23 February 2016, 06:38
In Chechnya, authorities equal memory of deportation day to dissent
Today marks the 72nd anniversary from the beginning of the Stalin deportation of the Chechen and Ingush peoples. For the third year, Chechnya holds no commemorative events on this date, while people outside the republic mark the date. Ruslan Kutaev, the president of the Assembly of the Peoples of the Caucasus, spoke out against the prohibition of events for the Day of Memory and Sorrow in Chechnya and was sentenced. At present, he is still serving serve his sentence.
The operation "Lentils", during which from the territory of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), Chechen and Ingush people were expelled en masse to Kazakhstan and Central Asia, was held in the period from February 23 to March 9, 1944. The reasons for repression were announced as desertion, draft evasion in times of war, and preparation of an uprising in the Soviet rear.
The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Chechnya used to mark the Day of Memory and Sorrow on February 23, on the date of the beginning of the deportation of Chechen people; however, in 2011, the day was rescheduled for May 10. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov explained the decision by the fact that the Chechen Republic should celebrate the Russian state holidays together with other regions. As a result, according to local residents, the Day of Memory and Sorrow turned out to be replaced by the mourning for Akhmat Kadyrov, the former President of Chechnya, who was killed on that date in 2004.
In 1995-2001, journalist Vladimir Kara-Murza worked for the "NTV" TV Channel and prepared some materials on the deportation of Chechen and Ingush people. He believes it is a mistake to prohibit holding commemorative events on the day of deportation and arrest people who "remember the tragedy, like Ruslan Kutaev".
On his blog on the "Caucasian Knot", Magomed Mutsolgov, the leader of the human rights organization "Mashr", has written that the tragedy of February 23, 1944, "touched every living family" of the Ingush and Chechen peoples.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.
Author: Karina Gadzhieva; Source: CK correspondent