Why Russia Needs Chechnya?

Date: January 28, 2002
Source: Novaya Gazeta
By Akhram Murtazayev
Translated by Marius L.


Interview with Ruslan Khasbulatov

Q: - Ruslan Imranovich [Khasbulatov], have any chances for a variant that "Chechnya stays within Russia" remained?

A: - No. Unfortunately the federal authority, fighting against bandits, have descended to their level. Arbitrariness, maraud gave birth to this hatred of the federal forces in the population, that it's already became irreversible. Hatred, which earlier enveloped in essence only in its marginal layers, has penetrated the most impoverished people, into refugees' camp, into the young hearts of children, who will forever memorize this horror, into the minds of intelligentsia, which speaks Russian better than Chechen. It seems to me, even hope has been lost for the fast restoration of former relations between our nations. If the federals trade in corpses of the people killed by them, what do you think, perhaps this is normal - to attempt to live together? Therefore, here these radical changes of the views.

Q: - That was to be expected. Indeed, anti-terrorist action has brought so many victims, as hasn't brought even a one terrorist action. Moreover, if this terror is created by bandits, then "antiterror" - [is created by] authority itself. It's more precise that we can speak about this "state terror" as the form of international terrorism.

A: - Therefore, the supporters of thesis "Chechnya stays within Russia" should be always meet with a question: and for what Russia has killed two hundred thousand of our citizens? The second war actually passed into the phase of civil war. That was contributed by:

- protracted conduct of total military actions against ENTIRE peaceful population;

- maintenance (premeditated, specially, with the specific purpose) of the thievish layer of local officials, who mortally fear to raise questions about the scale of cruelty of the federal troops. And as response on this, there's a reaction - a fighters' hunt for such corrupt and cowardly bureacrats. So, it occurs there's expansion of the sphere of blood vengeance, which is extended also to officers and bureacrats of the federal center. Blood vengeance that's a very complex problem. Retribution comes unavoidably, and when it's unknown. It can [take]ten years. This is very alarming and dangerous tendency. Federals of different level are included, those, who are contributing to tragic events in Chechnya.


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