Chechen Republic is a part of the Russian Federation.
Since 1991, when Jokhar Dudaev came to power, Chechnya practically stopped resigning itself to the central government. Separatists proclaimed an independent state which, however, was not recognized by any country of the world.
Within the years of his rule, Dudaev in fact plunged Chechnya into chaos. The local authorities carried out the policy of genocide towards non-Chechen population of the republic. As a result of this policy, hundreds of thousands of people (according to some information, only the number of ethnic Russians made up to 400,000 people) had to leave Chechnya. It is not known, how many people died within these years, for there is no information at all (the Dudaev regime industriously kept these facts back).
The Russian government tried to reestablish control over Chechen territory. Though, in 1994-1996, it did not succeed in it. As a result of the armistice agreement signed in Khasavyurt (Dagestan) in 1996, Chechnya remained out of the Moscow control. Jokhar Dudaev who was killed in 1996, was replaced at first by Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, and in 1997 – by Aslan Maskhadov who now calls himself “president.”
Within 1996-1999, Chechnya turned into a real bandit nest. The main activity of so-called “field commanders” was hostage-taking (they hold hostages to ransom), trafficking of human beings, arm and drug. All attempts of the Russian authorities to establish dialogue with the Maskhadov “government” resulted in nothing. After groups of gunmen headed by Shamil Basaev and Arab terrorist Khattab (killed in 2002) invaded Dagestan in 1999, the Russian authorities took a decision to carry out a counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya.
Terrorist acts organized by the “freedom fighters”:
June 1995 – the Shamil Basaev attack on the city of Budyonnovsk. A hospital captured. 1600 people, including 150 children taken hostage. Totally, 105 civilians died as a result of the terrorist action in Budyonnovsk, including 18 women, 17 men over 55, a boy and a girl under 16. 11 policemen and at least 14 militaries were killed.
January 1996 – the Salman Raduev attack on the city of Kizlyar and Pervomaiskoye settlement (Raduev serves now life sentence in a Russian prison). As a result of the attack, 41 hostages were killed by the bandits.
1996-1999 – massive hostage-takings in Chechnya and neighbouring regions. Hostages were mainly held to ransom. If the bandits did not received money, hostages were either killed or turned into slaves. For example, October 1998, three Britons Darren Hickey, Rudolph Petschi, Peter Kennedy and New Zealander Stanley Shaw were kidnapped, while they were working in Chechnya for the British telecommunication company Granger Telecom. The bandits, who held them to ransom, received no money. So, the hostages were beheaded, while their bodies were thrown on the road. Though, before to kill them, the bandits beat them unmercifully.
This is only one example of the Maskhadov “rule” in Chechnya. Within all this time, no one bandit was arrested and imprisoned.
In Autumn of 1999, terrorists blew up blocks of flats in Moscow, Volgodonsk, and Buinaksk. 300 innocent people died. In 2000, in Chechnya, the factory was found, producing the explosives used in terrorist acts.
October 23, 2002, terrorists headed by Movsar Baraev captured Theatre Centre in Moscow with 750 people. October 26, hostages were released, while terrorists annihilated. Unfortunately, 119 hostages were not rescued.
These examples are only a small part of what so-called “fighters for independence” committed. In fact, they are just terrorists, whith whom no sensible person would agree to carry a dialogue.
Translated by Vera Solovieva