– Your husband, the first president of the Chechen Republic always wanted to see an independent Ichkeria (Chechnya). How do you see this now, are there any possibilities that this will happen? Does Chechnya have the resources to separate itself from Russia?
The Chechen people pursued freedom for hundreds of years and fought for it for four hundred years, from the times of Imperial Russia. To fight against the so-called ‘mountain people’ the Russians deployed those who were deemed unfriendly to the Tsar and hence, every Chechen grew accustomed to all kinds of weapons from childhood days. The memory of such conflicts are passed on from generation to generation in Chechnya, like nowhere else. Even names of places themselves often remind us about the historical events taking place there. The Checehns often remember the tragedy of Dadi-Yurt. Following a battle there, everyone who fought died. After the battle, 40 girls were taken captive. When crossing the river with their captors, the girls ‘hugged’ their captors and plunged into the river of Tereka with their captors and died. To this day, while crossing the river, some people still say their prayers in honour of the memory of this sacrifice. The last two Russo-Chechen wars, where the best sons of Chechnya died, only strengthened the will of freedom. Currently, there are 160 thousand Russian soldiers who continue the occupation of Chechnya. This is temporary, however. The entire Chechen nation awaits the liberation of Ukraine, which is tired from the Kadyrov-era repression. For the Chechen people, humiliation and any attack on their pride is worse than death.
– On your facebook page you posted a video of collected excerpts from an interview with Dzhokhar Dudayev. He describes the brutality of the Russian army in Chechnya, which is not much different from the current animosity of the invaders in Ukraine. How can you explain this ‘tradition’ of the Russian army: the destruction of civillians, mass rape and looting? What is the reason for this barbaric behaviour, beginning in Chechnya and going all the way to Ukraine?
The Russian people only follow examples and commands of their government, Putin’s ‘outlaws’ – oligarchs, which have plundered Russia financially, leaving little resources even for pensioners. This can be seen also in the Russian parliament as a good example – the so-called ‘servants of the people’ which voted for their own massive salary increases. The Russian army is hence made up of the poorest. For them, a stolen toilet bowl is a luxury find. This poverty gives way to moral poverty in turn, leading to cruelty. Hence, when such a person finds himself armed in front of unarmed civilians, his self-esteem goes up – he starts to see himself as a Tsar! Actually, the war in Ukraine has not reached the cruelty of the Chechen war just yet – as there is no official system of filtration camps yet. In Chechnya there were about more than fifty such camps as well as a few outside of the republic (Kislovodsk, Mozdok, Pyatigorsk). Torture and rape was carried out on all young people there, regardless of their ethnicity. In Istanbul, I met an elderly Chechen woman by the name of Zura (meaning ‘Black’). This nickname was given to her after she left a filtration camp – she turned ‘dark’ after being held there. She was held there alongside her 18-year-old son. The camp was a well known one – Chernokozovo. The entire night, as always, was filled with the screams of victims being raped and tortured. In the morning, when their captors came to take her son, she would not let go of him. She was then cursed at, which was extremely humiliating because her son would hear everything and in Chechnya, cursing is considered extremely uncivil. When Zura was taken for another interrogation by corridor, she saw a young girl next to a puddle of blood. She came close to the girl and asked: ‘What is your name, I could pass it on to your family’. The girl replied ‘Not necessary, I would like to die without a name’.
– Your husband talked about the idea of ‘Ruscism’ – the unification of slavic lands which Russia wanted to carry out right after the collapse of the USSR. Today, in Ukraine, we talk about ‘Ruscism’ (Rashism) as a form of expansionist ideology. These two are very close concepts, even phonetically. What would you characterise this as, what would be the essence of this ideology, its resources and weaknesses?
Ruscism, Slavicisation is the main hope of Russians living in Ukraine (who have been deceived) who have received Russian passports and promised a life in ‘paradise’ if they separate from Ukraine and join Russia. In almost every post-Soviet state this is the case. Of course, some of them are previous recruits as part of the FSB (previously KGB). These people are opportunists, goat-like Judases, which are being shipped to war as a herd of sheep but seem to slip out through secret doors. Why were these so-called republics created in Ukraine? So that Ukraine would bleed for eight years while her best sons would die, so that the country would not be able to develop itself and become a member of the EU.
Even more so, there are European politicians which support Putin and lobby his interests. One of the most prominent examples is that of Gerhard Schroeder, the former German Chancellor. A few years ago, Putin appointed him as one of the heads of Russian Gazprom, with a massive salary made of millions of US dollars. When the Russian air force carried out massive bombardments of Chechen settlements as they did in Ukraine, European leaders declared they did not want to ‘intervene in the internal affairs of Russia’. Dzhokhar Dudayev once said that there will be a time one day that Europe itself will become an ‘internal Russian affair’. The time has come. Finally, Europe has woken up and understood the threat that being indifferent brings to the suffering of people that are targeted by Russia. When will the end of ‘Ruscism’ take place? With the introduction of economic sanctions and an embargo of Russian oil and gas by European countries. The Kremlin receives billions for these industries. Money can solve everything.
– In the West, it is often said that removing Putin from power will mean the beginning of Russian democracy. However, the first Chechen war took place under Yeltsin’s presidency – the most democratic of all Russian politicians. Is Democracy possible in Russia? Under what conditions?
Yeltsin continued the policies of Gorbachev, but let’s not forget how he came to power. And even though there was a relative freedom of expression in place, the overall democratic structure of Russia began to crumble. The remains of this democracy were eliminated by the Chechen war and the genocide of its people! In the end of his presidential run, Yeltsin, disregarding all democratic norms, placed Putin in power – a ‘former’ KGB lieutenant, explaining this move by ‘ensuring the safety of the president and his family’ (himself). Putin replaced democracy with a vertical form of power. If only the Russians knew what this would lead to. Evidently, this resulted in the murders of all those unhappy with the despotism, the massive (billions) gains of his friends’ wealth, the impoverishment of the people… and on top of this, Putin continues to engage in bloody wars. And not only for the destruction of the people of Ichkeria, Georgia, Syria, Ukraine but also for the destruction of Russian youths, which could rebel against his empire of horror, evil and violence. However, after Putin’s open assault on Ukraine, Europe finally woke up from its lethargic sleep. NATO started to help Ukraine with armament and almost all European countries took part in this. Ukraine, with its big territory and 40 million inhabitants, is doomed to win! All ethnic groups occupied by Russia have started to hope for big changes. Democracy in Russia will begin with their liberation. After Putin’s resignation, the establishment of a new government or executive councils, everything will change. Russian troops will slowly be forced to leave the occupied lands. If the new government does not fulfil its promises, then a guerilla war might break out in Russia. Nevertheless, the result will be the same. For too long, the people have endured and been subjected to Putin’s brutality – but the fear of this will be gone forever. A new era will rise, and the era will make humanity’s wish come true – a world without war and violence. It is with reason that Zelensky is called Vselensky (ecumenical).
– In Ukraine, people think that the only way to terminate Russian aggression for good is the separation of the empire into a few new, independent states. Do you agree with this statement?
Russia is the last empire in this world and without any doubt, doomed to fall apart. There will be a few new states or even many of them. This depends on the economic conditions at the time. If a republic has the resources and is able to feed its own population, then its separation will definitely take place. If not, then there might be a unification of a few states/provinces to form a republic. Europe, undoubtedly will help with the establishment of democracy and economic development in this case. In order to safeguard the prosperity of the democratic nature of such a state, a European protectorate will be welcome. Such a state, upon assessing its resources, will therefore choose the most optimal path of development. For example, the development path could be similar to that of the three Baltic countries (under EU protectorate). After evaluating its own resources, this new country will choose its optimal path of development. For example, Estonia, which does not have many resources, was estimated to be the most optimal import destination of flowers. And as for the provision of jobs to the supposed housewives, the import of sewing machines took place (the machines were then used to sew bed sheets). Talents were allocated according to their creativity, needlework based on leather scraps, the making of tiny bouquets from dried flowers and many other activities. Raw materials were brought to these housewives along with small boxes which were used to make wall decorations. Completed works were later sold and successful in Europe. I can tell you – these so-called housewives received a decent income from this! I was a witness of the rise of Estonia in 1989-90 and I really liked it!
– Who is, in your opinion, Ramzan Kadyrov? He threatened to eliminate Volodymyr Zelenskyi, however, his fighters are more noticeable on TikTok rather than on the battlefield. What is his phenomenon? Is he Putin’s ‘infantry man’, his replacement, traitor of the Chechen people and a boaster?
Kadyrov – is everything that you just told me about, all in one. First of all, he is loyal to Putin and is fully reliant on him. He is thankful to Putin for the position that he has given him, Putin is a tsar and god to him. This is a symbiosis of its own. After all, all the recent killings in Russia and abroad were done on the orders of Kadyrov, but planned by Putin. Ramzan is carefully observing the events in Ukraine and does not have interest in a Ukrainian victory and a change in government in Russia. Therefore, he stages his online spectacles and tries to show his ‘heroism’ off only virtually. If Putin isn’t there, then Kadyrov will follow suit! What will happen to him without his inner circle of ‘infantry men’ among the Chechen people, who hate him, is not so difficult to imagine. In the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war, Kadyrov and his close associates sent their families to the United Arab Emirates. This country hosts Kadyrov’s business and estate – just in case. As for ‘blood revenge’… according to Chechen traditions, if revenge drags on for more than 50 years, then it is automatically passed to the next of male kin. During the year of Ramzan being in power, he gained so many enemies that he will have to hide for many years to come.
– Which mistakes of the Chechen resistance would you like to point out for the Ukrainians so that they avoid them? (if there are any)
In the modern history of Chechnya, namely, before the second Russo-Chechen war, there were mistakes, which the Russian FSB has provoked us to. For example, the polarisation of the Chechen people with regards to Islam. Fortunately, this aspect is not relevant in the case of the Ukrainian resistance. Another matter is what makes our people similar. Before the first Chechen war, a lot of people who earned their wealth through deceit left the country. Those who stayed were those who were ready to die and not surrender! And this is not a large nation, less than a million in size, which lives on a tiny territory of 170km by 170, united before the enemy and rallied together as never before, showing the world how to win. The victory of the Chechen people in 1996 over a large empire of evil and violence which instigated fear for many, became a miracle and inspired other small nations and groups! The Chechen people fought with weapons taken from the enemy. The Chechen people did not have aviation, tanks, artillery or armoured vehicles, the Europeans and Americans did not provide new weapons. The Chechen people won thanks to their unity and incredible bravery! Thanks to their warrior spirit and the good treatment of prisoners and recruits who were returned to their mothers without any ransom. Back then, during the first Chechen war, soldiers did not only save the lives of the wonder, but also often (uniquely) sacrificed themselves in order to extract the dead from the battlefield just to ensure a dignified burial. Not all nations and people are capable of such noble actions – many of which call themselves educated and civil.
Blue valleys, blue forests,
A road, far beyond the clouds,
Snow covered in blood,
closer and stronger,
But you didn't move through
Up to your knees in it.
It is not your roof that has a black hole,
It is not your children that passed away yesterday.
And not your brothers, young and dead
Were dragged by tanks on a rope through the ground
Genocide in the mountains "did not reach the norm",
Disaster got trapped in these bloody tracks
So many tears and sorrows in my land!
European conscience, immerse yourself in it.
(Alla Dudayeva, 2002)