August 31, 2004
The Washington Post

No Change for Chechnya

Responsibility for this debacle lies squarely with Russian President Vladimir Putin


THE RUSSIAN REPUBLIC of Chechnya got a new president Sunday -- but congratulations to Alu Alkhanov, the career police officer taking over the job, don't really seem to be in order. After all, three of Chechnya's four previous presidents have died violently, including the last one, who perished in a bombing in May. And Mr. Alkhanov's own selection, like that of Akhmad Kadyrov before him, came through an election blatantly rigged by the Russian government. Mr. Alkhanov is promising Chechnya's long-suffering population an economic revival, but the more likely prospect is the grinding continuation of a war that has destroyed the republic, bled and corrupted the occupying Russian army, and contributed to the crumbling of democracy and free speech in Russia itself.

Responsibility for this debacle lies squarely with Russian President Vladimir Putin, . . .


Enver Masud, "America's Disgraceful Silence Over Chechnya," The Wisdom Fund, September 28, 1999

Enver Masud, "Russia to Chechens: 'Get Out or Die'," The Wisdom Fund, December 7, 1999

Eric Margolis, "Coup Detat in Moscow Anointed with Chechen Blood," The Wisdom Fund, January 9, 2000

Eric Margolis, "Forgotten Chechens Face Extermination," The Wisdom Fund, January 23, 2000

Eric Margolis, "'The Hiroshima of the Caucasus'," The Wisdom Fund, February 21, 2002

Kim Murphy, "Few Unknowns, Scant Hope in Chechen Vote," Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2003

Nick Paton Walsh, "Chechens vote in 'farcical' election," The Guardian, August 30, 2004

Editorial: "Acts of Terror," The Washington Post, September 3, 2004

Stephen Mulvey, "Analysis: The hostage-takers," BBC News, September 6, 2004

[If the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children were worth sacrificing to fulfil American interests according to the former US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, the same argument can also be applied to the recent incident in Russia from the Chechens point of view, where few hundred children perished.--Yamin Zakaria, "Deciphering Terrorism," September 6, 2004]

[The president of North Ossetia, Alexander Dzasokhov, made it clear that the terrorists' only demand was an end to the war in Chechnya and the withdrawal of all the Russian forces from our country. . . .

Ten years ago Chechnya had a population of 2 million. Today it is 800,000, . . . At least 200,000 Chechen civilians have been killed by Russian soldiers, including 35,000 children. Another 40,000 children have been seriously injured, 32,000 have lost at least one parent and 6,500 have been orphaned.--Ahmed Zakaev, "Our dead and injured children," Guardian, September 7, 2004]

Jonathan Steele, "Minister unwilling to blame Chechens," Guardian, September 8, 2004

Khassan Baiev, "The scenes at Beslan weren't so unfamiliar," International Herald Tribune, September 13, 2004

[The truth about Chechnya is similarly suppressed. On 4 February 2000, Russian aircraft attacked the Chechen village of Katyr-Yurt. They used "vacuum bombs", which release petrol vapour and suck people's lungs out, and are banned under the Geneva Convention. The Russians bombed a convoy of survivors under a white flag. They murdered 363 men, women and children. It was one of countless, little-known acts of terrorism in Chechnya perpetrated by the Russian state, whose leader, Vladimir Putin, has the "complete solidarity" of Blair.--John Pilger, "John Pilger hears Blair echo Mussolini," New Statesman, September 20, 2004]

Oliver Bullough, "British TV, Kremlin clash over airing rebel interview," Reuters, February 4, 2005

Nick Paton Walsh, "Mystery still shrouds Beslan six months on," Guardian, February 16, 2005

Tina Ismailova, "The President is killed, who most of all wanted peace for his people," Chechenpress, March 11, 2005

[In the interview, the warlord, who had claimed the 2004 raid on a school in Beslan, admitted he was a terrorist but said the Russians were terrorists too.--"Basayev broadcast enrages Russia," BBC News, July 29, 2005]

[They suspect that two powerful explosions inside the school and a subsequent fire which killed many hostages could have been set off by the Russians, not the terrorists, as investigators claim.--Mark Franchetti, "Beslan mothers tell Putin: stay away," The Sunday Times, August 28, 2005]

Steven Lee Myers, "Growth of Islam in Russia Brings Soviet Response," New York Times, November 22, 2005

Nick Paton Walsh, "Separatists denounce 'farcical' Chechen poll," Guardian, November 28, 2005

"State forces blamed over Beslan," BBC News, November 29, 2005

"UN troubled by Chechens' plight," BBC News, February 21, 2006

[Russia's security service announced the death of Shamil Basayev yesterday, the country's "terrorist No 1" and the man who was the self-confessed mastermind of the Beslan massacre.--Nick Paton Walsh, "Beslan massacre mastermind dies in blast as Russia says he was plotting new attack ," Guardian, July 11, 2006]

Tony Wood, "Chechnya: The Case for Independence," Verso (March 19, 2007)

Hajira Qureshi, "An unanswerable exposition of the case for Chechnya's right to independence," Muslimedia International, July 2007

[The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia failed to protect the hostages of the Beslan school siege in which about 330 people died in 2004.--"Beslan school siege: Russia 'failed' in 2004 massacre,", April 13, 2017]

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