The longer in Russia, prefer to remain silent about the second Chechen war, the longer they will have to overcome its consequences, believes Konstantin Eggert.
On 13 September 1999 in Moscow promised to be a very warm day so all the Windows in our apartment on the seventeenth floor of the house on the South of the capital were opened. At five in the morning I was awakened by the roar, more resembling an explosion. I jumped up and rushed to the window. In the North-East from our home was a column of smoke, and, as I thought, settling cloud of some wreckage. “Another terrorist attack”, I thought. Because before that, were the explosions in Buynaksk and Moscow in the district Pechatniki.
Premonitions not deceived. Soon the “Echo of Moscow” reported an explosion in an apartment house on Kashirsky highway. Killed more than 120 people. In a week, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised to “RUB out” terrorists “in the outhouse.” And September 30, armored units of the Russian army returned to Chechnya – nearly five years after the beginning of military operations in 1994.
“Old songs about the main“
Since then twenty years have passed. Next, I wanted to write the phrase “Circumstances of a series of explosions in Russian cities and the reasons for the unexpected surge in militant Shamil Basayev on the eve, in August 1999, is still controversial and continues to raise many questions”. But suddenly thought, and asks if someone these same questions? And is there any discussion? In fact, the second Chechen war, like the first, too, today, few remember.
In post-Soviet society, for obvious reasons, a short memory. In the last 30 years it has survived so many drastic changes and real tragedies that have learned to suppress painful memories. Therefore, the strange story of “sugar” found in one of the houses in Ryazan after the Moscow bombings or a possible connection with Basayev’s intelligence services remain interesting to a very narrow circle of human rights activists and historians.
Meanwhile, the war – certainly an important milestone in the modern history of Russia. And not only because she turned the unknown to the chief of the FSB Vladimir Putin is almost the sole ruler of Russia. But also because it marked the beginning of a neo-Soviet Imperial policy of the Kremlin, which has since remained one of the foundations of the regime created by Putin. The current “Can you repeat that!” – a direct continuation of the second Chechen. “Old songs about the main” power sang in direct and figurative sense of the word and continue to sing until now, along with a significant part of the Russians.
Blame the Russians that after the stress of the nineties with their sharp turns they wanted a “strong hand”, and then the revival of “their” Empire, has no meaning. Any revolution – and the decade between 1989 and 1999 there were literally revolutionary – sooner or later creates a demand for “stability” and predictability. The collapse of the USSR was not adopted and is aware of the population of Russia. So perhaps the second Chechen war was, in some sense, inevitable.
The fruits of “peace“
However, its consequences were not what they were 20 years ago. First, the “small victorious war” came out, despite the early move to Moscow Akhmad Kadyrov. The last major militant operations was the attack on Nalchik in 2005. Second, for the “pacification” of Chechnya had to give her full control of the Kadyrov clan.
According to official data, more than 80 percent of the budget of the Chechen Republic is formed by direct funding by the centre. Grozny rebuilt better than most regional capitals of Russia. Wedding with dozens of “rolls-Royce” from the category amazing facts has become a routine. Ramzan Kadyrov, being the nominal head of one of the nearly eight dozen Russian regions, actually looks the second most influential politician of the country, which no one, except Putin, is not a decree. His opponents either exiled or dead.
Under the pretext of security during the war Putin’s regime for several years deprived of all the structures for democracy and the rule of law in the country, the few of power and influence that they had. Not in today’s Russia to be independent of parliamentary committees that could check the spending budget, independent judges and prosecutors are prepared to ask awkward questions and to conduct investigations that are independent and truly elected heads of regions, who has asked to be the center of the preference of one penny, and others. There are few independent media outlets, but who wants their investigation, if there is no one in power to continue? People in Chechnya today is just as powerless before the face of the state machine, as Ryazan or Khabarovsk.
Easier to remain silent
Children and even grandchildren of those who twenty years ago were happy that “the Empire struck back” in Chechnya today are reaping the benefits of that enthusiasm. Although many of them you don’t have to think and not guess. The diverse heritage of the second Chechen war is the challenge for the new Russian democratic government, when it comes out on the stage of history, is perhaps the most difficult. Even stop the war with Ukraine, in my opinion, easier. And while it will remain what both the government and the opposition prefer to remain silent. And that silence is the best proof of how long and painful it will have to overcome.