictatorship in the North Caucasus has absolutely nothing
                            to do with the Chechen military campaign to repel the Russian
                            aggression; it is actually its antithesis.
                            > The Sharia (Gazavat) ingredient? No - Dudaev introduced Sharia
                            > courts and Sharia Law was fully introduced by Maskhadov.
                            >
                            Here too you are confusing two different issues. One thing is Sharia law
                            as a justice system. This "narrow" Sharia has been on and off in
                            Chechnya I don't know how many times. It was allegedly first introduced
                            in March 1995 by Dudayev, but all I can find about that is an article in
                            the "Green Left Review" (http://tinyurl.com/3asalh). Later, it was
                            claimed that Yandarbiyev (once more) introduced Sharia in 1996,
                            whereafter Yandarbiyev and Maskhadov in a joint move abolished it again.
                            And so on, and so on. There is as far as I can see nothing in the
                            Chechen Constitution that prevents the introduction of Sharia law,
                            though the currently valid Constitution (of 1992) prescribes a Western
                            system. But that can be changed, if a majority can be achieved according
                            to the rules in the Constitution.
                            On the other hand, the "Sharia" that the "Emiratists" want to introduce
                            is a broader version, in which the form, structure and governing
                            principles of the entire state are defined according to rules which some
                            people read into the Islamic scriptures. This type of "Sharia" is in
                            contradiction with both the letter and the spirit of the ChRI
                            Constitution, and it can only be introduced after the abolition of the
                            existing Chechen state. Which is exactly what the "Emiratists" are
                            attempting to do.

                            > Article 74 of that Constitution tells that the President can be
                            > relieved of the post in case of perpetration of crime. The decision
                            > must be made by the majority of not less than two third of votes. If
                            > such majority is found, then the matter shall be transmitted to the
                            > Constitutional Court. The final decision is made by the Parliament
                            > upon the conclusion of this court. The decision about relieve of the
                            > President of the post is considered as made if not less than two-
                            > thirds of votes of common number of the members of Parliament voted.
                            > Nota Bene - it is two thirds of the members of the Parliament, not
                            > the number of members present at the meeting! Yeah, there has to be
                            > arranged meetings also, "decrees" from the Chairnan has no vakue.
                            >
                            > This procedure has not been followed, not to any extent.
                            This is beside the point as well. As mentioned already above and in some
                            other comments, nobody has relieved the President of his post. The
                            remaining Parliament has instead assumed the governmental functions
                            because the President has left his post. Once again, read Mr. Umarov's
                            message. He declares himself the leader of a different political entity
                            and at the same time renounces the ChRI and all its structures and laws.
                            Since he swore an oath "to strictly observe the
                            Constitution and laws of Chechen Republic", he relieved himself of his
                            functions when he publicly declared that he renounces this oath. The
                            constitutional mechanisms you mention above never came into use, because
                            Parliament didn't depose the President. He abandoned his office. The
                            remains of the Parliament have simply taken up the fragments and are
                            trying to find a way to secure the functioning of the Constitutional
                            bodies, since nobody abolished (nor had the right to abolish) the
                            Chechen state.
                            > Are some
                            > people really ready to throw away the legitimacy of ChRI so lightly,
                            > without reflection and consideration? Who would respect such a
                            > decision? The international community would hardly consider a
                            > new "president" to be legal and worth listening to. Do you think such
                            > a dirty game would find approval by the Mujahideens?
                            >
                            What I said above also means that there is no "dirty game" going on from
                            the side of the Constitutionalists. They were forced into this
                            situation. And I can't see how blaming them for "coups" which they
                            didn't commit and hanging names on them can help anyone in Chechnya. I
                            say it again - this form of argumentation is pretty demagogic.

                            Best regards,
                            Norbert
                          • Mikael Storsjö
                            Norbert s information about Vice-president Supuyan Abdullaev is a bit biased in an obvious effort to prove his unsuitability for his office. If Abdullaev was a
                            Message 13 of 14 , Nov 14, 2007
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                              Norbert's information about Vice-president Supuyan Abdullaev is a bit
                              biased in an obvious effort to prove his unsuitability for his
                              office.

                              If Abdullaev was a leader of the incident in Gudermes 1998 (I have no
                              such information though), then he got "rehabilited" quite a lot
                              earlier - by President Maskhadov, who appointed him member of the
                              highest authority of ChRI, the State Defence Committee Majlisul-
                              Shura, already in summer 2002. He was also appointed Minister of
                              Finance by Maskhadov.

                              Abdullaev has a military rank of brigade general. He has been
                              fighting against the occupation forces as a commander in both wars;
                              in 1996 he was one of the commanders that deliberated Groznyi. In the
                              second war he has also been commanding troups; he was one of the last
                              that left Groznyi in year 2000. After that he has been a commander in
                              the Shali district of the East Front of ChRI.

                              Describing Abdullaev as a 'FSB-owned "Islamists" and bandit', that is
                              clearly not a fair thing to do. His merits are quite on the contrary.

                              Mikael Storsjö



                              --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, "mariuslab2002" <mariuslab@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > --- In chechnya-sl@yahoogroups.com, Norbert Strade <nost@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > -snip-
                              > I'm basing this assumption on his political activity, not
                              > his religious convictions. Especially on his positions in the past,
                              > starting with his nicely spoken ambiguous role as leader of the
                              > "Sharia Guard" during the Wahhabi attempt to derail the ChRI
                              > structures in 1998, in the middle of Russia's simultaneous attempts
                              to
                              > blow up the ChRI from within via their own FSB-owned "Islamists" and
                              > bandits. One should remember President Maskhadov's actions and
                              > decisions in that context and compare them with former President
                              > Umarov's recent rehabilitation of some anti-state forces of the
                              1997-9
                              > period, all the way from reestablishing the Sharia Guard to
                              > rehabilitating the top bandit, fake "Islamist" and open FSB agent
                              Arbi
                              > Barayev, who was even posthumously appointed "Brigadier General",
                              > something that can only be understood as a mockery of all the brave
                              > deceased bearers of that title.
                              > > (http://www.chechenpress.info/events/2007/10/08/04.shtml).
                              > > -snip-
                              > >
                              > > Best regards,
                              > > Norbert
                              > --------------------------------------------------------------------
                              ---
                              >
                              > Hello Norbert,
                              >
                              > Thanks for that info on Umarov about the appointment of Arbi Barayev
                              > posthumously. That's really abhorrent, never mind that in one of his
                              > previous decrees, he also awarded posthumously "Honour of the
                              Nation"
                              > medals to a couple of notorious Akhmadov brothers from Urus-Martan.
                              > I guess, "the ghosts" from the Gudermes battle of 1998, that took
                              > place between Maskhadov's forces and the Islamists there, finally
                              have
                              > their last laugh.
                              >
                              > Best,
                              > Marius
                              >
                            • Norbert Strade
                              ... Dear Marius, There were even more appointments and decisions of this type. Shamil Basayev was e.g, appointed Generalissimus . And a Presidential
                              Message 14 of 14 , Nov 14, 2007
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                                mariuslab2002 wrote:
                                > Hello Norbert,
                                >
                                > Thanks for that info on Umarov about the appointment of Arbi Barayev
                                > posthumously. That's really abhorrent, never mind that in one of his
                                > previous decrees, he also awarded posthumously "Honour of the Nation"
                                > medals to a couple of notorious Akhmadov brothers from Urus-Martan.
                                > I guess, "the ghosts" from the Gudermes battle of 1998, that took
                                > place between Maskhadov's forces and the Islamists there, finally have
                                > their last laugh.
                                >
                                > Best,
                                > Marius

                                Dear Marius,

                                There were even more appointments and decisions of this type. Shamil
                                Basayev was e.g, appointed "Generalissimus". And a Presidential
                                Declaration was issued in which the rehabilitation of the Sharia Guard
                                (lead by Supyan Abdullayev) was explained in unclear terms. It said
                                something to the effect that the role of the Sharia Guard during the
                                events in Gudermes 1998 had been "distorted by the enemies of Islam"
                                (President Maskhadov had dissolved the Guard due to inactivity against
                                the Islamists who had attempted a coup against the ChRI authorities in
                                Gudermes). According to the declaration, the "misunderstandings" had
                                been settled and the Sharia Guard had been "rehabilitated".
                                Unfortunately these texts were never translated, and Chechenpress now
                                seems to have removed all recent decrees etc. by Dokka Umarov. They
                                might still be somewhere on Kavkaz Center, but I can't find them in
                                their system. I think it is wrong to remove them, they ought to be
                                accessible, both for reasons of historical accuracy and because Dokka
                                Umarov was President of the ChRI de facto and de jure until the date
                                when he abandoned his post (which must be the point when his video
                                message was published on the "Chechen Times").

                                Best regards,
                                Norbert
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