Vainakh Nations Deportation: Chechen & Ingush Genocide -72 Year Remembrance "We Will Not Forgive. We Will Not Forget"
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Photo Above-Ingushetia, 23 February
February 23, 1944 is the most tragic date in the history of the Vainakh people. On that memorable day, according to the direct order of the Soviet head of state Joseph Stalin, the total deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan began with the subsequent liquidation of the National Authority (Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic). All of the people were officially blamed for “treason and mass collaboration with the German fascists.”
This was declared despite the fact that “in 1941-1944, 40,000 Chechens fought in the Red Army,” and “450 people with arms in their hands fought against the Soviets” (according to Chechen historian Dalkhan Khozhaev, who was martyred [inshaAllah] in 2000).
In the eviction operation of the Chechens and Ingush (codenamed “Chechevitsa” [Lentil]), up to 20,000 operatives of the NKVD, NKGB and SMERSH participated, as well as 100,000 soldiers from army units. The commanders of the operation were the People’s Commissar of Internal Affairs, the USSR Commissioner General of State Security Laurentius Pavlovich Beria, and his deputies, I.A. Serov, B.Z. Kabulov, and S.S. Mamulov.
The cruelty shown by Stalin’s henchmen during Operation “Chechevitsa (Lentil)” can be seen by the tragedy in the village of Khaibakh. Here, on February 27, more than 700 people (mostly ill old people, women, and children) from remote mountainous villages of Galanchozh district were burned to death. They were all preliminary gathered in collective farm stables (orders for this heinous crime were given by Beria and Serov)
The only person who survived on 02.27.1944-when the Russians burned alive the 700 Chechens living in Khaibakh village was Mumadi Elgakaev. [Pictured above]
According to Dalkhan Khozhaev, “out of 408,000 Chechen people, up to 250,000 people were killed in the eviction. That is 50 to 60% of the population.”
February 23, 1994, the 50th anniversary of the deportation of the people, was the last day of grief and mourning for Chechens (Tezetan de – Тезетан де). Instead, the revival of the Chechen nation was established by the Decree of the President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI), Dzhoxar Dudaev (Noxchiyn k’am yuxamettax1ottaran de – Нохчийн къам юхаметтахIоттаран де).
But in the fall of 1994, the genocide of the Chechen people was continued in the form of the Russian-Chechen war, which was waged by the Kremlin under the slogan of “establishing the constitutional order” in the territory of the sovereign ChRI. Since the summer of 1999, the war entered its second phase, the so-called “anti-terrorist operation.” Putin’s genocide continued the legacy of Yeltsin’s genocide.
It is known that on February 26, 2004 (60 years after the expulsion), the Parliament of the European Union adopted a Declaration which formally recognized Stalin’s deportation of Vaynakh people as genocide. But Yeltsin and Putin’s combined genocide of the Chechen people, which has also claimed at least 250,000 lives, continues to the present day, and the European Parliament is unlikely to recognize it as such in the foreseeable future. God forbid that it takes another 60 years.
Chechens have a saying: “Sih a ma lo, vits a ma lo” (“Do not hurry, but do not forget”). The words: “Dölxur dats! Duxur dats! Dits a diyr !” (We will not Cry! We will not Forget! We will not Forgive!) are carved on one wall of the memorial in memory of the victims of the genocide of 1944 in Dzhoxar city [Grozny]. It is attributed to the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria [occupied Chechnya], Dzhoxar Dudaev.
The Genocide of Chechen People in 1944 (Archive Documents)
On February 23rd, representatives of Vainakh Nations from Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and Ingushetia organized rallies and actions in many European countries and also Jordan outside Russian Embassies, Consulates, public halls and squares dedicated to the February 23, 1944 Deportation and Genocide done to their peoples. At several of the events, other peoples of Caucasus nations-the Georgians, Azeris and Circassians- showed solidarity. Ukrainians, Tatars, Syrians and Turks also attended several events to commemorate and honor the Vainahk peoples who suffered and died at the hands of Russian Soviet genocidal murderers. Chechens and Ingush are deeply grateful to all and everyone that showed solidarity.
The following is the media and summarized reports from each event that we were able to gather, if we are missing any events, please let us know and we will edit and add:
Ukraine- Several events took place in Ukraine
Kyiv, Ukraine-Press Conference with Amina Okueva, Press Secretary for Battalion of Dzhokhar Dudayev in Ukraine-Dedicated to the memory of Chechens and Ingush, victims of Deportation in the USSR in 1944
Refat Chubarov, Head of the Mejlis of Crimean Tatars, paid tribute to the victims of Chechen-Ingush deportation carried out by the communist regime of the USSR.
“On February 23, 72 years ago, the communist regime of the USSR launched a special operation on a total deportation of the Chechen and Ingush people from their historical lands. Over half a million people were forcibly evicted, about half of the Ingush and Chechen population died from hunger, cold and hard labor under the regime of special settlements that lasted until 1956. Today, as before in the difficult days for our peoples, we, together with our brothers - Chechens and Ingush - bow our heads in memory of victims of deportation and appeal to God for mercy for those dead and living now,”
A gathering was attended by many Ukrainians at the National WWII Museum in Kyiv, where a video was shown to attendees explaining the historical facts surrounding the deportation and genocide of the Vainahk peoples
Full Photo Album can be viewed here at Громадское
Full Photo Album can be viewed here
Copenhagen-Free Caucasus movement organized a rally outside the Russian Embassy. This rally was attended by Ukrainians, Georgians, Azeris, Syrians, Turks in solidarity with Chechens and Ingush who organized.
Helsinki-Free Caucasus movement of the Baltic States organized a rally outside the Russian Embassy. Imran Ahhajev gave a speech commemorating the Chechen and Ingush struggle for freedom against a criminal, terrorist state of Russia, who knows only to murder and support murderers such as the examples he uses in Russia's support for authoritative dictator and mass murderer, Bashar Assad and Ramzan Kadyrov. Finns, Ulrainians and Georgians joined in solidarity with Chechens and Ingush at the event.
On 23 February 2016 a commemoration rally was held in front of the Russian Embassy in Oslo on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the intentional destruction of the Chechen and Ingush people on February 23, 1944. The Chechen and Ingush diaspora in Norway held this rally with intentions to honor and preserve the memory of innocent women, children and elderly who were murdered. The rally was attended by many representatives of the Chechen and Ingush people residing in Norway. Many representatives traveled hundreds of kilometers to attend this 72nd anniversary gathering of genocide, Holocaust and truly tragic day for our people to honor the memory of the victims of Stalin's atrocities. No one is forgotten, nothing is forgotten!
Warsaw-Representatives of Free Caucasus movement protested outside the Russian Embassy.
Vienna-Commemoration Day of the Deportation and genocide of the North Caucasus Peoples - Chechen, Ingush and Karachay - to Kazakhstan and Central Asia was held on February 23, 2016. The event was held in the Austrian capital of Vienna, participants were not only Chechens and Ingush but also Syrians, Circassians, Georgians, Ukrainians and Austrians who came to honor the memory of the victims of 1944, for which we are deeply grateful. Full photo album can be viewed here
Paris-A rally was held in Paris, France organized by Chechen and Ingush diaspora. Besides Chechen and Ingush peoples, many Syrians also attended to pay respects to the victims of deportation and genocide in Caucasus and to also let people know of the genocidal crimes also being done currently to their people. Standing side by side with Chechen and Ingush people, they shouted, "Putin is a killer!", "Putin is accomplice to Assad's crimes!" Photo albums can be viewed here & here
Nice-A memorial gathering of Chechens and Ingush diaspora was held. It was organized and attended by representatives of Association of Chechen and Ingush in the Alpes-Maritime region, the Elders Council and the Association "Caucasus".
Berlin-Chechens and Ingush organized a gathering at Pariser Platz Square, besides Caucasus attendees, Tatars and Germans also paid respect to the Vainakh victims of 1944. Video "Never Forget. Never Forgive." Full photo album can be viewed here
Amman-Chechen and Ingush diaspora gathered opposite of the Russian Embassy to voice their remembrance to the Vainakh Nation deportation and genocide of 1944. Video-Rally in Memory of 2.23.1944 Deportation.
Pankisi Gorge-A film presentation and education gathering was organized by the young people of Georgia's Pankisi Gorge region in remebrance to the Vainakh victims of Deportation and Genocide in 1944. Approximately 30 people attended. It is worth mentioning that this is the first event held in this region in many, many years. Additional photos can be viewed here and videos here and here.
Tbilisi-Vainakh peoples living in Georgia, along with Georgians, held a public dedication ceremony and a film presentation at the National Libraray on February 23, 2016 in memory of the genocide of the Chechen and Ingush people. Also other peoples of the Caucasus who fell victim of a similar fate in 1944, Balkars, Karachays and Kalmyks, were discussed. Full photo album can be viewed here
Daria Kulesh released a song on 23 of February called "The Moon and the Pilot"
She writes: With The Moon and the Pilot, we remember those for whom 23 February 1944 was the end of the world as they knew it and the start of an outrageous injustice which cuts deep, even to this day. It's the story of a family and a nation banished from their homeland - Ingushetia - under the orders of Stalin. The dictator declared them enemies of the state in 1944 - when in fact they had been fighting for Russia in the war, and lost loved ones in the process. In the middle of winter, on 23 February 1944, Ingush and Chechen people were brutally deported from their homes...
Despite being written about an atrocity carried out over 70 years ago, the theme of 'The Moon and the Pilot' is achingly current. A song of our time, a song for a world where people are displaced every day by inhumane governments and war.