Skip to comments.Kill the Messenger:What Russia taught Syria
Posted on 03/06/2012 10:22:50 PM PST by U-238
It was a star-filled night in Chechnya's besieged capital of Grozny. The snow crunched under my feet as I walked with the Chechen rebel commander away from the warmth of our safe house. When we entered a bombed-out neighborhood 15 minutes away, I put the battery in my Iridium satellite phone and waited for the glowing screen to signal that I had locked on to the satellites.
I made my call. It was short. Then the commander made a call; he quickly hung up and handed me back the phone. "Enough," he said, motioning for me to remove the battery.
As we walked briskly back to the safe house, it was exactly 10 minutes before the cascade of double wa-whumps announced the Grad rocket batteries pounding the vacant neighborhood we had just left.
It was December 1999, and the Russian assault on Grozny was unfolding in all its gruesome detail. After the dissolution of so much of the former Soviet empire, Chechnya was one country that the newly minted prime minister, Vladimir Putin, refused to let go of. His boss, Boris Yeltsin, and the Russian army had been defeated and then humiliated in the media by Chechen forces in the first war. Five years later, Russia was back. And Putin's new strategy was unbending: silence, encircle, pulverize, and "cleanse." It was a combination of brutal tactics -- a Stalinist purge of fighting-age males plus Orwellian propaganda that fed Russians a narrative wherein Chechen freedom fighters were transformed into Islamist mercenaries and terrorists. More than 200,000 civilians were to die in this war, the echoes of which continue to this day.
(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...
The similarities between Grozny and Homs are striking
Is this another “genocide” like Srebenca? How about that school? Were those Amish?
Homs makes Srebenca look like a picnic. This is horrible.
And no one can stop the carnage in Homs.
It is really stupid to use a satellite phone in a war zone. The government would automatically assume that it was a call between rebel forces. The author of the article mentions that the rebel commander in Chechnya wanted him to keep his call brief - with good reason; Dudoyev, the rebel leader, was on the receiving end of two laser guided bombs in 1996 thanks to his own sat phone use.
As far as Chechnya goes what started as a separatist movement quickly became a criminal mafia movement followed by a war against jihadis in the second chechen war.
The chechens engaged in terrorism against ordinary Russians. There was the train bombing, the metro bombings, the theater disaster, the beslan atrocity, and the hospital atrocity. The jihadis continued resitance, a number of which were foreign, created a disaster in Chechnya with civilians caught between both sides. The end result of their efforts is a broken Chechnya led by a brutal strongman. In Syria, it is the Allawites and the Christians against the rest of the muslims who are religiously motivated. Of course it’s just what we need to have another islamic state in the region suppressing Christians and women.
Assad is learning well from the Putin/Russian handbook.
It is a very inaccurate story in many details.
For that reason I don’t think one has to make any opinions basing on it.
>>In Syria, it is the Allawites and the Christians against the rest of the muslims who are religiously motivated. Of course its just what we need to have another islamic state in the region suppressing Christians and women.
Things are not looking great for the Christian Copts in Egypt post-Arab Spring. I am certain this has not gone unnoticed among the Christians in Syria.
Agreed, mostly BS, no one knows how many died there, if you do not want to get killed do not be shooting at a man with a tank.
Both Chechen and Syrian MSM coverages lacks the description of muzzies’ actions to bring things into perspective.
In both Russian and Assad’s cases military involvement followed a massacre of non-muslim population by ‘freedom fighters’.
In Chechen case these freedom fighters had a 300 jet airforce, likely had access to WMD and were leaded by a president who was former Soviet strategic air command general and got nut with islamist agenda. Doctor Strangelove movie comes to mind.
Russian military acted as it was trained, so does Syrian.
You can criticize their ways but they did and doing it for good as they can to stop jihadi nuts who aren’t an option.
That is the main reason why I don’t like this article, let alone obvious historical errors.
Assad is correct to crack down.
Assad MUST crack down or the Al qaeda win.
This carnage is necessary -- if he didn't, then those who are being killed now would do worse not only to other syrians but also to the rest of the world.
it’s Alawites, Christians, Shias and also Druze. Besides the minor Yezidis etc.
they have a better example from next door — Christians in Iraq have been decimated
That is how muslim dominated communities are usually treating their non-muslim population:
Ms. A. Kochedikova, former Grozny resident.
I fled from Grozny in February 1993 because of constant threats from armed Chechens and non-payment crisis. I left behing my furnished apartment, 2 cars, a garage and fled with my husband. In February 1995 Chechens killed my neighbor on the street (she was born in 1966). They broke her head and ribs, raped her.
The WWII veteran Ms. Yelena Ivanovna was murdered from the neighboring apt.
Starting 1993 it became unbearable to survive, mass murders were everywhere. The cars were blown up with people inside. Russians were fired from their jobs without any reason.
A man was killed in his apt. (he was born in 1935). He was stabbed 9 times, his daughter was raped and killed in the kitchen of their apt.
Mr. B. Yephankin, former Grozny resident.
In May 1993 in my garage I was assaulted and battered by 2 Chechens armed with a gun and an automatic gun.
They wanted my car but it was in the repair shop at that moment, so they couldnt hijack it. They started shooting above my head.
In the fall of 1993 a group of armed Chechens commited an atrocious murder of my friend, Mr. Bolgarsky who refused to voluntarily give away his car Volga. It was not the only case, there was a massacre. Thats why I had to leave Grozny.
Mr. D. Gakuryan, former Grozny resident.
In November 1994 my Chechen neighbors threatened me with gun and then kicked me out of the apt. and settled down there.
Ms. P.Kuskova, former Grozny resident.
On July 1, 1994 four Chechen teens broke my arm and raped me not far from Red Hammer plant when I was coming home from work.
Mr. E. Dapkulinets, former Grozny resident.
On December 6,7, 1994 I was severely beaten for the refusal to take part in military action together with Ukranean hirelings in the village of Chechen-Aul.
Ms. E. Barsukova, former Grozny resident.
In the summer of 1994 from my window I witnessed the hijacking of my neighbors car (his name is Mr. Mkrtchan). The armed Chechens approached him and shot him in the leg. Then they got into his car and drove away.
Ms. G. Tarasova, former Grozny resident.
On May 6, 1993 my husband Mr. Tarasov disappeared. I presume that he was taken by force to the mountains by Chechens to work, for he was a welder.
Ms. E. Khobova, former Grozny resident.
On December 31, 1994 my husband Mr. Pogodin and his brother Mr. Yeryomin were killed by a Chechen sniper when they were taking away the corps of Russian soldiers.
Ms. N. Trofimova, former Grozny resident.
In September 1994 Chechens stormed my sisters apt. (Ms. Vishnyakova). They raped her in the presense of her children, beat her son and took away her 12-year old daughter Helen. She never returned home.
From 1993 my son has been severely beaten and robbed by Chechens.
Ms. Ageeva, former village Petropavlovskaya resident.
On January 11, 1995 on the village square Russian soldiers were gunned down by Chechens.
Ms. Khrapova, former Gudermes resident.
In August 1992 our neighbor Mr. Sarkisyan and his wife were tortured and set on fire alive.
Mr. Kobzaryev, former Grozny region resident.
On November 7, 1991 three armed Chechens shot at my country house. Miraculously, I survived. In September 1992 armed Chechens demanded that I leave my apartment and threw a grenade. Soon after that, fearing the death threats my family and I had to leave the republic.
Ms. Alexandrova, former Grozny resident.
My daughter was coming home from work one day. The Chechens seized her, dragged into their car, beat her, stabbed and raped her. We had to leave the city.
Ms. Vdovchenko, former Grozny resident.
Some days ago, early in the morning my neighbor, a KGB officer, Mr. Tolstenko, was kidnapped by armed Chechens. Later, his mutilated corpse was found. I was told about this by Ms. O.K. (It really happened in Grozny in 1991)
Ms. Nazarenko, former Grozny resident.
I stayed in Grozny until November, 1992. President Dudaev was indulgent towards all kinds of crimes against Russians and Chechens were never punished for that. Quite unexpectedly the principal of Grozny State University, Mr. Kan-Kalik disappeared. Later, his corpse was accidentally found in a forest in a pit. He was murdered because he didnt want to quit his position.
Ms. Shepetilo, 1981 y.o.b.
I lived in Grozny until the end of April 1994. I worked as a principalof Music School, village Kalinovskaya, Naur region. At the end of 1993 I was going home from work to Grozny. The bus was out of order, so I had to take a walk. I heard a car Zhiguly pulling over. An armed Chechen got out of it and threatening to kill me, dragged me into the car. He took me to a remote field, beat and raped me.
My son was kidnapped for 3 weeks for a ranson of 1.5 mln. roubles. They let him go after we paid.
Ms. M. Portnikh.
In the spring of 1992 a liquor store on Dyakov St. was robbed. A grenade was thrown into managers apartment. Her husband died and her leg had to be amputated.
Ms. Chekulina, 1949 y.o.b.
I left Grozny in March, 1993. My son was robbed 5 times, his clothes taken. On his way to school, the Chechens beat him severely, broke his skull, threatened with knife. I was beaten and raped also only because Im Russian. The Dean of my sons faculty was murdered. Before our departure from Grozny, my sons friend Max was killed.
Ms. Minkoyeva, 1978 y.o.b.
In 1992 in Grozny our neighboring school was attaked. The student of the 7th grade were taken hostages for 1 day. There was a group rape of the whole class and 3 teachers. In 1993 my classmate M. was kidnapped. In the summer of 1993 one man was shot down by Chechens at the railway station.
Ms. Komarova, former Grozny resident.
I worked as a pediatric nurse at Clinic #1 in Grozny. We had a nurse, named Totikova. The armed Chechens came in to her house and gunned down all the family. All my life was in fear. One day, President Dudaev raided our clinic with his armed men. He yelled that there was a Russian Genocide, because our building used to be a KGB office long ago. We were all pushed against the walls and threatened. I was not paid for 7 months. An April 1993 I had to leave the city.
Ms. Yu. Plentyova, 1970 y.o.b.
In the summer of 1994 at 1 pm on Khrushchyov Square I witessed an execution of 2 Chechens, 1 Russian an 1 Korean. It was performed by 4 Dudaevs guardsmen, who brought the above mentioned victims in foreign made cars. One car which was passing by during the execution was damaged and the driver sustained injuries.
The following has been added on March 20th.
Mr. A. Fedyushkin, 1945 y.o.b.
In 1992 disguised armed Chechens hijacked my relatives car in the village of Chervlyonnaya. In 1992 or 1993 2 armed Chechens tied up my wife (1949 y.o.b.) and my older daughter (1973 y.o.b.) and raped them, then they stole our TV, gas range and disappeared. The attackers were wearing masks.
In 1992 in the village of Chervlyonnaya my mother was robbed by some Chechens. They beat her and took away her icon, and a cross.
My brothers neighbor went driving outside Chervlyonnaya village and disappeared. This car was later found in the mountains and his corpse in the river 3 months later.
Ms. V. Doronina.
At the end of August 1992 my granddaughter was forcibly taken into the car by Chechens, but soon they let her go. In the village of Nizhneviuk (Assinovka) in the childrens home Chechens raped all girls and the teachers.
My son was threatened to be murdered by his neighbor Yunus who demanded that he sell him his house.
At the end of 1991 armed Chechens attacked my relatives house looking for money. Threatened to kill him and killed his son.
Mrs. Akinshina, 1961 y.o.b.
In August 25, 1992 around midnight in my country house 4 Chechens aged 15-16 raped me. They hit me on my head. After that threatening to kill me they made my dog rape me, too.
Mr. N. Lobenko, former Grozny resident.
In the lobby of my apartment building the Chechens gunned down 1 Armenian and 1 Russian man. The Russian was killed because he tried to defend the Armenian.
Mrs. I. Zabrodina, former Grozny resident.
One day, Chechens snatched away my purse. In March April 1994 my daughter who worked at a boarding school was raped and beaten by a drunk Chechen who came into the school. Then he tried to kill her. She was lucky to escape.
I also witnessed the robbery of the neighboring house. The tenants were in a bomb shelter at that time.
Ms. O. Kalchenko, former Grozny resident.
My co-worker, a young girl of 22 years old, was raped and gunned down by a group Chechens in front of my office building. Later, I was threatened with knife and robbed of my only money by 2 Chechens.
Mr. V. Karagedin, former Grozny resident.
Chechens killed my younger son 04.01.94 and also my older son 08.01.95.
Mr. Dzuba, former Grozny resident.
All the residents were urged to take Chechens citizenship. In case of refusal, they would not get food stamps.
Ms. Abidzhaliyeva, former Grozny resident.
We fleed from Grozny on Jan. 13, 1995 because Chechens wanted us to defend them from Russian military. They beat my brother for his refusal to join their guards.
Mr. O. Borichevsky, former Grozny resident.
In April 1993 our apartment was robbed by Chechens in Special Forces uniforms. They robbed us of all the valuables we had.
Ms. N/ Kolesnikova, former Grozny resident.
On Dec. 2, 1993 on the bus stop 36th microregion 5 Chechens took me forcibly into a near garage, beat me up, raped me and then threw me into the car. After that they took me to different apartments where they raped me and injected drugs. They let me go only on Dec. 5, 1993.
Ms. A.Kurbanova, Ms. O.Kurbanova, Mr. L.Kurbanov, former Grozny residents.
Our neighbors T. (father, mother, son and daughter) were all murdered by Chechens in their apt.
Ms. Fefelova, former Grozny resident.
Our neighbors daughter, a girl of 12 years old, was kidnapped by Chechens. Later, they started sending them pictures of her being raped and tortured. They demanded a ransom.
Ms. Saniyeva, former Grozny resident.
During the battles in Grozny I saw women snipers among. Dudaevs guards.
Ms. L. Davidova, former Grozny resident.
In August 1993 3 Chechens attacked my neighbors house in Gudermess. They pushed the husband under the bed and atrociously raped the wife (they also used some objects). In a week, the woman died. My kitchen was set on fire on Dec. 31, 1994.
Ms. Lisitskaya, former Grozny resident.
I used to live near a railway station. Used to witness daily robbery of the trains. On Jan. 1, 1995 some Chechens visited me demanding money for guns and ammunition.
Ms. Tselikina, former Grozny resident.
On November 2, 1994 my daughter Anjela was kidnapped by Chechens.
Mrs. Sukhorukova, former Grozny resident.
In early April 1993 our apt. was robbed by Chechens. In late April our car was hijacked. On May 10, 1994 my husband Bardasaryan was gunned down on the street.
In 1993 my apt. in the village of Novomaryevskaya was robbed by armed Chechens. They took away all valuables. My mother and I were raped and tortured by knife. In spring of 1993 my father- and mother-in-law were severely beaten on the street.
Ms. Bochkaryova, Kalinovskaya village former resident.
The Dudaev guards took hostages: Mr. Belyayev the principal of the school, his vice principal Mr. Plotnikov, and the director of the farm Kalinovski Mr. Erin. They demanded a ransom of 12 mln. roubles. When they didnt get it, they killed the hostages.
Ms. Ya. Nefedova, former Grozny resident.
On Jan. 13, 1991 my husband and I were robbed by Chechens in our own apt. They took all valuables, even my ear rings.
Ms. V. Malashin, former Grozny resident.
On Jan. 9, 1995 my wife and I were visiting our friends. Their apt. was attacked by 3 armed Chechens. They robbed us all and raped my wife and her friend.
Mr. Yu. Usachov, Mr. F. Usachov.
In Dec. 20, 1994 we were beaten by Dudaevs guards because we refused to join their army.
Ms. Kalganova, former Grozny resident.
My Armenian neighbors were robbed by Chechens and their 15-year old daughter was raped. In 1993 the Prokhorov family was attacked, too.
Ms. Plotnikova, former Grozny resident.
In the winter of 1992, my neighbors and I were attacked by armed Chechens. They took away our property ownerships. I left my apartment, garage and a country house. My son and a daughter witnessed the murder of our neighbor B. who was gunned down.
Ms. Makharin, former Grozny resident.
On Nov. 19, 1994 my family was attacked by armed Chechens. We were thrown away from our car (my wife and the kids). We were beaten by legs, the ribs were broken. My wife was raped. They took away our car and the belongings.
Ms. M. Vasilyeva, former Grozny resident.
In Sep. 1994 2 chechen guards raped my 19-year old daughter.
Ms. N. Kovrizhkin, former Grozny resident.
In oct. 1992 Dudaev declared a total mobilization from 15 to 50. I worked for a railroad company. During our working hours we were guarded like prisoners. In Gudermes station I witnessed a murder of a man who was gunned down. Chechens said they had killed because of a feud.
Mr. A. Fedorov, former Grozny resident.
In 1993, Chechens robbed my apt. In 1994, they robbed me of my car. I turned to police. When I saw my car a few days later with armed Chechens inside, also reported to police.
I was told to forget about the car, threatened and ordered to leave Chechnya.
Mr. A Burmurzayev, former Grozny resident.
On Nov. 1994, I became a witness of how Chechens set on fire 6 tanks with their crew belonging to their opposition.
Ms. Panteleeva, former Grozny resident.
In 1991, Dudaevs guards stormed the Ministry of Internal Affairs building, killing the officers, one colonel and injuring a major.
The same year The Principal of Grozny State University Mr. Kan-Kalik was kidnapped and killed together with a vice-principal.
My parents apt. was attacked by 3 armed Chechens in masks. One of them was in police uniform. Threatening to kill them or torture with hot iron, they robbed them of 750.000 roubles and a car.
Ms. E. Dudina, former Grozny resident.
In the summer of 1994 I was beaten by Chechens on the street. My husband and my son were also beaten. They took my sons watch. Then they grabbed me and took me to a nearest apt. building where in the lobby raped me.
My friend told me that one day when she was traveling by train to Krasnodar in 1993, the train was stopped. A group of armed Chechens entered it. They robbed all the passengers of money and valuables. One young girl was raped and thrown out of the train at full speed.
Ms. Udalova, former Gudermes resident.
On August 2, 1994 my house was attacked by 2 Chechens. They cut my mothers throat, and we were lucky to defend ourselves. One of the attackers was my former high school student. I turned to police for protection, but after it they started to threaten me and my son. I sent my son and my relatives to Stavropol region and later left.
My pursuers exploded my house on Nov. 21, 1994.
Ms. V. Fedorova, former Grozny resident.
In April 1993 my friends daughter was kidnapped by Chechens. Later, she was found raped and dead.
My other friend was also raped by Chechens on her way home.
On May 17, 1993 in the lobby of my apartment house 2 young Chechens tried to rape me. My neighbor an elderly Chechen defended me.
In Sept. 1993 I was riding a car with my friend. We were stopped by a group of Chechens. They beat my friend and hit me in my face.
That is beyond words, that people can be that savage that quickly, I mean you expect it would happen if society goes to hell, but to actually hear accounts of it is very chilling. To know there are people like this out there.
WAR HAS NO RULES FOR RUSSIAN FORCES BATTLING CHECHEN REBELS
By MAURA REYNOLDS
“I remember a Chechen female sniper. We just tore her apart with two armored personnel carriers, having tied her ankles with steel cables. There was a lot of blood, but the boys needed it.”
“The main thing is to have them die slowly. You don’t want them to die fast, because a fast death is an easy death.”
“The summary executions don’t just take place against suspected fighters. One 33-year-old army officer recounted how he drowned a family of five—four women and a middle-aged man—in their own well.”
“You should not believe people who say Chechens are not being exterminated. In this Chechen war, it’s done by everyone who can do it,” he said. “There are situations when it’s not possible. But when an opportunity presents itself, few people miss it.”
“I would kill all the men I met during mopping-up operations. I didn’t feel sorry for them one bit.”
“It’s much easier to kill them all. It takes less time for them to die than to grow.”
“So there will be one Chechen less on the planet, so what? Who will cry for him?”
Los Angeles Times, Sunday, 17 Sept, MOSCOW:
They call it bespredel—literally, “no limits.” It means acting outside the rules, violently and with impunity. It translates as “excesses” or “atrocities.”
It’s the term Russian soldiers use to describe their actions in Chechnya.
“Without bespredel, we’ll get nowhere in Chechnya,” a 21-year-old conscript explained. “We have to be cruel to them. Otherwise, we’ll achieve nothing.”
Since Russia launched a new war against separatist rebels in its republic of Chechnya a year ago, Russian and Western human rights organizations have collected thousands of pages of testimony from victims about human rights abuses committed by Russian servicemen against Chechen civilians and suspected rebel fighters.
To hear the other side of the story, a Times reporter traveled to more than half a dozen regions around Russia and interviewed more than two dozen Russian servicemen returning from the war front.
What they recounted largely matches the picture painted in the human rights reports: The men freely acknowledge that acts considered war crimes under international law not only take place but are also commonplace.
In fact, most admitted committing such acts themselves—everything from looting to summary executions to torture.
“There was bespredel all the time,” one 35-year-old soldier said. “You can’t let it get to you.
Russians and the Chechens deserve each other.
Meanwhile, Putin has lost the larger war. Mother Russia is mortally wounded and dying. He is powerless to stop it