Proletarskaya Gazeta, No. 18
November 2002

The War in Chechnya

On October 23 a group of armed Chechens seized a theater in the center of Moscow and were holed up there for three days. Over 700, both audience and theater staff, were held hostage. The taking of civilian hostages is by itself an inhuman act that should be condemned by all progressive forces. There is no reason to think otherwise. Much can be said about the factors that gave rise to this kind of crime and about the moral quality of the "liberators" of the hostages and their masters.

The information about what took place is rather contradictory. Still the contradictory news allows us to get a more or less objective idea of what actually happened.

The person in charge of health in Moscow showed that during the course of the anti-terrorist operation only two of the hostages died from bullet wounds. Obviously, this information is not reliable since many witnesses showed independently through the bourgeois media that blood could be seen all over the floor of the theater as well as splattered on the gowns of the medical personnel who carried the bodies of the victims to be taken to hospitals and sanatoria. In whose interest is it to lie about the actual number of hostages who died from bullet wounds? This serves only the bourgeois authorities. Why? To show society that the services of extermination working for the bourgeois authorities respect the lives of Russian citizens.

Even the bourgeois media have denounced the disappearance of several dozens of hostages whose whereabouts are still unknown. The bourgeois authorities have ignored the clear inconsistency among the various lists of names of the hostages and, therefore, they have refused to give a reliable and convincing explanation. How is it possible that in a building that was completely surrounded, in view of hundreds of witnesses both inside and outside the theater, dozens of bodies have disappeared? Obviously the bourgeois authorities need this type of vile action to conceal the deaths of the hostages at the hands of their "liberators" during the course of the operation.

The lifeless bodies of the Chechens have been shown with precise detail by the media. However, the journalists could not gain access to the theater since, in the words of the authorities, this would have obstructed the work of the investigation. Videos have been made solely by representatives of the intelligence services and according to their designs.

It has been officially admitted that during the attack on the theater a paralyzing gas was used that affects respiratory system and the blood circulation while also causing vomiting and loss of memory. About 100 hostages died as result of the effects of this gas, and the survivors were hospitalized with varying degrees of illness as a result of the effects of the paralyzing gas.

According to the statements of the person in charge of health in Moscow the medical personnel did not know until the last moment the nature and character of the "special measures" that were used during the attack.

These facts show unequivocally that the only priority of the "liberators" was to annihilate their enemy in order to perpetuate the myth of the stability and vigor of the present government.

The television stations have repeatedly shown the lifeless bodies of the Chechen women as if they were a hunting trophy. There was no lack of expert commentaries that stated that they had died from bullets to the temple while they were unconscious.

This bloody act must be characterized as an extra-judicial execution of a captured enemy who was physically unable to make any resistance.

No fascist or criminal could debase himself further in this type of abuse and criminality!

The attitude of the media does not deserve any less repudiation for showing the lifeless bodies of the defeated enemy with Olympic cynicism.

Incredibly, such murderers are officially considered "defenders of the public order" in our country!

Such barbarities give us an idea of the moral character of the "defenders of public order" in our country. It is precisely such criminals who will be used by the Russian authorities to suppress the uprising of the exploited masses and to smash the strike movement and the "left extremists." The bourgeois authorities have shown repeatedly that they will use the most inhuman and preverse repressive methods to suppress popular discontent.

The call by fascistic circles in Russia to increase in a regular manner the materials to support the repressive apparatus and even to increase their salaries and social benefits is the height of cynicism and shamelessness. In particular, the Russian party of businessmen, basing itself on the bloody events of Moscow, has proposed to the class of businessmen to contribute 1% of the volume of their business for this purpose. That is, to provide additional means, not for the elimination of childhood illnesses or even for a miserly aid to the impoverished elderly, but for fattening the murderers of the oppressed people. Under the banner of struggle against "international terrorism" they propose to create a fund on an international scale. In fact this means to create financial aid for the "international community of parasites" for the suppression of the discontent of the exploited masses in any country. For example, this would be used for the suppression of the guerrilla struggle in Colombia or of the strike movement of the Russian proletariat. Such calls show the growing fear in the heart of the capitalists of the emerging discontent of the exploited masses and of the inevitability of the day in which the former will pay for the crimes they have committed.

The decision by the Russian bourgeois authorities to restrict freedom of speech confirms once again the weakness of the present government and the panic in the ranks of the exploiting classes.

Some of the richest deposits of crude petroleum in the Russian Federation are found in the territory of the Chechen Republic. Gas and oil pipelines run through Chechnya toward the south. That is, the Chechen territory is a rich source of profit. Because of this, the war in this region has become aggravated and more severe. This, in particular, is the reason for the extensive military maneuvers carried out in the Caspian Sea under the initiative of the Russian authorities and with the participation of other allies belonging to the CIS [Confederation of Independent States translator's note]. The President of Russia has officially confirmed this by referring to the need to concentrate Russian troops in the south of the national territory. After the bloody events in Moscow he himself promised to increase special operations against the enemy on the territory of the Chechen Republic. These facts show once again that the "Chechen war" has not ended, but, on the contrary, the fight between different groups of Russian capitalists for the control of oil deposits is becoming even more aggravated.

The motive force and basic cause of the "Chechen war," on both sides, is Russian capital and its class interests. One party in the fight is supported by the Russian bourgeoisie and utilizes Chechen mercenaries. The other is the Russian government and utilizes state troops for the same purpose and means. The methods utilized in this war are the most inhuman and dirty: in the course of military operations on the territory of the Chechen Republic, Russian planes have bombed populated areas; they have annihilated large numbers of civilians (besides the fact that the utilization of airplanes to bomb roaming groups of enemies in populated areas is an extremely ineffective method). To conceal the criminal essence of this type of war the bourgeoisie makes use of the most shameless and disrespectful propaganda to poison the petty bourgeois masses with bourgeois "patriotism" and the exacerbation of the feelings of racial hatred.

The interests of the state are convenient to both sides of the conflict to the degree that they correspond to their immediate interests. On the other hand the interests of the state are completely alien to them.

Where is the "Chechen war" leading the exploited masses of Russia and Chechnya?

To the Russian people it brings body bags, tears of the mothers and widows of soldiers, terror against terrorism, the increase of oppression and misery, since the war requires expenses and many other sacrifices.

To the Chechen people it brings refugee camps, terror before the barbarities of the Chechen mercenaries and the Russian troops, misery, hunger, loss of rights, death, that is, an endless river of suffering and calamities.

The war is against the interests of the exploited masses both in the Chechen Republic as in Russia.

In Russia there have been cases where soldiers have preferred jail to the "honor" of spilling their blood to swell the war chests of the parasitic class. This tendency is growing.

At the end of October in many towns of the Chechen Republic there were meetings in protest against the crimes committed by the Chechen mercenaries and their masters.

Click here to return to the Index on Russia