13 October 2005, 20:36

Nalchik 'caused by war in Chechnya'

"The tragedy in Nalchik has become possible because the government has provided all conditions for it. A group of armed people first put up military action in Nazran, then in Beslan, and now in Kabardino-Balkaria — this is the result of political games, playing so-called elections or referendums in Chechnya. All this is complete falsification, which embitters people and prompts them such steps," Ruslan Badalov, head of the regional public movement Chechen Committee for National Salvation, told Caucasian Knot's correspondent earlier today. "The effect of the Chechen war echoes in all North Caucasus regions. Under way is implementation of policy of intimidation of the population — all special operations and clean-ups, not only in Chechnya, are aimed exactly at intimidation. Nothing will change until the Chechnya problem is solved in a way different from how it is being solved currently.

In the human rights defender's view, "If abductions and killings of local residents first of all occur in the North Caucasus, war can come to all Russian regions, although even now Russia lives in conditions of war."

"We, human rights defenders, have been saying for six years already that violence only gives rise to violence. The war has continued for so long, but no end of it can be expected. A huge force, special services have not been able to do anything for all this time," thinks Mr Badalov. "And the war will not be over — terrorist acts will thunder across Russia!"

"They (special services — CK) cannot work in uninhabited places. They only say that gunmen use the local population as a human shield, but they act worse then gunmen when special operations are conducted in Nalchik, for example. They should ambush and destroy at the approach, but they can't, don't want to," says the human rights defender. "Another reason for the tragedies is downright corruption in law enforcement and security agencies, their rude attitudes towards ordinary people, boorishness of all law enforcement and security operatives, they don't treat people as people at all."

"The government itself brings up enemies with its illegal, inhuman, and anti-religious actions," emphasises Mr Badalov. "Someone in Moscow benefits from the North Caucasus not being peaceful, but permanently at war. And, unfortunately, new tragic events are inevitable in such a situation."

Author: Alexander Grigoriev, CK correspondent;

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