Leaders of Moscow "War Party" Nest in the Kremlin and Dream of World Revenge
Date: March 18, 2002
Chechnya is one of the elements of aggressive policy of present Russian leaders, dreaming at least to return their undivided supremacy in the post-Soviet area. At any rate, this is the opinion of many Russian protectors of human rights, including Boris Altusher, member of the Helsinki group of Moscow.
According to Boris Altusher, Moscow "war party" has deliberately unleashed the armed conflict in Chechnya. Besides, he shares a very interesting supposition that Moscow "war party" was supported by the initiative of his placemen in Chechnya like Basaev, who consciously carried out provocative actions before the second Russian-Chechen war leading to escalation of political opposition between Johar and Moscow and favoring the beginning of military actions in Chechnya. Of course, not all his colleagues share the attempt of Altshuler to consider Basaev an agent of the Kremlin, but they are of the same opinion when assessing the consequences of the Chechen field commander's before-war activities for Ichkeria. "If Basaev had not carried on his notorious campaign in Daghestan, there would have been no sense in blowing up of the apartment houses and imputing it to the Chechens" - suppose some of Altshuler's colleagues from the Helsinki group. At the same time, they have a claim on the before-war policy of Maskhadov, who, according to their conviction, failed to withstand a shameful and criminal business of kidnapping in Chechnya, which was supported by the Russian special services.
Altshuler supposes that it is not in the interests of Moscow "war party" to stop the military actions in Chechnya. Moreover, Altshuler is sure that orders to treat the peace population of Chechnya with utmost cruelty during the "combing-out" operations not only lead to kindling of hatred to the occupants but also to permanent reinforcement of the Chechen Resistance army by young people.
Altshuler predicts that Moscow "war party" would not stop in Chechnya and is going to expand military actions in other regions of the Caucasus. In confirmation of his opinion Altshuler mentions continuous pressure of the Kremlin on Tbilisi and promises of the Russian deputies to recognize the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
It should be noted that unlike the colleagues of Altshuler the representatives of extremely right and left wings of Russian opposition adhere to the different opinion when considering the same facts and events. Although the radicals admit the existence of powerful "war party" in the Kremlin, they are convinced that the mentioned "party" carries out its activities exclusively in the interests of the West pressing for the collapse of the Russian empire and with this end in view antagonizing the Chechens and other Caucasian people against Moscow.
However, majority of the leaders of Russian liberal opposition do not resort to the support of various mysterious versions and theories. They suppose that first the Kremlin needed war in Chechnya to bring Putin to power, and now it is needed for the Putin team to hold out in power. In other words, the Russian liberals are convinced that Putin regime has nothing to boast of in the social and economic spheres.