A - I n f o s
a multi-lingual news service by, for, and about anarchists **

News in all languages
Last 40 posts (Homepage) Last two weeks' posts

The last 100 posts, according to language
Castellano_ Deutsch_ Nederlands_ English_ Français_ Italiano_ Polski_ Português_ Russkyi_ Suomi_ Svenska_ Türkçe_ The.Supplement
First few lines of all posts of last 24 hours || of past 30 days | of 2002 | of 2003 | of 2004

Syndication Of A-Infos - including RDF | How to Syndicate A-Infos
Subscribe to the a-infos newsgroups
{Info on A-Infos}

(en) Ireland, Workers Solidarity #82 - Slaughter and Lies The Truth Behind Russia's War on Terror

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Tue, 21 Sep 2004 09:50:57 +0200 (CEST)

A - I N F O S N E W S S E R V I C E
News about and of interest to anarchists
http://ainfos.ca/ http://ainfos.ca/index24.html

Chechnya lies at the edge of Europe between the Black Sea and the
Caspian Sea. Over the past decade this small mountainous country
has been torn apart by a vicious and brutal war between Russia and
Chechen separatists.
The Russian government believes that the controversial referendum
of 2003 has validated Russian sovereignty over Chechnya and claims
that the country is now entering an era of peace and stability.
However, the facts on the ground suggest otherwise. In May the
President of Chechnya, who worked closely with the Kremlim, was
blown up by separatists. On the 12th of July, Chechen nationalists
attempted to kill the interim President and 42 people were killed in
battles on the same day. There are regular attacks on Russian troops
in the region and Chechen Islamic extremists have been responsible
for a number of terrorist attacks outside of Chechnya.

Conflict between Chechens and Russians dates back to the Russian
invasion of the Caucasas region at the end of the 18th century. The
Chechens were only one of many culturally and ethnically distinct
peoples forcibly absorbed into the Russian Empire. The Russian state
has never fully subdued the Chechen people and there have been
sporadic armed uprisings in the region but Russian military might and
forced cultural assimilation has kept Chechen separatism in check.
The darkest chapter of Russian misrule in Chechnya was the forced
deportation of the entire Chechen population to Central Asia in 1944.
Over 30% of these people died within a year and those who survived
faced legal restrictions on their language and culture. This
extraordinary act of ethnic cleansing didn't fully succeed and the
Chechens moved back to their homeland in 1957 after their
"rehabilitation" by Khrushchev.

As the USSR crumbled in the early 1990's, the Chechens made
several botched attempts to establish an independent state.
Squabbling amongst various Chechen factions and Russian policies
in the region led to war between 1994 and 1996. The conflict blew up
with even greater ferocity in 1999 after bombs were set off in several
Russian cities. The Russian government claimed it was the work of
Chechen separatists - although this continues to be disputed - and
launched an invasion. During this crisis Putin emerged as a major
political figure by advocating war as the solution to the problems in
Chechnya. In fact, Putin's zeal for war ensured his victory in the
presidential election that year. One bloody year later Putin declared
victory in Chechnya but the conflict has ground on ever since - albeit
at a lower level of intensity.

The human cost of the war has been truly appalling. The Russian
state has never shown a great deal of respect for human rights either
inside or outside its borders and the war in Chechnya has been
prosecuted with unrelenting brutality and with absolutely no concern
for civilian casualties. The Russian army has used rockets and aerial
bombardment to reduce towns and cities to rubble. It has been
estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 civilians and between
13,000 and 20,000 combatants have died since 1994 (out of a
population of one million). Human rights groups have also found
evidence that the Russian army is guilty of torture, illegal detention,
extortion, looting and rape.

Putin's warmongering has also cost tens of thousands of Russian
lives. The majority of soldiers sent to Chechnya are badly trained and
ill-treated working class conscripts and are clearly regarded by the
Russian state as little more than battlefield offal. The Kremlin has
consistently shown scant regard for the men sent to die in Chechnya
to defend the geo-political interests of the Russian elite and to ensure
their continuing control over the Transcaucasian oil pipelines.

Predictably, Putin has, in the wake of September 11th, been quick to
use the self-righteous and bloated rhetoric of the "war on terror" to
defend Russian state terrorism in Chechnya. Just as predictably,
Western leaders have, for reasons of political expediency, chosen to
ignore the destruction of Chechnya. The pattern is depressingly
familiar; as in Iraq and Palestine the simplistic and self-serving
actions of the global elite has exacerbated complex ethnic and
political conflicts and encouraged the growth of Islamic extremism.
Its clear that the likes of Bush and Putin will happily wade through
blood while talking about morality.

There is no end in sight for the Chechen people who are caught
between the blind militarism of the Russian state and a resistance
movement increasingly dominated by the nihilistic politics of Islamic
extremism and world leaders who believe in "moral massacres" or
tactful silence in the face of brutality.

by Jimmy Finnegan

[This article was written before the Breslan massacre]

see also

* Anarchism and the fight against Imperialism
This page is from the print version of the Irish
Anarchist paper 'Workers Solidarity'.
We also provide PDF files of all our publications
http://www.struggle.ws/wsm/pdf.html for you
to print out and distribute locally
Print out the PDF file of this issue

****** The A-Infos News Service ******
News about and of interest to anarchists
INFO: http://ainfos.ca/org http://ainfos.ca/org/faq.html
HELP: a-infos-org@ainfos.ca
SUBSCRIPTION: send mail to lists@ainfos.ca with command in
body of mail "subscribe (or unsubscribe) listname your@address".

Options for all lists at http://www.ainfos.ca/options.html

A-Infos Information Center