Хаос на Кавказе
Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics
Chaos In the
by Nebesoff I.,
by Kirillova O.G.
Chapter 1. History of terrorism..................................................................... 4
Chapter 2. Clash, or conspiracy?.................................................................. 5
Chapter 3. Enter the Wahhabis........................................................................ 6
Chapter 4. Geopolicy............................................................................................... 8
Chapter 5. Economy.................................................................................................. 9
see, nowadays the Caucasus problem is one of the sharpest and most important
for our country. Chechnya and Dagestan are not only oil, but the source of
destability and terrorism.
last autumn events in the United States even Americans and Europeans
understood that war in Checnya is not only Russia’s internal business, and this
war, which we have been leading for several years already is not only the wish
of the Russian Government and oligarchs to take ‘their piece of pie’ from the
Caucasus oil. The world community has finally recognised that threat of
world-wide terrorism is not a myth, and this battle has to be led by forces of
all countries, which want to live undisturbed.
work I am trying to show the roots of Islam movement and the history of
confrontation in Chechnya. Another aim of this paper is to show links between
Chechnya and world Islamic terrorism, and to show how these links work. Only
when we recognise that terrorism is the ‘world-wide web’, civilized world would
be able to unite against this, maybe, the greatest evil on the Earth, and,
probably, one of the biggest world problems in the new century.
last aim was to show how the Chechen war is affecting the Russian economy, and
what losses we have had since this war started
At least until recently, the main enemy of Islamic terrorism
seemed to be the United States. However diverse and quarrelsome its
practitioners, they knew what they hated most: the global policeman whom they
accused of propping up Israel, starving the Iraqis and undermining the Muslim
way of life with an insidiously attractive culture.
Anti-Americanism, after all, has been a common thread
in a series of spectacular acts of violence over the past decade. They include
the bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York in February 1993; the
explosion that killed 19 American soldiers at a base in Saudi Arabia in June
1996; and the deadly blasts at the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in
In many of the more recent attacks it has suffered,
the United States has discerned the hand of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-bom
coordinator of an international network of militant Muslims. In February last
year, he and his sympathisers in Egypt, Pakistan and Bangladesh issued a
statement declaring that "to kill the Americans and their allies-civilian
and military—is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it."
Now, it might appear, Russia's turn has come to do
battle on a new front in this many-sided conflict. The Russian government has
blamed terrorists from the country's Muslim south for a series of bomb blasts
in Moscow and other cities which have claimed over 300 lives. And it has
launched a broadening land and air attack against the mainly Muslim republic of
Chechnya, where the terrorists are alleged to originate.
In their more strident moments, officials and
newspaper columnists in Moscow say that Russia is in the forefront of a fight
between "civilisation and barbarism" and is therefore entitled to
western understanding. "We face a common enemy, international
Whereas western countries have chided Russia (mildly)
for its military operation against Chechnya, Iran has been much more
supportive. Kamal Kharrazi, Iran's foreign minister, has promised
"effective collaboration" with the Kremlin against what he has
described as terrorists bent on destabilising Russia. Russia, for its part, has
thanked Iran for using its chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic
Conference to present the Russian case.
Perhaps because of Russia's friendship with certain
parts of the Muslim world, Mr Putin has firmly rejected the view that the
"bandits" Russia is now fighting could properly be described as
Islamic. "They are international terrorists, most of them mercenaries, who
cover themselves in religious slogans," he insists.
But ordinary Muslims in the Moscow street — whether
they are of Caucasian origin, or from the Tatar or Bashkir nations based in
central Russia — fear a general backlash. "Politicians and the mass media
are equating us, the Muslim faithful, with armed groups," complains Ravil
Gainutdin, Russia's senior mufti. Patriarch Alexy II, the head of the Russian
Orthodox church, has been urging his flock not to blame their i8m Muslim
compatriots for the recent violence. "Russian Christians and Muslims
traditionally live in peace," he has reminded them.
Chapter 2. Clash,
But even if Russia's southern war is not yet a
"clash of civilisations", might it soon become one? And if so, would
that bring Russia closer to the West, or push it farther away?
Islam is certainly one element in the crisis looming
on Russia's southern rim, but it is by no means the only one. The latest
flare-up began in August in the wild border country between Chechnya — which
has been virtually independent since Russian troops were forced out, after two
years of brutal war, in 1996 — and Dagestan, a ramshackle, multiethnic republic
where a pro-Russian government has been steadily losing control.
Many people in Russia did not need any evidence; the
government's allegations simply confirmed the anti-Chechen, and generally
anti-Caucasian, prejudice they already harboured. Other Russians take a more
cynical view. They believe the bomb attacks are somehow related to the power
struggle raging in Moscow as the "courtiers" of Ex-President
Yeltsin try to cling to their power and privilege in the face of looming
Such incidents are grist to the mill of Moscow's
conspiracy theorists. Some believe that the bombs were indeed the work of
Chechen extremists, but insist that the fighting in the south is mainly the
result of Russian provocation; some say it is the other way round. Whatever the
truth, the crisis has certainly played into the hands of the most hardline
elements in Russia's leadership. But there are also signs that people from
outside Russia have been stirring the pot.
Mark Galeotti, a British lecturer on Russia's armed
forces, says there is evidence that Mr bin Laden, while not the instigator of
the urban bombing campaign, has offered financial help to its perpetrators. And
fighters under the influence of Mr bin Laden have certainly been active in
Chechnya and Dagestan — though their presence is probably not the main reason
why war is raging now.
With or without some mischief-making by dark forces in
Moscow, Russia would have a problem in the northern Caucasus. Hostility between
Russians and Chechens goes back to the north Caucasian wars of the i9th
century, when the tsar's forces took more than 50 years to bring the Chechens
under control. As well as strong family loyal-ries, part of the glue that held
the Chechens and other north Caucasian people together was Sufism, the mystical
strand of Islam.
The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 promised to liberate
all the subject peoples of the sariat empire. As civil war loomed, Lenin and
Stalin made a cynical bid for Muslim support by promising the creation of
semi-independent Islamic states in Russia and central Asia, saying: "All
you whose mosques and houses of prayer have been destroyed, whose beliefs and
customs have been flouted by the tsars and the oppressors of Russia — from now
on your beliefs and customs, your national and cultural institutions are free
The reality of Soviet rule was, of course, very
different. Periods of repression alternated with periods of relative
toleration, but prechens (along with seven other ethnic groups) were deported
en masse to Kazakhstan as part of Stalin's policy of punishing
"untrustworthy" ethnic groups. But Chechen culture, in particular,
proved remarkably hard to destroy.
By the i98os, there were estimated to be 50m Soviet
citizens of Muslim ancestry. For most of them, Soviet rule had had a powerful
secularising effect. Out of cultural habit, many still circumcised their baby
boys and buried their dead according to Muslim custom. But the closure of all
but a handful of mosques, and the virtual end of religious education, meant
that knowledge of Islam had nearly evaporated.
Among the few places in the Soviet Union where Islam
remained fairly strong was the northern Caucasus. The Sufi tradition was well
able to survive in semi-clan-destine conditions. Even without mosques, the
Chechens were able to go on venerating the memory of their local sheikhs and
performing traditional dances and chants.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the
Sufi tradition has faced a challenge of a very different type. Emissaries from
the Arab world, especially Saudi Arabia, have flooded into the Caucasus and
Central Asia, seeing an opportunity in the spiritual and economic wasteland
left by Marxist ideology.
Financed by Saudi petrodollars, these preachers have
begun propagating a new form of Islam, which has become known (through a slight
over-simplification) as Wahhabism: in other words, the austere form of Islam
dominant in Saudi Arabia. The new version of Islam strives to be as close as
possible to the faith's 1,400-year-old roots. It opposes the secularism of
Russian life. Its universalising message aims to transcend ethnic and
linguistic barriers, and it has no place for the local cults of Sufism.
Many Chechens and Dagestanis find the new form of
Islam alien and uncomfortable, and some actively oppose it. It has caused
division, and even violence, within families. But by building mosques and establishing
scholarships, the Wahhabis have won a following, especially among the young —
often impatient with what they see as a corrupt official religious
establishment left over from Soviet times. Moreover, in the confusion of
post-Soviet Russia, the new creed offers disillusioned and money and weapons and
a sense of purpose which they cannot find anywhere else.
A daredevil hijacker and hostage-taker, Mr Basaev took
part in the Russian-backed war against Georgia in 1992-93, and then fought
ruthlessly against Russia in the Chechen war of 1994-96. Trained in the Soviet
army, he now says his life's mission is to wage holy war against Russia and
avenge its crimes against his people. He is not himself a Wahhabi, but he seems
to have decided that the new Muslims would make useful recruits for his
jihad, even though he does not share their extreme puritanism.
Mr Basaev was both a Muslim and a Chechen patriot; the
two qualities are inseparable. But despite his bushy beard and talk of holy
wars, he does not quite correspond to the image of a single-minded fundamentalist.
His heroes, after all, included Garibaldi and Abraham Lincoln.
Educated in Saudi Arabia, Khattab fought the Russians
in Afghanistan before settling in Chechnya. In other words, he is one of the
"Afghanis"—the 15,000 or so unteers from all over the Middle East
(particularly Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Algeria) who did battle, with
strong American support, against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan. Since the
war ended, these fighters have returned to their homelands, or . moved to other
countries, in search of new Islamist causes to fight.
It is the existence of the Afghanis (of whom the most
notorious is Mr bin Laden himself) which helps to explain why Russia regards
its own Islamic adversaries as Frankensteinian monsters created by western
governments and their friends in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The Afghani
connection also helps to explain why Russia and Iran see eye-to-eye on the
question of Islamist violence. As well as loathing the West and all its works,
some of the Afghanis — as zealous practitioners of Sunni Islam — are sworn
enemies of the Shia Muslim faith, of which Iran is the main bastion.
Iran has always been resentful of America's
connections with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, even though its own relations with
those two countries have been improving. Russia sympathises, to put it mildly,
with that resentment. America, for its part, is highly suspicious of Russia's
friendship with Iran.
If there is a geopolitical stand-off involving Russia,
America and the Islamic world, it is not a simple triangle. If anything, Russia
and America have each identified different bits of the Islamic world as
friends, and each is suspicious of the other's partnerships.
Although Russian diplomacy has been quite adept at
manipulating the geopolitical divisions within the Muslim world, there is a
real possibility that its own clumsiness and brutality could create a Muslim
enemy within its borders, as well as alienating Muslims farther afield.
Already, the Kremlin's heavy-handedness has galvanised the Chechens to mobilise
for a new war against Russia. The neighbouring Ingush people, related to the
Chechens but hitherto willing to accept Russian authority, may now be drawn
into the conflict—along with at least four or five other north Caucasian
peoples who have until now been content to let Russia run their affairs.
If Russia found itself at war with half a dozen Muslim
peoples in the Caucasus, the effects would certainly be felt in places farther
north, such as Tatarstan.
But if some sort of common Muslim front ever emerges
in Russia, resentment of Moscow will be the only factor that holds it together.
In the Caucasus and elsewhere, Muslims are fragmented; there is not even a
united or coherent Wahhabi movement.
Nor is there any natural unity between Chechnya and
Dagestan. The two also differ over their relations with Russia. The Chechens
still feel the scars of their last war with the Russians, and so the
secessionist impulse is much stronger than in Dagestan, which has little sense
of a common national identity and is economically heavily dependent on Russia.
Nor is it inevitable that Islamic militancy in the
northern Caucasus and in other parts of the Muslim world will reinforce one
another. Rather than being proof that political Islam is spreading, the
fighting in the Caucasus is a reminder that Islam exists in many different
forms. In the heartland of the Muslim world, the Middle East, the wave of
Islamic militancy appears to be receding. In the early i98os, the years
immediately after the Iranian revolution, the Arab countries and Turkey felt
themselves most vulnerable to political Islam.
Those expectations are now subsiding. Egypt, Tunisia,
Saudi Arabia — all countries that experienced serious Islamic opposition — have
survived, bruised but intact. Even Algeria, where Islamism took the most
violent form and was suppressed with particular harshness, seems to have
entered a more hopeful phase.
In the Caucasus and Central Asia, as in former
Yugoslavia, the moment of opportunity for political Islam came a decade or so
later, with the collapse of communism, and so the new Islamic movements are
younger and still developing. They are a powerful and potentially destabilising
force, but they are no more destined to win power than their equivalents elsewhere.
There is, however, a form of "peripheral"
Islam which ought to be giving Russian policymakers food for thought: the
impressive strength of the Muslim faith, sometimes accompanied by political
radicalism, in western cities that lie thousands of miles from the heartlands
of Islam. From Detroit to Lyons, young Muslims have been rediscovering their
beliefs and identity—often as a reaction against the poverty, racism and (as
they would see it) sterile secularism of the societies around them. This phenomenon
owes nothing to geopolitical calculation, or to the policies of any government,
either western or Middle Eastern; nor can it be restrained by government
action. If radical forms of Islam can flourish in places like Glasgow and
Frankfurt, there is no reason why they canot do so in Moscow and
Murmansk—particularly if the Russian government seems to be fighting a brutal,
pointless war at the other end of the country.
There is a way to resolve the conflict, to which
international involvement is key. Such international involvement, however, can
only happen with Russia`s consent, though both the E.U. and the U.S. have the
means to change the numbers in the Kremlin`s calculations using political,
diplomatic and economic leverage. Such involvement must help Chechnya to become
a truly democratic and peaceful state, thereby eliminating whatever threats to
Russian security it might pose. Incentives are necessary, and the prospect of a
de jure recognition of Chechnya will be a strong incentive for Chechnya to
undergo decisive democratization and demilitarization. The idea is simple:
statehood in return for democracy.
This idea can be implemented through the United
Nations Trusteeship system under Chapters XII and XIII of the U.N. Charter.
Since this can only be done with the agreement of Russia, and since Russia is a
member of the Security Council, she will have a decisive say in the terms under
which Chechnya will be governed for the period, and in the designation of the
administering authority. This could make Russia feel more comfortable with the
idea, which needs to be a Russian-initiated proposal to succeed.
The terms of the trusteeship will also have to
be acceptable to the Chechen side, since without the Chechen side’s voluntary
consent no such system can be implemented. The prospect of recognition of
Chechnya, together with help in reconstruction and an immediate withdrawal of
Russian troops, are likely to secure Chechnya`s consent.
The European Union might be a good choice for
the role of administering authority, since the E.U. is seen in Moscow not as a
threat to Russian interests but as an opportunity. The administering authority
has to be charged with the speedy and effective implementation of
democratization procedures at all levels in Chechnya, with the aim of preparing
Chechnya to assume the responsibilities of a recognized independent state.
Economic reconstruction, demilitarization and the training of civil servants
and police will have to be given priority. The E.U. has acquired much
experience in this field in the Balkans.
Chechens, along with the other ethnic groups
that have lived in Chechnya since before the first war, should be offered a
choice whether to stay or relocate. Those that desire to relocate to or from
Chechnya should be given the necessary economic and legal support for their
transportation and resettlement.
Since virtually everyone in Chechnya owns some
kind of weapon, a sophisticated scheme for demilitarizing the country must be
worked out, taking account of local idiosyncrasies. The most effective way to
collect weapons would be to offer market-price compensation. This will succeed
if the inflow of weapons from outside is prevented, which will require an
effective border control.
The only non-Russian border Chechnya has is with
Georgia. OSCE observers, together with the Georgian border forces, are already
monitoring this border. In future, they can and should be joined by Chechen
For the sake of peace, amnesty can be given to
all war crimes and atrocities committed during the last two conflicts. Such
amnesty can reduce the Russian military and security services’ fears of
prosecution and therefore increase the chance of peace.
This scheme has advantages for all parties.
Russia will free itself from the constant problem of Chechnya. The relocation
of the Chechens who chose to do so would mean that Russia would be freed from
its hostile population - a problem that Russia has been trying to solve for
centuries (the 1944 deportation of Chechens is an obvious example). Russia
would also free itself from the burden of the economic reconstruction of
Chechnya, as well as stop wasting already limited resources on this unwinnable
war. Moreover, acceptable adjustments can be made to the Russian-Chechen border
in the northwest of Chechnya, thereby making the idea more attractive to
Russia`s public. In addition, the E.U. could compensate Russia by increasing
economic aid, particularly to southern Russian republics.
The E.U. will also be a winner. Today it might
be a "reluctant empire," but as it undergoes deepening and expansion
it is bound to play a more assertive role externally. Its very presence
guarantees its actorness. While Russia may never become a member, it will
become more and more important to the E.U. due to its proximity. By resolving
the Russian-Chechen conflict, the E.U. will benefit from the increased chance
of a future democratic and stable Russia, the importance of which can hardly be
overestimated. The enormous economic resources that will be required to
administer and reconstruct Chechnya may not be too high a price to pay for the
stability of Europe. Moreover, a substantial part of this expenditure can be
covered by using Chechnya`s own natural resources.
The benefits to Chechnya are self-evident. It
will get what it has always strived for - a state of its own. However, even
if independence were to come to Chechnya today, there would not be much to
celebrate since the last two wars have had such tremendous human, economic,
and social costs. Chechnya alone is not likely to be able to succeed in
addressing the huge and difficult post-war challenges that it would have to
face. The trusteeship system will guarantee reconstruction and economic aid
from outside and, by democratizing Chechnya, will help it to get rid of those
who have hijacked the Chechen cause for their own goals. In short, Chechnya
will benefit from all angles.
As you can see, both
Russia and Chechnya are tired of this unperspective war. We need to find some
ways to settle this conflict. But we, of course, have to do it in such a way so
that not to violate the interest of our country.
The problem is that one
country, or even the Union of several of them can’t beat the system of world
terrorism. The only way out is to unite with all other countries which suffer
from terrorism to. The Chechen war is not the Russian internal bisiness, but
the act of world fight against terrorism, that is why world community should
give us a hand in this violent war. It’s rather pressing, because our own
economy isn’t able to stand such expenditures to win world terrorism alone.
amnesty – giving freedom for prisoners (for some of them, or
armor – synonym for “weapon” (look)
atrocity – violent action
blast – synonym for ‘explosion’ (look)
bombing – fighting target with bombs from the aircraft
border forces – military troops, whose aim is to protect state
expenditure – outcome, wasting
explosion – the process of quick burn
hijack – thiefing the plain by threats of armor and bombs
implementation – realisation
independence - freedom from will of another state
Islam – the religion of Eastern people, who believe in Magometh.
jihad – holy war against unfaithful
a Muslim country – a country, where Islam is
an official religion, or area, where Islam is the most wide-spread
occupier – enemy soldier which controls the territory of the captured people
opposition – group of
people which withstand the official point of view
Orthodox - traditional
peripheral – placed far from centre, near the border
prosecution – making somebody responsible for something illegal.
puritanism – kind of behavior, when man refuses himself from many joys of life
reconstruction – rebuilding and restoring the economy, changing its
Sufism - one of Islam brunches, a confession
terrorism – kind of banditism, encouraged by Islamic ortodoxes,
aimed against Western peoples
trusteeship – kind of protection, looking after somebody.
unfaithful – man, who doesn’t believe in Islam
unity – collecting together
Wahhabi – one of Islam brunches, a confession
benefit – profit, income
weapon – pistols, guns, and other military technique.