November 5, 2005


War-Weary Chechens Eye Ballot Box: Many in the Russian republic doubt that a Nov. 29 parliamentary vote will bring change. Even so, the race has drawn 400 candidates. (Kim Murphy, November 5, 2005, LA Times)

The elections scheduled for Nov. 29 are the final stage of the Kremlin's peace plan for Chechnya, a process that began with a 2003 referendum affirming the separatist republic's permanent place in Russia and that was sealed with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin's announcement that more than a decade of war was at an end.

But the continued fighting leaves some unconvinced.

"They say everything is normal. But the skirmishes continue. The bombings continue in the forests," said Laila Khalakova, 49, another Tsa-Tsa Yurt resident, whose son-in-law disappeared when Russian troops entered the town in 2000.

"I have this opinion: Never between the Chechens and the Russians, whatever they say, whatever beautiful words they say, will there be anything but constant enmity and fury toward each other," she said. "My 3-year-old granddaughter says, 'I wish I had a gun; I would shoot down all those Russians who have entered our houses.' "

Despite the turmoil that continues to envelop this devastated republic in southern Russia, more than 400 candidates from eight parties have registered to run for a parliament that could become Chechnya's first forum for broad civic debate since the second war with Russia began in 1999.

Since then, there have been no official means to vent popular anger over brutal and arbitrary arrests, continuing corruption in the government and the fact that 474,000 Chechens remain unemployed, far outnumbering the 154,000 who hold jobs.

"The economic situation is catastrophic. And unfortunately, many of these questions — the poverty of the population, the violations of human rights and people's security, the healthcare situation — remain insufficiently analyzed by the executive authorities," said Vahit Akayev, a sociology professor at Chechen State University and an independent candidate for parliament.

Already, the parliamentary election campaign is shaping up as a contest between clans and between alliances over the future leadership of the republic.

How many decades or centuries do the Russians have to keep making the same mistake before they grasp that Chechnya is going to be free?

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 5, 2005 7:04 AM

Yeah, free... See Cambodia post above...

Posted by: M. Murcek at November 5, 2005 3:36 PM

According to Osama, Islam has been in a state of humiliation since being tossed from Andalusia, what, 500+ years ago.

The Russians have more psychological damage than just humiliation, so it might take longer.

Posted by: ratbert at November 6, 2005 12:22 AM

Chechen population as a whole did to 1.2 million of Russian what Hitler and the Nazi did to Jews in 1938-1940, but Chechens did it to Russians during 1991 with much greater cruelty and speed. They have expelled from the so called "Chechnya" over 1.2 million of ethnic Russians between 1991 and 1998.
I know personally quite a few former residents of Chechnya who were born there. In 1991 my friend who was living in Gudermes, Chechnya, was visited by a couple of his street neighbours. They told him to surrender his house that he built himself and his brand new car that he bought a couple of weeks before.
They said to him that he has 8 hours to leave Chechnya without any belonings, clothes and his car or be killed with his entire family.
My friend was a school teacher and worked there for more than 30 years, teaching Chechen kids mathematics. He and his family were born in Chechnya. His family goes back to 1850's Chechnya. He was Russian.

It was an ethnic cleansing Arab-Hitler style.

Prior to 1991 1.2 million Russians lived in Chechnya. Now NO Russians live in Chechnya.

Prior to 1991 less than 900,000 Chechens populated Chechnya. Today 800,000 still live there and more than 200,000 Chechens live in Moscow. Their prime occupation is selling drugs, organized crime, large scale racket, execution for hire, robberies, prostitution, etc. Chechens living in Moscow are usually called "Murder, Inc." There are no
traces of any intellectual or scientific activity among Chechen community in Moscow yet.

I see no problem in giving Chechens an abject lesson in what are the disadvantages in being savages. May be the absolute best what Russia could offer to them is a mass deportation to Siberia, again, 60 years later.

I do not care if some of them will die as a result of the deportation. They killed enough Russians to deserve the worst fate.

Chechens are not "peasants" or "poets" or "rocket scientists". They are people who have a cult to be gangsters, kidnappers, terrorists and other kind of scum.

There were dozens of Chechen villages that enjoyed having kidnapped as slaves hundreds of Russians from Central Russia. They housed them in the pits dug in the ground and kept them in chains. Just like American POWs in Vietnamese "tiger cages". They kept them during entire 1990's. Like slaves in 1400's. Russian spetsnaz liberated many of them. It is really hard to believe that Chechens could do that to other people.

Chechen "nation" must be dissolved as a criminal group of people. All Russian (1.2 million) must be helped to recoup their lost homes and to return to the place where they were living for several generations.

This is only one way for the Chechens to their atonement. It may be that the deportation is the only way of atonement for all Islamo-fascists, including "Palestinians", Saudis and some others.

Indeed those who will denonce their "Chechen roots" and will agree on televised oath of loyalty to common human values with simultanious condemnation of the horrible deeds of Chechens in the last 20 years should be spared and given one more chance. The others should go to the coldest part of Siberia.

They should be kissing the boots of Russian solgiers thanking Russians solgiers for NOT applying to Chechens the re-education "tools" in the best tradition of Fidel & Che Guevara, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot style with machine guns blazing.

Posted by: sushi at November 6, 2005 6:13 AM

The Russians didn't belong there.

Posted by: oj at November 6, 2005 10:33 PM