Military vehicles in the streets of Grozny. December 1994. Photo: REUTERS/Yuri Tutov

12 December 2019, 11:29

Rights defenders analyze background of the First Chechen War

The first military campaign in Chechnya had been brewing since 1990, and was carried out without any account of expert estimates; launching a war machine in its worst form cost tens of thousands of human lives, analysts have concluded on the 25th anniversary of the advent of federal troops into Chechnya.

The war in Chechnya was inevitable, same as the collapse of the USSR, Ruslan Martagov, a rights defender, believes.

In the First Chechen War, the future head of Chechnya, Akhmat Kadyrov, took the side of separatists. In the fall of 1999, at the start of the Second Chechen War, he and his son, Ramzan Kadyrov, joined the federal forces.

Alexander Cherkasov, the board chairman of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", is inclined to search for the reasons of the military conflict in Chechnya in the plans of the top bosses of power structures of the last years of the USSR. "The massive anti-Chechen propaganda in 1993 did its job," he said.

Now, even the people, who were then in power, admit that the war was a mistake, Mr Cherkasov has noted.

"I can state confidently that this war itself was a mistake. The people of Chechnya were not to blame; and all the problems could be solved in a different way," Saipudi Nataev, a historian, is sure.

In his turn, Mairbek Vachagaev, a Chechen historian living in Europe, has pointed to the different approaches of European and Russian historians to the war in Chechnya. He advised his Russian colleagues to "get away from taboos" in describing the history of the Chechen military campaigns. "There are no good or bad nations or cultures," Mr Vachagaev has stated.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on December 11, 2019 at 07:05 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Source: CK correspondent

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