Russia Angry at the United States because of Akhmadov’s Book
Russia is angry at the United States because of the presentation of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria’s former Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov’s newly published book in Washington.
Recently, a book titled, “The Chechen Struggle: Independence Won and Lost” was published in the United States. The author of the book is Ilyas Akhmadov, former Foreign Minister of Chechen Republic Ichkeria, with Miriam Lanskoy as the co-author. The book was written from Akhmadov’s memories, and it captures the predicament of Chechen moderates who unsuccessfully sought to attain international assistance to stop the war and avert its catastrophic consequences: the mass slaughter of Chechens, the spread of the conflict throughout the region, and Russia’s slide into dictatorship. The authors analyze in detail the two wars in Chechnya since the 1990s. Noting that in both cases the Russian government has used the North Caucasus in their own interests. According to the authors, in 1996, former Russian President Boris Yeltsin ended the first Russian-Chechen war to win re-election to a second term. In 1999, the Russian government began a new war which helped the then little known Putin win the presidency.
On January 20th, a presentation of the book was organized by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) organization in Washington DC. The writer of book, Ilyas Akhmadov and his co-authors, Miriam Lanskoy and Zbigniew Brzezinski attended the book’s presentation. The event was moderated by Carl Gershman, the President of the National Endowment for Democracy.
“The fate of upcoming Presidential elections in Russia in 2012 will be decided in the North Caucasus. But the question is whether this will be a repetition of elections in 1996 or 2000,” said Miriam Lanskoy, co-author and director of the Russia and Eurasia program at Washington’s National Endowment for Democracy.
“The book describes the struggle of Chechens to achieve their independence, a struggle that they have lost. But, the fight for freedom is continuing and now it spreads to other parts of the North Caucasus, such as Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, the Western Caucasus and Stavropol,” said Ilyas Akhmadov.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, former US Presidential advisor and one of the founders of American Peace Committee for Chechnya, has criticized the international community and, in particular, the United States. According to him, the country turned a blind eye to the problems of Chechnya, and U.S. policymakers prefer to ignore the situation there.
Carl Gershman has agreed with Brzezinski and said that “Chechnya is forgotten today by the world community.”
However, on Saturday, January 22th, the Press Service of Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry expressed their displeasure with Ilyas Akhmadov’s book. “Ilyas Akhmadov, who is presenting as the ‘Foreign Minister of Ichkeria’, actually is a former fighter. He is a terrorist who served as an adjutant of the international terrorist Shamil Basayev. He is a criminal on the international most wanted list. However, US based organizations funded by the American government, like NED continues to provide platforms to Akhmadov for his speeches. We hope that U.S. authorities will make certain conclusions and take measures to stop such dubious actions, which play into the hands of the allies of terrorists,” said the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Recall that Ilyas Akhmadov has been in the US since 2004 under political asylum; however, the Russian government claims that he is a terrorist and demands his extradition.
*Text was written by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco