Young Lithuania and New Chechnya – Francesco Benedetti interviews Stanislovas Buškevičius

Stanislovas Buskevichius was a member of Lithuanian Seimas , the Lithuanian legislative assembly between 1996 and 2004. As a member he supported many initiatives in support of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, even presenting a legal act for its recognition by Lithuania. Francesco Benedetti interviewed him for


Born in Kaunas on September 14, 1958, since his adolescence he took part the national and democratic movement against the Soviet dictatorship, participating in demonstrations and distributing anti-Soviet literature. After graduating from Vilnius University with a degree in economics (1985), he began teaching Western politicaleconomy at the Kaunas Medical Institute. Because of his pro-Lithuanian independence ideas, his course was closed. In November 1988, he signed the Young Lithuania manifesto, which called for the restoration of an independent and democratic Lithuanian state. Between 1989 and 1990 he was one of the promoters of the boycott of the Red Army, through which thousands of military draft cards were sent back to Moscow, and promoted the demolition of Soviet monuments in Kaunas. After his visit in Paris at the invitation of the French Human Rights Association, between 1993 and 1996 he worked as a consultant to the Lithuanian Government for youth policies.

Was elected a member to Kaunas City Council (later Deputy Mayor) between 1995 and 1997, and between 2007 and 2015, in 1996 he was elected a member of the Seimas , the Lithuanian Parliament. As a member he registered 20 legal acts, regulations and drafts. Among its main activities Buskevicius indicates the promotion of physical activity, sport and a healthy lifestyle, support for Ukrainians, Chechens and other peoples who are fighting against the Russian occupation, the protection of animals.

His hobbies are culture, sport, international politics, reading. He is the father of three children.

Buskevicius calls himself a Lithuanian, a believer, a democrat.


In 1991 Chechnya proclaimed independence. How did Lithuanian public opinion experience this news? And how did you experience it? What political measures have been taken to support Chechen independence?

In 1991 Lithuanians supported the independence of Chechnya. Our common enemy was and is Russian chauvinism and imperialism. Yes, we Lithuanians demanded Chechnya’s independence to be recognized.

In 1994 the Russian Federation invaded Chechnya. How did the Lithuanian institutions express themselves towards this invasion? What was your point of view regarding this crisis?

In 1994, our newly formed Young Lithuania party and I, as well as all Lithuanian patriots, condemned the Russian invasion and the war against Chechnya. We protested. In 1995, as a member of the Kaunas city council, I demanded the assembly to recognize Chechnya's independence. The Kaunas city council, as well as many other city and district governments, recognized Chechnya’s independence.

Aminat Sayeva, representative of ChRI in Lithuania and Akhyad Idigov, President of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs of ChRI, attend the sports event organized by Buskevichius

In August 1996 the ChRI armed forces retook Grozny and forced the Russian leadership to sign the Khasavyurt Accords. What were the reactions in the Lithuanian parliament? And in general, how did public opinion react to this unexpected victory?

In 1996 I was elected member of the Lithuanian Seimas (Parliament). In 1997, I submitted to the Seimas a legal act on the recognition of the independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. 23 members voted in favour, 45voted against. All of Lithuania rejoiced at the Chechen victory.

As a result of the war, Chechnya found itself free, but badly destroyed. Have the Lithuanian government and civil society taken measures to support the Chechen people?

Civil society supported and sympathized with Chechnya. Lithuanian parliamentarians went to Chechnya, and the Seimas established a parliamentary group for relations with the Chechen parliament. Lithuania provided humanitarian assistance to the Chechen people. My idea was to start international recognition of Chechnya through sport. In 1997 In Kaunas, together with the athletes, I organized a unique kickboxing tournament to win the cup of Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Athletes from Lithuania, Latvia and Ichkeria participated in the tournament, Ichkeria’s national anthem was played, and the flag was raised. In 1998 we invited athletes from Chechen Republic of Ichkeria   to the official European Kickboxing Championship,  therefore protesting   athletes from Russia and Belarus refused to participate in it. With this project I came to the Titanas martial arts club directed by Maries Misunas. He gladly agreed to help organize these tournaments.  On May 17, 1998 kickboxers from the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria took part at our invitation at the European championship in Kaunas, as representatives of an independent state. The fights in the ring were tense, and the audience was thrilled. Many Lithuanian patriots, especially General Sergejus Madalovas , provided great assistance. Between 8 and 9 April 1997, a bill concerning the recognition of the independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was presented to the Sejmas by two parties: the Young Lithuania party and the Lithuanian Labor Party. The bill was indeed scheduled, but ultimately failed to win a majority of votes.

Participants of the international championship in Kaunas, 1998

Why, in your opinion, did the Lithuanian Parliament choose not to recognize Ichkeria?

April 3, 1997, I presented in my personal capacity (not on behalf of the party) a resolution on the independence of Chechnya. The authorities, in their hearts, sympathized and supported Chechnya, but did not dare to make any actions. Vytautas Landsbergis supported me ideologically, but personally he told me that since Lithuania is not a member of NATO, there was a risk of a response from Russia. I urged him not to be afraid.

The president of the Seimas , Vytautas Landsbergis, spoke publicly on June 16, 1997. His response to Ichkeria was this: Lithuania’s decision to recognize the independence of the Chechen Republic is not the most important thing now. The chairman of the interparliamentary group for relations with Chechnya, Rytas Kupchinskas, told a Kommersant Daily correspondent that the issue of recognizing independence will be resolved very gradually. In your opinion, do these statements mean that there was actually a negotiation between the Chechen and Lithuanian delegations for the recognition of the ChRI?

I think there could have been talk of recognizing Chechnya's independence. I knew Landsbergis and I knew Kupcinska. They supported the independence of Chechnya in their hearts, but did not dare to recognize it. I personally stood up against the Russians even during the occupation, I hadn’t been a pioneer, nor a member of the Communist Youth , nor a communist. I had the KGB on my tail, so I was more determined.

As regards the inter-parliamentary group for relations with Chechnya, do you recall what activities this group has carried out to strengthen political relations with the ChRI?

The resolution of accession by the ChRI Parliament

The Chechen Liaison Group held meetings and made public statements. His work was helpful.

As a deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas , do you remember whether there were any further legislative proposals or other public initiatives in support of Chechnya during your mandate?

I don’t remember anyone else officially proposing to recognize Chechnya, other than me. Civil society and many politicians support the struggle of Chechens and Ukrainians against Russia. As a former member of Seimas , I proposed to recognize the genocide of the Chechen people, following the example of what the Ukrainian parliament did (LINK). But the chairman of the Seimas Foreign Affairs Committee , Zygimantas Pavilionis , is blocking this resolution. I suggested to Aminat Sayeva (former Foreign Minister of ChRI) to establish as soon as possible an Olympic Committee of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in Brussels or Kiev, and to request participation in the Paris Olympics in 2024, instead of the Russians. I think this would be very important in Chechnya’s struggle for independence!


As is known, the right of peoples to self-determination is one of the basic principles of international law, which means the right of each people to independently decide on the form of their state existence, freely determine their political status without outside interference and carry out their economic and cultural development.

He received recognition in the process of the collapse of the colonial system , and was enshrined in the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (adopted by Resolution No. 1514 of the XVth UN General Assembly of December 14, 1960) and subsequent international pacts and UN declarations.

This principle, along with other principles, is proclaimed in the UN Charter, which aims to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples.” The same goal is set in the UN Charter in connection with the development of economic and social cooperation between states.

Further, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of December 19, 1966 (Article 1) state: “All peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of this right, they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development … All States Parties to the present Covenant … must, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, promote the exercise of the right to self-determination and respect this right.

The Declaration on the Principles of International Law (October 24, 1970) also states: “By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, enshrined in the UN Charter, all peoples have the right to freely determine their political status without outside interference and to carry out their economic, social and cultural development and every State has an obligation to respect that right in accordance with the provisions of the Charter.”

Ikhvan Gerikhanov with Vakha Arsanov

The same Declaration states that the means of exercising the right to self-determination can be “the creation of a sovereign and independent state, free accession to or association with an independent state, or the establishment of any other political status.”

Similar principles are enshrined in the documents of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe: the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, the Final Document of the Vienna Meeting of 1986, the document of the Copenhagen Meeting of the OSCE Human Dimension Conference of 1990 and other international legal acts .

These international principles and the right to self-determination are directly related to the formation of the Chechen state. Without going into a historical digression about the existence of state formations among the Chechens since ancient times, we will dwell on the subject of the formation of the national statehood of the Chechens during the collapse of the USSR and after its liquidation.

According to Article 72 of the Constitution of the USSR, which was a amended by the Law of April 3, 1990, the right to secede from the Soviet Union was provided for only to the republics of the Union. It was also provided there, in the second and third parts of the said law, that “the decision to change the status and secession of an autonomous republic or an autonomous region from the USSR is possible only by a referendum. “

The first of the republics to use this right Russian Federation and on June 12, 1990, it proclaimed its sovereignty outside the USSR.

This initiative for self-determination was also supported on the territory of the Chechen Republic of China , where on November 23-25, 1990, the 1st Chechen National Congress was convened and a decision was made on behalf of the Chechen people to declare the sovereignty of the Chechen Republic of Nokhchicho . In fact, this was an act of a referendum, since the representatives of the congress, on behalf of the Chechen people, decided to choose a free path of development within the framework of the current legislation of the USSR and the RSFSR. It was precisely this path that the RSFSR chose when it convened its next congress of people’s deputies and proclaimed its sovereignty outside the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

So, the decision of the congress of the Chechen people was and legally fixed by the legally existing Supreme Council of the Chechen-Ingush Republic, which on November 27, 1990 issued a Resolution declaring the state sovereignty of the Chechen-Ingush Republic.

Dzhokhar Dudaev at the second session of the Congress, 1991

In a word, the Chechen people (taking into account that later the people of Ingushetia also wished to live as part of the RSFSR), in accordance with the generally recognized principles and norms of international law, while observing domestic law, expressed their will to self-determination at a new stage of their development. This corresponds to the legal establishment of the Declaration on the Principles of International Law (October 24, 1970 ) , which states that every people can freely determine its political status and carry out its economic, social and cultural development without outside interference.

Also, the said Declaration on State Sovereignty of the CHIR allowed to obtain an equal legal status, like the RSFSR, i.e. the status of a union republic.

This legal status did not change even after August 19, 1991 , when an attempt was made in Moscow against the president of the USSR , from which a wave of protests began throughout the entire territory of the union state.

Did not become an exception, which ultimately lost power in the republic and transferred powers again formed by the Provisional The Supreme Soviet is from among the deputies of the highest authority of the republic. The task of this Council was to prepare and conduct democratic elections to the state authorities of the republic, which it failed to cope with, and the election commission, created by the National Congress of the Chechen People, took over the preparation of the elections.

As a result, on October 27, 1991, parliamentary and presidential elections were held. Based on the will of the people, the President and the Parliament of the Republic were elected, thereby once again securing the right of the Chechen people to self-determination.

It follows from this that the inalienable right of the people to self-determination is connected with its national sovereignty and is the basis of its international legal personality. If peoples have the right to self-determination, then all other states have the duty to respect this right. This obligation also covers the recognition of those international legal relations in which the people themselves are the subject.

Hussein Akhmadov, speaker of the Parliament, with the vicepresidents, Mezhidov and Gushakayev

The will of the people, which elected the bodies of state power and administration , was once again enshrined in the Decree of the President of the Chechen Republic of November 1, 1991, proclaiming state sovereignty, thereby continuing the will of the Chechen people, expressed at the first congress on November 23-25, 1990.

Then, on March 12, 1992, the Constitution of the Chechen Republic was adopted and entered into force. And on June 12, 1992, all units of the former Soviet Army stationed on sovereign territory left the republics and, thereby de facto recognizing the sovereignty of the Chechen people.

It should be noted that since the declaration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Chechen Republic, the latter has not taken part in all the ongoing activities to create authorities in the Russian statehood. Thus, the Chechen Republic did not sign federative agreements and did not participate in the formation of the state power of Russia, as well as when voting for the Constitution of the Russian Federation, which was adopted on December 12, 1993, i.e. almost more than a year and a half after the declaration of sovereignty and the adoption of the Constitution of the Chechen state

Thus, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria , which received a change in name in 1993, in terms of compliance with domestic and international requirements for self-determination, quite legally and reasonably established its legal personality, created its own institutions of state power and administration within the country , while creating representative offices in other states of the Caucasus and the world. That is, from the point of view of international law, we are talking about the activities of sovereign states a , with its inherent features of a subject of international law.

By the way, it will be said that in this period of time, before the start of the conflict with Russia, it was precisely as a subject of international law that CRI was recognized by states such as Georgia and Afghanistan, and our countries were already ready to open official representative offices of the state with the right to present credentials by ambassadors mutually. But, as you know, these intentions were frustrated due to the change in the format of power in Georgia and the beginning of the second Russian aggression against our republic.

Direct relations between the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the Russian Federation also testify that there was compliance with the rules and protocol when interacting as subjects of international law.

While launching various Protocols and Agreements signed by these two states, both on the territory of Russia and in The Hague (Netherlands), when resolving the issue of resolving the military conflict, it should be recognized that the election of the President of the CRI on January 27, 1997 put a legal end to the issue on the status of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. In the presence of international observers from the OSCE member states, on the basis of the Constitution of the CRI and in accordance with international law, the result of the election of state bodies of the republic was recognized: the President and the Parliament of the CRI.

RUSSIA. May 12, 1997. Russian President Boris Yeltsin (R) and the President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov after signing of the Russia-Chechen Peace Treaty. Alexander Sentsov, Alexander Chumichev/TASS –—

Recognizing the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the CRI, the President, the Chairman of the Federation Council and the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation officially congratulated the leadership of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria on democratic elections, that is, de jure recognized the CRI as a subject of international law. The latter is confirmed by such a signed interstate document as the “Treaty on Peace and Principles of Relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria” , where it was unequivocally stated that “ bilateral relations will be considered in the light of generally accepted norms and principles of international law”.

It follows from this that the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, in accordance with domestic and international law, established its authority on sovereign territory, and this fact was legally recognized by the subject of international law as the Russian Federation, from which, observing as currently in force domestic law , and the basic principles and norms of international law, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria separated as an independent state, and therefore as a subject of international law.

In relation to the current situation, the Russian armed forces occupied and even annexed the sovereign territory of the CRI, which is a violation of international legal obligations and principles of interaction between subjects of international law, in accordance with the Geneva Convention of August 12, 1949.

It is indisputable that the very fact of occupation and annexation of foreign territory, according to the same Convention, does not acquire the right to sovereignty over this territory, regardless of the time of its occupation and retention by force. Therefore, the legal successor of the legitimate power – the Government of the CRI, located outside the country – continues legal and political work to de-occupy its territory.

The CRI government, repeating the previous statement, as a legitimate successor of a subject of international law, on the basis of the Constitution CRI conducts such diplomatic activities as the work of representative offices abroad and the opening of their own representative offices . Work is also underway to grant CRI citizenship to foreigners who wish and issue passports to citizens of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

Meetings of the leadership of the CRI Governments at the highest level with representatives of the OSCE and other international organizations, as well as various diplomatic initiatives against the Russian occupation of the Chechen Republic and Ichkeria , statements to the International Criminal Court about crimes against humanity and war crimes by the political and military leadership of Russia, the existence of criminal cases and their investigations within the framework of the instructions of the Prosecutor General of the CRI and the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the CRI on political issues, this is not a complete list of the real activities of the Government of the CRI, which intends to wage a legal and political struggle until the complete de-occupation of its country from the aggressor.

History shows that similar situations were in the recent past in European countries. Thus, during the Second World War, the Polish government in exile continued its work in France and England for decades and was recognized by the world community as a legitimate representative of the Polish people.

A more striking example is the activity of the Baltic Governments, which achieved the return of the occupied territories, first by Nazi Germany, then by the Soviet Union, continuing the political struggle in exile until the final establishment of the independence of their countries.

From left to right: first – Said Khasan Abumuslimov, third – Vakha Arsanov, fourth – Ikhvan Gerikhanov

Military occupation, like annexation, as international practice shows, ends with the cessation of control by the aggressor. It makes no difference whether this will be done in a year or decades. Today, it must be recognized that the CRI is de facto under occupation by the Russian Federation, but this is not a fact of the loss of sovereignty, which was proclaimed by the legitimate power of the CRI on the basis of its Constitution and recognized by the participation of representatives of more than fifty and European states as international observers .

Summing up, we can state the following: The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, having proclaimed, at the will of the Chechen people, its independence and sovereignty, on the basis of the domestic law in force at that time, in compliance with the basic principles and norms of international law, and also defending its right to free development in the struggle with the aggressor in two bloody wars, which have no analogues in world history , continues the de-occupation of its territory through representatives of the CRI state authorities, while maintaining and protecting the status of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as a subject of international law.


First Chairman of the Constitutional Court of the CRI,                                President of the National Tribunal on war crimes in the CRI Doctor of Law, specialist in international law, expert on human and civil rights.


Frederick Carl Cuny (November 14, 1944, April 14, 1995) was an American citizen who throughout his life committed himself, officially for humanitarian reasons, to supporting the populations of countries in war, humanitarian and environmental crises. Active since 1969 in the consultancy and coordination of humanitarian services, he had worked in Biafra, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and dozens of other contexts, often very difficult, in which he had to deal not only with the difficult situation on the field, but also with the inefficiencies of humanitarian associations and the corruption of local governments. At the end of 1994 Cuny was contacted by George Soros’ Open Society Institute and sent to Chechnya with the aim of organizing a humanitarian plan for the safety of the inhabitants of Grozny. Returning the following March from his mission, during which he had witnessed the terrible siege of Grozny and made friends with Aslan Maskhadov, he had tried to involve the United States government in order to force Russia to stop military operations, negotiating a humanitarian truce. He held numerous conferences, public and private meetings with high-level politicians, and his article Killing Chechnya [1], in which he accused Russia of unleashing a war of aggression with genocidal purposes,went around the world. Despite his efforts and the support of some politicians in Congress, Cuny had failed to convince any of the high offices of state to intercede for him [2]. So he returned to Chechnya, to restart his mission on behalf of the Open Society. On April 1 , 1996, while on his way to Maskhadov’s headquarters in Orekhovo [3], he was captured in Starye Achkoy together with two Russian doctors and an interpreter [4], with whom he was crossing the country in an ambulance, after which he was lost traces completely. His search lasted for many months, after which his son and brother communicated that they had received reliable information according to which he would have been killed almost immediately after his arrest, presumably carried out by men of the Department of State Security, at that time directed by Abusupyan Mosvaev . His body and that of his colleagues would never be found. Charges regarding his killing fell on Colonel Rizvan Elbiev , State Defense Department officer in Achkhoy –Martan district. The latter, according to Cuny ‘s driver (the only one of the group left alive) after the ambulance had been stopped near Starye Achkhoy by a detachment of the State Department of Defense, requested that the members of the team of Cuny presented themselves to him to provide the personal details, and then accompany them to the Headquarters of Maskhadov. The volunteers sent the driver back with a note intended for Open Society in which they said they were fine, to postpone the scheduled appointments by 3 days and to alert the authorities if they did not return within the established time [5].

Days passed, then weeks, and no trace of Cuny was found. Family members involved the FBI, the US government, and even the Soros Foundation, which had financed the mission, began his research, spending up to eighty thousand dollars a month to obtain information [6]. Calls for the release of the American came from the American president Clinton, from the Russian Yeltsin and even from the Chechen one, Dudayev.

The following August, after months of unsuccessful attempts to locate Cuny and his friends, his family publicly announced that they had learned of the death of their relative, and all members of his group. Cuny ‘s son and brother publicly accused the Chechen government of responsibility for the murder, and likewise accused the Russian authorities of presenting Cuny as a spy. In the confidential report sent to the US government, the family specifically named Elbiev , whose name was given by the State Security Department soldier who had taken custody of the group. According to what they reported , Elbiev had all four shot on April 14th . This information was confirmed to the driver of the Cuny family , an ex combatant, in August 1995, on the basis of an indication given to him by a certain “A”, Bamut defense field officer [7].

In August 1996, a bloody bundle was found in the ruins of a house in Starye Achkhoy , and inside it were found the documents of all four members of Cuny ‘s team . Besides these there was a note, addressed to Maskhadov, in which was written: Esteemed Aslan, We have tried to come to you, with the medicines and the two doctors we had promised. With me is Fred Cuny , the American you already know, who came to hold the meeting that didn’t take place last time. to confirm that you are aware of us and our mission. Respectfully, Galina Oleinik . Soros Foundation. Being certain that it was Elbiev who seized the documents, it is quite probable that he was responsible for the deaths of Cuny and the others [8].

It is possible that Eldiev was only the material executor of the murder. According to what an anonymous Chechen source reported to Scott Anderson, journalist of the New York Times, and confirmed by Memorial in one of its reports, [9]the order to shoot Cuny and his friends would have come directly from the Director of the State Defense Department, Abusupyan Mosvaev who would have been deceived by a list of spies circulated by the FSB around Bamut, to push Chechen fighters into a false step [10]. The choice of Mosvaev , however, could also have been determined by another factor, a suspicion that opens up to a rather imaginative theory, based exclusively on a rumor: that in those parts, and precisely in the surroundings of Bamut, a short distance from Starye Achkhoy , the Chechen government was hiding radioactive material , or even a nuclear weapon. Let’s start again: these are theses that have no basis for proof, and we report them solely for the record.

Grozny in 1995

Bamut was one of the strongholds of the Chechen defense. The village, and the missile base located nearby, withstood a long and exhausting siege, which lasted from April 18 , 1995 to May 24, 1996. The Chechens defended that position with great fury, apparently out of the way of the heart of the Chechen defense system. It so happens that the village’s main point of interest was a base for launching ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The Russians had already abandoned the base in 1992, solemnly declaring that they had stolen all unconventional weapons, and that they had brought all the radioactive material back to Russia . In mid- November , following a communication sent from Chechnya, the Russian authorities found a container containing an explosive sprinkled with radioactive material in a park in Moscow . There was talk of non-military material, therefore not coming from an atomic warhead, but the case produced a search for psychosis among the federal security forces. The other element that raises doubts is the route taken by Cuny to reach Yandi . Instead of taking a main road, perhaps passing through Rostov – Baku, for you to turn towards Katar – Yurt and from there you can easily reach Maskhadov’s headquarters, Cuny decided to cross Bamut and climb up a path that is very difficult to do by car, facing voluntarily an already difficult journey in itself, complicated by the fact that the village garrison, notoriously reluctant to collaborate with journalists and foreign volunteers, was about to end up under siege [11].

The cover of the Frontline program dedicated to Fred Cuny

Neither of these two leads, in any case, appears completely convincing. It seems strange, in fact, that a man with such extensive connections and knowledge as Fred Cuny would end up shot just because he was mentioned in a fabricated FSB document. And likewise the story of the investigation into the “Dudaev atomic bomb” is totally devoid of evidence (after all, no atomic warhead, nor box containing atomic material has ever been found). What happened then? A third theory is provided by Kommersant, in his April 21, 1999 edition:

This time [on his second trip, ed .] Cuny presented a specific plan for a truce between Moscow and Grozny. And therefore, he certainly had to meet with General Dudayev . That is why the inspection by the Chechen State Security Department did not worry him at all. However, on April 7 – this is the date Galina Oleinik feared – [in the note found in 1996, ed .] the Russian army began the famous “cleansing” of Samashki, the ancestral village of the Chechen president. The shootings continued there for two days. And they couldn’t help but ruin Cuny and his mission. By then Kewney was getting in the way of everyone: Russian hawks, Chechen warlords, and even his own country’s politicians. Kewney has not overestimated the extent of his influence and authority in the American establishment. Suffice it to say that US military doctrine changed largely under his influence […] not surprisingly, the “missionary” activities of Fred Cuny and that of the US military began to go hand in hand after the Gulf War. However, if at first Cuny and American politicians successfully cooperated, trying not to interfere in each other’s sphere of competence, very soon they began to compete. […] The death of a competitor has allowed politicians to become monopolists. And they reversed his plan: Cuny , starting from the elimination of the consequences of military operations, tried to build an international mechanism to prevent humanitarian catastrophes. Politicians have transformed his doctrine into “humanitarian wars” in which a humanitarian catastrophe is caused.

Whatever the reason that led to Cuny’s death, this will presumably be buried together with his body and that of his travel companions. Precisely with regard to his remains, in November 1998 unknown criminals tried to contact Fred’s family to return the body, which they claimed to have. As evidence, they sent a photo of a metal pin that had been inserted into Cuny ‘s leg many years earlier after he had been hit by a taxi. The family replied that they would never pay a ransom for the body, following the will of the father, who stated: you don’t pay for the body, with reference to the practice of ransom of corpses. Cuny was convinced that the practice of paying ransoms for kidnapped people or getting their remains back was one of the main drivers of kidnappings for ransom, and that if the ransoms were not paid, this heinous criminal activity would soon disappear from Chechnya [12].


Frontline article at

February 25, 1996 – What happened to Fred Cuny ?

Kommersant of 21 April 1999

New York Times of July 26 , 1999


[2]In particular, according to an article by Kommersant dated April 24 , 1999, the US ambassador in Moscow, Thomas Pickering, responded to Cuny ‘s requests that the United States had no strategic interest in this region and that if the Soros Foundation wanted to act in Chechnya he would have done so at his own peril.

[3]Today’s Yandi .

[4]The interpreter was Galina Oleinik , the two doctors were Sergei Makarov and Andrei Sereda .

[5]The contents of the ticket, like all the other circumstances described so far can be found in the Frontline article, Who killed Fred Cuny ? available at

[6]February 25, 1996 – What happened to Fred Cuny ?

[7] Mr. “A” could be Captain Shirvani Albakov , Bamut’s Chief of Defense Staff, shot in the neck on 16 June 1995. In this sense, it could be a settlement of accounts due precisely to the cover-up of the affair in question.

[8] Frontline, Who Killed Fred Cuny ? available on the site

[9]The account is quoted by Kommersant in an April 21 , 1999 article

[10]The news of the “list” presumably circulated by the FSB around Bamut to induce the Chechens to doubt foreign humanitarian agents would have been provided not only by the family of the deceased Cuny, but also by a witness interviewed by the New York Times , whose memoirs were published in the February 25, 1996 article What happened to Fred Cuny ? The circumstance is doubtful, because Cuny had arrived in Chechnya only a few days earlier, and the FSB would hardly have been able to organize such an operation in such a short time. On the other hand, it is strange that the Chechen government, always very helpful towards Western supporters at that stage of the conflict, had on its own initiative betrayed a consolidated relationship of trust with one of the most famous humanitarian workers in all of the West.

[11]New York Times of February 25 , 1996.

[12]New York Times of July 26 , 1999.



Frederick Carl Cuny (14 Novembre 1944, 15 Aprile 1995) era un cittadino americano che per tutta la vita si impegnò, ufficialmente per motivi umanitari, nel sostegno alle popolazioni di paesi in crisi bellica, umanitaria ed ambientale. Attivo fin dal 1969 nell’attività di consulenza e coordinamento dei servizi umanitari, aveva lavorato in Biafra, Pakistan, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, e dozzine di altri contesti, spesso molto difficili, nei quali doveva confrontarsi non soltanto con la difficile situazione sul campo, ma anche con le inefficienze delle associazioni umanitarie e la corruzione dei governi locali. Alla fine del 1994 Cuny era stato contattato dall’Open Society Institute di George Soros ed inviato in Cecenia con lo scopo di organizzare un piano umanitario per la sicurezza degli abitanti di Grozny. Rientrato nel Marzo successivo dalla sua missione, durante la quale aveva assistito al terribile assedio di Grozny ed aveva stretto amicizia con Aslan Maskhadov, aveva cercato di coinvolgere il governo degli Stati Uniti ad entrare in campo per costringere la Russia ad interrompere le operazioni militari, negoziando una tregua umanitaria. Tenne numerose conferenze, incontri pubblici e privati con politici di alto livello, ed il suo articolo Killing Chechnya[1], nel quale accusava la Russia di aver scatenato una guerra di aggressione con scopi genocidi,fece il giro del mondo. Nonostante il suo impegno e l’appoggio di alcuni politici al Congresso, Cuny non era riuscito a convincere nessuna delle alte cariche dello stato ad intercedere per lui[2]. Così era tornato in Cecenia, per ricominciare la sua missione per conto della Open Society. Il 1 Aprile 1996, mentre si dirigeva al Quartier Generale di Maskhadov, ad Orekhovo[3], venne catturato a Starye Achkoy insieme a due medici russi ed un interprete[4], con i quali stava attraversando il paese a bordo di un’ambulanza, dopodiché di lui si persero completamente le tracce. Le sue ricerche si protrassero per molti mesi, dopodichè il figlio ed il fratello comunicarono di aver ricevuto informazioni affidabili secondo le quali egli sarebbe stato ucciso quasi subito dopo il suo arresto, operato presumibilmente da uomini del Dipartimento per la Sicurezza dello Stato, a quel tempo diretto da Abusupyan Mosvaev. Il suo corpo e quello dei suoi colleghi non sarebbero mai strati ritrovati. Le accuse riguardo la sua uccisione ricaddero sul Colonnello Rizvan Elbiev, ufficiale del Dipartimento per la Difesa dello Stato nel distretto di Achkhoy – Martan.  Questi, secondo quanto riferito dall’autista di Cuny (l’unico del gruppo rimasto in vita) dopo che l’ambulanza era stata fermata nei pressi di Starye Achkhoy da un distaccamento del Dipartimento per la Difesa dello Stato, richiese che i componenti della squadra di Cuny si presentassero da lui per fornire le generalità, per poi accompagnarli al Quartier Generale di Maskhadov. I volontari rimandarono l’autista indietro con un biglietto destinato ad Open Society nel quale dicevano di stare bene, di spostare gli appuntamenti in programma di 3 giorni e di allertare le autorità qualora non fossero rientrati entro il tempo stabilito[5].

Passarono i giorni, poi le settimane, e di Cuny non si trovò traccia. I familiari coinvolsero l’FBI, il governo americano, ed anche la Fondazione Soros, che aveva finanziato la missione, iniziò le sue ricerche, spendendo fino ad ottantamila dollari al mese per ottenere informazioni[6]. Appelli alla liberazione dell’americano giunsero dal presidente americano Clinton, da quello russo Eltsin e perfino da quello ceceno, Dudaev.

Nell’Agosto successivo, dopo mesi di inutili tentativi di rintracciare Cuny ed i suoi amici, la sua famiglia annunciò pubblicamente di essere venuta a conoscenza della morte del loro congiunto, e di tutti i membri del suo gruppo. Il figlio ed il fratello di Cuny accusarono pubblicamente il governo ceceno della responsabilità dell’omicidio, e parimenti accusarono le autorità russe di aver presentato Cuny come una spia. Nel rapporto confidenziale inviato al governo degli Stati Uniti, la famiglia fece precisamente il nome di Elbiev, il cui nome era stato fatto dal militare del Dipartimento per la Sicurezza dello Stato che aveva preso in custodia il gruppo. Secondo quanto riferito da questi, Elbiev avrebbe fatto fucilare tutti e quattro il 14 Aprile. Tale informazione fu confermata all’autista della famiglia Cuny, un ex combattente, nell’Agosto del 1995, sulla base di un’indicazione a questi fornita da un certo “A”, ufficiale di campo della difesa di Bamut[7].

Nell’Agosto del 1996, tra le rovine di una casa di Starye Achkhoy fu rinvenuto un fagotto insanguinato, e all’interno di questo furono trovati i documenti di tutti e quattro i membri della squadra di Cuny. Oltre a questi c’era un biglietto, indirizzato a Maskhadov, nel quale c’era scritto: Stimato Aslan, Abbiamo cercato di passare da te, con le medicine e i due dottori che avevamo promesso. Con me c’è Fred Cuny, l’americano che già conosci, che è venuto per tenere l’incontro che l’altra volta non c’è stato. per confermare che sei a conoscenza di noi e della nostra missione. Con rispetto, Galina Oleinik. Fondazione Soros. Essendo certo che fu Elbiev a sequestrare i documenti, è piuttosto probabile che fosse lui il responsabile della morte di Cuny e degli altri[8].

E’ possibile che Eldiev fosse soltanto l’esecutore materiale dell’omicidio. Secondo quanto riferito da una fonte anonima cecena a Scott Anderson, giornalista de New York Times, e confermato da Memorial in uno dei suoi resoconti[9] l’ordine di fucilare Cuny ed i suoi amici sarebbe venuto direttamente dal Direttore del Dipartimento per la Difesa dello Stato, Abusupyan Mosvaev il quale sarebbe stato tratto in inganno da una lista di spie fatta circolare dall’FSB nei dintorni di Bamut, per spingere i combattenti ceceni ad un passo falso[10]. La scelta di Mosvaev, tuttavia, avrebbe potuto essere determinata anche da un altro fattore, un sospetto che apre ad una teoria piuttosto fantasiosa, basata esclusivamente su una diceria: che da quelle parti, e precisamente nei dintorni di Bamut, a poca distanza da Starye Achkhoy, il governo ceceno nascondesse materiale radiattivo, o addirittura un’arma nucleare. Premettiamo nuovamente: si tratta di tesi che non hanno alcun fondamento di prova, e le riportiamo unicamente per dovere di cronaca.

Bamut era uno dei capisaldi della difesa cecena. Il villaggio, e la base missilistica situata nei suoi pressi, resistettero ad un lungo ed estenuante assedio, protrattosi dal 18 Aprile 1995 al 24 Maggio 1996. I ceceni difesero con grande accanimento quella posizione, apparentemente defilata rispetto al cuore del sistema difensivo ceceno. Il caso vuole che il punto di interesse principale del villaggio fosse una base per il lancio di missili balistici capaci di trasportare testate nucleari. I russi avevano abbandonato la base già nel 1992, dichiarando solennemente di aver sottratto qualsiasi arma non convenzionale, e di aver riportato in Russia tutto il materiale radiattivo. A metà Novembre, a seguito di una comunicazione inviata dalla Cecenia, le autorità russe rinvennero in un parco di Mosca un contenitore contenente un esplosivo cosparso di materiale radiattivo. Si parlava di materiale non militare, quindi non proveniente da una testata atomica, ma il caso produsse una cerca psicosi tra le forze di sicurezza federali. L’altro elemento che solleva dei dubbi è il percorso fatto da Cuny per raggiungere Yandi. Anziché prendere una strada principale, magari passando dalla Rostov – Baku, per voi svoltare verso Katar – Yurt e da lì raggiungere agilmente il Quartier Generale di Maskhadov, Cuny decise di attraversare Bamut e di inerpicarsi su un sentiero molto difficile da fare in automobile, affrontando volontariamente un viaggio già difficile di per sé, complicato dal fatto che la guarnigione del villaggio, notoriamente poco incline a collaborare con giornalisti e volontari stranieri, stava per finire sotto assedio[11].

Nessuna tra queste due piste, in ogni caso, appare completamente convincente. Appare strano, infatti, che un uomo con agganci e conoscenze così vaste come Fred Cuny finisse fucilato soltanto perché citato in un documento artefatto dall’FSB. E parimenti la storia dell’indagine sulla “atomica di Dudaev” è totalmente priva di elementi di prova (del resto nessuna testata atomica, né scatola contenente materiale atomico è mai stata ritrovata). Che cosa successe, quindi? Una terza teoria è fornita da Kommersant, nella sua edizione del 21 Aprile 1999:

Questa volta [durante il suo secondo viaggio, ndr.] Cuny ha presentato un piano specifico per una tregua tra Mosca e Grozny. E quindi, doveva certamente incontrare il generale Dudayev. Ecco perché l’ispezione da parte del Dipartimento per la sicurezza dello Stato ceceno non lo impensieriva affatto. Tuttavia, il 7 aprile – questa è la data che temeva Galina Oleinik – [nel biglietto ritrovato nel 1996, ndr.] l’esercito russo ha iniziato la famosa “pulizia” di Samashki, il villaggio ancestrale del presidente ceceno. Le sparatorie sono continuate lì per due giorni. E non potevano fare a meno di rovinare Cuny e la sua missione. A quel punto Kewney stava intralciando tutti: falchi russi, signori della guerra ceceni e persino i politici del suo stesso paese. Kewney non ha sopravvalutato la portata della sua influenza e autorità nell’establishment americano. Basti dire che la dottrina militare degli Stati Uniti è cambiata in gran parte sotto la sua influenza […] non sorprende che l’attività “missionarie” di Fred Cuny e quella dell’esercito americano, dopo la Guerra del Golfo, abbiano cominciato ad andare di pari passo. Tuttavia, se all’inizio Cuny e i politici americani hanno collaborato con successo, cercando di non interferire nella sfera di competenza l’uno dell’altro, molto presto hanno iniziato a competere. […] La morte di un concorrente ha permesso ai politici di diventare monopolisti. E hanno ribaltato il suo piano: Cuny, partendo dall’eliminazione delle conseguenze delle operazioni militari, ha provato a costruire un meccanismo internazionale per prevenire le catastrofi umanitarie. I politici hanno trasformato la sua dottrina in “guerre umanitarie” in cui si provoca una catastrofe umanitaria.

Quale che fosse il motivo che portò Cuny alla morte, questo rimarrà presumibilmente sepolto insieme al suo cadavere ed a quello dei suoi compagni di viaggio. Proprio riguardo ai suoi resti, nel Novembre del 1998 ignoti criminali cercarono di contattare la famiglia di Fred per restituire il cadavere, che dichiaravano di detenere. Come prova inviarono una foto che ritraeva un perno di metallo che era stato inserito in una gamba di Cuny molti anni prima, dopo che era stato investito da un taxi. La famiglia rispose che non avrebbe mai pagato un riscatto per il corpo, seguendo la volontà del padre, il quale affermava: non si paga per il corpo, con riferimento alla pratica del riscatto dei cadaveri. Cuny era convinto che la prassi di pagare i riscatti per persone rapite o per riavere i loro resti era uno dei motori principali dei sequestri a scopo estorsivo, e che se i riscatti non fossero stati pagati ben presto tale odiosa attività criminale sarebbe sparita dalla Cecenia[12].


Articolo di Frontline su

New York Times Magazines del 25 Febbraio 1996 – What happened to Fred Cuny?

Kommersant del 21 Aprile 1999

New York Times del 26 Luglio 1999


[2] In particolare, secondo quanto riportato da un articolo di Kommersant del 24 Aprile 1999, l’ambasciatore statunitense a Mosca, Thomas Pickering, rispose alle sollecitazioni di Cuny che gli Stati Uniti non avevano interessi strategici in questa regione e che se la Soros Foundation avesse voluto agire in Cecenia lo avrebbe fatto a proprio rischio e pericolo.

[3] Odierna Yandi.

[4] L’interprete era Galina Oleinik, i due medici si chiamavano Sergei Makarov e Andrei Sereda.

[5] Il contenuto del biglietto, al pari di tutte le altre circostanze finora descritte sono reperibili sull’articolo di Frontline, Who killed Fred Cuny? disponibile sul sito

[6] New York Times Magazines del 25 Febbraio 1996 – What happened to Fred Cuny?

[7] Il Signor “A” potrebbe essere il Capitano Shirvani Albakov, Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa di Bamut, ucciso con un colpo alla nuca il 16 Giugno 1995. In questo senso potrebbe trattarsi di un regolamento di conti dovuto proprio all’insabbiamento della vicenda in questione.

[8] Frontline, Who killed Fred Cuny? disponibile sul sito

[9] Il resoconto è citato da Kommersant in un articolo del 21 Aprile 1999

[10] La notizia della “lista” fatta circolare presumibilmente dall’FSB nei dintorni di Bamut per indurre i ceceni a dubitare degli agenti umanitari stranieri sarebbe stata fornita, oltre che dalla famiglia del defunto Cuny, anche da un testimone intervistato dal New York Times, le cui memorie sono state pubblicate sull’articolo del 25 Febbraio 1996 What happened to Fred Cuny? La circostanza è dubbia, perché Cuny era arrivato soltanto pochi giorni prima in Cecenia, e difficilmente l’FSB sarebbe stato in grado di predisporre una simile operazione in così poco tempo. D’altra parte è strano che il governo ceceno, sempre molto disponibile verso i sostenitori occidentali in quella fase del conflitto, avesse di propria iniziativa tradito un rapporto consolidato di fiducia con uno degli operatori umanitari più celebri di tutto l’Occidente.

[11] New York Times del 25 Febbraio 1996.

[12] New York Times del 26 Luglio 1999.

“Russia has never been a member of the UN” – Dr. Ikhvan Gerikhanov on Russia’s legitimacy in the Security Council

On Saturday 1 April, Russia assumed the presidency of the United Nations Security Council. As an aggressor country in the war in Ukraine, there are many questions about the role that Russia can have in supervising a body created to maintain international peace and security.

Francesco Benedetti interviewed the former President of the Constitutional Court of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Ikhvan Gerikhanov, doctor of law and specialist in international law.

This interview begins many years before the invasion of Ukraine. And precisely in 1945, when the Charter of the United Nations was officially adopted…

We begin with a preamble, that is, with the history of the birth of this organization, designated as the United Nations Organization. Firstly, the UN was established after the end of the Second World War, to replace the League of Nations, and with the same aim of preventing future conflicts. In this sense, the UN is practically its legal successor. It is interesting to note that the initiative came mainly from the representatives of the military coalition which had fought against fascism. In the euphoria of victory, its organization was not discussed by anyone, since the primacy in the victorious war belonged to the USSR, the USA, Great Britain and France. The statute of the organization was drawn up between April and October 1944, before the capitulation of the fascist regime, and only China, the Soviet Union and the United States participated. I believe that the dictation of conditions was mainly elaborated by these last two states. From this point of view, it is easy to recognize impositions such as the right of veto, applicable by the so-called “permanent members of the Security Council”. In this very important body, the three signatories of the statute were determined as permanent members together with Great Britain and France. Finally, the Charter of the United Nations was proposed to another fifty states, who signed it on June 26 of the same year.

The system was very similar to the one with which the League of Nations had been established. In 1919, immediately after the end of the First World War, it was established to prevent new local and global conflicts. The initiators of this organization were the winners of that war. The UN, like the League of Nations before it, was formed to safeguard world peace.

The League of Nations

Article 23, Chapter V of the United Nations Charter reads: The Security Council should be composed of fifteen members of the United Nations. The Republic of China , the French Republic , the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America will be permanent members of the Security Council”. Where is the Russian Federation in this document?

The Charter of the United Nations, as I indicated above, was created and adopted in 1944, the USSR existed then, and it was the superpower that defeated fascism. Under Article 4 of the UN Charter there is a procedure for accepting new members. No one has ever changed it, or deleted it. According to this procedure, the admission of new members “is carried out by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Security Council”. This procedure has been followed to date for 192 states, but not for the Russian Federation, as a subject of international law.

Therefore, proceeding from the UN Charter procedure, the Russian Federation cannot be a member of the United Nations, much less the Security Council as a permanent member. There is only one answer to your question : the Russian Federation is not included in the Charter of the United Nations, because its admission to the UN has not been discussed as required by the Charter, and its admission has never been accepted.

The day before the resignation of President MS Gorbachev, the USSR Ambassador Yu Vorontsov sent a letter to the UN Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar from the President of the RSFSR BN Yeltsin, which states: on joining the Union Soviet Socialist republics in the UN, including the Security Council and all other bodies and organizations of the UN system, continue from the Russian Federation (RSFSR) with the support of the countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In this regard, I ask you to use the name “Russian Federation” in the United Nations instead of the name “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics”. The Russian Federation bears full responsibility for all rights and obligations of the USSR under the Charter of the United Nations, including financial obligations. Do you think this is “legal succession”?

I have already referred to the requirement of art. 4 of the UN Charter, adopted with the participation of the USSR, and this legal provision is no exception to any of the world powers. Succession is the transfer of rights and duties from the predecessor to the successor in an identical manner, with only the change of name. In our case, the “succession” arose through a violent change of state power and its membership was not discussed, as required by the UN Charter itself when accepting a new member into its composition. Russia is not the USSR, neither in status, nor in territory, nor in the content of its Constitution. And if we add to this the fact that the Russian Federation arose through the violent overthrow of the legitimate power of the USSR, it would be wrong to say that it is a subject of international law.

The letter you indicated, in accordance with the requirements of the UN Charter, should have been examined by the UN General Assembly and, based on the results of the vote, possibly accepted. Which was not done. Which means that the Russian Federation was an illegitimate member of the United Nations, if the rules of the organization are followed to the letter and in spirit.

Also the letter you mention was sent by a person. Even if this person was the President of the Federation, his intervention could not have resolved the matter by itself, without going through the relevant procedure. Going further, the letter refers to the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic) and not to the Russian Federation.

Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin in Yalta (1945)

However, Yeltsin’s letter, sent by the then UN Secretary to the tables of the other members of the Security Council, was tacitly approved by all. Why, in your opinion?

I don’t know the real reason, but in my opinion everyone was satisfied with the collapse of a world power like the USSR and were glad that the main and most influential rival in world politics no longer exists on the world map. The UN members themselves should have put the matter to the UN General Assembly, especially to the members of the Security Council, noting that a new state had arisen and that the procedure for admitting a new member had to be followed at the UN. Not only was this issue not raised, but on the contrary, they granted the right to participate in UN meetings to a person not designated in their Charter, and even accepted from him the right of veto on questions of peace and war!

Moreover, against the background of the war in Ukraine which has lasted for more than a year, not a single state has deigned to raise the question of the legality of the stay of the Russian Federation in the UN and its permanent membership in the Security Council ! And this is based on the requirements of Article 2, Clause 4 of the Charter of the United Nations, where it is firmly stated that “all members of the United Nations shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or the political independence of any state, or any or in any other way inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations”.

As an academic lawyer and specialist in international law, I do not understand the position of 192 states of the world regarding the fact that a separate state can participate in the establishment of world order by unleashing wars and exclusively in its own interests. Here reside other interests: political, economic and territorial, which go against the fundamental principles and norms of international law. The UN has fulfilled its task and it is necessary to move to a new world order and with the creation of a different international structure, as was done with the transition from the League of Nations, which lasted 26 years, to the creation of the UN, which has been pursuing the fulfillment of its tasks for more than 78 years.

IV If the Russian Federation had been born “by exclusion”, ie as a consequence of the abandonment of the USSR by all the states that made it up except the RSFSR, would the succession of Russia to the Security Council have been legitimate?

Above, I partially mentioned the lack of legal basis for a succession of Russia! the USSR could not authorize Russia to succeed even from the League of Nations to the newly created UN structure, as the USSR was not a member of the League of Nations when the UN Charter was approved. Similarly, the forced seizure of power does not give rise to succession, rather it excludes this right on the basis of the modalities and means of this transfer of rights and obligations from the entitled party to the successor. On this occasion, many Russian diplomats and jurists deliberately keep silent about the fact that the USSR was expelled from the League of Nations on December 14, 1939 at the 20th session of the Assembly of the League of Nations in Geneva, due to the invasion of the sovereign state of Finland . By the way, even then the USSR was a permanent member of the Council of the League of Nations.

And now the answer to the question:

First, illegally considering itself the legal successor of the League of Nations, the USSR, as the winner of fascism, dictated the conditions for the creation of the UN Charter and practically imposed itself and the members of the anti-fascist coalition as permanent members of the Security Council. It is like in legal practice, when a legal structure is created, there must be a constituent assembly, whose organizers remain on a permanent basis. But this does not mean that by moving to a new legal structure such as the (UN) Association, they can violate the adopted Charter with impunity and sanctions cannot be applied to them. Secondly, we must not forget that the Russian Federation arose on the world map from the violent overthrow of state power of the USSR and has long violated the international obligations of the USSR and defiantly ignores the requirements of the UN Charter and the international obligations assumed by its predecessor, the USSR.

Logo of the Security Council of the UN

Professor Rein Mullerson , Professor and Chair of International Law at King’s College London, stated that the succession was legitimate, identifying three reasons : “Firstly, after the dissolution, Russia is [ sic ] still remains one of the most largest in the world geographically and demographically.Secondly, Soviet Russia after 1917 and especially the Soviet Union after 1922 was treated as a continuation of the same state that existed under the Russian Empire.These are objective factors to show that Russia is the continuation of the Soviet Union.The third reason that constitutes the subjective factor is the behavior of the state and the recognition of continuity by third states.” What do you think of this statement?

It is difficult for me to evaluate such a statement, although I am a professor . He confuses practice and opportunity with legal provisions, without which no legal structure, regardless of its status, can exist. No one disputes that Russia is a huge country and has incalculable wealth in its assets and human resources reach more than 150 million. However , from a legal point of view, the USSR cannot be considered a continuation of the Russian empire, as the tsarist autocracy was swept away by those who built the “new world” and destroyed the empire to its foundations. Thirdly, I do not see confirmation of the professor’s words that third states recognized the succession of Russia from the Soviet Union. If there is a claim , then there must be legal documents or justification for that claim. Any statement, if it is not empty talk, must be based on facts and documents relating to that succession. In addition to objective and subjective factors, there must be specific actions that comply with the legal provisions of the subject itself!

Journalist Mohamed Sid-Ahmed, on the other hand, noted that “one of the five powers enjoying veto prerogatives in the Security Council underwent a fundamental identity change. When the Soviet Union became Russia, its status changed from that of a superpower at the head of the communist camp to that of a society which aspires to join the capitalist world. Russia’s permanent membership of the Security Council is no longer taken for granted. The global ideological struggle that has dominated the international scene for so long is no more and the new realities need to be translated into a different set of global institutions.” What do you think of his words?

I agree with the journalist’s opinion that the organization itself, like the UN, should go out of business, as it does not monitor many violations of the Charter and world order. To be objective, the reaction to the outbreak of war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other states should have been the condemnation and exclusion of the United States from the UN as a guilty party. Thus, impunity gives rise to new conflicts, and the fundamental principle of the existence of world order is ignored as a solution of controversial issues exclusively by peaceful means. The UN silently observed the actions of the aggressor during the two Russian-Chechen wars and did not even condemn the military and financial assistance of the United States and other states for the total destruction of the Chechen people on the basis of nationality and ‘ethnicity. And today the UN cannot influence the continuation of Russia’s imperial policy and the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine. On the contrary, the UN gives the right to an officially recognized sponsor of terrorism to chair the Security Council! The UN must be reorganized and, taking into account the reality, transferred to a more serious and influential institution, which leverages the behavior of its members.

In the light of all this, does the existence of the veto right in the UN Security Council always make sense to you? Russia , for example, says a veto is necessary for “balanced and sustainable decisions”. However, Russia has used its veto on issues relating to conflicts in which it is directly involved, as have other permanent members. This directly violates Articles 27 and 52 of the United Nations Charter and paralyzes the United Nations system as a whole by undermining its purpose as set out in Article 1, and equally the purpose of the Security Council as set out in Articles 24 and 25. For example, at the outset of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine draft resolution S/2022/155 condemning the invasion and rearticulating Ukrainian sovereignty was vetoed by the Russian Federation on 25 February 2022, while Russia was none other than the chairman of the Security Council, undermining the council’s capabilities regarding the situation.

The right of veto arose in ancient Rome, in the field of the legislative process, when the tribunes of the people could overrule the decision of the Senate. There is another procedure for imposing a veto – this is the refusal of the monarch or the president to sign a law adopted by the legislator. The procedure for vetoing decisions taken by the UN, in my opinion, is meaningless and should not be included in the system of legal methods and procedures of this collective organization. The UN as an international organization was created to establish world order and exclude any conflicts, both regional and international. According to the art. 2 of the Charter of the United Nations, the organization is founded “on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its members”. So what kind of equality can we talk about when only one country can impose a veto at its discretion, without disputes and discussions with other members of the organization. Where is the sovereign equality, when five members of the UN Security Council exist on a permanent basis, that is, they are not replaceable, and the other ten are temporary! Many articles of the UN Charter clearly contradict each other and sometimes are mutually exclusive. Therefore, it has long been necessary to replace this establishment with another international institution!

Logo of the League of Nations

After the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine , Ukrainian Ambassador to the UN Sergiy Kyslytsya and some members of the US Congress have called for the suspension or expulsion of Russia from the United Nations and its organs and the removal of its veto power, which violated Article 6 of the Charter. In your opinion, Russia should be expelled from the UN?

Russia is not legally a member of the United Nations, but actually participates in its work. Therefore, in practice, Russia should have pointed to the door from the United Nations building even during the first Russo-Chechen War, when my people’s right to self-determination was ignored, making use of the weapons of destruction of mass prohibited by international law. It had to be expelled due to the creation of filter camps on the territory of a sovereign republic, in which torture and humiliation of human dignity were carried out, when destruction of the environment and social sphere of Chechnya , monuments history and culture of his people. How it is that the founders of the UN Charter, represented by the USSR and the USA, did not provide for liability for violation of the Charter and the obligations undertaken, one can only guess – they were the first to begin to ignore and violate statutory obligations and law international!

In the Charter of the League of Nations, in article 16, it is provided that “if a member of the League resorts to war, contrary to the obligations …”, he is considered to have committed an act of war against all members of the League of Nations . I do not understand, as a lawyer, and as a person who has lived a long life, who is still preventing the adoption of a resolution on Russia’s actions against Ukraine today, why such an issue was not put to the vote before the General Assembly of United Nations, even under the current expulsion procedure from the UN and all its structures!

Therefore, I repeat once again that the UN as a structure designed to restore world order has exhausted itself and it is necessary to create a new structure with real levers of influence on the negative behavior of its members.

“About wars won and peaces lost” Francesco Benedetti interviews Aslanbek Dadaev (First Part)

One of the main difficulties encountered in reconstructing the history of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the lack of reliable historical sources. The destruction of all the main archives, and the seizure of those that have survived by the Russian authorities, means that anyone who approaches the study of this matter has to reconstruct the events day by day, as if assembling a jigsaw puzzle. For this reason the collection of the memories of the protagonists of this story is so important.

Aslanbek Dadaev is the last Chechen journalist to have worked for foreign media in Chechnya. Deputy director of Chechenpress , the independent Chechen news agency, from 1992 to 1995, collaborated with many international and Russian media such as WTN, CNN, Reuter, Al – Jazeera. From 2002 to 2020, he worked as a correspondent for the North Caucasian newsroom of Radio Liberty in the Caucasus. Awarded the David Burke Award by the US Global Media Agency “For taking enormous risks to cover the region and the Beslan tragedy”, he is the author of the documentary “Dada”. As of 2020 he lives in the UK.

Our conversation covered the entire history of ChRI, starting in 1990. Then, as if “the curse of the archives” was haunting us, the first part was lost. This time not because of the Russian bombs, but only because of our “technological seniority”. When I set about setting up the interview, the first snippet of conversation I came across was this joke:

“A Russian soldier returned from Chechnya and went to the hairdresser. He starts combing his hair and asks him to talk about the war in Chechnya. The soldier asks: “Why are you asking me to tell you about it?” The hairdresser replies: “When you talk about the war in Chechnya, your hair stands on end, and I can cut it easier!”


On April 21, Dudayev was killed. Do you remember how the Chechens reacted to the news of his death? What did they say in Grozny? And what did you think?

People were very sad and confused. However, due to the rumors that Dzhokhar was not killed, but hid on purpose so that the Russians could not find him, many calmed down. in the center of Grozny, in front of the presidential palace, independence supporters often held rallies, where one of the slogans was that Dzhokhar would return, things like that. Dzhokhar exuded some kind of strong energy, he calmed people with his mere existence. He knew how to approach the Chechens when he put himself below any Chechen, like his statement that every Chechen is a general and he is the million first. It seemed to come from the recent past of the Chechens, when our traditions were still strong and dignity was valued.

Dudayev ‘s death , Yandarbiev became acting president. What do you think about him? And what did ordinary people think?

Yandarbiev was an ardent patriot, and a supporter of the idea of independence. He didn’t have the resourcefulness needed by real politicians. He has never managed to win public opinion. He was against presidential elections (he believed they would divide Chechen society, which had managed to rally around the idea of independence), and wanted to keep his position as president. When his powers ended, he began actively handing out state awards. And so, in my opinion, he was one of the brightest patriots of Chechnya. And he was a good poet. Even now, in Chechnya, the current authorities don’t forbid his words about a song about his mother.

Aslanbek Dadaev at a Dudaev’s press conference

Do you think Yandarbiev and Dudayev had two different views on the state?

No, they had the same vision of independence. It’s just that at some point the Islamist radicals managed to win Yandarbiev to their side, and his activities went beyond the traditional struggle for independence of the Chechens.

August 6, 1996. Operation Jihad. What do you remember of those days?

I knew in advance about the date when the operation would start and stayed overnight in the center of Grozny. Early in the morning we heard the sounds of a firefight, and on stepping out onto the balcony we saw several of our soldiers under a large tree. They were waiting for a Russian helicopter to fly away, which hovered at a height above this place. It was a detachment of Brigadier General Khizir Khachukaev . I spent 3-4 days in this place, recording videos. With us, among other things, in that position was Sebastian Smith, who then worked for francepress .

At the end of August 1996, Chechnya was free again, but under very difficult conditions. Do you remember what life was like in Grozny at that time? What was the mood of the people? What did they expect from the end of the war?

Life in Chechnya at that time was difficult. However, even in those troubled times, people were much freer. Pro-independence demonstrations often took place in the center of Grozny. The flag of Ichkeria could be seen everywhere. The pro-Moscow authorities sat in fortified buildings lined with concrete blocks. I remember once we accompanied Andrei Babitsky to Moscow. We arrived at the airport and when we got out of the car seeing a Russian tank go by, Andrei ran up to it and shouted at the top of his lungs: ” Alahu Akbar!”. In response, the soldiers laughed and replied “Really Akbar!”. But they got scared and quickly left. In everyday life, people were in critical condition. Problems with water, electricity, work were serious. The pro-Moscow authorities understood that they were temporary…

From September 1996 to January 1997, a provisional government subordinate to Maskhadov operated in Chechnya. How did Chechnya experience during this period? Did you have the opportunity to collaborate with Maskhadov’s government or cover it as a journalist?

Little has changed at that time. The problems remained the same. The people had no money, but they got by as best they could. The main income of the common people was trading in the market. I have always been in contact with the representatives of the government of Ichkeria, even before the August 1996 operation. WTN often needed comments from them and I found them in different locations in the republic. Then, when the Chechens took over the republic, of course I often attended press conferences and other events with the participation of Aslan and others. They had no problems communicating with reporters.

How did you manage to contact Chechen army commanders during the war?

It wasn’t a problem for any reporter. It was enough to come, for example, to the village and anyone could tell you who was there and where he was. The late Kazbek Makhashev was a member of the Chechen government. He was hiding on the territory of an abandoned cattle farm in the village of Novye Atagi, on the roof. That’s where I interviewed him.

Let’s move on to the 1997 election. Do you think it helped that there were so many candidates? And that the anti-independence candidates have been excluded?

I think the electoral race and the election and the election of Maskhadov showed that we really wanted peace. I think Basayev had a higher “score”, but people still chose Maskhadov, yearning for peace and tranquility. Aslan was not a “war hawk” while Shamil, on the contrary, believed that it was necessary to arm oneself and not relax. There were no candidates against independence, because they themselves would not run and would not have any support.

Shamil Basayev tiene un comizio elettorale

Don’t you think it would have been better if Yandarbiev, Maskhadov and Basayev had agreed on a single candidate?

It would have been better, of course, but people would still have chosen Maskhadov. Yandarbiyev fell under the influence of Islamic radicals, Basayev only knew how to fight. when we won the first war, i began to realize that the real “war” was right in front of us and that we should be united even after the victory over the russians. And so, it turned out we won the war, but lost the peace.

Do you think Maskhadov and Basayev should have cooperated and not fought for power?

Yes. Of course I think. And many thought so. However, I understand why you ask. The fact is that in Chechnya, bombed by war and disoriented, this was impossible. We are democrats from birth, but the level of freedom in those years went off scale, the concepts of freedom and order got confused. Many have interpreted freedom as anarchy. However, if Shamil and Aslan were together, they could have tried to restore order. Again, both Shamil and Aslan knew about the deception of the Russians and understood that the war would not end there. We all understood that. Therefore, we have prepared.

So since January 1997 it was clear to you that the second war is just a matter of time?

It has been since the end of 1996, as the negotiations went. By that time the Chechens had already learned to think like their enemies.

“Invece della morte, la vita è venuta in questa casa” – Un estratto da “Silver Coin” di Ismail Akaev

Ismail Akaev è un giornalista e scrittore ceceno. I frequentatori di questo sito lo conoscono per il suo fondamentale contributo alla traduzione in lingua russa di “Libertà o Morte! Storia della Repubblica Cecena di Ichkeria”. Autore prolifico, la sua principale opera narrativa è il romanzo storico “Silver Coin”, che si presenta al suo pubblico con queste parole:

Questo non è un romanzo ordinario, ma piuttosto una storia giornalistica sull’amore, il dovere e l’onore. Se vuoi conoscere un’altra verità sulla guerra cecena e allo stesso tempo sentirne tutto il dolore, questo libro è per te. Una storia tragica e commovente su un insegnante di scuola… Su un padre e un figlio… “L’alba sanguina davanti ai nostri occhi. Il cielo bagna i cadaveri e la terra piange. Uccelli e animali: tutto brucia sotto il fuoco. Quanto fa male: un gemito mi taglia la schiena. Cosa dovrei fare? Non si può cambiare nulla …

Il libro è acquistabile qui:

Ismail Akaev – Silver Coin

La copertina di “Silver Coin”

Di seguito riportiamo un estratto:

“Quella sera il villaggio di montagna di Borzoy accolse Said con ansia e tristezza. I militanti che si erano ritirati dalla città si trasferirono sulle montagne e quindi qui si svolgevano intense operazioni militari. In alcuni punti sui sentieri di montagna innevati le loro ombre, avvolte in cappotti mimetici bianchi, lampeggiavano.

C’era allarme e spavento in montagna, e non solo in montagna. Qualcosa di inimmaginabile stava accadendo in tutta la repubblica. Non era una guerra, le guerre non funzionano così . In guerra due paesi con la stessa forza militare si combattono, e conoscono bene le ragioni del conflitto. Quello che stava succedendo in Cecenia era la distruzione di massa di un piccolo popolo da parte di un’enorme potenza nucleare. E il mondo intero guardava con indifferenza, come se dovesse essere così… Dopo aver letto gli appunti trovati nel nascondiglio di suo padre, Said era sicuro che nulla avrebbe mai turbato il suo cuore. Gli sembrò che quella notte avesse pianto tutte le lacrime e anestetizzato il suo cuore e la sua anima, ma ciò che stava accadendo intorno a lui diceva contrario. Le “operazioni di pulizia”, L’omicidio , il furto, sono diventati un luogo comune per i ceceni . Si rallegravano del ritrovamento del cadavere come un tesoro e la morte era percepita come ricompensa, l’importante era non finire nel campo di filtraggio e non diventare cibo per i cani. I federali hanno imparato da soli che i ceceni apprezzano allo stesso modo sia i vivi che i morti e hanno trovato un modo per guadagnarci sopra. Con la scusa di controllare i passaporti, individuavano le famiglie benestanti che sarebbero state in grado di pagare i soldi per riavere i loro cari. Rapire qualcuno non era un problema per loro. Del resto Shamanov aveva detto: “Un buon ceceno è un ceceno morto”.

A Chechen woman showing the passports of her missing sons during a gathering of women searching for arrested and missing male relatives in central Grozny.  Photo by Heidi Brander

Man mano si andò creando una mappa della morte: si annotava chi era sepolto dove per restituire il suo corpo ai parenti, in cambio di soldi. La vicina di Saipuddin, Zara, apparteneva ad una delle famiglie benestanti. Viveva con il suo unico figlio, Isa, nella vecchia casa paterna di suo marito, nel villaggio di Borzoy. Suo marito era stato ucciso durante la prima campagna militare, mentre lasciava la città assediata. Dopo la sua morte lei e Isa si trasferirono nel villaggio ancestrale di suo marito e si stabilirono qui. La vista della loro casa fu il motivo per cui Isa fu portato al campo di filtraggio. Zara non sapeva come fare. Parenti vicini e lontani, e perfino i compaesani accorsero in aiuto della vedova: tante persone si trovavano nella situazione di Zara, ma la sua tragedia sconvolse molti. Vagò per un anno, e per tutta la Cecenia, in cerca di suo figlio. I suoi occhi videro tanti cadaveri, spesso mutilati, col volto tumefatto. Zara continuò a cercare, sopportando l’odore nauseante dei cadaveri. Cercava il suo ragazzo, il suo unico legame al senso della vita, tra i vivi e tra i morti.


Insieme al cugino del marito Zara si diresse al luogo che le era stato indicato. Ad un certo punto incontrò i federali, i quali gli dissero che non era permesso procedere con la macchina oltre quel punto. Così lui rimase sulla strada e Zara, salita su un’auto militare, andò avanti insieme ai federali. Dopo aver viaggiato molto, Zara vide un’enorme buca. Le fu detto di scendere e identificare suo figlio, dopodiché i federali sarebbero scesi a prenderlo . Zara scese con cautela. I cadaveri erano sparpagliati alla rinfusa nella buca. Zara riconobbe immediatamente Isa. Lo riconobbe da una piccola voglia sulla fronte, e dal sorriso disegnato sulle sue labbra congelate. Il cadavere era fresco. A quanto sembrava, era stato tenuto nel campo per molto tempo ed è stato ucciso di recente. Stava per  gridare ai federali di averlo trovato, quando vide il mignolo della mano del cadavere accanto a quello di Isa che stava tremando. A Zara sembrò che l’avessero cosparsa di acqua bollente.

“Sei vivo?” – sussurrò con labbra tremanti. Il palmo sporco del ragazzo che strinse era caldo. Zara si rese conto che era vivo. A quanto pare era svenuto dopo il pestaggio e i federali lo avevano gettato nella fossa insieme ai cadaveri. Zara non ebbe il tempo pensare. Tutto quello che aveva passato quest’anno per arrivare al cadavere del suo giovane figlio le scorreva davanti agli occhi. Probabilmente i Borzoy si stavano già radunando per un funerale e si stavano preparando a scavare una fossa accanto alla tomba del padre di Isa. Nei suoi occhi apparve l’immagine di suo marito: cosa avrebbe fatto lui? Non importa, si sarebbe comportata come una madre, questa era la decisione giusta. Zara si è resa conto che suo figlio non poteva tornare indietro. Da qualche parte, in Cecenia, la madre di colui sulla cui mano si era appena mosso il mignolo non dormiva la notte. Se Allah le aveva lasciato una tale scelta, lei avrebbe scelto come sceglierebbe il cuore di una madre.

“Dirò loro che sei mio figlio, ti sto tirando fuori come se fossi morto. Non fare un fiato”, sussurrò. Zara guardò indietro. Si chinò sul cadavere di suo figlio e fece scorrere delicatamente la mano sul suo viso giovane, che non aveva avuto il tempo di ricoprirsi di barba. “Che Allah ti benedica, mio caro ragazzo, perdonami, devo lasciarti qui per salvare un’altra vita”.

–             “Sono pronta” Gridò Zara. Il soldato scese nella fossa.

–             Quale?

–             “Eccolo mio figlio”. Indicò Zara con mano tremante.

Caricando il ragazzo come un sacco in spalla, il soldato lasciò la fossa, seguito da Zara. Lo gettò a terra e un altro “Fed” colpì allo stomaco il “cadavere” con una pala. Zara urlò di orrore. Pensò il ragazzo si sarebbe contorto dal dolore.

–             “Vai avanti da sola. Portalo sulla strada”, disse il “Fed”. Salirono in macchina, chiudendo le portiere dietro di loro, e infilarono la canna di una pistola fuori dal finestrino. Zara se lo mise sulla spalla e camminò così per un po’, poi le gambe cedettero, e Zara cadde a terra con lui. Decise di trascinarlo come un sacco.

–             “Abbi pazienza figlio mio, ancora un po’ e raggiungeremo la macchina, va tutto bene… Ti porterò a Borzoy. Ti curerò… è così bello lì… L’aria fresca… Le montagne, il fiume. Tu sei forte e giovane e ti rimetterai presto in piedi. Assomigli persino a mio figlio. Andrà tutto bene, arriva la primavera… Tornerai da tua madre», borbottò Zara. In qualche modo raggiunse il ciglio della strada.

–             Dov’è Isa?

–             “Isa è rimasto lì”, rispose Zara con un sussurro, gli occhi sconvolti

–             “Cosa significa, Zara di cosa stai parlando?” chiese l’uomo, sorpreso.

–             “Isa è morto – sussurrò lei –  ma lui è vivo, ed io ho preso il vivo” Poi cadde a terra, priva di sensi.


Lungo la strada, Zara tornò in sé e si sedette sul sedile posteriore. Tenne la mano del ragazzo nella sua mano. Arrivarono a Borzoy. Aperto il cancello vi trovarono parenti, anziani e il teologo locale. Akhmed non sapeva cosa dire ai parenti. Fermò la macchina e appoggiò stancamente la testa sul volante.

–             “Racconterò tutto da sola”, disse lei.

Scese con sicurezza dall’auto e si avvicinò allo zio di suo marito, Abdulbek. “Vashi” gli disse “Sei il maggiore della nostra famiglia, ci consultiamo con te per tutto, quindi voglio solo dirti che… Non ho portato Isa. È rimasto lì tra i cadaveri. Quando sono sceso nella fossa, ho notato un ragazzo vivo tra i corpi, ho detto che era mio figlio e l’ho tirato fuori . Non so se ho fatto bene.”

Ci fu un ruggito di stupore tra la gente.

–             “Hai fatto come avrebbe dovuto fare qualsiasi madre cecena, sono orgoglioso di te figlia. Invece della morte, la vita è venuta in questa casa. Quindi è il volere di Allah . Alhamdulillah , Gloria ad Allah.”

–             “Dov’è?”

–             “Dobbiamo aiutarlo”

–             “Di chi è?”

Il ragazzo non era cosciente. Lo portarono in casa. Gli astanti lessero il Movlid ed eseguirono lo zikr in onore della memoria di Isa . E Zara iniziò a prendersi cura di colui a cui aveva salvato la vita.

A woman searches for the bodies of her missing family members in a mass grave. Photo by Heidi Brander

Said rimase scioccato da questa storia. Insieme a zio Saipula, aveva aiutato i vicini a prepararsi per il funerale: come tutti, anche lui si aspettava che Zara sarebbe arrivata presto e che avrebbero seppellito suo figlio. Lui avrebbe ricordato per sempre quel giorno, la triste immagine di Zara, avvolta in una sciarpa nera, che passava tra la folla delle persone per confessarsi.

Said si riscosse: ricordò la rivelazione di suo padre che aveva letto il giorno precedente. Quanto è grande il sacrificio del ceceno persone. Questa è l’intera risposta alla domanda sul perché per secoli, dopo tanti genocidi, questo popolo rinasce ancora, e ancora. Sentendosi colpevole per l’intera nazione, suo padre lascia il proprio figlio a una donna sconosciuta e poi, decenni dopo, una donna cecena abbandona il cadavere di suo figlio, porta fuori il figlio di qualcun altro, perché ogni vita cecena le è cara. L’ impresa compiuta di Zara sembrava ricordargli che il futuro appartiene al popolo ceceno, il cui amore per la vita e per la Patria è più forte di migliaia di morti. Così passavano i giorni sulle montagne cecene innevate dove, sostituendosi l’un l’altro come il giorno e la notte, la vita e la morte andavano mano nella mano.

Reflections and premonitions: Dudaev’s “ghost” interview

This interview, made in April 1995 and published by Kommersant on September 1, 1998, has an unusual story. The tape with the recording of the conversation disappeared under strange circumstances, leaving only its transcript. To remove doubts about the authenticity of the interview, Kommersant questioned the journalist who carried it out, the famous ITAR – TASS reporter Sherip Asuev.

Here is what Sharip Asuev recalls: “It was three years ago, in the spring. It was very difficult for me to get to Dudayev. His base was in the mountains, near Shatoi, in an old stable. I was accompanied by his associates, especially Daud Akhmadov. We talked almost until the morning … Then for two days I could not leave. Then they took me to another road. A few months later I was persuaded to give the cassette of the journalist of Komsomolskaya Pravda Alexander Yevtushenko, I agreed, because I knew it would never go through the TASS channels. All night I deciphered the tape. The next morning Sasha left. I return in the evening. Some people in camouflage took away his car, with all its contents… ”

Yevtushenko confirmed that he had received the tape, and that his car was confiscated, which was destroyed a few weeks later at a federal troop checkpoint, hit directly by a tank shell. “Even if the tape had still been in the car” he replied “there would have been nothing left of it after the bombing…”

Daud Akhmadov also confirmed Sherip’s version, declaring that he was present while Dudayev was giving the interview, and that he worked to get people to pass by a different road than the one by which he had come, because the first one in the meantime had been bombed .

Dudaev tiene una conferenza stampa dopo lo scoppio delle ostilità

Below is the translation of the interview:

Shatoi, April 1995

Dzhokhar, on the eve of the entry of Russian troops into Chechnya, did you personally feel this danger? Did you expect this development of events? After all, there was a giant tragedy of the people.

“This is a tragedy not only of the Chechen people. There has been a tragedy for Russia and the Russian people.”

I mean Grozny destroyed, the villages executed, thousands of widows and orphans. Did you foresee something like this happening?

“I’ve always said that Russia is dying and needs victims.”

Many today (April 1995.-Kommersant) say about you that you were specially trained and sent to destroy her people.

“It’s all bullshit. Bullshit, which I despise and do not perceive. I know exactly how these lies are formed. This is propaganda.”

They also talk about the fabulous money you get from selling oil, drugs…

“Bluff and talk. I don’t even want to comment.”

How do you see the future of Chechnya today?


What do you think will happen to Russia next?

If the Russians knew what fate they were preparing – not only for their descendants, but also for the current generation – they would probably have incurable diarrhea. Russia has two ways of developing. And both are stupid.


What is the path to Russia? Take the dollar and make it your god. They are ready for it right now. What will come of it? This is self-destruction, a destructive path. You can go another way – I know which way Russia needs. But I will never tell. Let them fall and roll! One way is to accept Islam and follow the way of Islam. This is a more realistic way for them.

Daud Akhmadov parla ad una conferenza stampa.

And could not our people with you be victims of all these global processes?

“Today it is the victim of these problems.”

Victory or defeat, how will this war end?

“Questions about the start of the war and its completion are the Almighty’s business. So far, Russia itself is not prepared either for war or for its logical conclusion. But it’s not the war that worries me now, it will end anyway . And we will sign the peace. Not in Moscow – I will never go, and not in Chechnya – I have to let Russia save face. This (the signing of the peace. – Kommersant) will take place in the Caucasian land, in Dagestan. Do you want me to tell you where? In a train carriage…”

Dzhokhar, don’t you feel guilty that everything turned out like this in Chechnya?

“I don’t feel guilty.”

Couldn’t we have avoided this nightmare of war?

“We could not. If we tried to solve (the problem of relations with Russia. – Kommersant) by peaceful means, by politics, by loyalty, by humility – I can assure you that we would be destroyed to the root. And there would never again be a Chechen nation or its state. And I can responsibly say that already in 1991, the idea arose to populate the disputed territories on the Sino-Soviet border, under the branding that the Chechen mafia, rackets will not let you live. In 1991, how many Were there locomotives in Gudermes? With the excuse of maintenance? On which the factory grease had not yet been removed!? There were 56 locomotives! And how many wagons stood at the railway junctions around and on the territory of the republic? Cattle wagons. And without any movement for more than three months?! How many covered vehicles, under the guise of collection were in 11 districts, standing motionless, with people in green jackets?! Each car has an officer. And from how many units were additionally unloaded military equipment and the military contingent arrived on the territory of the republic to those who were already here?! And the Chechen nation would be destroyed. And the Emergency Committee was supposed to implement the idea of the genocide, another deportation of the Chechen people. And only an accident thwarted these plans.”

There is an idea that if Dudayev left now, saying: “If you want elections, hold them, if you want, join Russia”! Many more lives could be saved. Why do not you do that?

“I testify before Allah that such an act would bring great harm to the people. 300,000 men – aged between 17 and 50 – now have no shelter, no food, no work. They have nowhere to go – families are being destroyed, houses are being destroyed. These people have only one goal: revenge. As long as they trust me they obey me. If the landmark is broken, they will go out of control… Terrible! An internecine war will begin. In distant Russia, who should take revenge? Here we will seek blood revenge. They will again call for help from the Russians. And the latter, not understanding where theirs is, where they are strangers, will raze everything to the ground.”

Would you like to talk to Yeltsin now?

“I always have something to say to the leadership of Russia. I have always understood perfectly well, and I understand now, that such a huge Russia has its own interests, which are difficult to give up in an hour, in an instant. At first I suggested to take into account the interests of Russia: joint defense, joint armed forces. I even called him. I said more than once: recognize the path chosen by my people, and I will leave the political arena in 3 days.”

Dudaev vota alle elezioni popolari del 27 Ottobre 1991

Dzhokhar, how do you evaluate today’s events, as a result of which you came to power in the presidential elections on October 27, 1991?

“The Supreme is my witness that I did not want to present my candidacy for president. But then my supporters were indignant because, they said I was afraid.”

Who were these people who convened the first national congress of the Chechen people (November 23-25, 1990), at which an executive committee was created (September 6, 1991, the Executive Committee of the Chechen People’s Congress seized power in the republic – Kommersant)? What do you think now, did they really support the idea or did they use the name of the first Chechen general to achieve their goals?

“That’s all! When I saw to whom the Vainakh people’s congress entrusted its sovereignty and its future, I – I give you my word of honor – got goosebumps. Already at the very first meeting of the executive committee there, they – those who organized and held this congress – started a fight for money.Literally because of the money raised for the last congress.

I didn’t need places in this republic, in that environment, spoiled to the point of lawlessness. In general, I was not only afraid of this environment but, frankly, I despised it. This environment was so far from my intellect and level with all its luxury, bravado and behind-the-scenes games. This environment was wild and far away for me… I looked and shuddered in horror. Who was given the trust of the people! It became clear that it was a collapse. That things would turn out so differently from the direction people had imagined. That they would literally pervert this idea (of sovereignty-Kommersant), they would smear it, they would spit on it. And that the people would be reduced to nothing. This is what made me take on this heavy burden. But it’s one thing to pronounce high-sounding words from the stands, quite another when it is necessary to implement a decision.”

Dudaev in abiti civili durante il periodo prebellico

They say your inner circle was corrupt.

“Everyone was corrupt. In the old days, money was brought to the first people in the highest echelons of power in the republic, and there was a certain tax. It took some time to clear the upper echelon. A cabinet of ministers was replaced , the second cabinet, the third. And we passed the upper level, we succeeded. And those who planned it, they felt the sword of Damocles upon them, which would cut off their heads. But on the lower level, the corruption continued to exist with unbridled force.

If you started all over again, what would you change about your actions in the last few years (1991-1996 – Kommersant)?

“Even if I wanted to change something, they just wouldn’t let me. Of course, I wish I had done things very differently.”

Who didn’t allow it?

The context didn’t allow it, a society that wasn’t ripe for democracy and respect for rules and laws. Do you think I wouldn’t want to have talented, intelligent, intellectual, creative, dedicated people next to me?! But there were little bastards around who had only one interest: unbridled profit. The environment turned out to be like this due to the circumstances, there was no other.”

Ieri Bamut, oggi Bakhmut. Indietro al 1995, un’altra fortezza che non si arrese ai russi

L’assonanza è soltanto fonetica, ma il significato storico è impressionante, se si considera che la Bamut del 1995, così come la Bakhmut del 2023, segnò l’arresto di una avanzata che sembrava inarrestabile, imbarazzò l’esercito russo di fronte al mondo e ispirò tutta la nazione (cecena allora, ucraina oggi) a resistere all’invasione. Quello che segue è un estratto dal secondo volume di “Libertà o Morte! Storia della Repubblica Cecena di Ichkeria”.


Mentre il Gruppo di Combattimento Sever prendeva Argun, Gudermes e Shali e respingeva i dudaeviti verso il ridotto montano, ad Ovest ilGruppo di Combattimento Jug avanzava verso gli obiettivi designati. Di fronte aveva i reparti ceceni organizzati nel Fronte di Bamut, un’unità composita ma combattiva al comando di Ruslan Khaikhoroev. Il reparto era inizialmente composto da circa 200 volontari, ma per la fine di marzo, con l’arrivo del Reggimento Galachozh al comando di Khizir Khachukayev, si era già ingrossato giungendo a toccare i quattrocento miliziani. Alla metà di marzo 1995 ancora nessuno degli obiettivi prefissati per il Gruppo Jug era stato raggiunto, malgrado l’artiglieria avesse martellato quasi tutte le cittadine al fronte. La posizione cecena era favorevole, ancorché defilata rispetto alla linea principale delle operazioni. Il villaggio di Bamut, infatti, giaceva all’imbocco di una stretta gola, sovrastata ad est e ad ovest da ripide alture boscose. Ad occidente le posizioni cecene confinavano con l’Inguscezia, paese relativamente “amico”, dove gli indipendentisti potevano trovare supporto materiale ed umano. A poca distanza dal villaggio poi, su un’altura denominata “444.4” e chiamata dagli abitanti locali “Monte Calvo”, si trovava una base missilistica sovietica, in grado di resistere efficacemente sia ai bombardamenti di artiglieria che a quelli dell’aeronautica. I ceceni l’avevano occupata, trincerandola ulteriormente. In quest’area erano affluiti tutti gli equipaggiamenti pesanti a disposizione del Fronte Occidentale, oltre ad un discreto arsenale di mine antiuomo ed anticarro che Kachukhaev aveva fatto sistemare all’imbocco dell’unica strada carrabile verso la base, proveniente da Assinovskaya e diretta a Bamut. Il

18 Aprile i russi tentarono di prendere il villaggio. Una brigata si affacciò sull’abitato all’alba, ma finì ben presto sotto il tiro delle armi pesanti cecene. Nel tentativo di manovrare, i russi finirono dapprima in un campo minato, poi tra le strade del villaggio, anch’esse minate con ordigni antiuomo. Numerosi veicoli blindati ed alcuni carri da battaglia rimasero distrutti. Una volta impantanata tra le rovine, la brigata si trovò sotto il tiro dei cecchini, che falcidiarono la fanteria. Al termine dell’azione, conclusasi con il ritiro dei federali, si contarono decine tra morti e feriti. Un tentativo di alleggerimento della pressione, operato da un distaccamento delle forze speciali, finì in un fiasco, con la morte di 10 “Spetnatz” ed il ferimento di altri 17. L’esercito federale dovette così organizzare un metodico assedio delle posizioni cecene, impiegando il grosso delle forze a disposizione.

La mappa mostra l’offensiva russa in Cecenia tra il Marzo ed il Giugno 1995. A sinistra si può notare la fortezza di Bamut, che resisté alle offensive russe e rimase sotto assedio per più di un anno, fino al 24 Maggio 1996

Dopo aver schierato le truppe in assetto di battaglia, il 24 marzo Babichev riuscì a penetrare ad Achkhoy – Martan, occupandola per breve tempo prima che un contrattacco ceceno costringesse i russi a ripiegare. Il 7 aprile l’intero fronte occidentale venne investito da una violenta offensiva. Quel giorno vennero attaccate contemporaneamente
Samashki, Davydenko, Achkhoy Martan, Novy Sharoy e Bamut. L’offensiva produsse la conquista di Samashki, Davydenko e Novy Sharoy, le roccaforti più esterne, al costo di centinaia tra morti e feriti. Scontri particolarmente violenti si registrarono nei dintorni di Samashki,
dove i reparti di Mosca vennero investiti da una violenta controffensiva cecena e lasciarono sul campo una settantina di uomini. Nonostante la fiera resistenza dei militanti la preponderanza di uomini e mezzi a vantaggio dei russi era tale che la difesa della posizione non avrebbe mai
potuto produrre una controffensiva. Kachukhaev si organizzò quindi per una resistenza ad oltranza, richiamando tutti i combattenti che non avevano fatto in tempo a raggiungere il ridotto montano, o che operavano ancora in pianura. La maggior parte delle unità che giunse a portare soccorso erano milizie volontarie non inquadrate, mal coordinate tra loro, molte delle quali tentarono di raggiungere gli assediati attraverso la strada di collegamento tra Starye Achkhoy e Achkhoy – Martan, finendo intercettate dalle avanguardie russe. Altri gruppi, provenienti dal villaggio inguscio di Arshty, furono intercettati dall’aeronautica federale e dispersi. I rinforzi che riuscirono a raggiungere Bamut furono quelli che, faticosamente, si fecero largo tra le montagne passando da Sud, raggiungendo il fiume Martanka dietro Bamut e risalendolo fino alle posizioni dei difensori.

I ritardi nel concentramento dei reparti fecero sì che le unità che effettivamente raggiunsero Bamut fossero in numero grandemente inferiore alle aspettative, nonché esauste per la lunga marcia a piedi. Molti miliziani ebbero appena un paio di giorni per recuperare le forze in attesa del grande scontro. Man mano che i reparti raggiungevano la base, Kachukhaev schierava le unità lungo il perimetro difensivo sulla base della loro grandezza e della supposta capacità operativa. In tutto furono
schierate sulla linea del fronte dalle 100 alle 300 unità, cui si aggiunsero
nei giorni successivi alcune decine di volontari provenienti dall’Inguscezia, inquadrati nel cosiddetto Battaglione Inguscio. La linea difensiva correva lungo i resti del centro abitato, addossata agli edifici e organizzata in un mosaico di piccole trincee a zig zag, in ordine a contrastare le unità russe avanzanti senza offrire bersagli estesi all’artiglieria. Dietro la prima linea di trincee ne era stata scavata una seconda, così che le unità combattenti potessero agilmente cambiare posizione ed alleggerire la pressione, per poi rioccupare le posizioni avanzate alla fine dei bombardamenti d’artiglieria. Le vie d’accesso erano bloccate dai detriti delle abitazioni distrutte, ed il materiale di risulta era stato impiegato per costruire piccoli guadi attraverso i quali le unità combattenti avrebbero potuto attraversare agevolmente il Martanka, per sottarsi a combattimenti troppo pesanti o per effettuare manovre di aggiramento sulle colonne corazzate federali.

Soldati russi avanzano verso le posizioni cecene

Le truppe russe si posizionarono a circa un chilometro e mezzo da quelle cecene, a una distanza sufficiente da evitare di essere bersagliate dagli RPG, ed iniziarono a bombardare la linea di difesa di Bamut. La linea russa correva ora lungo l’argine settentrionale di un canale che, da ovest, disegnava un semicerchio a nord di Bamut per gettarsi nel fiume, che correva sul fianco orientale del villaggio. Da lì l’artiglieria iniziò a martellare la prima linea cecena. I difensori si ritirarono, lasciando ai russi soltanto una serie di trincee vuote da bombardare, ed al termine del martellamento tornarono ad occupare le posizioni avanzate. I federali, convinti di aver piegato la resistenza cecena, iniziarono a muovere in avanti: una colonna si diresse verso il villaggio attraverso la strada principale, la quale corre parallela al Martanka. Questa azione avrebbe dovuto attirare il grosso dei nemici, mentre una seconda colonna avanzava da Nordovest, varcando il canale e dirigendo direttamente verso il centro del villaggio. I ceceni tuttavia avevano fiutato la trappola, e pur mantenendo una fiera difesa della via principale
lungo il Martanka, non sguarnirono le posizioni Nordoccidentali. Conscio della natura del suo piccolo esercito, costituito più come un arcipelago di piccole unità autonome che come una forza unitaria, Kachukhaev lasciò ai comandanti locali l’onere di organizzare autonomamente la loro strategia, mantenendo come unico imperativo quello di non spostarsi dal proprio settore senza autorizzazione. Questo fece sì che i russi non riuscissero a capire quante e quali unità avessero davanti, e non avessero un’idea chiara di quale fosse il fronte della battaglia. Decine di piccoli scontri locali si accesero lungo tutta la linea di difesa, incendiando l’intero settore per tutto il primo giorno di battaglia. Le unità indipendentiste, dotate di grande mobilità, colpivano con gli RPG i veicoli blindati, li assaltavano e cambiavano immediatamente posizione, impedendo ai russi di tracciarle e di annichilirle con l’artiglieria. In questo modo i reparti che difendevano il fianco sinistro dello schieramento ceceno furono in grado di accerchiare i russi avanzanti, provocando loro gravi perdite e costringendo la colonna federale prima ad arrestarsi, poi a fare marcia indietro.

Combattenti ceceni del Battaglione Galanchozh a difesa di Bamut

Anche il fronte orientale riuscì a fermare l’attacco russo. Allorchè la pressione dei federali si fece troppo forte, Kachukhaev ordinò alle prime linee di minare le trincee e di ritirarsi sulla seconda linea. Non appena le truppe russe ebbero preso il controllo, Kachukhaev ordinò che fossero fatte brillare, uccidendo coloro che le occupavano. Persa la maggior parte delle unità di fanteria, i corazzati russi non avrebbero potuto avanzare da soli, o sarebbero finiti sotto una pioggia di RPG. Così gli attaccanti decisero di ritirarsi, vanificando i progressi ottenuti a caro prezzo in quella prima giornata di battaglia. L’artiglieria federale ora conosceva le coordinate della seconda linea difensiva cecena, ed iniziò a bombardarla, ma ancora una volta senza successo: i reparti ceceni, infatti, utilizzarono i guadi approntati nei giorni precedenti per disperdersi tra le colline intorno a Bamut, per poi tornare ad occupare le loro posizioni una volta che il bombardamento fu terminato. Quando i russi tornarono all’attacco, il giorno successivo, si trovarono davanti un dispositivo difensivo di tutto rispetto, e nel giro di una mezz’ora il comando russo ordinò di interrompere nuovamente le operazioni. La notte successiva un reparto esplorativo fu inviato ad individuare le posizioni cecene per un attacco d’artiglieria notturno. L’operazione fu un disastro: il reparto esplorante fu intercettato e finì sotto una pioggia di proiettili. 10 degli 11 componenti la squadra furono uccisi, e l’unico sopravvissuto fu fatto prigioniero. Interrogato sulla consistenza delle forze federali di fronte a loro egli riferì che gli attaccanti disponevano ancora di troppe unità perché Kachukhaev potesse capitalizzare il successo con un contrattacco, così il comandante ceceno decise di mantenere un atteggiamento difensivo, preferendo impegnare gli uomini nella ricostruzione delle trincee e nell’approntamento di nuovi sbarramenti.

“I am grateful to the fate that made me meet the Chechens!” Francesco Benedetti interviews Alla Dudaeva

Alla Fyodorovna Dudayeva is the widow of the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Dudaev’s life partner, she lived with him until his assassination, which occurred on April 21, 1996 by the Russian army. Despite being of Russian origin, Alla Dudaeva linked her personal destiny to the cause of Chechen independence, continuing after her husband’s death to plead the reasons for a free Chechnya. Among her qualities, her passion for drawing certainly stands out. For this reason, in addition to her words, we have collected and published, with her permission, her pictorial works. What follows, therefore, is a double story, in words and images: the story of a wife, a mother, an artist, a political activist, a woman united with Chechnya by love and destiny.

“Golden Ichkeria” – 1989

The death of Dzhokhar Dudayev has deprived the Chechens of both a human and a political point of reference. From your point of view, this may be even more true: has the loss of a person so important to you as a life partner, as a mother, and at the same time as a supporter of a free Chechnya, changed your existential point of view?

The entire Chechen people wept when they learned of Dzhokhar’s death, as well as the Muslim world. But not only Muslims: the whole world appreciated Dzhokhar’s life and work, the Chechen people’s resistance to Russian aggression, and dedicated dozens of streets, squares and cities in different countries to him. Dzhokhar showed how to “take cities” and in 3 days (March 7,8,9) the capital of Ichkeria was taken by Chechens. Russian military units and bases were surrounded, but the Chechens did not shoot at the Russians so that the planes could not bomb the attackers. This ingenious plan was conceived by Dzhokhar, and when journalists asked him “why did you leave Grozny?” He replied “We have shown the whole world how to take cities!” In exactly the same way, the invaders were surrounded three months after the death of Dzhokhar on August 6, 1996. It was called: “dying, embracing the enemy.” And it happened only thanks to the unparalleled courage and courage of the Chechen people. For the first time in the world, a small Chechen people defeated the huge Russian empire of evil and violence, which the whole world has been afraid of for decades!

And the people called it a miracle! This victory gave hope to all occupied peoples for their future liberation and breathed new strength into those who bowed and surrendered! A nation is invincible when it fights on its own land for its freedom, if it has such a leader! When the president and the people are one, they are invincible!

“Dzhokhar Dudaev” 1989

Has his death changed anything in you regarding the care of your family and regarding the idea of an independent Chechnya?

After the death of Dzhokhar, nothing has changed in me in relation to our family or in relation to the idea of the independence of Ichkeria. But my personal feeling changed, I could not imagine myself without Dzhokhar, it was as if I was unexpectedly hit in the chest. Then we were secretly taken to the second home of a brave and wise man, Dayan, and I sat by his body for three days. Dayan asked me not to mention that Dzhokhar was dead when I was at her house for dinner. He asked me to say that there was one wounded, but not that it was Dzhokhar. “My wife Leila” he said “She couldn’t bear it. He has a weak heart. No need to mourn it in front of them, there would be such a noise that everyone in the village would understand immediately. Instead we have to hide. After her words, I understood that there were still those who loved Dzhokhar, albeit weaker than me in health. And I learned to hide, even as my heart was torn apart by pain. Therefore, when it was necessary to declare Dzhokhar’s death on April 24 in front of journalists from all over the world, I learned to hide my tears and did not cry, I thought about hundreds of sick old women like Leila, what would happen to them when they heard the sad news. And about our enemies, how they would rejoice at Dzhokhar’s death … That’s why I decided to leave the doubt, to Dzhokhar’s enemies who feared him, that he might return.

That very night we snuck him out and buried him. And I witnessed such miracles, when Dzhokhar was raised and carried to the cemetery, that it seemed to me that I had new strength. We left at three in the morning. When we arrived at the cemetery it was still dark which was scary. There was a wall of fog. While the grave was being dug, I sat next to Dzhokhar’s body, behind the fence. And when they came for him and brought him, suddenly the fog cleared, pink-gold rays of the sun appeared, under which everything around shone. And in the blue sky above his grave, flocks of birds were circling, as if they had come to greet or meet him. And they sang!!! Most likely, the Almighty himself met him! I understood that Dzhokhar would not be in the grave, his soul was immediately taken to heaven!

When the Chechen people gathered all their strength and managed to defeat the huge Russian empire, many believed that Dzhokhar was alive and would certainly return. But our enemies have claimed that Dzhokhar, a symbol of independence, fled, leaving his people behind. And then I had to refute these dirty rumors and we made a documentary about the place of his death. In it, I detailed where he was, when it happened and from which side two rockets came, one after the other. The military prosecutor, Magomed Zhaniev, and our former representative in Moscow, Khamad Kurbanov, they died with him. They were immediately taken away by relatives and buried the next day. But many Chechens still didn’t believe me and so I had to write the book “Million First” which became a documentary about the birth, childhood, life and death of Dzhokhar Dudayev .

It was first published in Baku in 2002. Then in six other countries in different languages. By the way, immediately after the book was published, a video was mounted in Chechnya, someone spoke in my voice against the background of my photograph. “I apologize to the Chechen people, I am getting married. I searched for a long time and finally found someone similar to Dzhokhar, only the mustache is different.” This was done intentionally so that my book would not be believed, and some still think that I again married Dzhokhar, who in reality was allegedly wounded, secretly taken out of Chechnya, and then healed. Only many years later the Chechen people finally convinced themselves and stopped waiting for Dzhokhar.

“The immortal city of Grozny” 1995

After the liberation of Grozny in August, Chechnya found itself free, but in constant danger. From April 1996 to February 1997, Dzhokhar’s inheritance passed to Zelimkhan Yandarbiev. He was an old friend of your husband’s. What do you remember about him? What kind of person was he?

Zelimkhan Yandarbiev was a poet and leader of the Vainakh Democratic Party , one of the pioneers of Chechen People’s Freedom. He visited us in Tartu, Estonia and invited Dzhokhar to the first Congress. Dzhokhar made such a brilliant speech that he was elected chairman of the Chechen People’s Executive Committee. Zelimkhan was always next to Dzhokhar and supported him in everything. He was distinguished by great courage and loyalty to the idea of independence, and therefore Dzhokhar, after a series of unsuccessful attempts on his life, instructed him to replace him as president of the CRI in the event of his death. Zelimkhan’s courage can be judged by the famous video in which he did not surrender to President Yeltsin during peace talks in the Kremlin. And he insisted that he move to the place assigned to him, opposite Zelimkhan Yandarbiev. Because the war of 1994-1996 was with the Russian aggressor, who started the war with independent Ichkeria. This was not the “internal conflict” that the Russian media were talking about. And it was not about “restoring constitutional order on the territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria”, but about a full-scale war, during which the capital was burned to the ground by Russian bombs, the entire Chechen land was burned and mined ! Zelimkhan in 1997 held the election of a new president of the CRI, although he could have continued to hold office, but he wanted the Chechen people to choose their own president. Although then some blamed him for it. He has always been on the side of legality and democracy.

“Lost World” 1992

After the 1997 elections, the post of president of the republic passed to Aslan Maskhadov. What was your opinion of him? And how did this opinion change during your political tenure before the second Russian invasion?

Aslan Maskhadov inherited a country destroyed by the Russian-Chechen war and thousands wounded, tens of thousands of people without means of subsistence. Dzhokhar Dudayev forbade taking a ransom for captured Russians. But, immediately after his death on April 21, already in May, the oligarch Berezovsky bought out the Russian journalist Elena Masyuk from Chechen captivity for two million dollars. They returned her to the United States, and Bill Clinton, a friend of Yeltsin, solemnly awarded her a massive gold chain on her chest. All this was shown on television and marked the beginning of the hostage trade conducted by the FSK. They often took hostages from the families of wealthy businessmen to the border of the CRI and handed them over to the Chechens, and then divided the ransom through intermediaries, the main one being Berezovsky. The authorities could do nothing about the rampant crimes of the Russian special services. They killed 8 people from the International Red Cross, blaming the Chechens. And they cut off the heads of three foreigners who allegedly provided the republic with telephone communications with the whole world. They tried to show the Chechens as criminals and bandits to the whole world. In 1999, on Putin’s orders, they blew up two houses in Moscow and one in Volgodonsk, accused the Chechens of this crime and started the second Russo-Chechen war. The fate of Aslan Maskhadov was tragic, but he honorably fulfilled his duty and died as a result of a long guerrilla war. I think it was easier for him to live in a tent and fight in the forest alongside his faithful comrades than during his presidency.

“Allah Akhbar!” 1995

The main accusation leveled against Ichkeria between 1996 and 1999 is that it became an Islamic state and abandoned the path started by the 1992 Constitution and which Dzhokhar intended to maintain. What do you think about this topic?

Ichkeria hasn’t become an Islamic state over the years because it was ruled by President Aslan Maskhadov and had a parliament, but Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov created a two-story so-called “Wahhabi” center in the city of Grozny with security and behind a wall. People from Saudi Arabia came to him, who presented themselves to the Chechen people as the most correct Muslims. They stopped cars on the street and checked people’s IDs to see if relatives or women were traveling with unfamiliar men. To then punish them with whips, as well as for drunkenness. Udugov tried to install his emirs in each village to create parallel systems of state administration. In Urus-Martan, the only village not destroyed by bombing because its inhabitants did not take part in the resistance to Russian troops in the first Russo-Chechen war, a “Wahhabi” center was organized and hijabs were brought for women. In addition, small booklets with extracts from the Koran were brought, published in Moscow. There was a Jamaat school in Baku, where our wounded were taken in, and they were taught to pray differently, but they didn’t leave to react. They were subsidized by Moscow. But, I repeat, from 1992 to 1999, Ichkeria did not become an Islamic state and retained its constitution. Much later, already during the partisan war phase, in 2002, Aslan Maskhadov made a statement and changed the constitution by introducing an Islamic one, but only the parliament has the right to make such legislative decisions if there is a quorum and the modification of the constitution by all the people during a referendum.

“Highlander Amatsi” 2002

After Maskhadov’s death, Abdul- Khalim Sadulayev became the successor to the leadership of independent Ichkeria. He stated:

“With the beginning of the Second War, work continued on the drafting of the Constitution in full accordance with the norms of Islam, […] And now article 1 of the Constitution of the CRI accounting: “The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is a sovereign and independent Islamic state of law, created as a result of the self-determination of the Chechen people. The sources of all decisions are the Koran and the Sunnah.” Thus, we have come to the logical conclusion of the legal reforms initiated by Dzhokhar Dudayev . Do you think these arguments are correct? What do you think about Sadulaev ?

Indeed, Abdul- Khalim Saidulaev , appointed by Maskhadov in case of his death, became Aslan Maskhadov’s successor. But, like Aslan Maskhadov, he was a partisan in the forest and did not have a parliament to change the constitution. Only the parliament has the ability to engage in legislative activities, and only the people have the right to decide such important issues as changing the constitution during a referendum on this issue. The president has the right only to sign the laws passed by the parliament or the decisions of the people during a referendum.

“Free Ichkeria” 2005

Do you think the Chechen diaspora in Europe and the West as a whole will be able to influence governments to intervene decisively in the rebirth of an independent Chechnya? What actions, in your opinion, should be taken by its representatives?

There are now 160,000 Russian troops in Ichkeria. As soon as the changes in Russia begin, the Russian troops left in a foreign country, surrounded by a foreign people, will slowly leave by themselves. Just as Kadyrov and his accomplices will run away, fearing a feud. Our activities, like all past years, took place in the information struggle with those who want to take advantage of the seizure of power in the republic to declare Sharia and themselves at the head of Sharia without the democratic choice of the people in accordance with our constitution. We are the only legitimate authority, the Presidium and its members have never proclaimed themselves illegal “prime ministers” or cabinet presidents. We were approved in our offices by the last president and we have continued our work. And we exist to organize democratic elections for new leaders who will undoubtedly appear among the Chechen people in the course of all these events. We must ensure the continuity of democratic power of the people. Only the people have the right to elect a leader and other structures. In recent years, many educated young Chechens have grown up, who studied at the best universities in Europe. Surely the most active of them will show up and be ready, on a competitive basis, not only to lead the republic, but also the cabinet of ministers.

“Wind of change” 2017

You, of Russian origin, could be represented, if you will allow me an analogy, as a tree with Russian roots and Chechen branches. How do you experience the relationship between these two identities, even after all that has happened?

I am very sorry that the Kremlin has started a war of annihilation with such an amazing people as the Chechens. In the first Russo-Chechen war, at the invitation of the government of Ichkeria, 250 Russian mothers came to Nazran for their captured sons, eighteen-year-old conscripts scattered throughout the republic, finding and taking their sons away from Chechen commanders. This went down in world history, for the first time such a small nation took pity on an army of conquerors and returned the captives without any ransom to their mothers. But, now, almost everyone who opposed the Russian Empire’s aggressive wars has either left Russia or been killed. The Russian people have changed and their army has turned into an army of looters and bandits. However, Russian generals are now taking criminals out of prisons and sending them to fight in Ukraine. And Russia itself evokes completely different feelings among all the peoples of our world. Therefore, everyone is waiting for this last empire of evil and violence to collapse and for its colonial peoples to free themselves and finally become masters of their own land and destiny. And I hope that with the help of Western countries, this will happen much faster than it could be with the Chechen people, who had almost no weapons to defend themselves, most of the machine guns were stolen from the Russian occupiers themselves. And yet he didn’t give up and led the resistance for decades. There were not even a million Chechens, now there are 46 million Ukrainians, and the whole world helps them with weapons and condemnation of Russia’s aggression.

During the war in Chechnya Western politicians declared non-interference in Russia’s internal affairs. Dzhokhar warned that the time might come when the West itself would become Russia’s internal affair. Lo and behold, this moment has come, his words have come true, and they finally woke up! Now Russia is recognized by the West as a terrorist state, although I would call it a terrorist state on an international scale! Because in addition to wars of conquest, it destroys all those who oppose it around the world: Alexander Litvinenko in London, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev in Qatar, Turkey, Austria, Germany, France… it is difficult to list all those killed by name and name the methods of their murder. The Russian government has to answer for its crimes in the same way as Nazi Germany did when the Nuremberg trials took place. Russia is waiting for Nuremberg 2. And I really hope that we will all witness this momentous event and the Russian Empire will sink into oblivion.

“I’ll never forget you” 1989

How did you live, as mother and wife of the late first president, between the first and second wars? I deliberately ask this question in a very general way. Then you can talk about whatever aspect or experience is most important to you.

Between the wars I lived, like most Chechens, in the belief that there would be no more war. People have restored destroyed houses, planted trees and gardens. Life went on. My kids were there and they too thought all the bad stuff was over. After the outbreak of the second war, when the Chechen people were undeservedly accused of blowing up houses in Moscow, everyone understood that this war would become revanchist. And Moscow’s revenge for the victory of the Chechen people in 1996. I had to leave Ichkeria and move to Ingushetia, then to Georgia, to Baku and, finally, to Istanbul. Our family, like many other Chechens, was forced into exile. Throughout Ichkeria, like mushrooms, Russian filtration fields multiplied, they became more than fifty. They were even in Stavropol, Minvody , Pyatigorsk . In them, tens of thousands of Chechens were tortured and killed. Some of the dying or corpses were sold to relatives for burial. It was a terrible time! The Chechen people paid for their desire to be free with their blood! But, in his soul, he has always remained unconquered, because from time immemorial he welcomed all those who entered his house saying: “be free”! And to this day this greeting remains in effect. I am grateful to fate for giving me the opportunity to get to know this proud and humane people, their customs and traditions. A people who would be admired and taken as an example by humanity if they knew it! And I thank Allah for giving me the opportunity to witness so many miracles that I would never have believed if I hadn’t seen them myself. The Chechen people are busy now, but this is only temporary, they have a bright future ahead of them, and new names and new heroes will certainly appear, about which we still do not know anything. After all, no country in the world has as many enthusiasts as the Chechens. People ready to give their lives for the freedom of the people!

President of Ukraine awarded the Order of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria “Honor of the Nation” and the Order of Dzhokhar Dudayev

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky received the highest state awards from the government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in exile – the Order of Honor of the Nation (Qoman Sij) and the Order named after Dzhokhar Dudayev.

The head of the Ukrainian state was honored for outstanding services and selfless deeds for the sake of freedom and democracy throughout the world and for personal services to the Chechen people.

“His political steadfastness and loyalty to his native country managed to mobilize the Ukrainian people in the face of the imminent threat of Russia’s secular enemy and bloodthirsty monsters who seized power by terrorist methods,” says the decree signed by the head of the government of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in exile, Akhmed Zakayev, on 27 November last year.

The awards were personally presented to the Head of State by the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov.

The Order of Dzhokhar Dudayev is awarded to holders of the Order of Honor of the Nation. Chechen politicians Aslan Maskhadov and Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, as well as Lithuanian statesman Vytautas Landsbergis were awarded this order.


Г.Алла Федоровна Дудаева — вдова первого президента Чеченской Республики Ичкерия. Спутница жизни Дудаева, жила с ним до его убийства, которое произошло 21 апреля 1996 года российской армией. Несмотря на русское происхождение, Алла Дудаева связала свою личную судьбу с делом независимости Чечни, продолжая после смерти мужа выступать за свободную Чечню. Среди ее качеств, безусловно, выделяется ее страсть к рисованию. По этой причине, в дополнение к ее словам, мы собрали и опубликовали с ее разрешения ее живописные работы. Далее следует двойная история в словах и образах: история жены, матери, художницы, политической активистки, женщины, связанной с Чечней любовью и судьбой.

Золотая Ичкерия. 1989

Смерть Джохара Дудаева лишила чеченцев не только человеческого, но и политического ориентира. С Вашей точки зрения это может быть даже более верно: изменила ли потеря человека, столь важного для вас как спутницы жизни, как матери его детей, и в то же время как сторонника свободной Чечни, Вашу экзистенциальную точку зрения? вид?

Весь чеченский народ плакал, когда узнал о смерти Джохара, как и весь мусульманский мир. Но не только мусульмане : весь мир оценил жизнь и деятельность Джохара и сопротивление чеченского народа российской агрессии и назвал его именем десятки улиц, площадей и городов в разных странах. Джохар показал, как «брать города» и за 3 дня (7,8,9 марта) столица Ичкерии была взята чеченцами. Российские воинские части и базы были окружены, но чеченцы их не уничтожали, чтобы самолеты не могли бомбить нападавших и мирное население города. Этот гениальный план придумал Джохар, и на вопрос журналистов, он ответил: «Мы показали всему миру, как брать города!» Точно также оккупанты были окружены через три месяца после гибели Джохара, 6 августа 1996 года. И называлось «Умереть, обняв врага». Это произошло только благодаря беспримерному мужеству чеченского народа. Впервые в мире маленький чеченский народ победил огромную Российскую империю зла и насилия, которой десятилетиями боялся весь мир!

И люди называли это чудом! Эта победа дала надежду всем оккупированным народам на их будущее освобождение и вдохнула новые силы в тех, кто покорился и сдался! Нация непобедима, когда она борется на своей земле за свою свободу, если у нее есть такой вождь! Когда президент и народ едины, они непобедимы!

Преодоление. Джохар Дудаев.1989 год

Изменила ли его смерть что-нибудь в вас в отношении заботы о своей семье и в отношении идеи независимой Чечни?

После смерти Джохара во мне ничего не изменилось ни по отношению к нашей семье, ни по отношению к идее независимости Ичкерии. Но мое личное ощущение изменилось, я не представляла себя без Джохара, меня как будто неожиданно ударили в грудь. Ночью нас тайком отвезли в один из домов храброго и мудрого человека Даяна, я просидела у тела Джохара три дня. Даян попросил меня не говорить, что Джохар погиб, когда меня приглашали в их дом поесть. Он просил меня сказать, что со мной есть раненый, но это не Джохар. «Моя жена Лейла, — сказал он, — не сможет этого вынести. У нее слабое сердце. Не надо плакать, начнется общий плач, шум и в деревне сразу все поймут. Мы должны это скрыть. После его слов я поняла, что есть люди, которые любят Джохара не меньше меня, но они слабее здоровьем. И я научилась не плакать, даже когда мое сердце разрывалось от боли. Поэтому, когда нужно было объявить о смерти Джохара 24 апреля перед журналистами всего мира, я сдержала слезы и не плакала, думая о сотнях больных старушках, таких как Лейла. Что с ними будет, когда они услышат эту печальную новость… А, насчет наших врагов, я не хотела, чтобы они радовались смерти Джохара… Вот почему я оставила сомнения врагам Джохара, чтобы боялись, что он может вернуться.

В ту ночь – 24 апреля, когда мы хоронили президента, я была свидетелем таких чудес: – когда Джохара подняли и понесли на кладбище, что мне казалось, появились новые силы. В три часа ночи, когда прибыли на кладбище, было еще темно и страшно. Стояла стена тумана. Пока копали могилу, я сидела рядом с телом Джохара за оградой. А когда за ним пришли и понесли в середину кладбища, вдруг туман рассеялся, показались розово-золотые лучи раннего солнца, под которыми засияло все вокруг. А, в голубом небе над его могилой закружили стаи птиц, и они так пели, словно прилетели его приветствовать или провожать! Казалось, что его встречал сам Всевышний! Я поняла, что Джохара в могиле не будет, его душу сразу заберут в рай!

Когда чеченский народ 6 августа собрал все свои силы и сумел разгромить огромную Российскую империю, многие поверили, что Джохар жив и обязательно вернется. Но наши враги утверждали, что Джохар, символ независимости, сбежал, оставив свой народ. А потом мне пришлось опровергать эти грязные слухи, и мы сняли документальный фильм на месте его гибели. В нем я подробно описала, где он был, когда это произошло и с какой стороны одна за другой полетели две ракеты. Вместе с ним погибли военный прокурор Магомед Жаниев, и наш бывший представитель в Москве – Хамад Курбанов. Их тут же увезли родственники и похоронили на следующий день. Но, многие чеченцы мне не поверили и пришлось написать книгу «Миллион первый», которая стала документальным фильмом о рождении, детстве, жизни и смерти Джохара Дудаева.
Впервые книга была опубликована в Баку в 2002 году. Затем в шести других странах на разных языках. Кстати, сразу после выхода книги в Чечне было смонтировано видео, кто-то говорил моим голосом на фоне моей фотографии. «Я извиняюсь перед чеченским народом, что выхожу замуж. Я долго искала и наконец нашла похожего на Джохара, только усы другие».
Это было сделано намеренно, чтобы моей книге не поверили, а некоторые подумали, что я снова выхожу замуж за Джохара, который на самом деле был якобы ранен, тайно вывезен из Чечни, а затем вылечен. Только спустя много лет чеченский народ окончательно убедился в этом и перестал ждать Джохара. Но, в сердцах народа Джохар жив и будет жить!

Бессмертный город Грозный. 1995 год.

После освобождения Грозного в августе Чечня оказалась свободной, но в постоянной опасности. С апреля 1996 года по февраль 1997 года наследство Джохара перешло к Зелимхану Яндарбиеву. Он был старым другом Вашего мужа. Что Вы о нем помните? Что он за человек?

Зелимхан Яндарбиев был поэтом и лидером Вайнахской демократической партии, одним из первопроходцев чеченской независимости и свободы. Он посетил нас в Тарту, Эстония, и пригласил Джохара на первый Конгресс. На нем Джохар произнес такую блестящую речь, что был избран председателем Чеченского народного исполнительного комитета. Зелимхан всегда был рядом с Джохаром и во всем его поддерживал. Он отличался большим мужеством и верностью идее независимости, и поэтому Джохар после ряда неудачных покушений на его жизнь, поручил ему заменить его на посту президента ЧРИ в случае его смерти. О мужестве Зелимхана можно судить по известному видео, на котором он не уступает президенту Ельцину во время мирных переговоров в Кремле. И он настоял, чтобы тот перебрался на отведенное ему место, напротив Зелимхана Яндарбиева. Потому, что война 1994-1996 годов была с российским агрессором, который первым начал войну с независимой Ичкерией. Это не был «внутренний конфликт», о котором вещали российские СМИ. И речь шла не о «наведении конституционного порядка на территории Чеченской Республики Ичкерия», а о полномасштабной войне, в ходе которой столица была разрушена российскими бомбами, а вся чеченская земля была сожжена и заминирована! Зелимхан в 1997 году провел выборы нового президента ЧРИ, хотя мог бы и дальше занимать этот пост, но он хотел, чтобы чеченский народ сам выбрал себе президента. Хотя некоторые не понимали его. Но, он всегда был на стороне закона и демократии.

Потерянный мир. 1992 год.

После выборов 1997 года пост президента республики перешел к Аслану Масхадову. Каково было Ваше мнение о нем? И как изменилось это мнение за время Вашей политической деятельности до второго российского вторжения?

Аслану Масхадову досталась страна, разрушенная русско-чеченской войной, тысячи раненых, десятки тысяч людей без средств к существованию. Джохар Дудаев запретил брать выкуп за пленных русских призывников. Но, сразу после его смерти 21 апреля, уже в мае, олигарх Березовский выкупил из чеченского плена российскую журналистку Елену Масюк, за два миллиона долларов. Ее вернули в США, и друг Ельцина Билл Клинтон торжественно наградил ее массивной золотой цепью, повесив на грудь. Все это было показано по телевидению и положило начало торговле заложниками, проводимой ФСК. Они крали и вывозили заложников из семей богатых бизнесменов на границу ЧРИ и передавали их чеченцам, а затем делили выкуп через посредников, главным из которых был Березовский. Власти ничего не могли поделать с разгулом преступлений российских спецслужб. Они убили 8 человек из Международного Красного Креста, обвинив в этом чеченцев. И отрубили головы трем иностранцам, которые собирались обеспечить республику телефонной связью со всем миром. Чеченцев пытались представить всему миру преступниками и бандитами. В 1999 году по приказу Путина взорвали два дома в Москве и один в Волгодонске, обвинили в этом преступлении чеченцев и начали вторую русско-чеченскую войну. Судьба Аслана Масхадова сложилась трагично, но он с честью выполнил свой долг и погиб в результате длительной партизанской войны. Думаю, ему было проще жить в палатке и воевать в лесу вместе со своими верными товарищами, чем во время президентства. Аслану Масхадову не хватило практичной жесткости после легитимного избрания его в президенты, когда в республику начали затаскивать всякую антирелигиозную, антинародную, античеченскую, античеловечную нечисть… Пытаясь избежать национальный раскол, внутринациональную борьбу за национальные ценности, Масхадов получил то, что получил. Хотя народ просил его, очистить республику от всякой грязи, он не услышал глас народа. И в этом Москва выиграла – ее козни прошли успешно!

Аллаху Акбар! 1995 год

Основное обвинение, выдвинутое против Ичкерии в период с 1996 по 1999 год, заключается в том, что она стала исламским государством и отказалась от пути, начатого Конституцией 1992 года и который Джохар намеревался сохранить. Что Вы думаете об этой теме?

Ичкерия за эти годы не стала исламским государством, потому что был президент Аслан Масхадов и парламент. Но, министр иностранных дел, Мовлади Удугов, создал в городе Грозный, так называемый «ваххабитский» двухэтажный центр с охраной и за стеной. К нему приезжали выходцы из Саудовской Аравии, которые представлялись чеченскому народу самыми правильными мусульманами. Они останавливали машины на улицах и проверяли документы, чтобы узнать, путешествуют ли родственники или женщины с незнакомыми мужчинами. Чтобы потом наказывать их плетьми, как и за пьянство. Удугов пытался поставить своих эмиров в каждом селении для создания параллельных систем государственного управления. Сначала в г. Гудермесе, а затем в Урус-Мартане (Урус-Мартан районный город, не был разрушен бомбежками, потому что большинство его жители не принимали участия в сопротивлении российским войскам в первую русско-чеченскую войну). В нем тоже был организован, так называемый, «ваххабитский» центр и привезены хиджабы для женщин. Кроме того, появились небольшие брошюры с выдержками из Корана, изданные в Москве. И в Баку была школа-джамаат, куда принимали наших раненых, учили молиться по-другому, но на войну они не возвращались. Их субсидировала Москва. Но, повторюсь, с 1992 по 1999 год Ичкерия не стала исламским государством и сохранила свою конституцию. Гораздо позже, уже на этапе партизанской войны, в 2002 году, Аслан Масхадов выступил с заявлением, что изменил конституцию, введя исламскую, но только парламент имеет право принимать такие законодательные решения при наличии кворума о внесении изменений в Конституцию. И решается вопрос всенародно на референдуме.

Горец Амаци. 2002 год.

После смерти Масхадова преемником руководства независимой Ичкерии стал Абдул-Халим Садулаев. Он постановил:

«С началом чеченской войны продолжалась работа по составлению проекта Конституции в полном соответствии с нормами ислама, […] А теперь статья 1 Конституции ЧРИ составляет: «Чеченская Республика Ичкерия является суверенным и независимое исламское правовое государство, созданное в результате самоопределения чеченского народа. Источниками всех решений являются Коран и Сунна». Таким образом, мы подошли к логическому завершению правовых реформ, инициированных Джохаром Дудаевым». Считаете ли Вы эти аргументы правильными? Что Вы думаете о Садулаеве?

Действительно, преемником Аслана Масхадова стал Абдул-Халим Сайдулаев, назначенный Масхадовым на случай его смерти. Но, как и Аслан Масхадов, он был в партизанском отряде в лесу и не имел парламента для изменения конституции. Только парламент имеет возможность заниматься законотворческой деятельностью, и только народ имеет право решать такие важные вопросы, как изменение конституции в ходе референдума по этому вопросу. Президент имеет право только подписывать законы, принятые парламентом, или решения народа на референдуме.

Свободная Ичкерия. 2005 год.

Как вы думаете, сможет ли чеченская диаспора в Европе и на Западе в целом повлиять на правительства, чтобы они решительно вмешались в возрождение независимой Чечни? Какие действия, по вашему мнению, должны предпринять его представители?

В настоящее время в Ичкерии находится 160 000 российских военнослужащих. Как только начнутся перемены в России, русские войска, оставшиеся в чужой стране, в окружении чужого народа, потихоньку уйдут сами собой. Так же, как сбегут Кадыров и его подельники, опасаясь мести народа. Наша деятельность, как и все прошедшие годы, проходила в информационной борьбе с теми, кто хочет воспользоваться захватом власти в республике для провозглашения шариата и себя во главе шариата без демократического выбора народа в соответствии с нашей конституцией. Мы – единственная легитимная власть, Президиум и его члены никогда не провозглашали себя незаконными «премьер-министрами» или председателями «кабинета министров». Мы были утверждены последним президентом на своих должностях и продолжили свою работу. И существуем для того, чтобы организовать демократические выборы новых лидеров, которые, несомненно, появятся среди чеченского народа в ходе всех этих событий. Мы должны обеспечить преемственность демократической власти народа. Только народ имеет право избирать президента и другие структуры. За последние годы выросло много образованных молодых чеченцев, которые учились в лучших университетах Европы. Наверняка самые активные из них найдутся и будут готовы на конкурсной основе возглавить не только республику, но и войти в кабинет министров.

Ветер перемен. Швеция. 2017 год.

Вас, русского происхождения, можно было бы представить, если позволите мне аналогию, деревом с русскими корнями и чеченскими ветвями. Как Вы переживаете отношения между этими двумя идентичностями, даже после всего, что произошло?

Мне очень жаль, что Кремль начал войну на уничтожение такого удивительного народа, как чеченцы. В первую русско-чеченскую войну по приглашению правительства Ичкерии 250 русских матерей приехали в Назрань за пленными сыновьями, разбросанными по республике восемнадцатилетними призывниками, находя их у чеченских командиров. Это вошло в мировую историю, впервые такой маленький народ пожалел пленных огромной армии завоевателей и вернул без всякого выкупа их матерям. Но, сейчас почти все, кто выступал против захватнических войн Российской империи, либо покинули Россию, либо были убиты. Русский народ изменился, его армия превратилась в армию мародеров и бандитов. А, российские генералы забирают даже преступников из тюрем и отправляют воевать в Украину. Да и сама Россия вызывает одинаковые чувства протеста у народов нашего мира. Поэтому все ждут, когда эта последняя империя зла и насилия рухнет, а ее колониальные народы освободятся и наконец станут хозяевами своей земли и судьбы. И я надеюсь, что с помощью западных стран это произойдет гораздо быстрее, чем это могло бы быть с чеченским народом, у которого не хватало оружия для самообороны, большая часть автоматов была в боях захвачена у русских оккупантов. Но, чеченский народ не сдавался и десятилетиями вел сопротивление. Тогда не было и миллиона чеченцев, а сейчас 46 миллионов украинцев, и весь мир помогает им оружием и осуждением агрессии России. Украина обязательно победит.

Во время войны в Чечне западные политики заявляли о невмешательстве во внутренние дела России. Джохар предупреждал, что может наступить время, когда сам Запад станет внутренним делом России. Этот момент настал, его слова сбылись, и они, наконец, проснулись! Сейчас Россия признана Западом террористическим государством, хотя я бы назвала ее террористическим государством в международном масштабе! Потому что помимо захватнических войн она уничтожает всех тех, кто ей противостоял по всему миру: Александра Литвиненко в Лондоне, Зелимхана Яндарбиева в Катаре, многочисленные убийства в Турции, Австрии, Германии, Франции… Российское правительство должно ответить за свои преступления так же, как это было с нацистами Германии во время Нюрнбергского процесса.

Я тебя никогда не забуду. 1989 год.

Как Вы жили, как мать и жена покойного первого президента, между первой и второй войнами? Я намеренно задаю этот вопрос в очень общем виде. Затем Вы можете говорить о любом аспекте или опыте, который наиболее важен для Вас.

Между войнами я жила, как и большинство чеченцев, верой в то, что войны больше не будет. Люди восстанавливали разрушенные дома, сажали деревья и сады. Жизнь продолжалась. Там были мои дети, и они тоже думали, что все плохое позади. После начала второй войны, когда чеченский народ незаслуженно обвинили во взрыве домов в Москве, все поняли, что эта война станет реваншистской. И это будет местью Москвы за победу чеченского народа в 1996 году. Пришлось покинуть Ичкерию и перебраться в Ингушетию, затем в Грузию, в Баку и, наконец, в Стамбул. Наша семья, как и многие другие чеченцы, была вынуждена покинуть страну. По всей Ичкерии, как грибы, множились русские фильтрационные лагеря, их стало более полусотни. Они были даже в Ставрополе, Минводах, Пятигорске. В них, десятки тысяч чеченцев были замучены и убиты. Некоторые из умирающих или трупы были проданы родственникам для захоронения. Это было ужасное время! За свое желание быть свободным чеченский народ заплатил своей кровью! Но, в душе своей, он всегда оставался непокоренным, ибо испокон веков приветствовал всех, кто входил в его дом, говоря: «будь свободен»! И по сей день это приветствие остается в силе. Я благодарна судьбе за предоставленную мне возможность познакомиться с этим гордым и гуманным народом, его обычаями и традициями. Народ, которым человечество восхищалось бы и брало в пример, если бы лучше знало его! И я благодарю Аллаха за то, что он дал мне возможность стать свидетелем стольких чудес, в которые я бы никогда не поверила, если бы не видела их сама. Чеченский народ сейчас в оккупации, но это временно, у него впереди светлое будущее, и непременно появятся новые имена и новые герои, о которых мы еще ничего не знаем. Ведь ни в одной стране мира нет столько пассионариев, раз как у чеченцев. Героев, готовых отдать жизнь за свободу народа!

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