"Chechen Terrorists" or the North Caucasus Resistance 101 for Plastic Brains

By Oriana P.
Expert researcher, adviser and translator from Russian: Cherneyy Koshka

 

"They will say you have lost credibility, that you have devolved into nothing more than a violent mob, that you are nothing more than the marauding elements within you. They will say anything to prevent acknowledging what forced you out into the street. It doesn't matter whether you're in Palestine or Syria or Baltimore."

 ~ Talal Alyan, Palestinian-American activist and writer

When people rise up against an oppressive system or simply stand in the way of power players and their greedy rush towards natural resources the propaganda machines will work overtime in an effort to demonize the resistance and the movements towards decolonization and liberation. Our biggest challenge in building solidarity with democratic forces around the world is the debunking of the thick web of propaganda that is specifically designed to confuse and manipulate progressive movements and organizations.  If we want to be meaningful players and aid in the resistance against oppressive governments and regimes then, at the very least, we need to start with the correct information and the correct information can only be obtained from the very people we are trying to defend, the local people who know the language and who are living the nightmare every day. We need to carry and amplify their voices and make sure the world can no longer call in ignorance as an excuse not to act against atrocities and injustice. 

In Syria civilian activists and later the revolutionaries of the Free Syrian Army, the Rebels, became equated with terrorism especially after IS appeared on the scene.  How convenient for Assad to have a bonafide terrorist group at his finger tips he can use to denounce any and all opposition by lumping IS and other extremists together with the real revolutionaries and confuse the rest of the gullible and already Muslimhating world. IS gave Assad the perfect opportunity to position himself as the only valuable alternative to the terrible "Jihadists" and the world believed him.  Muslims, because of propaganda, had already become equated with terrorism in the West and all Assad had to do was pose as the “secular defender of democracy”. It worked and the West gave him a free pass to bomb his own country to shreds.  "All Muslims are terrorists and everybody in the opposition is a Muslim extremist" was what was being fed and we all looked the other way from a genocide happening under our nose. A genocide that is still continuing.

In Palestine people are fighting for their right to exist. Literally the right to exist. Not only are they denied their land, their culture, their livelihoods and their future but they are also denied their right to breathe and be alive.  The Israeli colonizers paint the people of Palestine as terrorists and push the story of the oppressor becoming the victim who has to defend himself against those "violent and dangerous elements". "Israel", the occupation falsely labeled as "state", is twisting,... twisting,... twisting the truth away....in order to continue its colonization and genocide.

In Baltimore and in other cities in the US, activists who are resisting state sanctioned violence and protesting a racist system that is slowly murdering their communities are called thugs, criminals and animals. While the Western "left", thanks to extensive Russian propaganda, failed to recognize the genuine uprising in Ukraine and dutifully repeated the Russian mantra: "all the protesters are neo-nazis funded by the US".

In any of those cases a pattern emerges of denouncing political demands as terrorist and thug activities by those in power and they seem to have a myriad ways to deliver their shameful rhetoric to Western commentators who, for the most part, unsuspectingly repeat the disinformation of the rulers.  

It is truly mindboggling how little faith the ivory tower academics and wannabe revolutionaries, who nevertheless can endlessly quote Marx, Lenin, Bakunin and others, have in the agency of people standing up against tyranny, injustice and dictatorship.  With all their theory they wouldn’t recognize a revolution if it bit them in the ass.  They also seem to have trouble recognizing dictatorships or have no problem finding excuses for them.  Instead, they fervently lap up the propaganda of fascist despots because of their loyalty to an ideology or to their party or from a colonial westcentric racist standpoint disguised as anti-imperialism.  

In their eagerness to prove the western media wrong some of these scholars and pundits turn to “alternative” news sources with the enthusiasm of a dog in heat full of blind herd instinct and devoid of any kind of independent thinking, not realizing that those are propaganda all the same. There's no room for nuance nor depth in populist binary polarized thought that dictates that if you are against A you must support B even if that means B happens to be a genocidal fascist.

When looking at the situation in the North Caucasus we even see Russian and Western sources coming together in their lies, each to protect their respective interests in the region.  It's the summit of absurdity and the ones who lose in this web of deception are, as always, the people rising up against oppression, exploitation, colonization, displacement, murder and theft.

According to the narrative of the power players, namely Russia, the West, Putin's opponents as well as his allies, the people from North Caucasus are all Chechen, all the Chechens are terrorists and Russia is completely justified in taking “counter-insurgents” measures in order to protect itself from the “Muslim extremist menace”. To ensure we buy the terrorist story we are continuously presented with “proof” of their allegiance with IS.  The tankies are of course faithfully swallowing this story as the loyal little lap dogs they are.

The truth however is a little different: Russia is stealing natural resources from the region and comes down hard on any locals resisting and struggling for independence.  In the name of fighting terrorism, Russia engages in "counter-terrorism" practices in Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan, which have been classified as “abusive” by international Human Rights organizations. Young people (especially men) are taken away by force from their homes or workplace (most times by masked military men who cannot be identified and traced), and many will never be heard from again.

Stealing natural resources and vilifying the people who are defending their land. The whole thing would be insufferably boring due to lack of originality if it wasn’t for the fact that real lives are being destroyed as we speak.  

"It’s worse than a war. During the war, we weren’t so scared. We knew that we might be hit by a bullet, no one was safe from that. But now how can one sleep through the night? They wake people, take them away, shoot them. I’m terrified to talk, the prosecutor’s office is terrified – we’re all scared! At any moment [the security forces] might come after anyone of us. Ask anyone here – we are all weeping from fear.” ~ A father of a young man who was summarily executed in June, 2004, Chechnya, February 4, 2005

The West in the meantime is turning a blind eye to the Russian atrocities in the region because the US as well as Europe have lucrative oil and other deals with Russia and are protecting their interests.  Germany, after all, needs to make sure the Germans stay warm in winter lest Merkel would loose popularity and power.  

What makes North Caucasus so interesting to outside forces?

--The natural resources and the history of North Caucasus 

The Causasus is a region between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the majority of the states incorporated in USSR gained independence, including South Caucasus republics. However, the North Caucasus remained behind the Russian Federation’s borders and any talks for independence have been refused.  

North Caucasus consists of the provinces of Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai and 6 constituent republics: Republic of Adygea,  Republic of Karachay – Cherkessia, Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, Republic of North Ossetia–Alania, Republic of Ingushetia, Republic of Chechnya and the Republic of Dagestan.

Culturally and historically, North Caucasus also includes the northern parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Georgians are considered the only native Caucasians who have their own independent state. The Caucasus region is a bridge between Europe and Asia – North Caucasus is considered (geographically speaking) to be part of Europe while South Caucasus (Transcaucasus) is considered to be part of Asia.

The North Caucasus is the poorest region of Russia. It has the highest youth population, and also the highest unemployment rate.  Production of hydrocarbon began in 1864 and after winning the Russian-Circassian war, Russia opened the first oil refinery.  Caucasian oil has since been under direct control of the Russian elite and of the Rothschild family and it feeds much of Europe including Germany, which obviously will affect political relations.

In the documentary "The Making of an Empire: Khozh Akhmed Noukhaev 6"  (1)  Mansour Jachimczyk (2) explains the importance of the region for the oil industry:

"That’s the oil fields.  It’s the biggest, at that, recently discovered oil reserves in the world.   The fast oil boom in Chechnya and Azerbaijan 100 years ago, exactly 100 years ago, was a source of vast fortunes of the Northern families and also a vast increase in the fortune of the Rothschild family.  Both of them were the pioneers of the Azerbaijan oil industry as well as of the Chechen oil industry.  When the Bolshevik revolution started they of course left Chechnya but on leaving the Chechen railway station they waived to their Chechen partners as if to say “don’t worry, we will be back”. And now, 100 years past and they are back. 

In ’94, the international consortium of eleven international oil companies was formed in Azerbaijan to extract oil both in the Caspian Sea and on shore.   At the same time there was only one pipeline connecting those oil fields to the world markets.  It was the pipeline going from Baku through Chechnya, Grozny to the Russian port of Novorossiysk in the Black Sea.

So whoever would control that pipeline route would as a matter of fact control the flow of oil from these biggest reserves to the world market.  And in ’94 Russia believed it would be sufficient to deploy one unit and to control, to take over Chechnya and with the take over of Chechnya take control over the pipeline routes.  But the war broke out and instead of 2 days it took 2 years and it ended up not with Russian victory but with Russian defeat.

After the war, Khozh Akhmed Noukhaev, he greeted an ending in Baku as being the operating headquarters for Caucasian Common Market company and it is from here he presented the concept of the development of the whole system of pipelines linking Caspian Sea through the Northern Caucasus and Chechnya and then Ukraine, Poland through Germany through Western Europe and he called this pipeline the Pipeline of Peace."
 

Khozh Akhmed Noukhaev is portrayed as a guerilla leader of the Chechen independence movement and is called a hero.

We follow the hero of many as he travels to remote Chechen villages where he solves local problems and disputes. We also follow him on his trips abroad to negotiate the control of the trans-Caucasian oil pipeline so vital to the Chechen economy. Khozh Akhmed Noukhaev is one of Chechnya's most charismatic leaders and freedom fighters. From the Russian point of view, however, Noukhaev is a terrorist who is wanted dead or alive. Here we learn his personal story, and through him we also learn about the mystical, proud, and violent history of the Chechen people. We may call him like Robin Hood of Chechen nation.”

The truth however is that Noukhaev was running a mafia operation and basically brokered the oil deal that became the main reason why the West turns a blind eye to the genocide of the Chechen people by Russia.  Noukhaev was the mastermind behind the deal and he had the audacity to call it “The Pipeline of Peace”.  He started the Caucasian Common Market company, which counts Margaret Thatcher's close friend, Lord Alistair McAlpine, Baron McAlpine, of the Goldsmith family interests in London as one of its co-founders.  After April 2001, he became actively involved in the Eurasia Party led by Russian fascist Aleksandr Dugin, despite being officially wanted by police.  Dugin's Neo-Eurasian nationalism is rooted in the political and cultural philosophy of the European New Right. Dugin, who is associated with the Putin regime, has extensive connections with both the European extreme right as well as with extreme left parties such as Syriza.

Dagestan has three pipelines passing through the territory:

- The Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline (274 km),

- Mozdok-Kazimagomed (297 km) and 

- Makat-North Caucasus (129.4 km) gas pipelines.

Russia ranks third in the world when it comes to oil production after Saudi Arabia and the US.  In 2012, Vladimir Putin declared that Russia’s key goal was to maintain its position as one of the world’s largest oil producers.  The Siberian oil fields are expected to become depleted by 2020. Britain's largest bank HSBC forecasts that revenues from oil exports will drop significantly. By stepping up natural gas production Lukoil (3)(Russian company) plans to offset the Siberian declines.  Recently, Lukoil carried out a series of explorations, which uncovered numerous new oil/ gas reserves in Dagestan’s Caspian Sea and in Chechnya.

It is easy to see how important these oil fields are to the Russian elite.  Because of the Siberian depletion problem North Caucasus holds a crucial role for the economic supremacy over a resource-dependent Europe and the competition with major powers like China.  To this end they will do everything in their power to gain control in the region.  One way is to appoint their own leaders instead of allowing free elections and democracy.  Any opposition will be demonized as we can see for example in the “reporting” from London based Joanna Paraszczuk, self proclaimed expert on the region: “Dagestan is still considered the Russian Federation’s terrorist hotspot”

-- Russian and Western oil connections

Russia’s vast oil and gas reserves remain vital to Western oil companies. The oil and gas pipelines leading from Russia to Europe are key in understanding the story of turning the people of the North Caucasus into “Chechen Terrorists” or "Insurgents". The superpowers have extensive mutually lucrative deals amongst each other and the question is in how far these deals influence political decisions on both sides.

Oil and Gas pipelines from Russia to Europe 

- Rosneft and Exxon

"The standoff between the United States and Russia isn’t getting in the way of ExxonMobil’s lucrative relationship with Vladimir Putin’s regime. At least not yet. The U.S.-based oil and gas giant has spent years cultivating ties with the Kremlin, reaching a multibillion-dollar exploration deal with state oil company Rosneft in 2011. Putin even awarded Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of Russia’s highest honors, for the company’s “big contribution to developing cooperation in the energy sector.”"

Rosneft is an integrated oil company majority owned by the Government of Russia, which became Russia's leading extraction and refinement company after purchasing assets of former oil giant Yukos at state-run auctions and after buying TNK-BP in March 2013 it became the largest publicly traded oil company.

On 27 January 2011, Rosneft and the American company ExxonMobil, the world’s second-largest listed oil company after Rosneft, signed a deal to establish a joint venture for the purpose of prospecting and extracting oil from the Tuapse field deepwater area on the Black Sea shelf, near the coast of the Krasnodar Krai. The value of the deal is unknown, but ExxonMobil is expected to invest $1 billion in the project. The venture will be shared 50–50 between the companies during prospecting phase, and 2/3 – 1/3 in Rosneft's favour during the extraction phase.

Exxon is actually sharing coveted U.S. fracking technology with Russia and Rosneft got options for U.S. fossil fuel assets including Texas fracking shale gas fields, extensive Department of Interior ExxonMobil leases in the Gulf of Mexico and sizable gas reserves in Alaska, along with Exxon oil fields in Canada.

Exxon increased its Russian exploration holdings more than five-fold last year. It now has four times as much acreage in Russia than in the US. Despite its Russian Arctic drilling programme being halted by sanctions, the US company is taking a long-term view, seeing past the end of sanctions.

- Rosneft and BP

On 22 October 2012, it was announced that Rosneft will take over TNK-BP International, a parent company of TNK-BP Holding, which is the third largest oil company in Russia.  BP will receive in exchange of its stake $12.3 billion of cash and 18.5% of Rosneft's share, while ARR will receive $28 billion in cash.  In other words, BP is mixed up in Russian oil politics at the highest levels.  BP’s near 20% share of Rosneft is most significant for its contribution to the UK company’s reserves. It makes up over half of BP’s total proven reserves of oil and nearly a quarter of its proven reserves of gas.  It came out well from the manoeuvrings by its partners in TNK-BP and the state-owned oil company Rosneft in 2012, but only by the skin of its teeth. BP CEO Bob Dudley, then head of TNK-BP, was forced to flee the country. Rosneft’s CEO, Igor Sechin, is a close ally of Mr Putin and is now on the US/EU blacklist.  
The deal was completed on 21 March 2013.

On June 27, 2014, Rosneft and BP signed a set of agreements designed to organize long-term deliveries of oil products and crude oil on a pre-paid basis. The terms of transaction provide for export deliveries of oil products with possible substitution with crude oil of up to 12 million tons within 5 years on a pre-paid basis in an amount of no less than 1.5 billion dollars.  A number of world's leading financial institutions participated in the organization of advanced payment. 

Keeping the interweaving of interests and oil-producing incentives and profits in mind, how then is the situation in North Caucasus presented, what narrative is being pushed by both Russian and Western sources and how are the media sources connected? 

-- Western tools mimicking Russian propaganda

As far as pushing the “Chechen Wahhabi Terrorists in Alliance with IS” narrative in the West a couple of names stick out.

First, we have Paul Goble (4) who writes at The Interpreter.

The Interpreter wants to come across as neutral or even pro democratic. Its website states it is mostly translating news coming out of Russia. 

However, The Interpreter is actually pro US protecting the interests of the West in Russia as well as the interests of one of its financiers. It is a special project of the New York-based Institute of Modern Russia, which is partly funded by Russian oligarch and former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.  In the 90’s, during the Yeltsin years, Khodorkovsky amassed wealth by obtaining Siberian oil fields.  Through the controversial "Loans for Shares" schemes he acquired the oil and gas company Yukos from the Russian government.  Between 1996 and 2003 Yukos became one of the biggest Russian oil companies producing 20% of Russia’s oil output, which is as much as Libya or Iraq, and controlled 2% of the world’s oil reserves. The company had five Americans on board.  Khodorkovsky's charity "Open Russia" listed Henry Kissinger and Lord (Jacob) Rothschild as chairmen.

Khodorkovsky was a member of one of the oligarch clans orbiting Putin. During his first three to five years in office Putin shared federal power with two key clans: the St. Petersburg siloviki, who had invaded Moscow along with the President, and the ‘Family’ he inherited from Boris Yeltsin.  Khodorkovsky was part of “The Family”.  Putin’s government is a government not only for the oligarchs but of the oligarchs. After he became president in 2000, Putin made a deal with the oligarchs according to which he would ignore the methods by which they amassed their wealth as long as they stayed out of politics. What he meant was that the oligarchs would be safe in their corruptly acquired wealth as long as they made no attempt to challenge the present government. 

Khodorkovsky is a likely contender for Putin’s job and even though a new law prevents him from running for another 8 years he is still laying the groundwork. In 2003 he was the richest man in Russia and one of the richest people in the world.Khodorkovsky wanted to break from Putin’s clans to gain even more money and power.  After all, the Siberian oil fields were becoming depleted because of his extraction activities and he needed to expand.  In April 2003 his company Yukos sought to merge with Sibneft (Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky) in order to create the fourth largest private company in the world.  Reportedly Khodorkovsky had also been negotiating with ExxonMobil and ChevronTexaco.

The merger never happened because in October 2003 Khodorkovsky was arrested and thrown in jail for 10 years just three weeks after his meeting with Exxon Mobil. Right after, Rosneft (Russian state oil company) made its own deal with Exxon Mobil.  When oligarchs try to break from the clans and use their wealth and influence to develop an opposition to the Putin dominance they are purged.  The rest of the oligarchs then try to steal their wealth.

During his prison time Khodorkovsky successfully transformed his image from ruthless oligarch and oil baron to that of a political prisoner, freedom fighter and champion of Russian reform and democracy.  With this new image he has both the West and the Russian opposition fooled because in the end he is still a capitalist walking over corpses in order to gain money and power. Khodorkovsky may be anti-Putin but he is still in favor of Russian dominance in the North Caucasus region.  He was able to hide and subsequently save much of his wealth in Germany and in 2003 Khodorkovsky's shares in Yukos would pass to Jacob Rothschild because of an earlier deal they had agreed upon. Khodorkovsky supports the continued occupation of North Caucasus.

"This is our land, we have won it... we have conquered the North Caucasus" ~ Mikhail Khodorkovsky 

He would go to war to keep it. Khodorkovsky is nothing but a wannabe slave owner who is being heralded as a hero of democracy. In December of 2013 Vladimir Putin pardoned him because, as some claim, politically it was the right move.  The Interpreter magazine was launched that same year.

Paul Goble’s reporting on the situation in the Caucasus mimics Russian propaganda and is one lie after another.  What follows are some of the highlights in one of his articles, Dagestan Now ‘Northern Front of Islamic State’,  in which he tries to make a case that the Dagestan Muslim wing of the Resistance fighters are terrorists who have joined IS, and the debunking of his statements.

1. “Senior FSB officials have identified North Caucasians among the senior commanders of ISIS and have suggested that “no less than” 1700 Russian citizens are now fighting with that force, almost all of whom are from the North Caucasus and especially from Dagestan, the most Muslim of Russia’s southern republics."
 

The Emir of the Imarat Kavkaz/Caucasus Emirate (CE), Ali Abu Mukhammad (Aliaskhab Kebekov), now deceased,  has stated it is obvious that many who are presumably from Dagestan who went to fight with IS are in fact operatives of Russia’s FSB (The Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation).  The CE Emir says that those who pledged to IS have “plastic brains”.  In a video address released on December 28, Ali Abu Mukhammad warned other CE Mujahideen in the Province of Dagestan and elsewhere not to participate in the discord and not to provide assistance to those who call for a split in the ranks of the CE.

He continues by criticizing the former Emir of the Province of Dagestan for his lack of Islamic knowledge.  In other words, he argues they are not even Islamic. 

"In no address did this brother give any quotes or citations from the Koran or Hadith, or the scholars – does this not show the lack of knowledge of this man?"

He then addresses the former Emir:

One can close one’s eyes to a lot, but not to treachery… You, brother, betrayed your brothers at the very time that they needed you most…. You have caused a schism in our group… If you want to wage jihad with al-Baghdadi, go join him and leave us in peace… You, brother, have gone astray with that oath of allegiance to al-Baghdadi.”

Ali Abu Mukhammad then moves on to discuss Abu Muhammad of Agachaul of the Shamilkala Sector:

“…and we address the Muslims of the Province of Dagestan, that they do not assist those brothers and this discord.." (5)

These Emirs in Dagestan were self appointed Emirs and had not been appointed by the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate (CE).

Ali Abu Mukhammad was later ambushed and killed in what was an FSB "counter-terrorist" operation.

2. "For the last three weeks, Russian siloviki have been conducting a counter-terrorist operation in six adjoining regions of Daghestan: Buynaksk, Novolak, Kazbek, Khasavyurt, and Kizilyurt, areas that include not only highland rural areas but the cities of Buynaksk, Kizilyurt and Khasavyurt as well.”

"...declaring a new counter-terrorism operation against an area of 4,500 square kilometers with some 368,000 people show that Dagestan has become “the northern front” of the Islamic State, according to Anton Bredikhin."

In a study on the Kavkazoved portal”

Anton Bredikhin is not from the Caucasus.  He is a political scientist and PhD fellow at the Department of Foreign Post-Soviet Countries of Russian State University for the Humanities. Furthermore, regarding the study that is being cited as a source in the article, “in a study on the Kavkazoved portal, the Kavkazoved portal is a Kremlin media portal. 

There are no "counter-terrorism operations" happening in Dagestan unless you want to call ethnic cleansing campaigns of the local population “counter terrorism operations”. The report “Dagestan: The Invisible Ethnic Cleansing Happening in North Caucasus” clearly describes (6) how homes and lives are being destroyed by Russian Security Forces (FSB) in the remote mountain village of Vremenny, Dagestan.  What is happening now is what happened in September, October and November of last year (2014).  

A worker for the Human Rights organization Memorial in Russia had reported about this operation in Russian and Novaya Gazeta published the article the same day The Interpreter published their article on Dagestan. The Interpreter clearly chose to ignore both the story and the report. 

3. “The ISIS returnees have formed “a straight line of instability” between the Islamic State, the Pankisi Gorge, and Dagestan. Whether it will intensify and spread further depends, he suggests, on what Moscow does next. But the center’s task is clear: it must “strengthen its positions in the Caucasus and the Near East” in order to protect Russian territory.”

These kinds of statements are completely false and are being used to tighten Russia’s occupation in North Caucasus.

The qualification of a conflict as a whole makes the difference between “conflict” and “terrorism”. The international human rights law provides that during an armed conflict, every individual is classified as either a combatant or a civilian.  All parties involved have to accept the notion of "armed conflict" in the region.  However Russia refuses to accept the status of "combatant" of the people fighting to defend their land and treats any hostile subjects as "insurgents"- under the penal code they can be classified as criminals.  A combatant who kills a soldier is guilty of nothing, an insurgent who kills a soldier is guilty of murder.  Any opposition to Russia is classified as “terrorism”, “banditry” or “insurgency”, any talks to the opponent sides are refused – and according to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s declaration – they will all be “fully eliminated”.

Paul Goble was the director of research and director of communications and technology at Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty also features an “expert” researcher, Joanna Paraszczuk, who claims she is reporting on Chechens in Syria.
 Even though she does have the names of those fighters most of them are actually Kists and not Chechens as she claims.  Kist names have a different ending than Chechen names and it takes literally a millisecond to figure that out. 

"after migrating to Georgia, the Kists started adding the Georgian endings to their patrimonial names, particularly suffix -shvili (meaning "child" in Georgian), or sometimes suffix -dze (which means "son" in Georgian), or still other times the Georgian suffix -uli (indicating "belonging to" or "descended from"). In this manner, Kist family names were established."

However, she consistently calls all these Kists ethnic Chechens throughout her reporting and one may wonder what the reason is.  Either she is not such an expert as she claims to be or there’s a deliberate attempt to call every fighter from the North Caucasus region Chechen for propaganda purposes and then once a group is identified it becomes easier to vilify them.  KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. 

Why is it important to make a distinction between Chechens and Kists and why are the Kists in Syria in the first place?

Kists never really assimilated into Chechen tradition. Even though they share a Chechen language the Kists traditions are very different from the Chechen traditions. Kists are a whole other ethnic group of Vainakh peoples and some aren’t even Muslim.  They shouldn’t be lumped together and called Chechen. If they aren’t Muslim then why would they go to Syria and fight IS's "Jihad"? To use the name Chechen is serving the Syrian-Russian interest in the eyes of the rest of the world.  Indeed there are Chechens in Syria, just as there are Circassians, Dagistani, Kists and Abkhaz who have lived in Syria or in Jordan for a 100 years. And yes they are fighting in Syria but they are fighting the Assad regime and his 'Shabiha' thugs and are not fighting within IS. They are encouraged to fight independently.

Let's clearly analyse what Joanna Paraszczuk has written in her blog "Chechens in Syria" and on other media platforms.

On EA worldview Joanna Paraszczuk offers us a glimpse into her imaginary Chechen fighters in Syria in a piece called 

"Syria: A Brief Guide To Chechen & North Caucasian Factions"

  •  --> Under "CHECHEN FIGHTERS IN THE ISLAMIC STATE OF IRAQ AND AS-SHAM"

She starts with Abu Omar Al Shishani whom Joanna Paraszczuk mentions often in her reporting on her blog "Chechens in Syria" and whom is known and referred to as "Abu Omar the Chechen", "Shishani" being Arabic for "Chechen".  

There seems to be a great deal of effort in general to refer to all these IS commanders as Chechen such as Abu Omar's longtime lieutenant, Abu Jihad al-Shishani. Abu Jihad is not Chechen even though he took that name, Al-Shishani, but Karachay-Balkar.

Abu Jihad, aka Islam Seit-Umarovich Atabiyev, always speaks for Abu Omar in public for reasons yet unknown.  It 's been speculated that Abu Jihad does this because otherwise Abu Omar would be exposed as a fraude in "Jihadist" circles.  In 2006, the Caucasus resistance outed Abu Jihad as a fake and as an FSB informant after his return from Egypt. He is not part of the Caucasus resistance because everybody knows who and what he is and nobody would work with him, which is why he went to Syria where his true identity is not known.  

Joanna translated a big piece from Kavkaz Press "Abu Jihad: The brand of the Bastards' club" in her blog mocking the Kavkaz piece, "Kavkaz Press names Umar Shishani's sidekick Abu Jihadbut doing us a great favor by translating it. She even lists his ethnicity as Karachay-Balkar but continues to refer to the whole operation as "Chechens in Syria".

Abu Omar Al Shishani then, the "Chechen" military commander of IS in Syria, isn't Chechen at all and he only became Muslim when he was in prison in Georgia. His real name is Tarkhan Tayumurazovich Batirashvili and he was born in 1986 into an ethnic Georgian-Kist family.  His father belongs to the Georgian Gvari Batirashvili clan and his mother belonged to the Melkhi clan. His father, Timur Batirashvilli, is an ethnic Georgian Orthodox Christian and his mother was a non- practicing Muslim Kist.  Even though IS kills Christians he invited his strict Christian father to come to Syria and join them. How is it that his father would be safe from IS?

Joanna gives us another present when she translates the video piece with Abu Omar stating that he was never a part of Imarat Kavkaz nor had sworn oath to Umarov before going to Syria. In short, one of the main "Chechen fighters who crossed over to join Daesh" is not Chechen and was never a fighter with the resistance and therefore didn't cross over.  This video was never delivered to Abu Ali Mukhammad before he was assassinated even though it was addressed to him.

  • --> Under "CHECHENS IN JABHAT AL-NUSRA"

She first lists Ruslan Machalikashvili [Sayfullakh Shishani], who is now deceased, as an ethnic Chechen.  As explained before he has a Kist patrimonial name but she insists on calling him an ethnic Chechen. 

  • --> Under "INDEPENDENT FACTIONS"

She names Amir Muslim Abu Walid Shishani [Muslim Margoshvili].  Here she finally acknowledges he is a Kist, which his last name proves. It proves that she knows but simply refuses to list the true ethnicities of the other fighters.  Why? Because it wouldn't fit the title of her blog "Chechens in Syria" and the overall propaganda story. 

She continues with Salahuddin Shishani [Feyzullah Margoshvili].  Notice how his actual patrimonial name is the same as mentioned above for Muslim Margoshvili aka Amir Muslim Abu Walid Shishani. Even though she clearly knows his name and did an extensive article on him she still calls him an ethnic Chechen whereas he is, you guessed it, a Kist. 

After this she moves onto Khalifat ( Amir Abdul-Hakim Shishani).  She describes how much is not known about him because people refuse to release information about his real name.  It seems she doesn't talk to many Chechens or even people from the North Caucasus because it is a well known fact that he is indeed an ethnic Chechen!  His real name is even listed by a Georgian researcher (in Russian).

And on a side note, in her piece here titled "Syria, A Brief Guide to Chechen & North Caucasian Factions", that we have been using to illustrate her incompetence, she lists JAMA'AT SABIRI, which she describes "is a group of predominantly Uzbek fighters". Uzbeks are not ethnic people from the Chechen Republic , North Caucasus or even the Caucasus region. They are people from Central Asia.

As we saw in the previous analysis a deliberate effort is being made to twist the truth in a number of different ways. However, Chechen terrorist” storyline is still a hard sell to a West that is pretty much clueless about the region and its peoples. A story needed to be created of a connection to a terrorist organization everybody in the West is familiar with, IS.

-- The Oath of the Mujahideen of the Caucasus to Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi

A lot of propaganda has been released about the so called oath of the Mujahideen of the Caucasus to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of IS. We noted earlier how Ali Abu Mukhammad, the Emir of the Caucasus Emirate (CE), denounced them, called them traitors with plastic brains and questioned their claim of being actual Muslims. It is a well-known fact that some of the Mujahideen of the Caucasus have been infiltrated by FSB terrorists and that the oath itself is a special FSB operation.

The exiled Chechen Human Rights group in Turkey, Imkandar, released a video that was handed over to the Turkish Government. It was part of the evidence in their case against the FSB agent, Ruslan Papaskiri, (a.k.a. Ali Dabuev), who was found guilty of killing Chechens in exile.  The video covers the FSB undercover hit men explaining in detail the fact that they have agents in Umarov's inner circles, who have "outstanding trust" within Caucasus resistance circles.

Russian FSB moles are not a new phenomenon in Caucasus Resistance circles and they are actually the norm. There's a very long history of Russia's FSB infiltrating these circles.  "Chechen rebel 'mole'-story of betrayal" describes one of these stories.  However, it is not just the resistance fighters who are claiming this. The case of Andrei Yakhnev, a high ranked FSB agent, gives us a rare insight into Russia's secret service infiltration operations.

In the reader’s edition posted on Ichkeria.info on 26.12.2014 we can read:

The current situation amongst the Mujahideen of the Caucasus, who are now swearing an oath to the so-called "Caliph" of Abu Bakr Baghdadi, was very predictable. It was predictable because the oath of the "Caucasian Mujahideen" to Abu Bakr Baghdadi, and its entry into the Islamic State, is "blood from the nose" of Putin and will be used to keep Russia from falling apart because of Western sanctions and falling oil prices..." (7)

On July 4th, 2015 Imarat Kavkaz officially and formally announced the appointment of Dagestani Avar, Magomed Suleymanov aka Abu Usman Gimrinsky as Emir of the Caucasus Emirate and released an audio video declaring the swearing in of Said of Akran as Emir to Vilayat Dagestan who pledges Bay'ah to Imarat Kavkaz. As they explain they withheld from releasing this news for a while due to recent unclear propaganda of who had decided to leave Imarat Kavkaz and which leaders and Mujahideen had pledged to IS, implying that it is now clear to them.  In other words they were sitting back to see who would betray them.

 

In the meantime Kavkaz Center has begun publishing oaths of Caucasus battalion leaders under the newly announced Emir of Imarat Kavkaz (IK) Abu Usman Gimrinsky. This oath usually entails all the different leaders each describing what they represent within Imarat Kavkaz/ Caucasus Emirate, which was created by Dokku Umarov.

 

Dokku Umarov, the now deceased and former leader and founder of the Caucasus Emirate/ Imarat Kavkaz, has been branded both a terrorist and a radical Muslim.
 In 2006, responding to Russian claims that he was an Islamic extremist, Umarov described himself as a "traditionalist" and said:

"Before the start of the first war in 1994, when the occupation began and I understood that war was inevitable, I came here as a patriot. I'm not even sure I knew how to pray properly then. It's ridiculous to say I'm a Wahhabist or a radical Muslim."  ~ Dokka Umarov

On February 3, 2012 Umarov had issued a statement through an online video ordering his subordinates to halt attacks on the civilian population of Russia, while leaving military and security personnel as legitimate targets.  Umarov gave this order in response to nationwide protests against the Russian government. In the past he had claimed some attacks on civilian targets, which had all been in retaliation against Russian military aggression that has been responsible for the murder of over 250,000 people (Free Caucasus says 300,000 people have been killed) including 42,000 children in occupied regions of the Caucasus with most of the killings occuring in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.  Since the uprising of the Russian people against their government however he no longer viewed the Russian people as an enemy of war compliant with a murderous genocidal regime. Dokku Umarov now referred to ordinary Russians as "peaceful" people who no longer support Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his "Chekist" regime -- a reference to Putin's origins as a KGB agent. 

"The population in Russia today definitely does not support Putin. They've been exploited by these sinners and they are hostages to this Chekist regime. So I order all fighters that are carrying out or are planning to carry out security operations on the territory of Russia to put a halt to these operations that could hurt the peaceful population of Russia." – Dokku Umarov

The Emir Ali Abu-Mukhammad was against killing or targeting civilians.  They still killed him.

Aslambek Vadalov, Commander of the Vilayat of the Eastern Front Sector who had been expected to be chosen as the next Emir,  is against any civilians being targeted and it was in fact him who took Dokku Umarov to sharia court about the targeting of civilians. Aslambek Vadalov however did not become the new Emir after all and as previously stated on July 4th 2015 it was announced that Magomed Suleymanov aka Abu Usman Gimrinsky, a Dagestani and ethnic Avar, was to be the new leader of the Caucasus Emirate. Just as his predecessor Aliaskhab Kebekov, Magomed Suleymanov also condemned the oath to Baghdadi as a betrayal. 

Mid June 2015 "news" was released of another alleged pledge from a Chechen battalion to IS. 
According to some unverified video's and dubious reports Emir Khamzat (Aslan Byutukayev), the leader of Vilayat Nokhchicho, supposedly had given an oath to Baghdadi.  However a week later IS announces a new Emir for their formations in the North Caucasus region "Wilayat Kawkaz", Rustam Asilderov aka Abu Muhammad Kadarsky.  Rustam Asilderov is who Emir Ali Abu Mukhammad aka Aliaskhab Kebekev named as having plastic brains, before he was killed, in his address to the Mujahideen of the Caucasus and whom he called a traitor in December 2014.

A lot of questions arise. If Emir Khamzat really had pledged to Baghdadi then it makes no sense that he wasn't named the new Emir for IS because Emir Khamzat is a legendary fighter and commander in the Caucasus. It would have been huge news and a clear victory to be able to appoint such an important Chechen leader.  Also why, after the appointment was announced, were photos released of Imarat Kavkaz fighters from the former Rustam led battalion of Vilayat Dagestan who had earlier been confirmed to have been killed? Why make it seem they would be part of this IS jamaat in the Caucasus?  

*June 13th 2015
Our favorite British blogger and self-proclaimed "expert' on "Chechens in Syria, Joanna Paraszczuk publishes a report that states that Vilayat Nokhchicho, the main Chechen battalion wing of Imarat Kavkaz in the Caucasus and under the leadership of Emir Khamzat aka Aslan Byutukayev, had pledged bay'ah (oath) to IS.  

Her report is based on a audio video that was uploaded to YouTube. The video claims it is the voice of Emir Khamzat that is heard but it is unverified that this is actually the case because the video only shows his picture with a voice over. The source she is using, the Checheninfo website, claims it is indeed the voice of Emir Khamzat.

Checheninfo is named by Kazkaz center, since July 14th 2014 the official media entity of Imarat Kazkaz (IK), as the official media portal of Vilayat NokhChicho. Therefore it seems that indeed Emir Khamzat had pledged to IS.  However,a couple of things don't make sense with Checheninfo and especially with this report. In a segment of Joanna's translation we read "stinking Chechnya has sworn to Baghdadi".  It stands to reason that no Chechen would ever refer to themself as "stinking" Chechen. It is obvious this media portal is not being administrated by anyone linked to Vilayat NokhChicho. It might very well been hacked and should not be considered a reliable source. As we have seen earlier of reports of Abu Jihad being outed as a Russian FSB informant, Joanna's claims of speculation of whether or not a source she translates from is reliable don't seem very consistent.  

*June 15th 2015:
A video emerged of Emir Khamzat in which he talks about IS.  
Joanna reports it on her blog and acknowledges that it is a translation from a translation. She translates from Russian to English and it was translated to Russian from Chechen by Checheninfo.
Kavkaz center published the video on Twitter in its original Chechen language. At no time in the video does Emir Khamzat pledge Bay'ah to IS. Johanna then states "Kavkaz center hasn't denied he has pledged to IS".

When all of this was happening the Twitter account of Kavkaz center became heavily trolled by pro IS supporters and actual IS in an attempt to get them to publicly acknowledge that Emir Khamzat had pledged to IS and to declare that Imarat Kavkaz no longer existed. Imarat Kavkaz responded by posting an older video from Syria in which Chechen fighters, who are fighting with Al Nusra, warned that IS are traitors to Mujahideen everywhere.

On July 10th, 2015 The Daily Beast, an American news reporting and opinion website, released an article that was accidentally featured under "news'' whereas it should have been categorized under "opinion' or 'entertainment".  The title of this article alone "ISIS comes to Russia" is the kind of fear mongering sensationalism that Russia is looking for and The Daily Beast is doing Russia a great favor by supporting their "common enemy" narrative.  Here we have yet another Western media outlet mimicking Russian propaganda.

  • "In June one of the more important and respected members in the North Caucasus pledged loyalty to IS. The defection of Amir Khamzar, commander of the Chechen Vilaiyat..."   This article makes it sound as if Emir Khamzat is the only leader. He's not.  There's actually two Chechen Vilayat wings of Imarat Kavkaz and Aslambek Vadalov is the Commander of both the Gudermos region and of the Eastern Front.
  • "...June 21 read: "We testify that all Mujahideen of the Caucasus - in the Vilaiyats  of Nokhchiycho (Chechnya), Dagestan, Galgaicho (Ingushetia), and KBK (Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay) - are united in their decision and we have no differences among ourselves"." It should be obvious at this point that not all Mujahideen have pledged.  Vilayat Nokhchicho is unconfirmed for example.  There is also still absolutely no confirmation that Emir Khamzat has pledged to Daesh.  Furthermore, in regards to Emir Khamzat, the writer of The Daily Beast article refers to the same unverified audio recording Joanna based her report on. The source they are using here is the Daesh media entity "Furat", which is run by Abu Jihad, Abu Omar Al-Shishani's wingman who was outed as an FSB informant in 2006. This source claims "The Islamic State (IS) released an audio from a Russian-speaking representative of fighters..."  Except the original audio was in Chechen not in Russian. The Mujahideen of Dagestan, Ingushetia and KBK (Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay) have not pledged to IS.  Earlier a video had been released in which the United Vilayat of KBK swears oath to Imarat Kavkaz, which means it is impossible they would swear an oath to Daesh.  Their oath, along with the oath of Vilayat Dagestan, were actually the first initial oaths sworn to the new Emir of Imarat Kavkaz, Abu Usman Gimrinsky, and this must have greatly infuriated Abu Jihad, who's home territory is Karachay-Balkar, because he turned around and released a fancy IS Karachay-Balkar recruiting video.
  • "This statement led ISIS on June 23 to embrace the pledges of loyalty and declared the creation of a new Vilaiyat under the control of Dagestan Amir Rustam Asilderov aka Abu Muhammad al-Kadarskii."  This would be Rustam "Plastic Brains" Asilderov they are talking about, who was chosen over that "most important Commander", Emir Khamzat, IS was so very proud to have reeled in as they claim. There's also no mention of the fact that IS is circulating photos of Rustam's so called Jamaat, which feature confirmed dead fighters of the CE. Apparently Plastic Brains' Jamaat is so small they have to resort to pictures of people who passed away to keep up the front that they have many many fighters. This is reminiscent of the IS strategy to cover up the faces of their fighters in a sneaky trick not to reveal how low their actual numbers are. 
  • "...according to site Caucasian Knot, which tracks the conflict in the region..." Here they use the source "Caucasian Knot", which is completely controlled by Kadyrov and considered a Russian state media site run by the FSB.  The figures "Caucasian Knot" gives on the "militants" killed in the Caucasus are not accurate either because on a regular basis the people who are killed have guns and weapons planted near their bodies, something that has been confirmed over and over.  The Caucasion Knot never reports on these eyewitness testimonies of surviving family members. 

The list of disinformation points goes on and on and in the end they actually admit to Russia's plan: "And while Russia will be pleased by its ease to connect its long-running fight with the wider global fight against Jihadism...".  Russia's long-running fight is their fight with the people they want to steal natural resources from.

IS tries to co-opt the Caucasus Resistance by fooling people with their false propaganda and use this as a recruiting tool. However, it is Russia who would benefit the most of IS co-opting the Caucasus Resistance and of making the world believe that IS is connected to the resistance in the Caucasus.  By connecting the "Chechens" to IS, Putin piggyback rides on the IS hysteria, which is useful in his scheme to create a common enemy. The economic sanctions due to Russia's aggression in Ukraine and the falling oil prices are bringing Russia to the brink of economic collapse. By creating a common enemy Russia hopes to make an alliance with the West, which will then be forced to lift the sanctions.

In this whole carefully constructed scheme one simple fact is overlooked: why would the fighters from the North Caucasus leave the fight at home in the first place, the fight to defend their homes and families, to go fight in Syria? It just doesn't make sense.

As noted earlier, one way to take control over a region is to have people loyal to your cause in leadership positions and to prevent democratic elections. The people of the Chechen Republic aren't only suffering Putin's dictator but have also been betrayed by greedy traitors.
 

-- Russian Puppets and Chechen traitors

* Ramzan Kadyrov

I've already killed him, whom I ought to kill. And those, who stand behind him, I will also kill them, to the very last of them, until I am myself killed or jailed. I will be killing [them] for as long as I live... Putin is gorgeous. He thinks more about Chechnya than about any other republic [of the Russian Federation]. When my father was murdered, he [Putin] came and went to the cemetery in person. Putin has stopped the war. Putin should be made president for life. Strong rule is needed. Democracy is all but an American fabrication... Russians never obey their laws. Everyone was stealing, and only Khodorkovsky is in jail.” ~ Ramzan Kadyrov when responding to a question on how he is going to avenge the murder of his father

Russia is placing puppet leaders such as Ramzan Kadyrov in the region to assert control but also uses ethnic Chechens for ethnic cleansing purposes.

"Kadyrov you are a pig!  You are a betrayer of your people.  There will be revenge Kadyrov!  You are a traitor!  Look at how your people cry, their tears will be revenged!  Damn you and your family too!  You are not a President! You are a charlatan!" ~ a clip from the Nizam TV documentary, "War Crimes of Russia"

In 2003, Vladimir Putin handed over responsibility to local militias in Chechnya after appointing Pro-Russian Ramzan Kadyrov as acting president, although Russian troops are still present in large numbers in the Chechen Republic to carry out various operations. This process has been called “Chechenization” of the conflict.

The purpose of the so-called “plan of Chechenization” originally consisted of undermining national traditions from within and by Chechens. The first stage was to seek out support and to select among pro-Russian minded politicians and public figures.  Even the most devoted of them, who showed loyalty during Dudayev's leadership in the first war, fell out of favor in the end. Russia made a deal with those who expressed a willingness to finally break with national traditions and join with Russian occupiers in fighting against their own countrymen by committing acts of capturing, killing and torturing.

Before the “Chechenization process” there had never been a case where Chechens took the relatives of their opponents hostage, especially not women and children. It was impossible to imagine that some Chechens would torture others and trade their bodies. Now it has all become the norm. The "security" forces of the local residents, taking advantage of their status and position, have routinely beaten and humiliated anyone who, for one reason or another, they don’t like.

The whole point to Russia's colonization plan of Chechenization is to dismantle national tradition and to enslave the Chechen people.

Here, it’s a fully authoritarian regime where Ramzan Kadyrov is everything.  The Constitution, the laws, the penal code, none of that has any value next to “Ramzan says”.  If Ramzan says “kill them all,” then they will all be killed.  His word takes priority over the Constitution…..it’s kind of a North Korea on the territory of the Federation of Russia" ~ Olef Khobibrakhmanov, Committee Against Torture

In Chechnya the committees of inquiry, the prosecutor office and the courts are all under the control of Ramzan Kadyrov.  As long as fear reigns, as long as Kadyrov’s private army is in control of the Chechen Ministry of Interior nothing will change.  This private army is now controlling the whole of the justice system.  The last Chief of Judicial Police who was independent was let go after 6 months without any explanation.  All the spheres of society are under the control of the new Father of Nations.  By using terror and money he rallies the clans and upholds the appearance of massive public support.  Ramzan Kadyrov harnesses the oldest customs and makes them serve the state ideology.  Comply and survive. Resist and die.

A reign of impunity, denial of the past, rewriting of history.  From now on the official Chechen history starts with the rule of the Kadyrov family and Putin’s arrival to the Kremlin.

After all these years of war where people only knew murders, suffering, they are tired. In their despair they are ready to accept anything. They all pretend to be happy.  When celebrations are organized, such as Kadyrov’s or Putin’s birthday, attendance in the streets is mandatory for all workplaces.   If you don’t go they tell you not to come back to work.  Celebrations are being held under threat during which patriotic songs glorifying the cult-of-personality leaders reverberate through the speakers:

"They guide our country towards the sacred light, Ramzan Kadyrov and Vladimir Putin.  With a spark of eternal fire they drew for us a road without obstacles.  The two inseparable wings, Russia and Chechnya.  We share the same language and our faith in God.”

How desperate and frightened people must be to participate in the celebrations of their executioners.

Putin and Kadyrov are very close and Kadyrov doesn't do anything of significance without checking with Putin first. If he does happen to slip up and moves without Putin's approval he scurries to correct himself publicly in Instagram, his favorite social media apparatus, or on the state owned tv channel in the Chechen Republic.

Some within Putin's inner circles don't like how much power Kadyrov has been able to build throughout the years though and Putin has to play this very carefully because whoever controls the FSB has all the power. Putin needs to be able to hold onto both his FSB and onto Kadyrov.  Kadyrov is indeed very powerful and although his days are numbered he still commands a fierce fighting clan not to mention that if he were ever to declare The Chechen Republic as truly and officially independent from Russia he would gain huge support from many of the past and current opposition fighters.  However in the end they will just kill him anyways because he will never be forgiven for the 30,000 Chechens he murdered for Russia. In addition, he would need to find outside financial support because right now Russia is paying all the bills.  It is unlikely Kadyrov will betray Putin and Putin knows it. 

It seems Ramzan Kadyrov was also the ringleader behind the murder of Putin opponent, Boris Nemtsov. The killers all stayed in a Moscow apartment before the murder, which was leased by Kadyrov's mother. We know that Kadyrov never makes a move without Putin's consent though and Nemtsov was murdered in the shadow of the Kremlin, the safest and most guarded place in the entire country.

On June 5th, 2015, according to unconfirmed reports, Kadyrov's Sufi's attacked the Imam in the biggest Mosque in Ingushetia, which is near the border of occupied Chechnya.  It was said it was Kadyrov's clan who tried to kill the Imam because they want to take over that Mosque. The Muslims in the Mosque prevented their plan and protected the Imam. 

Contrary to popular belief the Sufi's, at least under the leadership of Kadyrov, are not peaceful at all and they don't behave very Islamic. No Muslim would ever attack an Imam in a Mosque during a sermon.  it was Kadyrov's clan that murdered 30,000 Chechens in the interest of the Russian occupation. It was also Kadyrov's clan that was chopping off heads Daesh-style during the "officially" declared first and second wars by Russia, which was then used in Russian propaganda to demonstrate how dangerous the "extremists" in North Caucasus are. Except they forgot to mention that those "extremists" were fighting and killing and torturing for Russia. The secret directive no. 91/12-58 of 22/12/99 shows us a clear example of the Russian propaganda plan that was carried out in 1999 and the following years.

  • To Major-General Vladimir Shamanov.
    Commander, North Caucasus Military District
    58th Army General Staff
    Vladikavkaz

    To fulfill Order No 1028/sk of the Russian Federation Minister of Defence of 28 December 1999, I order:
    that the following be carried out promptly:

    People of Negro and Arab origin be shown to the media in sufficient numbers to prove the mass participation of Negroes and Arabs as mercenaries on the side of Chechen bandit formations;

    Proof be shown of the mass murder of Chechen civilians loyal to the Russian authorities by fighters of the bandit formations;

    The burnt corpses of Chechen civilians be displayed;

    Witness evidence be presented of pillaging and inhumane behaviour by members of Chechen terrorist groups and Wahhabi bandit formations.

    Filtration begin of young Chechens between the ages of 10 and 14 with subsequent dispatch to the reception point of the Omsk military commissar from where they will be sent, according to plan, to special military educational establishments.

    In carrying out this Directive use be made of the resources of the North Caucasus Military District, in collaboration with special sub units of the GRU (military intelligence) and Interior Ministry, allocated to the anti-terrorist operation in the Chechen Republic.

    Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence

    Anatoliy Kvashnin


     

"Not that long ago, everyone was talking on radio and TV about the Holocaust and about Buchenwald. I am also against genocide.  I feel genuine sympathy for those people.  For their helplessness.  But no one talks about the genocide of the Chechen people.  No one mentions the concentration camps around Khankala and the Russian base at Lupoi...or around Kadayrov's castle at Khosi-Yurt where people are being dismembered" ~ Dokku Umarov

People in the West generally have an idealized and romantic idea of "Sufism" and view it as the highly "spiritual" non-political form of Islam that allegedly is closer aligned with Christianity, Greek philosophy and the mystical speculations of the Indian Vendanta.  The term "Sufism" is actually a creation of the Orientalists who had a negative view of Islam but were enamored with the Persian poetry from poets such as Hafiz and Rumi.  They saw "Sufi's" as freethinkers who could have had nothing to do with the Islamic Mohametan religion. "Sufism" is actually the Islamic practice of "tasawwuf", the part of Sharia that deals with the internal feelings and states of the heart. In other words it is very much part of the faith of the Arabian Prophet and this "Sufism" form was created and is still being used for political reasons and propaganda purposes.  Tyrannical regimes in Muslim-majority countries have promoted forms of "Sufism" in order to control faith.

Kadyrov uses his own brand of religion to control the people, and eclectic amalgam of populist Islam with a bastardized version of Chechen Sufism mixed in with some Christian/pagan elements and idolatry. 
 Anyone not adhering to this "Kadyrov faith" becomes branded as a Salafi or extremist or Wahabi or a combination thereof.
 

*Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, Akhmed Zakayev

On the site that he admins, Chechencenter, we can read:

"Leader of the Chechen struggle for independence Akhmed Zakayev is becoming more and more popular among worldwide politicians. He is getting more and more support from the Chechens who are suffering dictatorship of Ramzan Kadyrov."

However, he was being funded by Boris Berezovskythe Russian oligarch who founded Sibneft (Gazprom Neft).  Both are anti-Putin but pro-Russian and both protect Russian interests.

I am absolutely against independence for Chechnya. I was also against it, when it was negotiated in 1996-1997. If we give independence to Chechnya, then tomorrow we will have to give it to Tatarstan, and the day after tomorrow, Ingushetia and so on. This would mean the collapse of Russia. I am against the collapse of Russia." ~ Boris Berezovsky

Boris Berezovsky was found dead at his home on 23 March, 2013.  His death was an apparent suicide through hanging but was later recorded as an open verdict. Berezovsky was a member of "The Family" oligarch clan and Zakayev is still connected to the anti-Putin oligarchs. 

Akhyad Idigov, the chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in the former parliament of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI) released a special statement accusing former interior minister of the CRI Zakayev of irresponsibility and incompetence.

He also called Zakayev an outcast and an imposter, recalling that Zakayev has been caught forging documents many times by publishing decrees and resolutions in the name of the government and the parliament of the CRI. The "government of the CRI in exile," considers Zakayev an imposter and a political swindler.

-- Chechen identity and Chechen resistance (8)

A "Chechen" doesn't have one identity but encompasses supra-national, ethnic, national and several subnational identities:  Caucasian, Mountaineer, North Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Nakh, Vainakh, Nokcho (Chechen), member of tukhun, teip, aul, vaer, gar, neqe, and dooezal.  Religion adds an extra dimension: Muslim, Sunni, Shafi, Sufi, tariqat adept, vird follower.

North Caucasian nationalism is a different concept altogether as what is generally understood in the West by nationalism.  The Vainakh people for example have an age old and rather unique national consolidation system.  In times of peace the relationship between the different super tribes would be one of detachment but when facing an external threat they would seamlessly unite.  An awareness of an ethnic identity exists that encompasses all the different tribes. By no means should this overall ethnic identity be confused with the attempt of the Russian and Western propaganda to lump together all the different peoples of the North Caucasus.  Even though the Russian occupation is clearly the external threat that would make the tribes unite, their identity and the way they interpret it is their own and this phenomenon should not be appropriated for propaganda purposes to serve an agenda. When we use "Chechen" here in this segment we use it in the way it was intended and from the identity of the people from North Caucasus unless quoted from a Russian source.

Before the Russian occupation the Chechens were organized in a democratic structure based on pluralism and a deference to individuality. The different autonomous clans were linked into larger tribal confederations.  Each clan was headed by a respected elder and decisions were taken by elected councils or plebiscites.

"They (the Chechens) must be destroyed like vermin"
 

"We will hunt them down in every corner of the globe and drown them in toilets if we must"  ~ Vladimir Putin
 

It was the Second Russian-Chechen war that made the former KGB/FSB agent Vladimir Putin President of Russia.

The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was the secessionist and internationally largely unrecognized government of Chechnya. The only countries to recognize it were Georgia and Afghanistan. It was formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and as a result of the liberation movement against Russian rule. The only reason this government remains unrecognized is because the international community has dealings with Russia and an independent nation would go against their interests.

In 1990 and in 1991, at two Chechen National Congresses, more than 1,000 delegates elected from all regions decided that Chechnya should be independent. In October 1991 Chechens elected a new parliament and a big majority elected Dzhokhar Dudayev as their President. In November of that same year Dudayev declared the sovereignty and independence of Chechnya and named this new nation "the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria". The Soviet Union no longer existed and each federalized region had been offered to enter into a federalized agreement with "Russia". The Chechen Republic refused to sign the agreement in 1992 and was actually already independent since a Soviet Union no longer existed to which the Chechen Republic once belonged to when it was still called Chechnya. When referring to this region it should therefore be called either "occupied Chechnya" or "The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria".

The same year The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria wrote its Constitution according to which the Chechen Republic was an independent democratic state.

After the assassination of president Dzhokhar Dudayev on April 21, 1996 Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev became the acting president of the ChRI. In January 1997, free democratic presidential and parliamentary elections were held in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria under the aegis of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe). Aslan Maskhadov won a convincing victory with more than 59% of the vote. On May 12, 1997 Maskhadov signed a peace treaty with Yeltsin at the Kremlin.
 

On October 1, 1999 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared the authority of President Maskhadov and his parliament illegitimate. Putin, sending Russian forces into the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, promised a quick and easy victory. This promise earned him the presidency.

 

* The occupation and war is still going on in Chechnya so the ChRI parliament, which was elected in 1997, will remain legitimate until new democratic elections are held in a free Chechnya.

 

In the meantime, Russia and everybody else who is benefiting of the continued Russian occupation in the North Caucasus are working together to build the “terrorist” image of this new "common enemy”. The concept of Russia fighting an international terrorist group in the Caucasus was always a lie. 

Andrei Yakhnev, a high-ranking FSB operative in Russia's "war on terrorism", in response to a question of whether he approved of the way Russia was conducting this war:
 

"I disagreed on the most fundamental issues. I always said that the people who participated in illegal terrorist forces in Chechnya and Dagestan did so for various reasons, and the same with those who supported them. I constantly told my superiors that to solve these problems we needed not punitive measures, but socio-economic ones. I also tried to explain that terrorists in Russia weren't financed from abroad but by local political clans fighting for power in the North Caucasus republics, and wanting to secure power, administrative resources, and federal financing for themselves”

In other words, Andrei Yahknev completely disagrees with the Russian propaganda story on terror in the Caucasus, namely that it was part of an international Jihad movement that needed to be crushed mercilessly. This propaganda has been presented over and over again so that the Russian imperialist occupation of the region could not only continue but tightened in order to protect the Russian interests.  

-- Demonization of Chechens in the West

1. The Boston Bombing

The media were spreading the rumor that the Tsarnaev brothers were Chechen.  This is not true. They didn't come from the Chechen Republic but from Dagestan and they never experienced war in occupied Chechnya.  The family immigrated to the US legally.  Both the USCIS report and the court case show they were never refugees. Even though their father is Chechen, their mother is Avar.  The Avars are culturally very far removed from the Chechens and after the divorce the mother never allowed the brothers much contact with their father, who himself was never linked to any Caucasus "Islamists".  Russia's intelligence had 'warned' the US that the mother and the oldest brother supposedly had had contact and links with the Mujahideen of the Caucasus.  The Mujahideen of Dagestan have refuted this.

"The Command of the Province of Dagestan indicates in this regard that the Caucasian Mujahideen are not fighting against the United States of America. We are at war with Russia, which is not only responsible for the occupation of the Caucasus, but also for heinous crimes against Muslims.

Also, remember that even in respect to the enemy state of Russia, which is fighting the Caucasus Emirate, there is an order by the Emir Dokku Umarov, which prohibits strikes on civilian targets.

In this regard, the Command of the Mujahideen of the Province of Dagestan urges the media, primarily the American, to halt speculations and promotion of Russian propaganda.

If the US government is really interested in establishing the true organizers of Boston bombings, and not in complicity with the Russian show, it should focus on the involvement of Russian security services in the events"

It could be called strange to say the least that the mother is now under protection in Dagestan after Russia's intelligence gave “information” to the US that she is linked to the Caucasus Emirate.  Russia claimed that both she and her older son are both linked to the militant underground of the Caucasus resistance.  Russia does not protect people they claim they are linked to the CE unless there is an agenda such as working in their interests. In fact, people have been arrested for merely being suspected of handing out food to 'underground militants' in the Caucasus. 

Both the Caucasus Emirate as well as members of the exiled CR-Ichkerian government have pointed out over and over again that the mere failure of the US and the West in general to even acknowledge all these things. clearly shows that the Western and US agenda is to continue to protect terrorist Russia and the crimes they commit in the Caucasus such as occupying, stealing, murdering, and torturing. 

The propaganda machine just needed a Chechen. They need Chechens to be linked to terrorism so Russia can justify its atrocities in the region under the guise of "counter-terrorism" activities and the West looks the other way because they have a stake in that same region.

Ramzan Kadyrov in the meantime, Russia's puppet in Chechnya, has claimed that Dzhokar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death, was framed by US secret services.

"I do not believe that the Tsarnaevs committed this terrorist attack without the knowledge of US secret services, that is, if they even committed the attack"

 The wheels of the propaganda machine keep rolling.

2. Charlie Hebdo

The Chechens in Europe were subjected to ethnic profiling after the Paris attacks.  Even though it was already clear the day of the attack that the assailants weren’t Chechen mass arrests of Chechens took place in Paris and its surroundings the night of January 11.  It seemed these were preventive measures in the run-up to the mass march in Paris to honor the victims of the attack for which dozens of heads of state were scheduled to attend.  The detained Chechens had all their money, telephones and computers confiscated and were held for nearly two days at an unidentified site near Paris. The security services tried to make them confess to ties with the “Chechen” fighters in Syria and they were being accused of organizing a terrorist cell.

According to unconfirmed reports, up to ten Chechen families have been deported from France in the days after the attack. This is uncharacteristic of France, which has never before taken such actions against Chechens.  French authorities also took the extra measure of warning neighboring countries of possible hostile actions by Chechens living in France resulting in brief arrests in Germany, Belgium and Austria.

The propaganda of connecting Chechens to terrorism has consequences for the refugees trying to escape the Russian oppression.

"Some of our politicians try to connect the question of Chechen refugees to terrorism," says Bern Mesovic, deputy managing director of Pro Asyl, a Frankfurt-based NGO that advocates for migrants. "Some of them believe the information given by Russian officials, who are always connecting Chechens with terrrorism."

The same is often true of the German media. “Terrorists Seek Asylum In Germany” reads an August 8 headline in the German daily “Die Welt”.

3. Nationwide Raid in Belgium

On June 8th, 2015 Chechen communities in 21 places in Belgium were raided and subjected to ethnic profiling because of a perceived terror threat after a tip was received. According to Belgian federal prosecutors two people were charged in connection with a probe into a "Chechen extremist group suspected of seeking to recruit jihadists to fight in Syria"

It was claimed that some of the suspects were linked to Al-Nusra Front in Syria and to the Islamic Caucasus Emirate. The suspects were said to have been in two groups, one based on the coast, the other near Louvain. The prosecutor's office said that the raids were simultaneously because the two "extremist and Salafist Chechen groups ...were linked to each other".  

Supposedly What'sApp messages had been intercepted with the help of American communication specialists. The Belgian authorities arrested 16 "Chechens" but had to let 14 of them go shortly after because of lack of evidence. They found no immediate indication to suggest that an attack was being prepared in Belgium. 

Only two of the suspects remained in custody but it is unclear for how long.  Names were never released and newspapers never followed up on the story.  The whole ordeal was buried quickly without ever releasing any details.

Clearly an effort was made here to connect an apparent, but not proven, recruiting group for Syria with "Chechen terrorists" connected to the Caucasus Emirate. Where did the original tip come from is the question we should be asking.   
 

-- Daily Life “Chechnya today- worse than war”

During the war, you could always hide from the bombs. There was always somewhere you could run to. But today you don’t know who to trust. You start to doubt and be suspicious of even your own colleagues. That’s the most frightening thing, worse than during the war." ~ Kheda Saratova, Human Rights advocate and head of the Information-Analytical Agency "Objective"

The war on Chechnya might be officially over according to Russia but that doesn’t mean the atrocities are over. These include enforced disappearances with reports of torture and murder by the federal security forces inside filtration camps that resemble 1940's nazi concentration camps and soviet gulags. Especially human rights activists and journalists are being targeted with acts of intimidation  such as Anna Politkovskaya, Natalya Estemirova, Elena Maglevannaya, Zurab Markhiev, Fatima Tlisova, "Caucasian Knot" journalist Akhmednabi Akhmednabiev (Akhmednabiev worked for the Kadyrov controlled "Caucasian Knot" but his subversive reports got him killed) and many more. Some of them mentioned here were killed, others had to flee and live as refugees, many others have disappeared and were murdered.

"If you are a journalist in the Caucasus you have to be a human rights defender at the same time.  When information is hidden and media access is closed, it is much easier to commit a crime.  If hundreds of people are killed today, perhaps if I write about the crime only 10 will be killed tomorrow" ~ Zurab Markhiev (of Ingushetia)

During the war against Ichkeria, which was already violating the laws of Crimes against Humanity, a fact ignored by the Clinton administration and other Western countries, Putin had ordered cleansing operations resulting in the disappearance of thousands of people in the last 15 years.  Today, these operations have have been rebranded as “anti-terror operations” and they spread to Ingushetia and Dagestan, and occasionally to Kabardino-Balkaria or Karachai-Cherkessia.

This video (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) is a recent example of what these "anti-terror operations" look like. Rustam Kodzokov had been a free man for just 6 months following a 9 year sentence, when he was kidnapped by Russian FSB at his parole's weekly check-in.  He ended up being tortured and murdered.  Weapons were planted near his body and everyone was told he had died while resisting police.   His body was given back to the family who recorded a video of his corpse - they found evidence of torture: cigarette burns, a severed finger, a backwards broken arm, burns and cuts all over his body, a broken neck, etc... These kinds of torture cases have been occurring for two decades now but the world keeps ignoring.

"This regime works with only one goal: how to stay in power for the longest time possible. And to keep that power anything goes.  It is terror in the name of anti-terror.  The “fight against terrorism” must be continual because to stay in power and lead Kadyrov must keep people in a constant state of fear and for that he needs a repressive apparatus.  This apparatus requires big financial support that he can only get from Moscow in exchange for the fight against terrorism.  That’s why they are always finding “terrorists” and why people disappear.  For each eliminated “terrorist” the Kadyrov fund receives 14,000 Euro.  For these kinds of rewards they will keep killing."  ~ Oleg Khabibrakhmanov

 

Sadly, in most of the cases we get here, people don't come back. We're at the point where when a young man disappears and the parents find him in jail, they say, 'Thanks Allah, he's in jail!' I'm not joking, the parents thank Allah. Their son is in jail so he's alive and he may come back one day...but it's still very rare” ~ Oleg Khabibrakhmanov
 

Lately, the kidnappings have been accelerating and they have started targeting women.  

Those in power also want to ban the memory of any past Chechen identity.  The regime forbids to speak about the missing today and to remember the dead of the war. 

For the first time (Feb. 2014) in the history of the Republic Ramzan Kadyrov has forbidden to commemorate the deportation of the Chechen people by Stalin.  Obsessed with satisfying the Kremlin and more importantly to not spoil Vladimir Putin’s big Olympic party.

Here, today you're alive, tomorrow you are dead. With this policy, they push people to join the opposition. With their methods they end up giving birth to new separatist fighters. No one can bear this for long. If we don't change our leaders, nothing will ever change here”

Those in power would like for us not to exist. If we stop searching, they will be satisfied. Now we can't even protest. Or else we would be walking day and night to demand the return of our children. They would shoot us if we dared to do this. In Argentina, the soldiers who murdered all these people are being judged. Why aren't our soldiers being judged? Those who murdered us. Over there, the mothers succeeded, the ones responsible are being judged. Us, nothing”

“InshaAllah, they will come back...after that we will live well...they are my flesh and blood. Like the rain that falls on the Mountain….my heart is crying and broken...when the sun sets and the night falls...I see you cry and it breaks my heart...Living in grief is pointless...you can't escape death...so many young ones lie beneath the earth…one day our turn will come...”

~ Documentary by Manon Loizeau – Chechnya: War Without Trace

 

 

 

In the meantime the whole world keeps ignoring the atrocities done to the peoples of the North Caucasus.  On March 17th, 2013 An Open Letter to Citizen Putin V.V. was sent to "all government institutions in Russia, to all political parties, human rights and other non-government organizations, the media and all those citizens of Russia and the world who care".  The letter describes and condemns the crimes, the propaganda and the corruption and accuses Putin of genocide and crimes against humanity. Still, the situation in the North Caucasus keeps getting ignored. Apparently the world doesn't care after all.

-- The Future

* Ukraine
Russia will most likely be expanding its propaganda strategy, "Chechen terrorists linked to IS", to Ukraine. At this very moment they are trying to connect the "Islamic militants from Chechnya" to the "neo-Nazi" forces in Ukraine. Thanks to their previous propaganda work, in which they called all the Maidan protesters neo-Nazis, they are now in a position to link the freedom fighters from the North Caucasus, who are helping their brothers in Ukraine because of their belief that if Ukrainian freedom is once again obtained their country will also be freed from Russian occupation, to the so called neo-Nazis in the invaded regions of Ukraine. This would make their little "common enemy" circle jerk complete: Chechen Wahhabi Terrorists ~ IS ~ Ukrainian neo-Nazis. We have to admit, as far as dictator's propaganda goes this one has got to be one of the sexiest: "Chechen Wahhabi Terrorists ~ IS ~ Ukrainian neo-Nazis".  It has a definite buzz to it and any commercial media outlet must be licking their fingers at the prospect of all the yummy ratings this will generate. Sex might sell but fear sells better.

And indeed, the Grande Dame of Western media, The New York Times, is already all over it. In an article published on July 7th, 2015, "Islamic Battalions, stocked with Chechens, Aid Ukraine in war with Rebels", we once again find a Western media entity refer to the Russian military and Russian FSB presence in Ukraine as "Rebels" and "Russian backed separatists".  To put it differently, their choice of words already betrays the fact they are repeating Russian propaganda.  Also, it's not a war, it's an invasion and local people, the Ukrainians, are resisting just as their counterparts in the North Caucasus are resisting Russian imperialist aggression.  Let's do a short analysis of this New York Times piece.

  • "Waiters hovered apprehensively near the kitchen, and try as he might, the man who calls himself "Muslim", a former Chechen warlord, could not wave them over for more tea."  
    The author is referring to Emir Muslim, the Commander of the Chechen Battalion of Sheikh Mansour, who has never been a Chechen "Warlord". What exactly is a "Warlord" anyways? Admittedly, talk about "warlords" gives it a more romantic ring.  We could almost lose ourselves in dreaming up the cast for that Hollywood movie that must be in the making, "The Revenge of the Chechen Warlords".
  • "Recently, the Ukrainian authorities released photos - which they said were taken by a drone flying north of the city - that showed a massing of heavy weapons, including tanks and howitzers, on the rebel side."
    Actually, they released a drone video that showed the setting up of
    an actual Russian military base camp.  There is a difference.
  • "The Chechen commands the Sheikh Mansour group, named for an 18th-century Chechen resistance figure.  it is subordinate to the nationalist Right Sector, a Ukrainian militia."
    This is completely made up.  They are not subordinate to Right Sektor but to Ukraine's ATO, The Defence Ministry of Ukraine - Anti Terrorist Operation".
  • "Apart from an enemy, these groups don't have much in common with Ukrainians - or for that matter with Ukraine's Western allies, including the United States".  
    And here the writer dives head first into the "common enemy" narrative, especially when he expands on his statement in the following paragraph in an attempt to link the Chechen Battalions not only to Privvy Sektor (Right Sektor) but also to Azov "Nazis".

On a related note, racism in the East, and especially in Russia, is different from racism in the West. In the West, the term "Caucasian" refers to white people, white-skinned and from European descent, while in the East it refers to the peoples of the Caucasus.  Even though the peoples of the Caucasus are mostly white-skinned they are called "the blacks" because some have a darker complexion and darker hair and eyes.  They are greatly discriminated against and especially Nazis and nationalists in the East are very racist against the people from the Caucasus. Another interesting fact is that Georgians are fighting alongside both the Chechens from Ichkeria and the Ukrainians but Western media never write anything negative about them. They only come down hard on the Muslim fighters and never utter a bad word about the Christian fighters from Georgia.  Coïncidence?

  • "Mr. Musayev, the Chechen said, had received approval from senior members of the Ukrainian government, but "there were no documents, nothing was written,' he said, adding that Mr. Musayev was killed in fighting in February."  
    This seems to be a fake interview altogether.  There is no way Emir Muslim would refer to one of his closest friends as "Mr. Musayev". There is no way he would get his name wrong.  His real name was Isa Munayev and Emir Muslim would make sure the name of his friend would be remembered correctly. In the video "Chechens fighting for Ukraine: Putin should keep thinking of 42,000 murdered children" Isa Munayev refers to Muslim as his deputy.
  • "As the Ukrainians see it, they are at a lopsided disadvantage against the separatists because Western governments have refused to provide the government forces with anything like the military support that the rebels have received from Russia.  The army, corrupt and underfunded, has been largely ineffective. So the Ukrainians welcome backing even from Islamic militants from Chechnya".  
    Again, we see the wrong use of the terms "separatists" and "rebels". There are no rebels or separatists that have received military support from Russia.  There is a Russian military presence. And what is meant by "even"? "the Ukrainians welcome backing even from Islamic militants from Chechnya". What is so bad about "Islamic militants from Chechnya"? Unless, of course, you buy into the narrative that equates "Islamic" with "terrorist", as in "all Muslims are terrorists".  From there it is but a small step to change "Islamic" to "Islamist", a term which is even more wrongfully equated with terrorism, and then eventually connect them with Daesh, which is the goal. One would think that these Chechen Battalions would stand with a Daesh flag if they were really linked to them.  When was IS ever to be known to pass up an opportunity for self promotion and recruiting?  They would gladly jump to the occasion and let the world know they have representation in Ukraine. But no such thing. In pictures of the Chechen Battalion of Sheikh Mansour in Ukraine the fighters are not posing with a Daesh flag or even with a traditional Islamic flag but with the flag of free Ichkeria.  The message here should be clear to anyone not blinded by lies.

*Azerbaijan and Armenia
An even bigger war is being forged right before our eyes.

Azerbaijan is the geo-strategic crossroad between Eastern Europe and Western Asia with Russia to the North and Iran to the South. Its natural resources have long been a source of attraction to oil-hungry nations.  Azerbaijan, and especially Baku, is the key to the oil-rich Caspian Sea. 

Since the late '80s Azerbaijan has had tensions with the Republic of Armenia over the self declared Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a region in Azerbaijan. Both Armenia and Azerbaijan are former Soviet Republics but since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 Azerbaijan has been a loyal partner of the US supporting the construction of oil and gas pipelines to Turkey and breaking Russia's energy monopoly in the region. The government also has close ties with Israel through weapons trade and oil. 

Armenia has a strategic alliance with Russia. They have a collective security agreement and Russia holds a military base in Armenia while providing them with discounted weaponry. 

Armenia is predominantly Christian while Azerbaijan is predominantly Muslim.

Baku's close ties with the West have two incentives:

- maintaining power

- taking back the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh from the ethnic Armenian separatists.  

Lately however Baku is rethinking its favorable position of the West and shifting towards Moscow because of the West's accusations of human rights violations in Azerbaijan.  Even then human rights activists have called out American and European governments for being too soft on Baku.  These accusations caused the government of Azerbaijan to sharply criticize the United States in return. Russia, Iran and China are spared this criticism because they have a policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of Azerbaijan.

The accusations of Human Rights violations by the US and the West should by no means be viewed as an honest attempt to alleviate these violations. What the US and Germany are trying to do is to isolate Azerbaijan because of cheap oil from occupied Chechnya. Isolating Azerbaijan and pushing them towards Russia will not help human rights in that country, on the contrary.  It is mostly Germany that is behind this Human Rights violation campaign against Azerbaijan.  Germany and the US care about the Human Rights violations in Azerbaijan just as much as Mikhael Khodorkovsky cares about Human Rights violations in the Chechen Republic.  In other words, they don't.

This all goes back to the "Pipeline of Peace"

"After the war, Khozh Akhmed Noukhaev, he greeted an ending in Baku as being the operating headquarters for Caucasian Common Market company and it is from here he presented the concept of the development of the whole system of pipelines linking Caspian Sea through the Northern Caucasus and Chechnya and then Ukraine, Poland through Germany through Western Europe and he called this pipeline the Pipeline of Peace" ~ Mansour Jachimczyk

Azerbaijan is  closely linked with Russian-occupied Chechen oil through the Transneft oil pipeline that controlled the Baku-Novorossiysk line.  This line was the sole export route for the early exports from Azerbaijan, which crossed 95 miles of occupied Chechen territory.

Turkey, in the meantime, won't criticize the Azeri President Ilham Aliyev because the Turks feel a kinship to the Azeris and are getting a lot of energy from them.  They are already angry with Germany now and have a good relationship with the Azeri dictatorship.  Turkey will stay quiet about Human Rights violations and won't get involved. 

In the past Ramzan Kadyrov had visited Baku several times meeting with President Ilham Aliyev. Kadyrov needs, and in many cases receives, broad international support for his leadership position in occupied Chechnya.  For Azerbaijan there are several reasons to back the head of occupied Chechnya and help him with his economic development plans.  They see Russia, and by extension Kadyrov, as the guarantor of stability in the North Caucasus, which they need in order to protect Azerbaijan's northern border.  Azerbaijan needs Russia to succeed in continuing its occupation of Chechnya and will do everything in its power to help.  

By flirting with Russia Azerbaijan is trying to blackmail Washington by threatening to go over to Russia if it doesn't get what it wants.  This geopolitical shift could mean that the tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh could turn into a full scale war.  

In the meantime Iran is flexing its muscles.  The Assembly of Muslims of Armenia created the position of Mufti and named an Imam, Arsen Safaryan, who was trained in Iran, as the head.  It is important to note that there are very few Muslims left in Armenia.  In 1992 most of them were exiled, cleansed and murdered by Russia.  It makes little sense to place an Iranian trained Mufti in Armenia except to agitate the Mufti already in the Caucasus.  The creation of a Yerevan Muftiate is more about foreign than domestic policy and it will provide Iran with the opportunity to advance its interests and spread its influence.  

-- Conclusion

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.’ ~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn describing the conditions in the Soviet gulags

Since 1722 have the Chechens struggled against successive Russian regimes in a bloody cycle of invasion, resistance, bloodshed and deportation. They have also been fighting to keep their heritage and cultural identity.  Chechen resistance was hijacked time and time again by betrayal both internally but more over an international coalition of apathy.  Even worse than apathy, even though Chechens have never sought to invade another country or enslave other people, both Russia and the West seek to link the entire Chechen people to a wider international pattern of 'Islamic terrorism" to serve their agenda. Stigmatizing an entire group of people is called racism and it has been used time and time again for colonial and imperialist purposes.
When we look at the situation more closely we see a pattern of high and lower level power games emerge, from Putin himself, to his opposition, to his agents in the region, to the Western actors, to the traitors of the resistance, all of them have a stake in this "Game of Oils".

It is therefore absurd to even try to pick a side in geo-politics because any side will equally step on the corpses of common people by either engaging in the atrocities directly or by looking the other way when they happen.  The only morally accurate position is to support the people who are defending their land, homes, family and lives.  Many fail to support or downright refuse to because they are deceived by propaganda, which claims the region is a nest of extremist activity. The "Chechen extremist terrorist" narrative pretty much serves every power player either as a useful tool to make alliances and deals by engaging in the "common enemy" strategy or simply to get the green light to continue the atrocities and displace and exterminate the local population. It is however exactly the indifference to crimes against humanity but also Muslim hate and isolation that will create an opportunity for extremist groups to exploit the situation.  Apathy, indifference and compliance to discrimination, atrocities and injustice are the building blocks for radicalization.  As Ilyas Akhmadov argues, in ignoring the legitimate desires of ordinary people the democracies undermine the very safety they think they are securing.

"The lack of a principled assessment in the west contributed to the radicalization of the Chechen resistance . . . The radicalization didn't happen in a day and it didn't happen in a vacuum. We didn't ask for money or weapons, we only asked for an adequate assessment of what was happening and we never got that." ~ Ilyas Akhmadov

If we want this world to be a safe place for all, including the West, then we need to reach deep down into our pools of humanity and strongly condemn the extermination of all groups of people no matter what religion or ethnicity the victims hold or no matter what ideology the perpetrators adhere to.  It is not only the right thing to do but it is also the necessary thing to do.

  

Notes


(1) Full Documentary Link-The Making of a New Empire

(2) Mansour Jachimczyk was Noukhayev's assistant to foreign affairs. he also served as Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev's chief foreign policy adviser when he was acting President after Dzokhar Dudayev was assassinated by Russia.
Yandarbiyev was murdered by Russian Kremlin backed state terrorists while in exile in 2004 in Qatar. This documentary was all done in the year 1999. Yandarbiyev served as acting president in 1996-1997.

(3) Interesting detail: in January 2015, the Security Service of Ukraine announced an investigation into whether Lukoil had financed terrorism in Donbass.

(4) Paul Gobble worked at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, he served as Special Assistant for Soviet Nationalities and Special Advisor for Soviet Nationality and Baltic Affairs at the US Department of State, he was the director of research and director of communications and technology at Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe, and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He also has a personal blog, Windows on Eurasia. 

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty is a decidedly US broadcasting organization providing news, information and analysis to countries in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East. They were founded as an anti-communist news source in 1949 by the National Committee for a Free Europe, as part of a large-scale Psychological Operation during the Cold War. RFE/RL received funds from the Central Intelligence Agency until 1972. During the earliest years of Radio Free Europe's existence, the CIA and the U.S. Department of State issued broad policy directives, and a system evolved where broadcast policy was determined through negotiation among the CIA, the U.S. State Department, and RFE staff.

(5)

“…and we address the Muslims of the Province of Dagestan, that that they do not assist those brothers and this discord…O, my brothers of the Caucasus Emirate. You are not authorized to work with those brothers because they betrayed us and went over to al-Baghdadi’s side voluntarily… In front of you are two paths. Either you can go with those ignorants like Abu Muhammad and his ilk, or with the scholars without exception, all the well known scholars that we have until now respected and followed, they are on the other side".

(6) 

The village was devastated in a way only a war zone can be. A dozen houses were blown up, another 40 damaged beyond repair. Those that weren't destroyed were stripped bare inside. There was neither electricity nor water. All the infrastructure had been wiped out. Houses were not only severely damaged or destroyed but completely flattened to the ground. Since the end of these military operations, the government has done nothing to rebuild Vremenny. The village remains uninhabitable. In addition to destroying the homes, the security forces looted everything of any value, refrigerators, televisions, kitchen equipment and carpets. What they did not steal they destroyed — chopping up furniture, throwing clothes, pots, pans and all sorts of other things into the mud. They covered walls of the houses with offensive drawings. They damaged everything they could get their hands on, even Qurans, which bore slice marks from sharp-edged objects and some were even found burned.”

(7) 

The current situation amongst the Mujahideen of the Caucasus, who are now swearing an oath to the so-called "Caliph" of Abu Bakr Baghdadi, was very predictable. It was predictable because the oath of the "Caucasian Mujahideen" to Abu Bakr Baghdadi, and its entry into the Islamic State, is "blood from the nose" of Putin and will be used to keep Russia from falling apart because of Western sanctions and falling oil prices….After Russia occupied Ukraine’s Crimea and after they started a war in the South Eastern part of Ukraine the West imposed sanctions against Russia. .. This caused Russia to come to the brink of economic chaos and total collapse because the Russian economy is 60 percent dependent on oil prices as was the case with the former Soviet Union, which collapsed when the price of oil fell from $35 to $9 a barrel… According to a number of leading policy experts Russia can only survive one to three more years in these circumstances.   In order to save their country from total collapse the Russian security services created a special operation to establish a "common enemy" to appeal to the West. In other words they created a reason to unite.   They claim they need to unite to fight this "enemy" and therefore Western sanctions should be lifted. The role of a common enemy of the West and Russia, and the Kremlin's plan, is to play the "Islamic State"…  In my opinion the final chord of this special operation by Russian special forces to rescue Russia, through the creation of a "common enemy", is the oath of most of the misguided Mujahideen of the "Emirate of Caucasus" to Abu Bakr Baghdadi. This will be the beginning of trouble and unrest among the Mujahideen of Caucasus, following the example of the Mujahideen in Syria.”

 (8) -- Chechen Resistance 

The murdered and exiled real leaders of the North Caucasus

1. Dzhokhar Dudayev (1991- 1996)

Dzhokhar Dudayev was a Soviet Air Force general and Chechen leader, the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, a breakaway state in the North Caucasus.

A referendum in October 1991 confirmed Dudayev in his new position as president of Ichkeria. He unilaterally declared the republic's sovereignty and its secession from the Soviet Union and Russia.  Russia refused to recognize the republic's independence, but hesitated to use further force against what they referred to as "separatists" . From this point the Chechen-Ingush Republic had become a de facto independent state.

Dudayev was killed on 21 April 1996, by two laser-guided missiles when he was using a satellite phone, after his location was detected by a Russian reconnaissance aircraft provided by the USA's NSA, which intercepted his phone call. It was claimed Dudayev was killed by a combination of a rocket attack and a booby trap. He was 52 years old.

"Any slave who does not try to escape slavery deserves double slavery" ~ Dzhokhar Dudayev

 

2. Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (1996-1997)

Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev was a Chechen writer and a politician, who served as acting president of the breakaway Chechen Republic of Ichkeria between 1996 and 1997. On February 13, 2004, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, while in exile, was killed when a bomb ripped through his SUV in the Qatari capital, Doha. Yandarbiyev was seriously wounded and died in the hospital. Aslan Maskhadov's separatist foreign ministry condemned the attack as a "Russian terrorist attack", comparing it to the 1996 attack that killed Dzhokhar Dudayev.

3. Aslan Maskhadov (1997-2005)

Aslan Maskhadov was a leader of the Chechen independence movement and the third President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

He was credited by many with the Chechen victory in the First Chechen War, which allowed for the establishment of the de facto independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Maskhadov was elected President of Chechnya in January 1997. Following the start of the Second Chechen War in August 1999, he returned to leading the guerrilla resistance against the Russian army.

"Independence is not a whim or an ambition. It is the necessary condition of our survival as an ethnic group" ~ Aslan Maskhadov

On 8 March 2005, less than a month after Maskhadov announced the cease-fire, the head of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) Nikolay Patrushev announced that special forces attached to the FSB had "today carried out an operation in the settlement of Tolstoy-Yurt, as a result of which the international jihadist and leader of armed groups Maskhadov was killed, and his closest comrades-in-arms detained". He said the special operations unit had wanted to take Maskhadov alive for interrogation but claim that they killed him accidentally with a grenade thrown into a bunker where Maskhadov was hiding. Vladimir Putin awarded those responsible for the killings with medals.

The truth is Aslan Maskhadov, the elected president of independent Chechnya, was known to be a moderate leader and had put an interdiction on the Wahhabist ideology but lost the control of the situation given that the country was weakened by war and lacked any type of support in its post-war reconstruction.  He believed in democracy, he believed in inclusion of all to have a voice of how Ichkerians should build their country and refused to allow Ichkeria to become an authoritarian dictatorship.

"This is not a war against terror, this war is against the whole nation. This is another genocide of the Chechen people.  And I think we couldn't give a name to this war, this is barbarism" ~ Aslan Mashkadov 

4. Abdul-Halim Sadulayev (2005-2006)

Sadulayev effectively united the Islamic rebel forces outside Chechnya. He had won pledges of loyalty both from Chechen separatists and from Islamists groups seeking to overthrow the Kremlin authority in the North Caucasus. This unity is known as “The Caucasian Front”

He is also credited with persuading Shamil Basayev not to carry out anymore attacks against civilians. Under his government there were no suicide attacks and no hostage-takings.

In 2003 Sadulayev's wife was abducted and subsequently tortured and murdered by members of the FSB. All efforts to ransom her had failed.

On June 17th, 2006 Sadulayev was killed by a grenade in an ambush from FSB officers and pro-Moscow militia men. His death was a set back for the democratic forces and developments within the Chechen resistance. 

5. Dokka Umarov (2006 – 6 November 2007)

From 1997- 2005 Dokka Umarov became the Head of the Security Council of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria under Aslan Mashkadov. In 2005 Abdul-Halim Sadulayev made him Vice-President and Director of the National Security Services. In June 2006, after the death of Abdul-Halim Sadulayev, he assumed the office of President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.

On October 7th, 2007 Umarov proclaimed the Imarat Kavkaz or the Caucasus Emirate, aimed at uniting North Caucasus into a single Islamic state, and declared himself Emir. With this move he converted the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria into a vilayat or province of the new Emirate. The establishment of the Caucasus Emirate drew sharp criticism from and was condemned by Akhmed Zakayev but almost all of the active field commanders in Chechnya sided with Dokka Umarov on the decision.

On 1 August 2010, Umarov stepped down because of health reasons. Over the years he had been proclaimed death many times and every time the rumors turned out to be false. On March 18th, 2014 Kavkaz Center officially announced his death which, according to commanders close to him, was caused due to health complications from an earlier food poisoning.  It remains unclear exactly when and where he died. 

6. Ilyas Akhmadov  (1999-2005)

Akhmadov served as the foreign minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria from 1999-2005.  He fought in the First Chechen War and has been an outspoken advocate of a free Chechen state. In 2004 he was granted political asylum in the United States.  Russia considers Akhmadov a terrorist. 

 Ilyas Akhmadov on Chechnya:


Former Foreign Minister of Chechnya, Ilyas Akhmadov discusses his involvement in the fight for Chechen independence, his experience in the First Chechen War, press freedoms, and the need for international intervention.
Transcription of the interview conducted on Jan. 20th, 2011:

 

Why did you want to create a Chechen state?


This is on one hand an obvious question, on the other hand, it’s very complicated to answer.  The Chechen aspiration for independence has a history of several hundred years.
The Declaration of Independence in ’91 happening in the 20th century was a moment where it seemed more realistic and more likely to give us a modern state.
In the modern age, in the 20th century, it’s not enough to be a strong nation.  You need to have a state. It was important for me to make a contribution to trying to create a Chechen state.  I thought the right moment was at hand and I could contribute to it.

Describe your experience in the First Chechen war.

It was impossible for me to believe we would find ourselves at war with a state that we had lived in.  It was impossible in the first few days of the war to think that it could go on for as long as it did or to think that it would have such consequences – such terrible human costs.  At first when the war started I thought it was a terrible mistake that would be rectified and I thought it would all be over quickly.I had served for 5 years in the Russian army.  I had experience and I, going into war, thought I was prepared.  And in the first days I understood that all of my experience had not prepared me at all for what was happening to us.  You never get used to people dying around you and being killed around you and the risks and stress involved in that.   But you learn to function in that environment.  You don’t have any other choice.It astounds me that our tiny force, that really didn’t have any experience, carried on.   We held a frontline for a while against a very strong army.

How was the West’s approach to the Chechen conflict impacted radicalization?

I think that the misunderstandings of the nature of this conflict by the West, and poor policies of the West have contributed to the radicalization of the resistance. Today, to look at it and say that Chechnyans have a radical image and to pull away from it just contributes to greater isolation and radicalization in the region.  The response to that radicalization should be greater involvement by international actors.   And the sooner that such a process could begin, the less cost and effort it would involve. 

Describe press freedom in Chechnya


The conditions that have been created in Chechnya do not permit journalists to carry out their work in a normal and open way.
Without active attention and participation from international institutions, the OSCE, the UN, other international organizations and foreign governments it’s impossible to see how this situation could change.
Unfortunately, the policies of most governments are based on the presumption that you shouldn’t annoy Russia – you shouldn’t bring up what is a painful subject for Russia.  I think this approach is counterproductive.
Apart from the other terrible losses, there’s also the deaths of journalists since ’94.   Governments shouldn’t be afraid of sanctions.  Sanctions are just one method of trying to achieve certain goals and it’s clear that, without such measures, nothing there can change.”

 

 

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