Chief of External Subcommittee of Informational Council, part of State Defense Council of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria(CRI), Movladi Udugov, is answering the questions asked by Kavkaz Center news and information agency.
Over three months went by since President of CRI Aslan Maskhadov was killed. Moscow did not conceal its satisfaction with that murder and Moscow was apparently hoping that the Chechen side would not be able to withstand such a blow. In your opinion, do you think that such hopes cherished by the Kremlin are justified?
In the name of Allah, Gracious and Merciful.
This is exactly what Moscow was hoping for back in 1996 after they killed President Dudayev. Everybody knows full well what the result of it was.
The Kremlin regime is in captivity of its own propagandistic illusions. And this is where an inadequate evaluation of the situation in Chechnya is coming from. However strange it may sound, Moscow has started seriously believing that they are being opposed by a disorganized mass led by a chieftain. Like, all they have to do is remove the chieftain and everybody else will scatter by themselves. As we can see, nobody has scattered. And I would like to assure you, nobody will ever scatter.
It is not a crowd or a chaotic mass of people who don’t know what they want, who are opposing the Russian military aggression. It is a system strengthened by thousand-year-old ideology. It is not a den of thugs, mobsters or international terrorists that Russia has attacked. This is the way the Kremlin likes to present it. Moscow attacked the Chechen State, which was founded on the day when the Chechens took up arms to defend their Freedom. And thank God, Chechnya has never experienced any shortage of leaders.
Before the murder of President Maskhadov the Chechen side was actively promoting the concept of “conditional independence”, which implies introduction of so-called “international administration” in Chechnya for a transitional period, disarmament of the Chechen Army etc. New Chechen leader Abdul-Halim Sadullayev stated that he is going to continue Aslan Maskhadov’s policy. Does it mean that the concept of “conditional independence” is still topical for the Chechen side?
The concept that you just mentioned was a very huge compromise on the part of the Chechen State. The main motivation of this very idea was the desire of our leadership, and President Maskhadov first of all, to have the genocide and mass extermination of the people stopped at any cost. Murder of President Maskhadov showed that the enemies do not want even these concessions on our part.
By killing President Maskhadov, they have actually killed that concept as well. So, its topicality today is quite doubtful, in my point view.
At the same time, it is the Government of the Chechen State that makes the final decision on the issues of concepts, proposals, tactics and politics.
The way I see it, in one of his most recent interviews President Abdul-Halim Sadullayev made a crucial statement, which points at the radical change in the political tactics while the strategy remains unchanged. He stated that the Chechen side will no longer be proposing any peace negotiations.
Nevertheless, the subject of any possible peace talks has not disappeared from the rhetoric of the forces in Russia and in the West, which are for peace settlement between Moscow and Jokhar (Chechen capital), and for stopping the war. Although, at the same time it was stressed that it is impossible to negotiate with terrorists (they mean Shamil Basayev) and a proposal is being made to start searching for “moderate forces among Chechen separatists, while excluding the extremist forces from that process”.
I am skeptical about this kind of statements, actually as well as about the very position of such forces in the West and in Russia, who are talking about negotiations or political process. The thing is that the meaning that they imply in these terms is quite different from what we think it is.
International organizations and human rights activists, who are criticizing Moscow and proposing to initiate an international political process, are stressing on violations of human rights, lack of conditions for democracy, absence of judicial system and legal protection of people, but they never point at the one and only key reason for what is going on: the invasion, Moscow’s aggression against the sovereign Chechen State, Moscow’s attempt to use military force in order to deprive the Chechen people of their lawful right to their sovereignty.
Besides, this is the way the situation is now being presented more and more often: allegedly, the real problem that Chechnya has is an armed confrontation between supporters of Russia and supporters of Independence of Chechnya. That is, there is a hidden thought about alleged intra-Chechen confrontation and civil war being suggested, and the invasion and aggression are being put on the back burner.
In order not to sound unsubstantiated, I would like to bring up just one single quote from a pretty authoritative organization in the international circles, the Memorial, which is known for its strong criticism of the Kremlin regime because of the war in Chechnya:
“Apparently, a serious obstacle for conducting free elections is the ongoing armed confrontation of supporters of Chechnya as part of the Russian Federation and supporters of independence of Chechnya. Therefore, all efforts must be made to stop that confrontation, or rather, to have it take up peaceful and legal forms.”
When talking about casualties among peaceful civilians, it is not the victims themselves who arouse pity among the fighters for peace in Russia as well as in the West; but instead, it is the fact that the ranks of the Resistance grow in proportion with the increase of the number of victims.
What’s more, these same organizations and activists are constantly imposing the idea of an alleged split among the Chechen side: into “moderates” and “extremists”, and into the “right” and “wrong” Chechens.
For example, they are calling Basayev a criminal, with whom one can never negotiate. At the same time they were suggesting that Putin meets with Maskhadov (before he was killed).
But it is a complete absurd and hypocrisy, which can never be accepted under any circumstances.
Basayev has not committed any action that falls under the category of terrorism in time of peace. All actions of Basayev have been taking place exclusively in the conditions of military aggression and invasion. I.e., they have had exclusively defensive and retaliatory nature and have been carried out in the conditions of wartime. Nor can one consider volunteer Basayev’s participation in the events in Dagestan as terrorism either, since it was a legitimate (according to the same International Law) volunteer operation in response to the call of Dagestani Muslims for help when they were being exterminated.
As far as Putin goes, here we have all signs of a classical war criminal and international terrorist. Putin carried out a military aggression against a sovereign state after violating the Russian-Chechen peace agreement. Putin killed a quarter of a million of peaceful civilians, i.e. 25% of the entire Chechen population. Putin killed tens of thousands of Chechen children of preschool and school age after declaring all children of 10 and older as terrorists. Putin organized and has been committing genocide of the Chechen people. Putin also carried out a terrorist act outside of Russia by killing Ex-President of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI) Z. Yandarbiyev, and he used diplomatic mail of Russian Foreign Ministry to smuggle explosives into Qatar. Putin committed a terrorist act on the Chechen soil by killing President Maskhadov. Putin has been committing and is still committing murders of Chechen politicians and social activists abroad as well as on the territory of CRI. Putin is committing mass kidnappings. Putin initiated the creation of torture camps, bandit terrorist formations and “death squads” in Chechnya and in Russia. Putin issued an order to poison people during the Moscow theater siege (October 2002) and shoot children in Beslan by using tanks and flamethrowers.
According to all articles of the so-called International Law (not to mention the Shariah Law), Putin is a criminal, with whom one cannot conduct any negotiations under any circumstances. He has to be arrested, tried, and sentenced, and the sentence needs to be served.
In this connection all statements that it is impossible to negotiate with Basayev but possible to negotiate with Putin are an absolute profanation and mendacious hypocrisy, which must undoubtedly be exposed instead of playing games with political wheeler-dealers.
The question should be put the other way: one cannot conduct any negotiations with Putin. It is not only the withdrawal of Russian troops that should serve as a prerequisite for negotiations with Russia, but Putin must be arrested and handed over to the Chechen law enforcement authorities. But any accusations against Basayev, whoever might have them, must be considered exclusively by laws of the Chechen State.
Putin cannot be put on the same par with Basayev. They cannot be put on the same level. Putin is a war criminal, a serial killed who has committed crimes against humanity. Basayev is a defender of his Homeland, who resorts to forced measures in order to have the mass extermination of his people stopped.
Classification of Basayev’s retaliatory actions to the aggression and genocide can only be determined by the Chechen side and only by the laws of the Chechen State.
Chechens are not the defendants, but the plaintiffs. We are accusing Russians and their government of 400-year-long genocide of the Chechen people. We are accusing Ossetia of the fact that the aggression against the Chechen people has been coming from their soil and that the population of Ossetia has been participating in this aggression.
We are also accusing the international community of complicity in the genocide of the Chechen people and none of the “black lists of terrorists” compiled by the UN Security Council, which service the interests of a small group of usurper states, can ever be accepted by the Chechen State.
We are the reproach and the accusation against all of those who are helping the Kremlin’s criminal clique in killing Chechen people today.
In order for the International Law to claim its spot in Chechnya, it must protect the Chechen people. But it is happening the other way around. The International Law was the one giving Moscow the license to kill and commit genocide.
But many, including the ones from among Chechen politicians, think that Basayev’s actions are causing harm to the Chechen State?
This is the kind of an opinion being formed among those who fell under the influence of Western political circles, who put a camouflaged frame on the cynicism of the world’s powers.
Till now two military strategies – the strategy of pacification of the aggressor and the strategy of compulsion - competed in the Chechen Republic . It is obvious, that the strategy of pacification has exhausted, while the strategy of compulsion gives results.
Outside of the context of a positive or negative background, it is necessary to admit, that Basaev's strategy works. After the actions of Shahids the world remembers about the Chechen Republic , the prospect of peace negotiations is reanimated, feverish activity of legal experts begins, world leaders do some applications, hinting Moscow on its inability to solve the problem and offering "internalization" of the decision of "the Chechen problem".
Basaev is abused by everybody, but everyone tries to take advantage of the situation, which is created by his actions.
It is obvious, that the Russian society quite easily digests the coffins of its soldiers from the Chechen Republic (there is no mention about the Chechen population, nobody ever remembers it), at the same time, the Russian society is absolutely not ready to smell the gunpowder in its own house. The unequivocal conclusion follows: Basaev's strategy not only works, but also gives a real result. Owing to Basaev's strategy the zone of military actions has extended, and it not only has lowered the pressure upon the Chechen Republic , but also has created a real threat for the colonial authority of Moscow in the whole Caucasus .
This strategy loosens today the Kremlin regime, which because of the Chechen Republic cannot adequately react to other challenges: penetration of the USA into Central Asia , Georgia , Azerbaijan , loss of Ukraine , etc.
After Beslan Putin has accelerated strengthening of the so-called "vertical of authority". But these steps were dictated not by calculation, but by a panic. "The vertical of authority" creates in Russia just that situation, which seems to the Kremlin in the Chechen Republic . It reminds of an overturned pyramid. It is enough to beat out the first brick from the basis and the pyramid will collapse. And this is also a result of strategy of Basaev.
Anyway, the countries, which today define the world politics and name themselves to be "the international community", negatively react to diversion actions of the Chechen divisions in the territories of Russia and liquidation of collaborators in the Chechen Republic .
This is just what should be cleared up. First, what would change, if there were not these diversion actions. Whether these countries would shame Russia and would force it to withdraw its armies from the Chechen Republic , would arrest Putin and put him on a dock or would declare economic blockade, or would freeze the accounts of Russia in the western banks?
During the first war they did nothing to stop the murder of the Chechen people, but on the contrary – they gave Yeltsin 6 billion dollars for the war.
The feeling of safety and impunity induced Putin's regime and its dogs to even greater all-permissiveness and violence. In this connection the speech of a drunken Russian officer at the block-post at the entrance to Shali in 1995, several days after liquidation of Russo-Ossetic battalion of special troops "Scorpion" in the Vedeno Gorge can be considered to be indicative. According to several tens of eyewitnesses, who were in the bus, this officer shouted literally the following, "You must kiss feet of your insurgents. If it had not been for them, we would have cut out all of you long ago, everyone, the whole your Chechen Republic …"
Secondly, we should define for ourselves, what is the reference point for us. If we are concerned with what "the international community" will think about us, it will be one policy. If we are concerned with conformity of our actions to Sheriyat (and in the Chechen Republic the Sheriyat operates, in conformity with changes and additions to the operating Constitution of the ChRI) it will be another policy.
It is necessary to define also, what is more important for us - the next insignificant "round table" and a duty concern with murder of the Chechen people from the PACE, (the United Nations, the CE and then according to the text), or an organization of a new fighting Djamaat in Moscow and a diversion impact in the deep rear of Russia, which will be condemned and declared to be an act of terrorism by the same PACE or the United Nations by all means?
Who and what should be our support and by whose opinion we should be guided - by the opinion of the so-called "international community", which varies depending on political conjecture and purposes of propagation, or the Islamic youth of the Caucasus (and Russia), who is a reserve and rear of the operating font?
It is senseless to demand justice, not having forces to establish this justice or to punish the criminal. Our force are Moslems, and first of the youth. This force should be accumulated, bring up, and to be guided by it. We should be sensitive and sincere with this force, which disgusts the falseness and hypocrisy of the "real policies".
Thus nobody approves, that it is not necessary to work with the international community (that is, with Europe and the USA ). Simply this work should have another context and should have different content. There should be other rhetoric and other approaches.
As far as the one, who defines the world politics, is concerned, I would not make hasty statements. It is enough to look at the nonsense, which was done by the USA , having attacked Iraq to understand, that the world politics are defined not in Washington or in Strasbourg . World politics are defined by Moslems and by the Muslim factor as practically everything, what is done today in the world, is done for Moslems (or Moslems are meant in these actions).
The whole global policy of the so-called world powers (the "Great Seven”, the Security Council of the United Nations and so on) is constructed on the context of strategic opposition to the reviving Islam. The stake in this opposition is not oil and not territories, but the way of life.
What, in your opinion, steps will be undertaken by the Chechen party in future, if today the idea of “the international administration" has lost an urgency for the Chechen Republic ?
Once again I pay attention to that the government of the Chechen State has the last word in questions of concepts, offers, tactics and policy. We only adduce reasons and arguments in favor of some theses.
The international administration is necessary not for the Chechen Republic , but for Russia . As Russia is a real threat to the international community. Russia should be taken under the external management of a group of responsible countries, because of full incompetence and adventurism of the present regime in the Kremlin.
The crisis has ripened in Russia , and the explosion of it is just a matter of time. Russia with Putin rolls more and more down to the league of insolvent states. It is obvious, that the regime is worried with its future and is ready to fight for its survival. It is difficult to predict, what idea will come on minds of its heads and leaders at the moment of the crisis.
In view of that this regime has the weapon of mass destruction, which is uncontrollably squandered, (and there are such facts, as it is known), already today there should be an extreme anti-recessionary plan of an establishment of an international administration in Moscow, bringing in of special armies to the objects of the extreme danger, isolation of the most odious military and political figures.
Still in 1993 Johar Dudaev called the international community to take nuclear stocks of Russia under the control. Then the appeals of Johar were perceived by many people as a fantasy. Today we see that Johar saw for 10-15 years forward.
Having carried out the constitutional revolution in Russia (under the guise of reforms and strengthening of the imperious vertical), Putin's regime has de jure lost its legitimacy. In this connection it is strange enough, that till now there is no alternative government of Russia (for example, abroad), which would openly declare its readiness to replace the present regime and to prepare the country for legitimate elections. Such a government could have a stabilizing role at the moment of the crisis (whether it will be a revolution, a revolt, a chaos or a political collapse, when the central government in Moscow will lose levers of control over the regions). The alternative government of Russia could de facto begin to operate already today.
Putin's regime has led to serious destabilization of the situation in the whole Northern Caucasus and it permanently threatens the stability of Transcaucasia . Such a state of affairs should disturb the countries of the western alliance, carrying out impressive political and material investments into the Southern Caucasus .
The inconsistency and unpredictability of Moscow are too obvious to be ignored. The Caucasus needs a new political design, which would stabilize the processes in the region and would make them predicted. However, the right of the peoples of the Caucasus for their choice should be the basis of this design. Otherwise nothing will change and we will have to forget about stability.