|The Russians have characterized the taking of several hundred hostages by Chechens in a Moscow theatre as part of a wider, international pattern of ?Islamic terrorism?. Putin has long wanted to conflate his long running campaign in Chechnya with the War on Terror, and this may end up giving him such a chance.
"This terrorist act, which can be rated as a major terrorist act not only in this country but abroad, was planned by overseas terrorist centers," Putin said in a nationally televised address.
The fact is the events taking place in Moscow have little to do with international terror networks, but everything to do with over 280 years of oppression meted out to the Chechen people. Noone should be fooled by Russian obfuscations of the real cause.
Here's a brief description of a history that is mostly unwritten, except with the blood of the Chechens.
The Chechen people been fighting a war against Russia for their survival since 1722, when Tsarist forces attempted to conquer the central Caucausus region. The Chechens, vastly outnumbered and outarmed, bravely managed to hold the Russian forces back for 142 years, before finally falling in 1864.
They revolted again in 1877, after which Russia slaughtered 60% of the population. In 1918, seizing the opportunity posed by the Russian Resolution, they declared independence. Russia attacked again.
In January 1921, Stalin entered into an agreement with the Chechens that in return for accepting Soviet authority, they would be allowed to practice shariah law, have full autonomy in domestic affairs and all territory captured by the Tsars returned.
The Russians failed to keep their promise, and Stalin began a program of genocide of the Chechen peoples. On 31 July, 1937, Stalin ordered 14,000 Chechen and Ingush men to be shot. That represented 3% of the population.
In 1944, Stalin accused the Chechens of having helped the Germans -- even though the Germans never reached the region. As punishment, Stalin expelled the Chechens to Siberia and Kazkhastian. The Soviet Census of 1939 counted 407,690 Chechens. 400,000 of them were forcefully expelled. Approximately 30% of them died in the camps or during transit.
Describing the conditions in Stalin's gulags, Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn wrote: "there was one nation that would not give in, would not acquire the mental habits of submission -- and not just individual rebels among them, but the whole nation to a man. These were the Chechens.?
They remained in the gulags until 1957, when Kruschev finally allowed them to return home.
In 1991, the Chechens declared themselves a sovereign nation. By December 1994, Russian forces attacked Chechnya, beginning an embarrassing chapter in Russian military history. Over 100,000 Chechen civilians were killed, 6,000 Russian soldiers, most of the country razed, and 17 million land mines were scattered by Russian forces. The war ended in 1996 with a stalemate. This war, which caused an estimated $5.5 billion in economic damage, was largely the cause of Russia's national economic crisis in 1998, when the Russian government proved unable to service its huge debts.
In September 1999, following an incursion of Chechen militants into Dagestan, Russia re-invaded Chechnya. A few thousand Chechen guerillas, and their foreign helpers, held off 100,000 Russians until February, 2000, when they evacuated the city. They have been fighting a guerilla war ever since, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Russians and countless Chechens. Grozny was reduced to rubble by Russian bombing. Human rights organisations document Russian forces carrying out summary execution and rape of Chechen civilians.
Putin, like his Tsarist and soviet predecessors thought they could quash Chechen desire for freedom by force. Putin had even declared to his people that the Chechen war was over, having found a suitable Chechen Quisling (Ahmad Kadyrov) to rule the region. As the events in Moscow show, he could not have been more wrong.
The hostage-taking in Moscow is merely the latest outcome of hundreds of years of Chechen desperation. The hostage-takers consisted of the widows of men killed by the Russians and was led by the nephew of slain Chechen leader, Arbi Barayev. It is a the most recent fulfillment of the promise made by the leader of the Chechens to the Czar in 1818, that the Russians would never experience peace so long as a single Chechen remained alive. 184 years on, and it's a threat that remains truer than ever.
Having tried war, genocide and forced expulsions for 280 years and failed, isn't it time that the Russians just gave the Chechens their freedom?
Now lets look to the theme of Forum, it's about War in Chechnya and it means that we "HAVE" to talk about it So lets begin. Russia started first war in 1994, but in 1996 they understood that such a nation as Chechens can't be shown in bad way. So they decided to wait for 3 years, and make independence of Chechnya