Dzhoxar Musayevich Dudaev
Dzhoxar Dudaev was born in February 1944 during the forced deportation of his family along with the entire Chechen, Ingush, Balkar, Kalmyk, Crimean Tatar and other smaller nations, on the orders of Joseph Stalin. Dudaev and his family were deported from their native village of Yalkhoroi in the abolished Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR). He spent the first 13 years of his life in exile in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.
Following the 1957 repatriation of the Chechens and Ingush, he studied at night school in Checheno-Ingushetia and qualified as an electrician. In 1962, after two years studying electronics in Vladikavkaz, he entered the Tambov Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots from which he graduated in 1966. Dudaev joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1968 and in 1971-1974 studied at the prestigious Gagarin Air Force Academy. He married Alla, a Russian poetess with whom he had three children.
Dudaev served in a heavy bomber unit of the Soviet Air Force in Siberia and Ukraine and also took part in the Soviet war in Afghanistan. He rose steadily in the Air Force, assuming command of the air base of the Soviet Strategic Air Force at Tartu, Estonia, in 1987 with the rank of Major-General. Dudaev learned Estonian and showed great tolerance for Estonian nationalism when he ignored orders to shut down the Estonian television and parliament. He said he could not bomb people who simply asked for their freedom. Instead he sent a mobile military kitchen. In 1990, his air division was withdrawn from Estonia and Dudaev resigned from the Soviet military.
In May 1990, Dudaev returned to Grozny, the Chechen capital, to devote himself to local politics. He was elected head of the Executive Committee of the unofficial opposition All-National Congress of the Chechen People (NCChP), which advocated sovereignty for Chechnya as a separate republic of the Soviet Union. The Chechen-Ingush ASSR had the status of an autonomous republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
He returned to Chechnya and was elected speaker of the Chechen National Congress in 1991 and later became the Chechnya’s first President.
Initially Ichkeria government held diplomatic relations with Georgia where he received much moral support from the first Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. When Gamsakhurdia was overthrown in late 1991, he was given asylum in Chechnya and attended Dudaev’s inauguration as President. While he resided in Grozny he also helped to organize the first “All-Caucasian Conference” which was attended by independent’s groups from across the region. Ichkeria never received diplomatic recognition from any internationally recognized state other than Georgia in 1991.
All his offers of a peaceful solution to Chechen independence were ignored by Russia. Shortly before the end of the first Russian – Chechen War, Dzhoxar Dudaev was killed by a cruise missile on April 22, 1996.
Places named in honor of Dudaev:
• Bosnia and Herzegovina – A street called Ulica Generala Džohara Dudajeva in Goražde.
• Chechnya – Chechnya’s war-ravaged capital was renamed Dzhoxar-Ghala by Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in 1997
• Estonia – A large room in the Barclay Hotel in Tartu, once used as Dudaev’s office, is now called the Dudaev Suite. In the Nursipalo urban warfare training polygon of the Estonian Defence Forces, Johhar Dudaev Street crosses with Basayev Street.
• Latvia – From 1996, there is Dzhoxar Dudaev Avenue (Džohara Dudajeva gatve) in the Latvian capital Riga.
• Lithuania – Dzhoxar Dudaev Square (Dzocharo Dudajevo skveras) in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
• Poland – On March 17, 2005, a roundabout in the Polish capital Warsaw was named Rondo Dżochara Dudajewa.
• Turkey – After Dudaev’s death, various locations in Turkey were renamed after him, such as “Şehit Cahar Dudayev Caddesi” (Martyr Dzhoxar Dudaev Street) and Şehit Cahar Dudayev Parki (Martyr Dzhoxar Dudaev Park) in Istanbul/Ataşehir, Cahar Dudaev Meydanı (Dzhoxar Dudayev Square) in Ankara and Şehit Cahar Dudayev Parkı (Martyr Dzhoxar Dudaev Park) in Adapazarı, Sakarya.
• Ukraine – Also in 1996, a street in Lviv was named after him (вулиця Джохара Дудаєва), later followed by Ivano-Frankivsk.