Criminality in Cecnya
in partnership with www.poliziaineuropa.eu
Vladimir Kislukhin, the colonel of militia, a member of the international police association (Kirov, Russia)
Islamic extremism in Northern Caucases
In the Russian explanatory dictionaries the concept “extremism” is considered as adherence to extreme sights and the measures including activity of the public and religious organizations on planning, preparation and fulfillment of the actions directed on violent change of constitutional bases and infringement of integrity of the Russian Federation.
The extremism was more brightly shown in Russia in 90th of the last century as a result of political and religious conflicts in such republics of Northern Caucasus as the Chechen Republic, Dagestan and Ingushetia. Separate flashes of political and religious extremism arise in the south of Russia nowadays.
The following factors became the reasons of occurrence of extremism:
Deterioration of social and economic situation in Russia after disintegration of Soviet Union in 1991;
Growth of social instability and criminality in the society;
Some national, territorial and religious problems are unsolved;
Legislation on settlement of interethnic conflicts is not elaborated;
Inefficient policy of the federal authorities in decision of problems of Northern Caucasus;
Subversive activities of special foreign services and some religious organizations on kindling interethnic difference among people of the south of Russia
15,5 million people lived in 11 subjects of Northern Caucasus at the beginning 90th. More than 5.2 million people, that is approximately 30% of the population, traditionally professed an islam.
At the beginning of 90th Russia was in conditions of the hardest political and economic crisis. The islam was used by enemies of the state as a source of distribution of political religious extremism in Northern Caucasus.
Vakhabism represented the greatest danger to safety of Russia. Vakhabism is the extremist direction of islam directed on kindling of religious fanaticism, creation of the illegal armed formations, realization of terrorist activity with the purpose of further separation of republics of Northern Caucasus from structure of Russia and creation of the Islamic state.
The main aim of vakhabism was restoration of cleanliness of the islam. It was also the idea about dzhikhad (the sacred war) against people of other religions and against the Moslems who had receded from principles of the initial “pure” islam. The motto of vakhabits was “to dominate over society through the islam”.
Islam emissaries of vakhabism published and distributed the religious literature free of charge with the purpose of distribution the ideas of “pure” islam. They also created a wide network of TV and radio centers, educational institutions, rendered the humanitarian help to the refugees and financially requiring people.
In conditions of wreck of traditional way of life of Caucasian people the ideology of vakhabism categorically condemned such phenomena as drug addiction and alcoholism which had received dangerous distribution. That's why vakhabism was recognized by some part of the population as a certain saving vital philosophy.
Gradually vakhabism at Northern Caucasus began to turn to the real religious force directed at destabilization of the political situation in the south of Russia.
In Dagestan vakhabits created the Islamic party and involved the big group of scientists, young doctors, teachers and engineers in it. In their sermons vakhabits called people to disobedience to authorities and to only submission “the laws of Allah”.
In conditions of deficiency of the skilled local muslim priests vakhabists invited hundreds of young men to study in the Islamic educational centers. There the young men were trained not only divinity but also methods of realization of diversive and terrorist acts. Vakhabits didn't allow to work priests who preached the traditional “peaceful” islam. They pushed aside these priests from management of communities. Vakhabits used different methods to achieve this aim down to physical destruction as it was in the case with Dagestan mufti Abubakarov.
Finally the movement of vakhabism began to spread among people of Northern Caucasus the ideas of militant islam, kindling of the antirussian mood, religious and ethnic animosity, separatism.
Isolation of Northern Caucasus and other regions of traditional islam from Russia became the main task of vakhabits. They created illegal armed formations, so-called “groups of the irreconcilable” and pushed peaceful citizens on rendering of armed resistance to local and federal authorities.
Insurgents of vakhabits' formations were distinguished with religious fanaticism and special cruelty in relation to the captured, military men of the Russian army, to the peaceful Russian population of the Chechen Republic. Vakhabits realized fighting operations not so much for “cleaning” of the Chechen Republic from Russian “invaders” but for establishment of own hegemony in Northern Caucasus. By all ways vakhabits imposed the variant of the islam to all inhabitants of different republics of Northern Caucasus and further transformation of Dagestan, Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic in the united Islamic vakhabits' state.
Extremist activity of vakhabism was especially evidently shown in the 90th in such republic of Northern Caucasus as the Chechen Republic. Criminal communities went from criminal to political activity in the Chechen Republic because of incorrectly organized policy of the Russian authorities on settlement of national and territorial problems and also because of external influence of Islamic extremism. The sharp military conflict was the result of all these facts in Chechen Republic.
In summer 1991 the former general of military - air forces of Soviet Union Dzhokhar Dudaev came to management in the Chechen Republic. When he became the president of republic he declared that he took all the rule at himself.
At the beginning of September the guardsmen of Dudaev captured the buildings of the Government, the radiocenter, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Committee of State Security. The Parliament of the Chechen Republic stopped the activity too. Using weakness of the federal authorities Dudaev declared about the separation of the Chechen Republic from structure of Russia. The republic has actually ceased to be the subject of the Russian Federation during 8 years. The military equipment belonging to the Russian army passed under control of Dudaev or was just seized by force by his guards. All the attempts to show resistance to capture of military engineering and the weapon were finished by failure.
At one check-points the young captain of the Russian army did not allow the group of armed criminals to break down a warehouse with the weapon. The criminals tried to break a gate of check-point by lorry. But the captain as it was necessary to make according the army regulations, gave the Russian soldiers the order to use firearms against criminals. As the result of this fact one of the criminals was killed. In some days the insurgents together with local residents attacked this military unit and stole the captain. They blindfolded the captain and took him out of the city. The captain did not beg for mercy but only asked to take off the bandage from his eyes before shooting. But the Chechen insurgents did not fulfill the request of the Russian captain and shot him before the crowd of people.
Having taken the Russian weapon gangs of terrorists became absolute masters of the “free” Chechen Republic.
The republic became a refuge for thousand of criminals that ran there from justice of Russia.
As the result the general criminality in the Chechen Republic grown in 7 times and the committed murders grown in 20 times.
It was found every day from 3 to 7 corpses with attributes of violent death when Dudaev came to power. All criminals including more than 250 murderers were released. They organized gangs, captured houses, property, executed peaceful inhabitants, violenced women and children, plundered trains.
26 railwaymen were killed as a result of attacks of gangsters in trains.
Kidnappings and suicide became mass in the republic. From 1991 to 1994 the Chechen Republic turned to criminal “reserve” from the state formation. The population was in constant fear for the life, property and safety of relatives.
Law enforcement services of the Chechen Republic were unable to protect peaceful citizens from mass criminality.
Criminal elements began to penetrate into economy of the Chechen Republic grasping the weapon, industrial enterprises and transport. As the result of this fact the production of manufactured goods catastrophically fell, factories stopped their activities. All orders of raw material for the industry were exhausted. The agriculture came to decline. Thousands of people remained without work. Money were not paid to teachers, doctors and workers. Students of educational institutions did not receive grants, pensioners did not get their social security. When teachers of educational institutions saw such criminal situation, they were afraid for life. That's why they began to leave the Chechen Republic.
It was practically impossible to survive in the Chechen Republic especially in cities because industry didn't operate, economics, culture, education public health services didn't work and infrastructure was destroyed.
The president Dudaev, his relatives and friends tried to solve first of all their personal problems and did not pay attention to the tyranny of criminal elements occurring in the republic. Each of new leaders had the criminal business and the sources of the profit. They plundered factories, kidnapped, purloined well-off citizens with the purpose of getting money from them. They also killed people including foreigners and cut their heads.
In such situation the Government of the Chechen Republic began to spread the militant islam there and to kindle the antirussian mood, religious and ethnic animosity, separatism.
The school curriculums were changed, the girls and the boys began to study separately. The schoolgirls had to wear special clothes which was obligatory used by the girls from the Near East. The girls had to study obligatory at schools only 3 years, the boys during 8 years.
The wooden partitions were set in the city buses because it was not allowed for men to look at women in public transport. Almost all Chechen political leaders had several wives.
New Chechen laws protected only interests of Dudaev's regime and were used by this regime as double standards.
People professing orthodox were judged by the laws of Shariat. All the decisions concerning Moslems were accepted according to the interests of the ruling elite.
By 1994 the Chechen Republic was finally considered to be the center of international terrorism. Special training bases opened in the Chechen Republic. Future terrorists had special military training here under the direction of foreign instructors.
The leaders of vakhabits were in close contact with a well-known international terrorist Usama ben Laden. He generously financed all the projects on transformation of the Chechen Republic into the main support of Islamic extremism in Northern Caucasus.
In December 1994 divisions of the Ministry of Defence of Russia were brought at the territory of the Chechen Republic. The main purpose of this was prevention from further distribution of political and religious extremism and restoration of the constitutional system on the territory of the Chechen Republic.
So the army began antiterroristic action. This action was going on till 1996 and it subsequently received the name “The First Chechen War”.
The Minister of Defence of Russia Pavel Grachyov commanded the Russian army.
From the words of eyewitnesses he declared before the storm of Grozny the capital of the Chechen Republic: “If the order is given to me I shall put the Chechen Republic in order and push aside Dudaev in 2 hours.”But as it appeared the army was not ready for war actions in the Chechen Republic. That's why it was not possible to surround the city Grozny with the help of the army.
The president Dzhokhar Dudaev did not surrender but organized furious resistance to the federal army. Many Chechens who took the weapon in December of 1994 really believed that they asserted freedom and independence of their native land.
The Russian command actually sent young unskilled soldiers under bullets of well-trained and armed chechen's fighters and foreign mercenaries.
A bombing attack was undergone after the failure of war actions in Grozny. An intensive artillery bombardment of the city was carried out. Many innocent citizens of all nationalities living in the city Grozny were killed because of these war actions. About 120 thousand of peaceful citizens of the republic and 15 thousand soldiers of the Russian army became victims of the period of the First Chechen War.
By April of 1995 the most part of the territory of the Chechen Republic was released from gangsters' formations. However in May the Government of the country accepted decision about the moratorium to application of military actions about opening of “green corridors” for the Chechen refugees. But the significant part of the armed insurgents returned and legalized under the pretext of refugees. At the beginning of summer in 1996 the field commander Shamil Basaev captured the hospital in the peaceful city Budyonnovsk located in the south of Stavropol territory. So he opened the period of political terrorism in Russia. In January of 1996 another field commander Salman Raduev captured the hospital in the town Kizljar in the territory of Dagestan.
By summer of 1996 as a result of unreasoned actions of the federal authorities the divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Defence were deprived of opportunity to carry out antiterroristic activity in the Chechen Republic.
In August Russia deduced its army from the Chechen Republic after signing of peaceful agreements in the Dagestan city of Khasav-Yurt.
On 22 April 1996 Dzhokhar Dudaev was killed because of 2 explosions near the village of Gekhi-Chu.
Aslant Maskhadov, the chief of Dudaev's staff, the former colonel of the Soviet Army, came to ruling of the Chechen Republic instead of Dudaev and his vice-president Zelimkhan Yandarbiev. However actually Maskhadov was only declarative leader. The Chechen Republic was divided into separate parts which were ruled by the field commanders. These field commanders had considerable number of armed insurgents in subordination.
In August of 1999 detachments of the field commander Shamil Basaev and Jordanian terrorist Emir al'-Khattab under slogans about the sacred war attacked the villages of Dagestan. However the Dagestan militia and military men of the Ministry of Defence of Russia defeated the groups of vakhabits.
After the defeat in Dagestan the leaders of gangsters' formations Khattab and Basaev returned back to the Chechen Republic in August 18th. They organized explosions of four houses in the Russian cities of Buinaxk, Moscow and Volgodonsk. Hundreds of innocent citizens died because of these explosions.
At the same period the insurgents tried to attack Dagestan again but in Novolaksk region. And they were defeated once more. The federal authorities decided about final destruction of gangsters' formations in the whole territory of Northern Caucasus including the Chechen Republic because it represented a stronghold of international terrorism.
The Russian army got great lessons after unsuccessfully finished first Chechen company and was actively preparing during 3 years for new military operation at Northern Caucasus. This antiterroristic operation under the name “punishment” was subsequently called as the second Chechen war by mass media. The operation lasted till 2002 and was finished by rout of the main gangsters' formations.
In April 30 2002 the command of the Russian army declared about completion of the military stage of antiterroristic operation in the Chechen Republic.
However the rest of vakhabits continued to do the acts of terrorism. So in October 23 2002 the group of terrorists under the leadership of Movsar Baraev seized 800 hostages during the performance “Nord-Ost” in the Theatrical center in Moscow. The part of hostages died during the capture of them by terrorists and during the storm of the Theatrical center.
The Chechen Republic was formed as the full subject of the Russian Federation during the last 4 years. The Constitution was accepted, the flag, the insignia and the hymn were confirmed, legitimate authorities and the President were elected, the republican Parliament were created. International legal organizations mark essential progress in observance of human rights in the Chechen Republic.
With the purpose of providing stability and safety at Northern Caucasus the present leaders of the country carry out national policy directly leaning on Moslems, their spiritual and public leaders. With this purpose the federal authorities strengthen interaction of the state bodies with loyal representatives of Muslim clergy and with the leaders of the Islamic political and public organizations. But the main factor of struggle against religious and political extremism is the decision of social and economic problems of the population.
Another factor of stabilization of situation was the acceptance of some legal facts by authorities of subjects of the Russian Federation. These acts were directed on restrictions of ways of distribution of extremism at Northern Caucasus. So the National Assembly of Dagestan accepted the law “About interdiction of vakhabits' and other extremist activity in the territory of the Republic Dagestan”.
The Law “About regulation of some questions of religious and missionary activity in the Republic Ingushetia” was also accepted. The governor of Stavripol territory promulgated “About measures on counteraction to political, national and religious extremism in the territory of Stavropol region”.
The created legislative base allowed to limit aggression of foreign preachers and home-brewed extremists in imposing their sights to population in involving citizens in illegal activity including appeals to insubordination to authorities and also recruitment in gangsters' formations working in the territory of Northern Caucasus.