Archivi tag: Putin in Chechnya

Putin was raised on Chechen blood! Francesco Benedetti interviews Mayrbek Taramov

Francesco Benedetti : – Recently your book “The Crimes of the Russian Century in Chechnya” was published in Amazon . It contains terrible evidence of the crimes committed by the Russian army during the second invasion of the country. Why did you decide now to publish these testimonies of events that took place more than twenty years ago? Is this an act of testimony or a political choice?

Mairbek Taramov: – I began to publish the first materials described in the book “The Crimes of the Century of Russia in Chechnya” in Baku in the newspaper “Kavkazskiy Vestnik” almost immediately after I received these materials on several diskettes. This issue of the newspaper came out on November 27, 2000, that is, almost a year after those terrible crimes. Although it has been 22 years since those materials were given to me, I cannot name those who gave me these floppy disks. Some details about the publication of these materials are covered in the Afterword of the book, when I received a dissatisfied letter from the Nazran Department of the Memorial Human Rights Center (HRC). Their dissatisfaction was expressed by fear for the lives of the victims, who filed suits with the ECtHR for the crimes committed against them. And I, in turn, expressed indignation at the fact that Memorial’s employees are afraid of publicity for such monstrous crimes committed by the Russian authorities in Chechnya.

Three years later, I managed to combine these materials, and in early 2004 I published the book Crimes of the Russian Century in Chechnya. Here it is necessary to recall that this book was published illegally. Moreover, in order for the book to be released, and so that there would be no premature publicity, the Russian workers of the printing house were sent on a weekly paid vacation.

Initially, I provided the authorship of the book to HRC “Memorial” and GIA Chechenpress . Here I want to note that I, in turn, was afraid of persecution, and in order to somehow warn myself, I transferred my authorship. Later, information reached me that Memorial Human Rights Center declared that it had nothing to do with the book, thereby refusing authorship. In the end, I had to take ownership.

Today’s publications of these Russian crimes are explained by the following reasons…

Firstly, after the brazen and bloody invasion of the Russian troops into Ukraine, it was necessary to warn the Ukrainian leadership and the population that such cruel crimes could happen on their soil, which, unfortunately, was confirmed.

Secondly, I am sure that such monstrous crimes would not be repeated again and again anywhere in the world, their maximum publicity is necessary, so I turned to the world famous Amazon Corporation for publication , after translating the book into English. For the same purpose, I turn to your site www . ichkeria . net in the hope that these materials will be translated into Italian.

And thirdly – again and again I appeal to the population of Chechnya who suffered from these crimes – pass on information about these and other crimes committed against you and your relatives to the International Criminal Courts! Today, a unique situation is emerging when Russian criminals can suffer a well-deserved punishment, and you and your relatives will receive proper compensation, and not the miserable handouts that the ECHR paid earlier, which do not even make up a fifth of the affected Europeans or Americans.

– The evidence that you have collected in your book chills the soul and can shake the self-control of any person. Before you became the author of this book, you were a Chechen. How did you, as a blood brother of these victims, feel their suffering? How would you explain to the citizens of Italy, France or Germany what it means to experience what the people you describe in your book have experienced?

– To feel the pain and suffering of this or that people, another person, one must have a real heart, as our Creator commands, regardless of nationality. After all, why did Putin and the FSB create an information blockade in Chechnya on the eve of the second war? The special services are well aware of the effect of the information war – that Humanity will respond to the pain and suffering of people. Unfortunately, Putin’s plan came true – foreign journalists, on pain of death, were not allowed into the territory of war-torn Chechnya. But there were a few journalists who acted there at a deadly risk, one of which was Anna Politkovskaya. Although she was not a Chechen, the suffering Chechens trusted Anna as their sister or mother – 100%. And she literally splashed out the tears, blood and suffering of the Chechen people on the pages of Novaya Gazeta, which had a strong resonance.

Well, I was not such a popular journalist, very few people read my newspaper, although I published terrible materials there. But I am still alive, and have been continuing my activity for more than 20 years, although my health is naughty. Yes, of course, as a native Chechen, I feel the pain and suffering of my people stronger and closer, but as I said above, there are humanitarians in the world who have these feelings on the same level as me.

As an example, I will cite Inna and Andrey Kurochkin from the NEP information channel from Prague, who raised the Chechen problem to an all-time high level, as well as your fellow countryman (he says he is from Florence) Adriano Sofri , who wrote a wonderful story “If I was born in Chechnya.” And the worse Francesco Benedetti shining like a bright star in the information sky, raising the flag of independent and free Ichkeria high. The list goes on…

– In our previous conversation, you mentioned that the crimes that you mention in your book are the subject of criminal cases against the Russian government, and in the coming future will be considered in the International Criminal Courts (ICC). Can you tell me what stage these Chechen affairs are at and how it is currently progressing?

– As follows from the afterword of the book, an employee of the “Memorial” office from Nazran said that 6 criminal cases from those crimes that are described in the book are under consideration at the ECHR. But that was over 20 years ago. Of course, now there are many more of these cases. However, we do not know how many specific criminal cases are under consideration, and what are the results – lawyers should deal with this. I also do not know how the ECtHR will demand compensation if Russia is withdrawn from the European Council.

Therefore, at this time, Chechens must insist on the consideration of these criminal cases in the International Criminal Courts (ICC), in particular in The Hague, where a completely different mechanism for punishing criminals, imposing indemnities, compensations operates. Therefore, it is extremely important to explain to the affected citizens of Chechnya and their relatives how to file claims with the ICC.

dMayrbek Taramov

– You have been protecting human rights since the mid-2000s. What does it mean for a Chechen who has seen how the most elementary rights of his people are trampled with impudence and arrogance by a state that defines itself as “according to the law” to continue to fight for respect for human rights no matter what?

– Here it is necessary to distinguish between the activities of lawyers and human rights activists. I had to deal with the protection of the rights of Chechen refugees in Azerbaijan, seeing their absolutely powerless situation. Although I have been extremely busy doing journalism, I also had to work on defending the rights of Chechen refugees in 2002 by founding the Chechen Human Rights Center (CHRC). The main mission of the CLC was to prevent the deportations of Chechen refugees from Azerbaijan and Georgia and publicize the outcome of such deportations to Russia, which, as a rule , ended in torture and murder of the deportees. Similar deportations also took place in European countries where it would seem that human rights are protected, but … this is not at all the case. I have a whole list of deported Chechen refugees from Europe who, after being deported to Russia, were subjected to torture, murder and long prison terms. But in recent years, the activities of Chechen human rights organizations in Europe have become difficult due to the fact that it is now practically impossible to really establish whether this or that Chechen refugee is a member of the Resistance, or is it a simple refugee, tourist, businessman, and finally Kadyrovites who need asylum in Europe for cover. As a result, our Independent International Human Rights Group ceased its activities. But at the same time, Said- Emin Ibragimov, a professional lawyer and head of the human rights organization “Peace and Human Rights”, continues his legal activities, filing lawsuits with the International Criminal Courts on all crimes of the Russian army against the civilian population of Chechnya. But there are no results yet. My mission as a journalist and writer is to give maximum publicity to the crimes committed by the Russian leadership, which is what I am currently doing, and what I call on other journalists, including Francesco Benedetti .

– On this issue, organizations of the Chechen diaspora in Europe often oppose the deportation of Chechen citizens to Russia, and from there to Chechnya. Can you tell me more about these cases? Why is the repatriation of Chechens to Russia dangerous?

– This is too big a question. And in short, as I said above, any Chechen refugee deported from Europe to Russia, if he is a former member of the Resistance or somehow helped our fighters, he will be killed after prolonged torture. At best, he will receive a long or life sentence, which also ends in death. Or maybe he will become a Kadyrovite if he is forced to betray. It is this last category ( Kadyrovites ) that poses the greatest danger to Chechen refugees, in whom this traitor used to be trusted. But against such there is an antidote – not to communicate with such and not to believe a single word of the returnee . An important question or explanation… How to establish whether this or that refugee, asylum seeker, is a member of the Chechen Resistance? When we write Confirmations to the Migration Services of European countries, in order to establish the truth, we first address the question of this or that asylum seeker to authoritative Chechens, former commanders. And if the answer is positive, we write a Petition to the authorities of European countries. It is not difficult to establish the truth, since the population of Chechnya is not so large. And there were not so many fighters who fought. So, on August 6, 1996, only 750 fighters of the Chechen Resistance managed to defeat the many thousands of Russian troops. But taking into account those who helped our fighters to one degree or another, the total number of participants in the Resistance will increase to more than 20,000 people. It is important to note here that almost 90% of the population of Chechnya was on the side of the fighters defending the Freedom and Independence of their Motherland.

– Now Chechnya lives under the regime of Ramzan Kadyrov, a very loyal follower of the same Vladimir Putin, who organized and directed or, at least, covered up those crimes that you talk about in your book. How does the current Chechen government justify these actions against its people? And how do the residents of Chechnya say about it?

An important clarification is needed here. Putin and the entire leadership of Russia, primarily the military and special services, committed the very terrible crimes described in the book. Only after the end of active hostilities in Grozny did the Kremlin begin to form a puppet government in Chechnya, headed by Akhmad Kadyrov, a former mufti and mullah. He graduated from one of the Muslim universities in Central Asia, where it was impossible to enter without the knowledge of the KGB. Thus, Akhmad Kadyrov was a KGB agent during the Soviet era. The main stimulus in the formation of the puppet government was money, which generously financed the puppet officials. Of course, these puppets tried to justify the actions of the Russian troops in Chechnya, described in the book, and blamed the former authorities for the tragedy. Their main “trump card” was the following – if the CRI authorities had not called on the Chechen people to resist, then this war and these tragedies could have been avoided. Chechens living in their homeland, in the early 2000s, somehow expressed dissatisfaction with the occupation and puppet authorities, but their protests were brutally suppressed, and activists were persecuted. Human rights activists were most persecuted, who were simply kidnapped and killed, similarly cracked down on former members of the Resistance, who left Chechnya to save their lives. The current residents of Chechnya prefer to remain silent about past events, fearing for their lives.

What do you think, is there a discussion in Russia about the crimes committed by the Russian government against the Chechens? And is there any chance that the Russian public will find out about these crimes?

– What kind of discussions can be discussed in modern Russia? It must be admitted with great regret that today’s Russia is an empire! And in an empire, as you know, there can be no normal society. In the Russian Empire at this time, everything is decided by one person – Putin! And here the answer is very clear to you – Putin will never allow the emergence of a free Chechen state. But fortunately, after the war in Ukraine, the situation in Russia may change radically and lead to the disintegration of the country. Of course, in such a situation there is a real chance of regaining the lost independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. But it is extremely difficult to predict exactly how events will develop after the collapse of Russia. Such chaos is possible in Russia, which has never been in the history of any country. This is precisely the development of events that the West is afraid of, as former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who is 98 years old, recently said. But time will tell how events will develop further …

– In your opinion, why did the events that engulfed Chechnya in the period from the early 1990s to the early 2000s not affect Western public opinion? Why didn’t Europe, which today is in danger because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, see an equally great danger in the invasion of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria?

– This is a question that the Western media prefer to avoid, because, as the proverb says, “their face is down.” After all, Putin came to power in Russia thanks to the support of the West. Western politicians had high hopes for Putin – and he did not deceive them at first. With the silent participation of the West, which only verbally expressed concern, Putin staged a genocide in Chechnya. I repeatedly spoke about this and wrote in my articles, and showed the document “Security Issues” (Journal for the leaders of the Russian Federation) for March 1999, which asserts the support of Putin by the West. If you remember, with the advent of Bush Jr. to the White House, the Global Anti-Terrorist Operation began, led by Bush Jr., Blair and Putin. Putin, with their support, started a war in Chechnya, and Bush, under the pretext of destroying chemical and bacteriological weapons, started a war in Iraq. In fact, it was a war declared on the Muslim world, under the pretext of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In fact, all this is highly doubtful.

And here I will make a very important summary – the United States of America is indeed a fair democratic state. After all, the US Congress called Bush Jr. to account for the unjustified invasion of Iraq. But the fact is that according to the laws of the United States, an American court cannot imprison the President of the United States, although the former one, officials from the environment of Bush Jr., who were sentenced to various prison terms, were held responsible. Well, what punishment did Putin suffer for the genocide arranged in Chechnya?! Ha ha ha!

But let’s return to our question … If at first Putin kept pace with the West, then after the seizure of Crimea and Donbass, their paths diverged. Western leaders have made an unforgivable mistake by not considering that Putin is a product of the KGB! Now in Ukraine, Putin has shown and proved that he is an imperialist and a fascist of the highest category! The West realized that if Putin is not stopped in Ukraine, then he can go on to take over the rest of the world. Such is Russia – the Empire of Evil, as President Reagan put it. Fortunately, Russia does not have the large-scale resources that the Soviet Empire had, which means that Putin has already lost the war in Ukraine !

Do you see a parallel between what Putin did in Chechnya and what he is doing in Ukraine? In your opinion, is it correct to say that what is happening today in Ukraine is a copy of the process that began in Chechnya in 1994?

– The strongest parallel! However, I never thought that Putin would commit such monstrous crimes in Ukraine – in the former fraternal Slavic country of 40 million. This means that Putin is a criminal for whom there are no borders , but he learned these crimes in Chechnya , where the West allowed him everything . Putin was raised on Chechen blood!! “I take full responsibility for what is happening in Chechnya ! ”- so Putin said during the war going on in Chechnya. Where such confidence? From the fact that he had the strongest patrons. I often cite examples with this statement by Putin and Hitler’s quote to his soldiers : “I free you from the chimera called conscience”

Why, even after 20 years, many victims did not openly condemn the crimes committed against them ?

– I do not know the further fate of the victims, with some exceptions. I am not a lawyer, not a lawyer who would deal with the cases of specific victims. My task as a journalist is to give maximum publicity to the crimes that have occurred, which I have been doing for over 20 years. The victims described in the book, and not only in the book, can be conditionally divided into several categories. Firstly, these are those whose tragic stories are described in the book. Some of them received compensation through the ECtHR. The second part still do not dare to sue, fearing for their lives and for their relatives. As a rule , most of them are in their home country, and they know that if they are filed with the ECtHR, they are in mortal danger.

I can give an example from Zura Bitiyeva, whom I met at the Conference in Tbilisi in 2000 , who was tortured and humiliated in the Chernokozovo prison. Zura filed a lawsuit with the ECtHR and continued to live in Chechnya. But one night, Russian special forces broke into her and shot her and her whole family, only one boy escaped, who hid. There are victims who do not want to sue. One of those Raisa Khamzaeva is a very brave woman. She gave an interview to the newspaper “Kavkazsky Vestnik” , appeared on PIK television (this TV channel was under Saakashvili in Georgia). However, she does not want to file a lawsuit with the ECtHR, considering their compensation as small pennies. Maybe Raisa is right, given that compensation from the ECtHR to Chechens is only a fifth of what the affected Europeans or Americans receive.

Of course, in the current situation, when Putin is defeated in Ukraine, as a result of which he and all Russian war criminals will be called to account in the International Criminal Courts, the affected Chechens should immediately file not only with the ECHR, but also with other courts like the Haas, where they will receive full compensation for the crimes committed against them by the Russian authorities. This is what we all, together, must call on the entire Chechen people, who suffered almost without exception during the genocide organized by the Russian authorities. This is also necessary so that such crimes will never again be committed against the Chechen, Georgian, Ukrainian and other peoples!

Mayrbek Taramov (a destra) ed Alim Pasha Soltykhanov (a Sinistra) alla cerimonia di premiazione di un concorso letterario a Copenhagen, nel 2011

– You told amazing stories about how you were saved by noble people, among whom was Alexander Litvinenko . How could A. Litvinenko, who was in London, save you while you were in Baku ?

– Explanations are needed here … The fact is that I edited the articles of Alexander Litvinenko in the GIA Chechenpress agency and Sasha and I were in close contact. One day an amazing story happened. In Baku, I turned to various world embassies for help for Chechen refugees . I once addressed a delegation of Chechen public figures to the US Embassy in Baku, where we were warmly received, listened to, treated to tea and coffee. And the Embassy employee Mary ( I still remember her name ) said that we could meet in the cafeteria of the Hyatt Hotel to discuss the details. At the appointed time , my faithful friend Anvar and I arrived at the Hayat Hotel and met with an employee of the US Embassy . Over a cup of coffee , we discussed the situation with the disenfranchised position of the Chechen refugees , and Mary promised to bring this matter to the American ambassador. After that we parted ways.

And then miracles begin… And sometimes I was looking for information about myself through Google, and suddenly I discovered something amazing … I read on the website of Academgorodok in Novosibirsk: “A meeting of an employee of the US Embassy with human rights activist Mairbek Taramov took place at the Hayat Hotel, Baku. And then I was horrified – how can such information, where there were only three people at the table in the cafe – me, my friend and Mary, could be leaked to some Russian site?!?! I did not sleep all night, and on the second day I called Alexander Litvinenko.

I explained to Alexander what had happened, and he asked me – ” Hang up the phone, I’ll call you back ” . ( Sasha was a very kind guy, he didn’t want me to spend money on phone calls ). When Alexander called me back, telephone communication improved dramatically, to which Litvinenko responded: “Do you feel it? – Contacts are being cleared! ))” Sasha asked me – ” What hotel were you in” ? I replied. And then Litvinenko explains to me: “ At the end of January 1990, Soviet troops were brought into Baku to suppress the opposition. These troops included KGB units, one of which was commanded by me, Alexander Litvinenko. During the activities of the Soviet special services, I managed to recruit nine high-ranking officials from the government of Azerbaijan. Why am I telling you this, Mayrbeck, because they are listening to us now. So know, and let them know, who are listening to our conversation, – if something happens to you, Mayrbek, then I will announce the names of the Azerbaijani officials I recruited .

To be honest , I got scared, grabbed my head, and asked Litvinenko – “Alexander, what are you talking about? How can I live here now ?!” And he says – “Live in peace Mayrbek, and I repeat – if at least one hair falls from your head, they will answer in full!”

The question arises: – who transmitted information about the meeting Russian special services ? Sasha explained it this way : “ Your waiter transmitted the information to the Russians , who had a wiretapping sensor installed in a teapot or coffee pot .” And in the basement of the Baku hotel ” Hayat ” there is a listening room with appropriate equipment . Everything is simple! And next time you can turn to the waiter: “Comrade Colonel ! »

It was one of the examples of how the Almighty saved me through noble people!

The book “The Crimes of the Russian Century in Chechnya” can be purchased from the links on Amazon :

English version of Paperback : https://www.amazon.it/dp/B0B11BLZJZ

English version e – book : https://www.amazon.it/dp/B09WZDQZG2

Russian version of Paperback : https://www.amazon.de/dp/B09S259CNX

Russian version e – book : https://www.amazon.de/dp/B09YLGDTXH

MAYRBEK TARAMOV – MILESTONES OF CREATIVITY

Mairbek Taramov is a well-known Chechen journalist, writer and human rights activist. From his pen came hundreds of articles, interviews, appeals. Since 1998, he has been the founder and editor of the newspaper and website “Kavkazsky Vestnik”. In early 1999, at the founding conference in Grozny, Taramov M. was elected chairman of the Union of Caucasian Journalists. He was published in the Chechen, Russian and American media, in particular in the newspaper “Kaskad” from Baltimore, the magazine “Krugozor”, USA. After the outbreak of hostilities in Chechnya in November 1999, Taramov Mayrbek emigrated to Turkey, and then to Azerbaijan, where he continued his information and legal activities, defending the freedom and independence of his homeland. In 2002, he founded the Chechen Human Rights Center in Baku and was elected its leader, and later became a member of the Independent International Human Rights Group. In 2005, he received political asylum in Sweden, where he currently resides. In September 2005, he was appointed Representative of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in Sweden.

Mayrbek Taramov was appointed chairman of the jury of Literary competitions of the Chechenpress State Information Agency , holding three competitions in this position: in 2004, 2011 and 2014. At the beginning of 2022, Mairbek Taramov was appointed Commissioner for Human Rights of the CRI, and is also a member of the Council of Elders of the National Assembly of Chechens of Europe .

Mairbek Taramov is the author of the following books:

1. “The Crimes of the Russian Century in Chechnya” (“The Chechen Question: The Final Solution”),

in which the gravest crimes of the political and military leadership of Russia are exposed. This book is based on documentary evidence of the bombing of the Chechen capital and its settlements at the end of October 1999 by tactical surface-to-ground ( SCUD ) missiles, as well as the shelling of “humanitarian corridors” through which the civilian population left the shelled settlements of Chechnya. The book presents documentary materials about the trade in the corpses of murdered Chechens and the internal organs of murdered citizens of Chechnya. Carte blanche to carry out the genocide of the civilian population of Chechnya was given personally by Vladimir Putin, who became president of Russia on the blood of innocent people. This book has been published three times and translated into English.

2. “The terrorist operation of Russia in Chechnya 1999-2004. Facts and comments. This book is essentially a chronicle of the “second Chechen war”, which contains unique information about the war from autumn 1999 to 2004, which cannot be found in other publications. In this book, the false information of the Russian news agencies is dispelled by the author’s accurate comments. This book is published by the American publishing house Igrulita-Press .

3. “All the power of the FSB!” – a collection of Mayrbeck ‘s best articles Taramov , exposing the cruel, inhuman methods of the Russian special services.

4. “Generals of the Russian Imperial Army of foreign origin and from the natives of the Caucasus – participants in the Russian-Caucasian wars of 1722-1917.”

The reader will be extremely surprised to learn the true quantitative and national composition of the generals of the Russian Imperial Army, who fought for almost 200 years against a handful of Caucasian highlanders, whom these generals called savages. Note that most of the generals were ethnic Germans. So:

Germans – 145; Georgians – 51; Armenians – 49; Poles – 34; Swedes – 12; French – 11; Italians – 10; Azerbaijanis – 10; Greeks – 9; Serbs – 6; British – 5; Austrians – 5; Danes – 4; Crimean Tatars – 3; Romanians – 2; Belarusians – 1; Swiss – 1; Finns – 1; Bulgarians – 1; Jews – 1; Lithuanians – 1; Arabs – 1; Spaniards – 1.

A total of 364 generals. And there are only 460 higher ranks: 364 of them are foreign generals and 96 generals from local highlanders, according to very relative estimates.

5. “Nothing is forgotten, no one is forgiven!” This book, which includes documentary facts and testimonies, is dedicated to the deportation of the Chechen people to Siberia and Central Asia. This book contains the Resolution of the European Parliament, one of the paragraphs of which states that the deportation of the Chechen people on February 23, 1944, carried out by Stalin and his entourage, is an act of genocide. Unfortunately, this fact has not yet been recognized by any country in the world.

6. “When children turn gray…” – a bleeding colorful album that touches all human feelings, which proves and shows the Russian genocide against Chechen children. The album was published with the participation of the American photo artist Sergei Melnikoff . The album has been translated into English.

These milestones of creativity, published in many media, for the Italian site www . ichkeria . net , I decided to add some exclusive materials of my biography, which I present for the first time.

I was not a participant in direct hostilities in Chechnya, but I always sympathized and was on the side of the Chechen Resistance. Since 1997, I have been conducting information activities in Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, becoming a journalist for the popular newspaper “Chechenets”, and later worked in other publications. Then I became the founder and editor of the independent newspaper Kavkazskiy Vestnik.

With the beginning of a new Russian aggression in Chechnya in the second half of 1999, I was at home and described in the newspaper the missile and air strikes by the Russian army on the city of Grozny and other settlements in Chechnya.

By mid-October 1999, it was already pointless to stay in the city, where there was practically no civilian population left, who, saving their lives, left for rural areas and beyond the borders of the republic. And then I decided to join the units of the Chechen Resistance. Putting on a military uniform and taking a weapon, I, along with my friend, went to the legendary commander Shamil Basayev, whom I knew well, and told him about my decision. Shamil, after a short silence, flashing his eyes, announced to us in a raised tone:

– What kind of war are you talking about, you adults!? After all, you are educated people, and your war, your front is different – informational! This is where you must protect us Chechen warriors against Russian expansion. I will issue you the relevant documents and help you get to Georgia, and then to Turkey, where you will have to continue your information activities, informing the world community about the ongoing genocide of the Chechen people.

And so it happened … After working for more than a year in Turkey as a member of the Caucasian-Chechen Committee and publishing the newspaper “Kavkazskiy Vestnik”, I moved to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where I continued my information activities. I published the newspaper “Kavkazsky Vestnik” and ran a website of the same name, held conferences in the Baku Press Center, in which Alla Dudayeva, the widow of the First President of the CRI, also took part, I spoke on Baku television and in the local press, in particular, in the newspapers “Zerkalo”, Echo and others.

I was often asked the question – how did you manage to do such open informational and human rights activities when the authorities of Azerbaijan and Georgia handed over many Chechen refugees to the Russian special services? I cannot unequivocally answer this question, but it seems to me that the answer lies in the following… The Russian leadership, having issued appropriate decrees, in violation of any International Conventions on Combatants, persecuted former members of the Chechen Resistance, who had already become refugees and were undergoing treatment and recovery. I, as mentioned above, was not a direct participant in the Chechen Resistance, although I was a warrior of the information front.

Secondly. Yes, I was persecuted, as they say, “I walked on a knife edge.” But I had reliable friends who protected me, among whom were Alexander Litvinenko from London, Khozh -Akhmed Nukhaev – the director of the Kavkor corporation , Akhmed Zakaev – the prime minister of the government of the unrecognized CRI, and others whose names I will not name yet. You ask – “But how could Alexander Litvinenko protect you while in London?” And so it did, which I was extremely surprised. Well, I can tell you about this separately, if you want.

And third, perhaps most importantly, I believed and felt the protection of the Almighty, working in my field for free. After all, He, in the Holy Quran, claims that those who speak the truth are under His care, and if death overtakes such on the Righteous Path, then such, without a doubt, acquires the highest degree of Paradise. I am well aware of the Qur’anic truths, as I have studied and published the verses of the Qur’an in the newspaper.

I would like to add the following to the above… The book “The Crimes of Russia’s Century in Chechnya” was first published in Baku in early 2004, but illegally. I take this opportunity to thank the director of the publishing house, whose name I do not know, Anvar Berusoy , who took over the editing of the book, as well as Akhmed Zakayev , with whose financial support this project was made possible.

Quando Maskhadov chiedeva all’Europa di fermare Putin – La lettera al G7

Tra il 20 ed il 22 Luglio del 2001 si tenne a Genova un vertice del G – 8 , il gruppo delle principali potenze economiche della Terra (G – 7) implementato (dal 1997 al 2013) dalla presenza della Russia. In vista di questo incontro, il Presidente della Repubblica Cecena di Ichkeria, Aslan Maskhadov, inviò una lettera ai rappresentanti di quei governi, che riportiamo integralmente, in italiano e in inglese.

Come nei riguardi delle parole di Dudaev sulla futura guerra in Ucraina, quelle di Maskhadov sull’ondivago rapporto delle democrazie occidentali con il regime di Vladimir Putin suonano tristemente concrete in questi giorni.

VERSIONE ITALIANA

Gentili Eccellenze,

Io, Aslan Maskhadov, presidente democraticamente eletto della Repubblica cecena di Ichkeria, scrivo questo appello disperato in nome del mio popolo, vittima di una guerra genocida il cui omicidio quotidiano deve ancora risvegliare la coscienza del mondo che guidate. Siamo miserabili, sanguinanti e schiavi come voi siete ricchi, potenti e liberi. Presto vi riunirete a Genova tra lo splendore e la cerimonia che si addice al vostro posto, in prima fila tra le nazioni. Guardie d’onore vi saluteranno, vi incontrerete nei palazzi e il mondo ascolterà ogni vostra parola. Io vi scrivo da un luogo di sterminio putrido, di carneficina, e come i miei fratelli rimango un braccato nel mio paese. Anch’io ho avuto dalle urne il privilegio e la responsabilità di guidare la mia nazione, ma Mosca mi definisce un bandito, un terrorista e un criminale. Al di là dei confini del mio piccolo paese, le mie parole sembrano contare poco, così come il grido angosciato del mio popolo vi lascia ancora sorprendentemente muti e sordi. Quindi continuerò a scrivere finché il silenzio non sarà squarciato.

Converrete al vostro vertice per considerare la riduzione del debito per i paesi poveri del mondo in via di sviluppo. Questo è un obiettivo lodevole, ed è senza dubbio la speranza di milioni di persone che la preoccupazione umanitaria motivi i forti a cercare di porre fine alla miseria a contratto per i deboli. Ma se riconoscete la silenziosa violenza della povertà sugli indigenti e sugli affamati, perché vi allontanate da noi? Noi che moriamo tra le fiamme della sporca guerra del Cremlino, siamo meno degni di compassione? Cosa ci ha reso invisibili a voi? Temo di conoscere la risposta. Temo che le fredde esigenze della realpolitik assicurino le vostre inazioni e condannino il nostro destino. Per non danneggiare una relazione incerta con una nuova Russia fragile e instabile, siete disposti a trascurare l’annientamento del mio popolo. Ai vostri occhi, per il bene di interessi più grandi, siamo una nazione sacrificabile. Quindi concedete un posto a tavola a un ospite d’onore, il presidente russo Vladimir Putin, e gli stringete la mano come leader di una grande democrazia, applaudendolo come un riformatore che condivide i vostri valori.

Aslan Mahadov (a sinistra) e Alexander Lebed (a destra) firmano gli Accordi di Khasavyurt

Se poteste sopportare di vedere il vero volto della Cecenia sotto l’agonia dell’occupazione russa, potreste sinceramente continuare a offrire tali lodi? Su una popolazione che un tempo contava un milione di persone, un ceceno su sette è ora morto. 250.000 dei nostri civili sono rifugiati. Privi dei beni di prima necessità, molti sono devastati da malattie e denutrizione, soprattutto anziani e giovani. Più di 20.000 civili e membri della resistenza subiscono la prigionia nei nuovi Gulag, i cosiddetti campi di filtrazione. Costretti in condizioni disumanizzanti e primitive con poche o nessuna assistenza medica, il che supera di gran lunga i peggiori standard del sistema penale russo, la vita nei campi improvvisati vede l’uso sadico e sistematico della tortura. Bruciature con le sigarette, percosse paralizzanti, soffocamento, annegamento negli escrementi umani, mutilazioni con coltelli, scosse elettriche ad alto voltaggio e abusi sessuali sono solo alcune delle pratiche comuni. Alla fine molti prigionieri vengono uccisi. Sicuramente per alcuni questa deve essere una gradita liberazione dall’inferno.

Le nostre donne vengono spesso radunate a caso e violentate in gruppo. In una politica comune sulla terra bruciata, i villaggi vengono saccheggiati, poi rasi al suolo e i maschi normodotati, compresi i ragazzi di età pari o inferiore a 15 anni, vengono portati via e scompaiono. Qualsiasi ceceno può essere arrestato senza accusa o ricevere la pena capitale senza processo. Le esecuzioni sommarie sono all’ordine del giorno per uomini, donne e bambini di tutte le età. I corpi dei morti vengono spesso mutilati deliberatamente e lasciati in mostra, la loro sepoltura vietata. I nostri morti servono anche come nuova forma di moneta, con i soldati russi che costringono i parenti a pagare ingenti riscatti prima che possano ottenere i resti dei loro cari. Innumerevoli fosse comuni giacciono nascoste in un paesaggio costellato da villaggi rasi al suolo e rovine in fiamme. Le nostre infrastrutture non esistono più. Solo nelle ultime due settimane una dozzina di villaggi nel sud-est e nell’ovest della Cecenia sono stati nuovamente terrorizzati, oltre 300 civili uccisi in una perquisizione sistematica e altre migliaia imprigionati, torturati e violentati. Abbiamo informato il Consiglio d’Europa, ma inutilmente. Questa è la verità più oscura della realpolitik. Terrore, macellazione e follia sono il prezzo che paghiamo per garantire il pragmatismo della diplomazia internazionale.

Grozny distrutta dai bombardamenti

Nel 1945 avete sconfitto i mali del militarismo, del fascismo e del nazismo. Quelle nazioni tra voi che avevano dato vita al mostruoso colosso e all’olocausto della guerra mondiale, hanno giurato di non ripetere mai gli stessi errori fatali e si sono forgiati con uno spirito nuovo per stare con orgoglio tra le democrazie più antiche. In oltre mezzo secolo di progressi insieme avete costruito nuove istituzioni per la comunità delle nazioni, l’ONU, la NATO, l’UE e l’OSCE, tra gli altri organismi regionali e globali, volte a un futuro più equo e più sicuro. Avete impedito il giorno del giudizio di un conflitto nucleare e il vostro esempio ha abbattuto il muro di Berlino, sollevando il giogo del comunismo e ponendo fine a una lunga guerra fredda. Avete smantellato i vostri imperi coloniali e avete permesso che i popoli ex sudditi fossero liberi. Avete combattuto il razzismo in patria e all’estero e le vostre voci hanno contribuito a sconfiggere la macchia dell’apartheid. Più e più volte avete incoraggiato le virtù della democrazia a trionfare sulla dittatura. Forse soprattutto, a Norimberga hai risposto ai tuoi più nobili istinti stabilendo lo stato di diritto ei diritti umani come principi inviolabili e universali che riterrebbero per sempre la barbarie responsabile di un codice di condotta civile.

Allora, com’è possibile celebrare Slobodan Milosevic che finalmente affronta il giudizio all’Aia ma abbracciare Putin come un partner credibile? Com’è possibile che vi siete mobilitati per affrontare la nuda aggressione durante la Guerra del Golfo, che siete intervenuti quando avete assistito alla pulizia etnica e alla ferocia in Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor e Sierra Leone e ora pronunciate raramente la parola Cecenia? Condannate e isolate il regime dello SLORC in Myanmar e i talebani in Afghanistan. Fate pressione sulla Cina per i suoi abusi in Tibet e la sua persecuzione di intellettuali dissidenti e seguaci religiosi, ma non dite nulla sull’omicidio di massa di civili ceceni. Praticate un’instancabile diplomazia cercando di assicurare la pace in Medio Oriente, Irlanda del Nord, Macedonia, Kashmir, Congo, persino in Sudan, dov’è la vostra iniziativa di pace cecena?

Artiglieria russa spara nei dintorni di Tolstoy – Yurt, Novembre 1999

In nome di una nazione morente vi prego di non abbandonarci più. Chiedo che adottiate collettivamente misure per favorire la ripresa dei negoziati di pace e l’emanazione di un cessate il fuoco immediato garantito e monitorato da parti neutrali. Vi prego inoltre di chiedere, in conformità con il diritto internazionale, il dispiegamento di aiuti umanitari, personale sanitario e medico disperatamente necessari. Vi imploro inoltre di chiedere il ritorno senza ostacoli degli investigatori dei diritti umani delle ONG, degli osservatori delle istituzioni internazionali e di tutti i membri della stampa mondiale attualmente esclusi dall’entrare in Cecenia. Mi rivolgo a voi, come leader del mondo libero, a raccogliere il coraggio morale in armonia con le tradizioni democratiche che rappresentate e che avete giurato di sostenere per fare pressione sulla Russia affinché cessi lo sterminio del mio paese, per ritenerlo responsabile del genocidio e per imporre sanzioni se Mosca non desisterà.

La ferocia che dobbiamo sopportare non è nuova. Ricordiamo le miniere di sale di Stalin, le sue torri di guardia, il filo spinato e le tombe anonime. Il dolore dell’esodo e del genocidio lo abbiamo già conosciuto. Così riconosciamo gli altri con i quali condividiamo una terribile fratellanza di orrore. Gli scheletrici ebrei e rom nei forni di Dachau e Auschwitz. La carne da baionetta di Nanchino. Gli antichi figli del Biafra dagli occhi sbarrati. La madre implorante e il bambino di fronte ai fucili a My Lai. Gli arabi di palude dell’Iraq soffocati dalle nuvole di gas mostarda. I tutsi del Ruanda massacrati sulla strada di Kigali dai coltelli dell’Interhamwe. Sono tutti i nostri fratelli e sorelle martiri nell’eredità di un omicidio senza senso. Solo il nostro massacro, la nostra morte non è di ieri, appartiene all’incubo vivente del presente. Quanti ceceni saranno morti nel tempo che impiegherete a leggere questa lettera? Quanti altri dovremo seppellire prima della fine del vostro vertice? Non mancate di parlare, per amore dell’umanità e della giustizia agite ora sulla vostra coscienza o nel tempo anche la storia vi segnerà con una pagina di vergogna. Se continuate a restare inerti mentre il mio popolo svanisce in un bagno di sangue, se non agite con convinzione e determinazione come avete fatto in Ruanda, i fantasmi ceceni macchieranno il vostro onore come fanno con quello russo.

Possa Dio concedervi la saggezza e la visione per servire la causa della pace e della giustizia

Rispettosamente

Aslan Maskhadov

Presidente della Repubblica Cecena di Ichkeria

ENGLISH VERSION

Dear Excellencies,

I, Aslan Maskhadov, the democratically elected President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, write this desperate appeal in the name of my people, the victims of a genocidal war whose daily murder has yet to awaken the conscience of the world you lead. We are as wretched, bloody and enslaved as you are rich, mighty and free. You will soon gather in Genoa amidst the splendor and ceremony that befits your place in the front rank of nations. Guards of honour will salute you, you will meet in palaces and the world will listen to your every word. But I write you from a killing ground putrid with slaughter and like my brethren I remain a hunted man in my own country. I too won the privilege and responsibility of leading my nation from the ballot box, but Moscow calls me a bandit, a terrorist and a criminal. Beyond the confines of my tiny country, my words seem to count for little, just as the anguished cry of my people still astonishingly leaves you mute and deaf. So I will continue to write until the silence is pierced.

You will join in your summit to consider debt relief for the impoverished developing world. This is a laudable aim, and it is the hope no doubt of countless millions that humanitarian concern motivates the strong to seek an end to indentured misery for the weak. But if you acknowledge the quiet violence of poverty upon the destitute and the hungry why do you turn away from us? We who die in the flames of the Kremlin’s dirty war, are we less worthy of compassion? What has made us invisible to you? I fear I know the answer. I fear the cold exigencies of realpolitik ensure your inaction and seal our fate. Lest you damage an uncertain relationship with a fragile and volatile new Russia, you are willing to overlook the annihilation of my people. In your eyes, for the sake of larger interests we are an expendable nation. So you grant a seat at the table to an honoured guest, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and shake his hand as the leader of a great democracy, applauding him as a reformer who shares your values.

Fossa comune in Cecenia

If you could stand to see the true face of Chechnya under the agony of Russian occupation, could you sincerely continue to offer such praise? Out of a population that once numbered a million, one in seven Chechens is now dead. 250,000 of our civilians are refugees. Bereft of the most basic necessities, many are ravaged by disease and malnutrition, especially the elderly and the young. More than 20,000 civilians and resistance members endure imprisonment in the new Gulags, the so-called filtration camps. Held in dehumanizingly foul and primitive conditions with little or no medical care that far exceed the worst standards of the Russian penal system, life in the improvised camps sees the sadistic and systematic use of torture. Burning with cigarettes, crippling beatings, suffocation, drowning in human excrement, mutilation with knives, high voltage electric shock and sexual abuses are only some of the common practices. Many prisoners are ultimately killed. Surely for some this must be a welcome deliverance from hell.

Our women are often rounded up at random and gang raped. In a common scorched earth policy villages are looted then razed and the able bodied males including boys 15 and under are swept up and disappeared. Any Chechen can be arrested without charge or receive capital punishment without trial. Summary executions are an everyday occurrence for men, women and children of all ages. The bodies of the dead are often deliberately mutilated and left on display, their burial forbidden. Our dead also serve as a new form of currency, with Russian soldiers forcing relatives to pay large ransoms before they can obtain the remains of their loved ones. Countless mass graves lie hidden in a landscape dotted by flattened villages and burning ruins. Our infrastructure no longer exists. Only in the last two weeks a dozen villages in south eastern and western Chechnya were again terrorised, over 300 civilians murdered in a systematic sweep and thousands more imprisoned, tortured and raped. We informed the Council of Europe but to no avail. This is the darker truth of realpolitik. Terror, butchery and madness is the price we pay to ensure the pragmatism of international diplomacy.

In 1945 you defeated the evils of militarism, fascism and Nazism. Those nations among you that had given birth to the monstrous juggernaut and holocaust of world war, vowed never to repeat the same fatal errors and forged yourselves in a new spirit to stand proudly among the elder democracies. Over half a century of progress together you built new institutions for the community of nations, the UN, NATO, the EU, and the OSCE, among other regional and global bodies, aimed towards a more equitable and safer future. You prevented the doomsday of a nuclear conflict and your example brought down the Berlin Wall, lifting the yoke of communism and ending a long cold war. You dismantled your colonial empires and allowed former subject peoples to be themselves. You fought racism at home and abroad and your voices helped to vanquish the stain of apartheid. Time and again you fostered the virtues of democracy to triumph over dictatorship. Perhaps above all, at Nuremberg you responded to your most noble instincts establishing the rule of law and human rights as inviolable, universal principles that would forever hold barbarism accountable to a civilised code of conduct.

So how is it that you celebrate Slobodan Milosevic at last facing judgement at the Hague but embrace Putin as a credible partner? How is it possible that you mobilised to confront naked aggression during the Gulf War, intervened when you witnessed ethnic cleansing and savagery in Bosnia, Kosovo, Timor and Sierra Leone and now seldom even utter the word Chechnya? You condemn and isolate the SLORC regime in Myanmar and the Taliban in Afghanistan. You pressure China over its abuses in Tibet and its persecution of dissident intellectuals and religious followers, but you say nothing about the mass murder of Chechen civilians. You practice tireless diplomacy trying to secure peace in the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Macedonia, Kashmir, the Congo, even the Sudan, where is your Chechen peace initiative?

In the name of a dying nation I beg you not to forsake us any longer. I ask that you collectively take steps to foster the resumption of peace negotiations and the enactment of an immediate cease-fire guaranteed and monitored by neutral parties. I beseech you further to demand in accordance with international law the deployment of desperately needed humanitarian aid, health and medical personnel. I further implore you to seek the return without hindrance of NGO human rights investigators, observers from international institutions and all members of the global press currently being barred from entering Chechnya. I appeal to you as leaders of the free world to muster the moral courage in keeping with the democratic traditions you represent and have sworn to uphold to pressure Russia to cease its extermination of my country, to hold it accountable for genocide, and to impose sanctions if Moscow will not desist.

The savagery we must bear is not new. We remember Stalin’s salt mines, his guard towers, barbed wire and unmarked graves. The pain of exodus and genocide we have known before. So we recognise the others with whom we share a terrible kinship of horror. The skeletal Jews and Romany in the ovens of Dachau and Auschwitz. The bayonet fodder of Nanjing. The ancient, wide-eyed children of Biafra. The pleading mother and baby facing the rifles at My Lai. The marsh Arabs of Iraq choked by the clouds of mustard gas. The Tutsi of Rwanda butchered on the Kigali road by the knives of the Interhamwe. They are all our martyred brothers and sisters in the legacy of senseless murder. Only our slaughter, our death is not yesterday’s, it belongs in the living nightmare of the present. How many Chechens will have died in the time you take to read this letter? How many more must we bury by the time your summit is over? Do not fail to speak, for the sake of humanity and justice act now upon your conscience or in time history will also mark you with a page of shame. If you continue to stand idly by while my people vanish in a bloodbath, if you fail to act with conviction and resolve as you did in Rwanda, Chechen ghosts will stain your honour as surely as they do Russia’s.

May God grant you the wisdom and vision to serve the cause of peace and justice.

Respectfully,

Aslan Maskhadov
President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria