The Son of Aslan Maskhadov Published the Book “My father, the Chechen President”
In Norway, with the financial support of the organization “Freedom of Speech”, the book by Anzor Maskhadov “My father, the Chechen President” was published in three thousands numbers of copies. The author of the book, the son of n Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (ChRI) president Aslan Maskhadov, told to the correspondent of “Kavkaz-Uzel” about his work in exclusive interview.
“The idea to write a book about my father appeared long time ago, I wanted to disprove numerous labels pinned to him, but I never had time for it. After my father assassination in March 2005 I understood: the time had come. It is very painful for me, when people say that he was a terrorist. They don’t know this man from the inside. There is written on the book about this situation, about this conflict, about that what a person was Aslan Maskhadov indeed”, – Anzor Maskhadov says.
“I don’t like when people say that we are guilty. I wanted to tell both about our mistakes and mistakes of Russia “, – the author says, accentuating that the matter of the book is not only his father, but also about “the tragedy which affected the two peoples who began to kill each other because of somebody’s” – the Chechen conflict.
There are 26 chapters in the book, each of them is devoted to a definite period of Aslan Maskhadov’s life. In the nearest time, as the author says, the issue of another two thousands of copies is planned. For time being the book is published in Norwegian only, but the talks about translation are being conducted yet, and the author hopes that till the end of the August 2010 the book will be published in Russian and English.
“To live with honour”
“I remember the day when he gave the submachine gun and the ammunition to my hands and said: “From today you will be near me always and everywhere, and will know what is happening around us “. In this chapter I told about my father’s attitude to the Chechen land and the honour. How highly and important it was for him to appreciate not only own honour, but the honour of his land. Ant here I also wrote when and were he perished – on his land, with the weapon in his hands “, – tells Anzor Maskhadov.
Aslan Maskhadov’s family was not large according to the Caucasian notions, the author of the book says. “Me, my little sister, who was born in Hungary, and the father with the mom”. I wanted to write about the life of Maskhadov – family man, but anyway I was ought to speak also about war, about politics. Although my father was a military man, but he looked after all, liked to play with children very much – I still remember it. He was strict enough with me, but experienced tender father’s feelings to my little sister. That time it offended me a little, but now I have myself two sons and daughter, and now I understand my father well”, – Anzor Maskhadov shares his reminiscences.
According to his words, Aslan Maskhadov was able to behave everywhere and always: at work, at home, with his friends. “He was very strict with me, he wanted me to do right things ever: no step to the left, no step to the right. When he came home, he just came to his mother to talk, to fondle, she was living near us with the family of the youngest son (according to the Caucasian traditions). He was so honest person that didn’t have any incomes besides the salary, but helped to his relatives in every “, – interlocutor affirms.
Maskhadov-junior tells, that, being a schoolboy, he wanted to be a military man like his father. “The father told that he will send me to Suvorov Military School. However, when we returned to Chechnya from Lithuania, all plans and hopes changed – we was ought to go to the war”, – Anzor Maskhadov mentions.
“Officer of the Soviet Army”
In this chapter, Anzor Maskhadov writes that his father was a strict and exacting commander. “Even with his colleagues who had equal ranks he didn’t allowed himself chummy manners in working. He was saying: “Let us to talk about it after work “. My father liked the movie “Officers” very much. He was respected for his honesty and exactingness. He was able to be on friendly terms”, – Anzor Maskhadov tells.
Anzor remembers the case when one of Aslan Maskhadov’s friends took offence to him and didn’t come to a family celebration, although was invited. “My father directed his driver and: “Don’t come back without him!” The driver brought the friend, they conversed in a masculine way. My father said him that time: “We don’t converse together for a long time. I was thinking about it for a long time, was upset about it, and was not able to understand: how it can happen?” He didn’t like conflicts and was able to do the first step to reconciliation. I remember the only episode when the father sharply interrupted the officers who spoke uncomplimentary of the officers from the Caucasus. He stopped and thoroughly “came down” on them: “What bad thing can you say about them? I am a Caucasian myself! These people are giving they duty to the Motherland like you!” – the author of the book remembers.
In the beginning of 1990-s, Aslan Maskhadov decided to leave the service in Lithuania and return to Chechnya. “It was occasioned by the alarming situation in the republics of the Northern Caucasus: Ossetian-Ingush conflict, conflicts in Chechnya. That time there was full jumble in the (Soviet) Union: those who didn’t want to come to the Army didn’t come there, the soldiers was deserting. But my father did all the things in the correspondence with the service regulations: he send a letter to the Moscow commandment where asked about resignation. From the beginning there was the refusal, but the father insisted and was allowed. His friends very painfully took his decision to leave the service. I still keep in touch with some of them”, – Anzor Maskhadov says.
Maskhadov’s family returned to Chechnya in 1992, “to be near own people”. “It was visible what pain was inside of him. The father met with Dzhoxar Dudaev, with who he wasn’t acquainted before: “I am an artillerist and want to stay near you”. Dudaev appointed my father the chief of the staff and ordered to build up the army, which, according to his words, “will be able to repulse not only to the internal opposition (groups of Gantamirov, Zavgaev), but also to the main enemy – Russia”, – the author of the book tells.
According to his words, Aslan Maskhadov had exclusively working relations with Dzhoxar Dudaev, with nothing personal. “There were people, who whispered to Dudaev: “Maskhadov is from pro-Russian Nadterechny region, one cannot trust him” – envious persons and toadies, they were worried only about getting the best share for themselves. After the assassination of Dudaev the vice-president of that time, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, occupied his place, although the piece was achieved just as a result of operation “Djihad”, planned and conducted by my father “, – Anzor Maskhadov notices.
He tells that his father was busy with this plan development during a half of year, sounded Russian servicemen to evaluate their fighting ability, and in the August, 1996, executed it. “As a result Grozny was totally blocked. He appealed to Russian generals with the request to take killed soldiers and to bury them humanly. They refused him under pretence of that “Chechen militants want to get a respite in such a way”. He was at war with the other army, and at the same time he was worried about soldiers of the enemy. There were cases, when he gave young soldiers – prisoners of war to their mothers”, – Anzor Maskhadov says.
Anzor Maskhadov writes that his father had high authority both among military men and civilians. “Before 1997 his comrades came to him with such words: “We want to see you as the president of our “. The father refused for three reasons: firstly, he didn’t want to get into politics, secondly, he realized perfectly well how it will be hardly to restore the republic after the war. And thirdly, he knew, that the power sharing out will begin, and he didn’t want to participate in it”, – Anzor Maskhadov says.
According to his words, his family was supporting him in this. “I think he changed his mind only after realizing that nobody from Ichkeria’s side in ready to take upon himself this heavy load. After election as president in 1997, he became more exacting, more string. We were threatened often, they wanted to take me as a hostage, the father was saying that time: “If you will be taken as a hostage, I will not do any concessions. You must know it. Therefore, try to be careful”. Such a person he was. I respected and appreciated his principal position”, – Anzor Maskhadov tells.
“On 197th page of my book, I told about that how in summer 2004, FSB agents offered to my father – and later, after his death, also to Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev – to commit a large-scale terrorist operation with usage of radioactive substances in several Russian cities. It was needed for them to have such a fact at their hands to use it against my father, but he refused. I call the names of these people. Their track leads to Moscow “, – the interlocutor says.
Those who wanted the power tried to kill Aslan Maskhadov many times, Anzor affirms. “I write that my father was the president of the republic since January 1997 till March 2005, the moment of his death. The election of Akhmad Kadirov I, like many my compatriots, regard as non-legitimate: how the elections can be conducted while the war is going and the people are being killed? Current power legitimacy is recognized only those who are afraid or for whom it is profitable”, – the interlocutor says.
Anzor Maskhadov writes that his father till the last day was with his people, on his territory, while his family moved to Azerbaijan. “He was hiding from nobody. He lived in different places. The moment was when he was living in Gudermes, in bout 300 meters from Kadirov, who was very indignant at this fact: “How it is possible that Maskhadov is living in the neighboring street?” – Anzor Maskhadov tells.
“On March 8, 2005, we were invited to our Chechen friends. We was conversing about the situation at home, and suddenly the phone call sounded: “Anzor, is it truth that they say on TV?” I felt by my heart, that something terrible happened with my father. I answered: “I’ve heard nothing yet, but I feel that it is truth”. I said to my family: “Pack up your things, we go home”, I didn’t want them to cry in the presence of strange people”, – the interlocutor says.
“Our relatives were brought to Khankala, where the body of our father was delivered, for identification. Next day after his death we recognized that he is our father”, – Anzor Maskhadov tells.
He mentions that several versions of Aslan Maskhadov assassination exist: “According one of them, the bomb was putted to the house where the father was living. There was no bomb, I write about it. After the house entering, the poisonous gas was used, after it the shooting began. Later it was ascribed to my relative, supposedly he killed. I have the examination conducted in Rostov. It is said there, that five bullets were counted in the father’s body, which were shot from different sides. It turns out that my relative was running in a circle and shooting to my father? I conversed with him by phone, but one cannot ask about such things by phone “, – Anzor Maskhadov says.
He consider that the people loved his father very much. “I remember, the old men were crying during the mourning ceremony in Baku. Many people came, refugees, Azerbaijanians. The mourning ceremony was conducting without the body. There was very painful. They refused to us and are refusing till today in the father’s body delivery. They call him a terrorist, connect his name with “Nord-Ost”, Beslan. This is total absurd! Now Strasbourg court on human rights is considering our complaint, but it is immediately seen that they don’t want to intervene in it. The time will put everything into place, and the history will call both the heroes and the traitors”, – Anzor Maskhadov is sure.
“About two weeks ago a good acquaintance came to me and said: “Anzor, I was asked to tell you the following: you will answer for things you say and you write”. He didn’t call the name of this person, said only that he lives in Moscow”, – Anzor Maskhadov tells.
Elena Khrustalyova, “Kavkaz-Uzel“
*Text was translated from Russian into English by Aminat for Waynakh Online