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Chechnya: Conflict and Solution

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Message Abdul-Majid Jaffry

The second war ended in 2000 with complete destruction of Chechnen capital Grozny, compared only to the horrific annihilation of Dresden in the second world war. For three months Russian forces bombed Grozny everyday until it was totally destroyed. The end of the second war saw the fall of the pro-independence government and the restoration of the Kremlin's authority over Chechnya. The two wars brought unspeakable death and destruction to the tiny republic with little over a million population.

After Grozny capitulated and independent fighters were subdued, just as the Czechs capitulated in 1968 when the Soviets entered Prague, Russia installed pro-Moscow regimes under men reviled by Chechens as a traitors. These men, with the blessing of the Ruusian government, ruled the country with their own reign of terror for Chechens acts of terror remained the same, only the actors changed.

Embittered by the scars of two hundred years of Russian campaign to deny them the right to run their own country, suffered by the prolonged and hopeless conflicts and fearful of political annihilation and economic servitude, largely consisting of guerrillas who fought Russia in 90's and thereafter Moscow installed regimes formed a group of underground fighters and militants. These militants taken over by the feelings of anger, grief, humiliation and eventually, desire for revenge, conveyed a grim message to the Rusian leadership that the resistance against Russian occupation continues, taking ever more insidious, and underground forms.

Jerry Muller (Us and Them, The Enduring Power of Ethnic Nationalism) writing about the ethnic nationalism, says, "Whether politically correct or not, ethnonationalism will continue to shape the world in the twenty-first century." The breakup of the Yugoslavian Balkan states into separate ethno-nationalist entities is point in case. He further argues, "The creation of a peaceful regional order of nation-states has usually been the product of a violent process of ethnic separation. In areas where that separation has not yet occurred, politics is apt to remain ugly." Russian-Chechen forced political marriage is an example where "politics is apt to remain ugly."

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Retired engineer from aircraft industry and a freelance columnist.
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