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Unpunished evil grows: Ukraine war rooted in Russia’s impunity for Chechen genocide

Chechen war genocide
Mass graves in the vicinity of the town of Gudermes, Chechnya, spring 2000. Photo: RFE/RL
Unpunished evil grows: Ukraine war rooted in Russia’s impunity for Chechen genocide
Article by: Alla Dudayeva
The current global crisis began in the 1990-2000s, when Russia’s filtration camps and mass killings of the Chechen people went unpunished. Russia must be forced into peace and only practical punishment for Russia’s genocide of the Chechens, occupation of Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine can bring true global security, writes Alla Dudayeva, a politician in exile of free Chechnya and widow of the late Chechen leader Dzhokhar Dudayev. 

From the Chechnya genocide in the 1990s-2000s to the recent expansion of its invasion of Ukraine, Russian imperialism has goosestepped steadily. It is a battering ram against world security. And it has now lasted for a generation. Otherworld tyrants are carefully calculating what will be accepted, forgiven, and forgotten in the world of 2022.

Many wonder what has become of humanity as they witness the horrors of the invasion of Ukraine and its worldwide consequences. In the 21st century, how is it possible to wage such a sadistic war? Having achieved such progress in knowledge, science, and democracy, why is humanity reverting to the dark ages of global violence and barbarism?

The long answer includes the corruptibility of Western business, a lack of strategic instinct, the fundamental ineffectiveness of the UN and other international institutions, the Western public’s ignorance of history, and the resulting inability to anticipate and plan for the future.

The short answer, however, is the one glaring failure the global community has failed to address for decades: the impunity granted to the Russian criminal state.

The XX century concluded with a tense rivalry between two global centers. One spread its influence through the advancement of freedom, democracy, and economic development, while the other spread its influence through multi-million human immolation and hyper-centralized resource distribution. With the liberation of Eastern Europe and the subsequent dissolution of the “Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” liberty seemed to have prevailed. New democracies emerged. The Arms race came to an end. Hope arose for humanity’s peaceful coexistence. That hope was betrayed.

The Russian Federation, the Evil Empire’s inner core, was and remained a bludgeoned conglomeration of a score of non-Russian nations under the boot of the Kremlin. Initially unnoticed by the euphorically optimistic Western elites, this core not only remained intact but was reinforced by KGB successors in Moscow. It immediately begins preparations for Unfreedom’s return.

Chechnya: a small nation against the empire prevails in first Chechen war

Russia’s invasion of Chechnya and the outbreak of the first Chechen war in 1994-1996 were the first public signs of the evil’s revival. The small nation elected to restore its statehood. The independent Chechen Republic adopted a constitution, elected a parliament and a president, and began a free life. Russia’s bloody crackdown started in 1994 with a massive number of troops and weaponry. Dzhokhar Dudayev, Chechnya’s first democratically elected president, was assassinated by Russia on 21 April 1996. He was my husband.

The premeditated genocide of Chechens is undeniable.
And yet Chechens prevailed in the first war: Moscow was forced into a truce, an ostensible peace treaty in 1997. It was signed by Boris Yeltsin, the then-president of the “Russian Federation.” One can summarize its essence in two sentences:

  1. To forever reject the use of force or the threat of force in any dispute resolution” and
  2. To develop their relations based on generally recognized principles and norms of international law.

The UN officially acknowledged the Treaty.

yeltsin Chechen war peace treaty
Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov after signing the peace treaty on between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, May 12, 1997. Photo: TASS

The Treaty was rendered ineffective in Putin rode to the presidency as the second Chechen war began.

Those two wars brought many deaths, destruction, and violations of international humanitarian law. The premeditated genocide of Chechens is undeniable.

More than a quarter of the Chechen population was killed, including 40,000 children who were maimed or injured. Every single family, aside from the collaborators, was devastated. Torture and repressions continue to this day. Under the leadership of Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin’s sycophant and head of the Russian occupying regime, torture, and repression continue to this day.

Where was the world? Nowhere. Not that it was unaware of the war crimes, atrocities, and filtration camps. Few realized that the seasoned KGB successors were already probing the Western resolve to determine how far the reborn Russian Empire could go. My late husband remarked prophetically, “Statements like ‘Chechnya is Russia’s domestic matter’ will sooner or later lead to the entirety of Europe becoming Moscow’s ‘domestic matter.'”

In the Chechen wars, seasoned KGB successors were already probing the Western resolve to determine how far the reborn Russian Empire could go.
Today, in 2022, Putin and his propaganda machine openly admit that the aggression against Ukraine is a war against NATO.

Moscow’s energy strangulation of the EU and the entire world, constant threats of a direct military attack on NATO states, dozens of political assassinations on EU soil, Kremlin cyberattacks, and the total disinformation war against the US and its allies – how much more proof does the West need to finally realize that Russia’s invasion of the West has begun? The failure to recognize Russia’s invasion and occupation of the Western mind is even more significant than its territorial invasion.

They’re not Chechens, they’re Russian occupation troops – free Chechen Republic representative about Kadyrovites

A clear strategy was followed, from the Chechen genocide to the invasion of Georgia to the 2014 invasion of Ukraine to the heinous bombings of Aleppo to the expansion of the war against Ukraine this past February. It’s a continuous display of imperialism, barbarism, and public massacres.

Moscow is a relentless and aggressive foe of freedom, truth, and advancement. It implements a blood lust, no longer pretending to sell the world an “alternative” ideology. Its true ideology is a cult of implacable hatred, might, aggression and terror.

How to prevent this evil from spreading globally? First, the relic of the past mistakenly referred to as the Russian “Federation” must be forced into peace. It must be forced, not by pleas and empty condemnations, but by a just and inevitable practical punishment: for the occupation and genocide in Chechnya; for the partial annexation of Moldova and Georgia; for the invasion of Ukraine; for the hybrid war against NATO and the EU.

In fact, the current global crisis began in the 1990s-2000s with “filtration” death camps and inhuman crimes against the Chechen people. Justice for the Chechens will pave humanity’s path to true global security, world peace, and sustainable development.

Human rights are absolute. Facts are worldwide. Truth is universal. The world’s free nations o must be honest with and to themselves and act in unison. The first step is to finally understand how their passivity, timidity, and naivete empowered Russia and has now spread to China and other tyrants. Otherwise, the prospects are grim.

Alla Dudayeva is a Chechen politician in exile and the widow of Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first Chechen President. Born in 1947 to a military family of Russian descent, she married the future General Dudayev in 1969. They have three children. After a Russian missile strike killed President Dzhokhar Dudayev, Alla and her family were forced into exile. Since then, she has worked as a journalist and has been involved in activism, art, and writing.


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