Is Stability Something like That?
Miriam Elder, correspondet of American newspaper GlobalPost, has recently visited Chechnya and Dagestan. After her trip she wrote what she saw with an article “The Price of Chechnya’s Stability“.
Miriam Elder starts her travelogue with a general information at her article: “A Trip Through Chechnya and Dagestan“: “Russia likes to present itself as a solid monolith, a country crafted into stability by the strong hand of Vladimir Putin. The easiest way to shatter that myth is to tell a Russian that you have just returned from a trip to Chechnya and Dagestan”.
The correspondet writes that Landing at Grozny airport, there’s no question where you’ve arrived. Huge posters of puppet Ramzan Kadirov and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are visible from the runway. All around the Chechnya is same, you can see the posters and sayings of puppet Kadirov. She says, after her latest visit to Grozny in 2003, it is clear that it is rebuilding, but she attracts attention to checkpoints on the way into towns. She also underscores that you may easily understand you left from Chechnya to Dagestan. The differences from Chechnya are immediately noticeable. There are signs of industry — trucks hauling gravel, electricity lines. The posters of Kadİrov are quickly replaced by advertisements in Dagestan.
At her article, Miriam Elder gives general information about Chechnya: “Chechnya is now ruled by one of the world’s most ruthless authoritarian leaders, Ramzan Kadirov, a man personally appointed by Vladimir Putin. The [Russian] official narrative inside Chechnya is that Kadirov has brought stability…”
The correspendent can’t resist herself to write about puppet Kadirov’s arbitrary practices in the country: “Kadirov has passed laws requiring women to cover their heads when entering [puppet] government property, including schools. Bands of Kadirovtsy, the thuggish paramilitaries loyal to [national traitor] Kadyrov, patrol the streets shielded by tinted car windows, acting akin to morality police. This reporter can attest to the fact that they will issue warnings and threats if they catch a woman smoking inside a private car.
Kadirov has been given free rein inside the republic, yet remains almost entirely dependent on Moscow to fill his budget. Jobs inside Chechnya are scarce. Unemployment officially [for Russian and puppet regime] stands at 42 percent, but independent observers say it is likely twice that. Aside from the construction projects designed to rebuild Chechnya from war-scarred rubble or work at the republic’s oil refineries, there is little to do”.
Miriam Elder writes puppet Kadirov’s opinions about freedom fighters who fight for defending our homeland from Russian occupiers and their collaborators: ” -This is not a ‘struggle for freedom,’- Kadirov told Russian newspaper Zavtra in September. -We’re fighting in the mountains with American and English special forces. They’re not fighting against Kadyrov, nor against traditional Islam. They’re fighting against the sovereign Russian state-“.
As opposed to rental journalists and tv producers, Miriam Elder prefer to speak with victims of puppet regime and human rights defenders in Chechnya: “When Raisa Turlueva arrived home one day in October, she saw dozens of [puppet] police and the body of a man lying dead on the sidewalk. [Puppet] Officers said he was a rebel who had been sheltering in her home. Turlueva said she had no idea who he was.
The [puppet] police brought Turlueva in for questioning, asking about her son, who they suspected of sheltering the rebel. After they let her go, she arrived home to find a smoldering ruin. Seven months later, her house remains a black carcass and she has not seen her son, Said Salekh, since.
‘I believe he’s alive and he’ll come back,’ she said. ‘I believe they’ll let him go.’
Turlueva is not alone with her wrenching tale. Hundreds of mothers across Chechnya say their children have been kidnapped or killed, according to Memorial, a Russian human rights NGO. While the Muslim republic in Russia’s south has emerged from a decade of war, its stability has come at a price — Memorial has documented more than 93 Chechens kidnapped by [puppet or occupying] security forces in 2009, just a small slice of the deaths and disappearances in Chechnya since the Soviet Union dissolved 20 years ago.
Raisa Turlueva’s son was a typical 19-year-old Chechen when he disappeared — a student at Grozny’s oil institute, already married. On Oct. 21, she received a call from relatives telling her that her house had been surrounded and the repeated phone calls she made to her son went unanswered.
Turlueva sits motionless in the yard of the house she’s been living in for the past seven months as she tells the story of his disappearance. She pays no mind to the chicken and roosters running around, makes no mention of the stench of sewage.
She stares ahead and speaks slowly, deliberately, angrily. When the tears come, she doesn’t allow them to flow, burying her face in her hands and letting her body shudder the sadness away.
Turlueva has not seen her son since that morning. Her brother-in-law, also questioned that day at the main regional [puppet] police office in Urus-Martan, said he saw Said-Salekh during his interrogation, badly shaken and beaten”.
When Miriam spoke about Raisa’s story, she gives also place to opinions of human rights activists: “There was nothing left,” Turlueva said of her home. Neighbors told her that [puppet] security forces officers brought three canister of gasoline, poured it on the grounds and set the house alight. It’s a common tactic, human rights activists say, used by [puppet] government forces as punishment and also as a means of sewing fear throughout communities.
Turlueva, and the human rights activists working with her, believe her son has become one of dozens of young Chechen men kidnapped by [puupet and Russian] security forces each year. Their theory: The men are detained, kept clandestinely in prisons for several months, during which time they grow long beards — the hallmark of the Chechen Islamic rebel. Members of the [puppet] security forces then take them into the mountains, where they are killed during a so-called anti-terror operation. In return, officers are given awards and cash prizes. Sometimes they are given cars. Those are announced on [puppet regime’s] state-run television by Kadirov himself.
“It’s a good business,” said Heda Saratova, a local human rights activist and journalist.
According to Memorial, the NGO, of the 93 people were kidnapped by [puupet] security forces in 2009, 10 were found dead, 19 remain missing, four are being investigated and 60 were eventually released. In the same time period, 30 people were killed in the republic – five rebels, four [puupet] security service officers and 21 civilians”.
The relative of an another victim: “Danilbek Askhabov never believed the tales of kidnappings and killings until it happened to his family. His 28-year-old son, Yusup, was killed on May 28 last year, and Askhabov was dragged to the site to identify his son’s body. When he refused to publicly denounce and disown his dead son, he was beaten on the spot, in the main square of the village of Shali. [Puppet] Security officers videotaped the public shaming and Askhabov was shown that night, frightened, leaning on his cane, not daring to lift his head as he was lectured by camouflaged [puppet] officers, on [national traitors’] state television.
-It was shown on TV, how the [puppet] police then got awards and cars. Before I didn’t believe it, but now I believe it,- he said. -They build this all up themselves. It’s a business-“.
Miriam Elder shows the psychology of Chechen people: “Inside Chechnya, anger with Moscow still simmers. But anger with Kadirov’s [puppet] regime is also growing.
-You can’t say what you think,- Askhabov said, sitting next to his weeping wife, and the two sons he has left. -They say the Cheka and NKVD used the same methods,- he said, referring to the Soviet Union’s KGB predecessors. -That’s what they’re doing here now — asking brother to turn on brother, brother to turn on father. What brutalities can happen after this? It will envelop everything – it will be terrifying. I’ll never forget what they did to me. No Chechen will ever forget-“