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Russia and Chechnya


Gr Moff Matt
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After the wave of violence these past two weeks, i am split on my opinions. Should Russia give in and hand Chechnya it's independence, or Should Russia stand firm and not give in.

 

Just to give background notes:

 

The Events that have happened this month are:

 

Gunmen have taken over a school with up to 400 children and teachers inside: Click Here

A Suicide Bomber has blown herself up in central Moscow: Click Here

Two planes have crashed in Russia. Explosives found onboard: Click Here

 

Also the Kremlin candidate for Chechnya has been sent Death Threats.

 

------

 

I believe that, just like the IRA in Ireland, these terrorists will eventually give up and realise they are getting nowhere with killing. But is Chechnya worth all the lives that have been cut short?

 

I'd like to know your views on this matter...

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One thing that easy to lose sight of when a nation is faced with terrorist activities is that terrorism is the symptom of deeper sociological problems.

 

I find it interesting that the suicide terrorists in Chechnya have been consistently female of late.

 

This is a departure from the suicide terrorists in places like the Middle East (Palestine), where the bombers are predominantly male. In the latter case, the bombers are also frequently young, and therefore impressionable, men, often in their teens. They are convinced through the actions of the terrorist leaders that their actions make them martyrs, give them express rides to heaven, and that their sacrifices will serve the greater good.

 

Perhaps these women in Chechnya are similarly impressionable in that they have lost husbands and fathers, which places them in states of grief, removing much of their abilities to think critically.

 

Still, the situation in Chechnya for the typical citizen is bad. Real bad.

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The Women that have become suicide bombers, are known as Black Widows. It seems they are looking for revenge for the killing of their terrorist husbands and sons. They are driven by hatred more then by religious reasons. Putins stance on non-negotiation has certainly made him popular with the russian voting public. I heard on the news that one of the policies that got him into power was the policy of non-negotiation.

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my post in the swamp.

frankly, both sides in this conflict are about as bad as each other. I don't really have much sympathy for either at this point (although obviously sympathy for the innocent kids who have ended up involved.)

 

I guess after the russians killed all those hostages in the theatre it the chechens (assuming it is them) had to try and find some hostages the russians wouldn't be willing to gas. sigh.

 

Unfortunately this looks like a conflict that is going to run and run (northern ireland style) as both sides are being completely irrational and despicable in their actions, and each incident only drives each side to a more hardline position.

 

It is an unfortunate fact that the more the chechens fight back, the more hardline putin will become, the more he will crack down, the more the chechens will fight back, etc...

 

The same is true in israel. For a while it seemed like they were approaching peace, then one killing, then retaliation, then more retaliation... and each one makes each side more hardline and less likely to negotiate.

 

I'd argue that, if history teaches us anything, there are only 2 ways for such a conflict to end.

Negotiation, or an imposed settlement by a powerful outside force.

 

Of course, you could argue that without the terrorism there would be no need for negotiation. But once they have "made their point" and brought attention to the cause the terrorists need to pause for a while to allow the other side the ability to cool down and the possibility of peace talks. Once those peace talks start, no other actions should be allowed to derail them.

 

Look at northern ireland - years and years of killings, then a pause to allow both sides to mellow their hardline attitudes, then peace talks, then not allowing any one "isolated" incident by fringe groups to derail the process. It hasn't gone perfect, but i think it is the best model we have.

 

Russia/Chechnya hasn't reached the "tired out lull" phase yet, and won't for years.

 

Israel/palestine is always influenced by the US, which keeps messing up the chance of a lull turning into peace.

 

PS/ For all intents and purposes Putin is a dictator... he controls all the media, changes the election rules and constitution to his advantage and undermines or denys airtime to opponents. And as long as he gives the russian people an enemy in chechnya to be affraid of, he will keep power. He has no incentive to end it yet.

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Originally posted by toms

PS/ For all intents and purposes Putin is a dictator... he controls all the media, changes the election rules and constitution to his advantage and undermines or denys airtime to opponents. And as long as he gives the russian people an enemy in chechnya to be affraid of, he will keep power. He has no incentive to end it yet.

 

Yeah I remember there was a big scandal (in Russia anyways) about him closing down the last remaining non-government TV station.

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If you havent already heard, the Siege has taken a sharp turn. It appears that Gunmen have attempted to blow the building, and there were two explosions. Part of the school roof has collapsed. Hostages are flooding out and a military hospital has been set up in the streets.

 

edit: [i will post pictures of the British Broadcasting Corporations 24 hour News Channel shortly.]

 

The Russians seem to be unorganised and have already been criticised heavily with the British Broadcasting Corporation and ITV.

 

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5

 

Latest Report: *The School is under control of the Russian Special Forces* Russians seem to be arresting news officials. 5 hostage takers have been killed. Russian reports suggest that most of the hostages are alive.

 

Hmm, the debate has taking a turn, now the debate is on how the Russians handled this. They looked completely unorganised, and there are rumors that Vladimir Putin tried to lull the terrorists into a false sense of security, so russians could storm the building.

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If the Russians are able to save most of the hostages and kill all of the terrorists, then I think that they are anything but unorganised.

 

Still, with kids as hostages, I think that the situation had a high potential for negotiation by playing on the feelings and emotions of the terrorists. Particularly if this group contained any of the "Black Widow" bunch.

 

In the end, however, Russia is going to have to figure out what to do with Chechnya that is fair and equitable in order to prevent further terrorism. While these guys are extremist versions of Chechnyan rebels, the Chechnyan terrorists goal is to get international attention on the region and to make life hard on Russia so they will give up the fight. There is historical precedence for this: Afgahnistan.

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They were unorganised because they had major flaws in their procedure. The terrorists managed to escape, and many are currently in nearby buildings, having taken fresh hostages. They are slowly heading towards the outskirts of the city. Civilians were not kept back and were even picking up weapons and running. The Russians couldnt tell who was a hostage and who was not in the chaos. They didnt keep a tight cordoned (sp?) area. But i do have praise for the Russians as well. Well done that you did the right thing and gave the children cover fire. Well done that so many people are out of there. Well done that so many were treated on the scene and very quickly. It seems Russian Troops have learned lessons, but there are many more to learn.

 

The Chechnyans if they had any international support before certainly have no support now. If they had any remote chance of independence they have lost it. Serves them bloody right. Thats my feelings right now, and i genuinly thought, that rather then execution, they should face torture - but i guess that makes me as bad as them.

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I have to agree that once you take children as hostages, it makes it really hard for anyone to try and consider your plight. Normally I try and consider the feelings of the people doing this and empathize, but once you bring children into a situation like this it just annoys me and upsets me.

 

I hope the Russians can do all they can to ensure that ALL the hostages get out safely, but sadly that isn't a likely thing to happen. I'm sure it is really hard for a government to make a decision in a case like this, but I hope they can do what they can to ensure the safety of everyone involved (yes even the terrorists).

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In the UK, every year (only one episode a year?!?) there is a program on BBC called Crisis Command. A group of MP's are required to decide what to do in a Crisis. Last year it was a string of terrorist attacks. They however have the power to avert some of the attacks, or minimalise the damage, but this is often at a cost (usually lives). Firstly there was an hostage takeover in a 747. The MP's had plenty of warning, and the plane was clearly off course. They didnt know if the plane had been taken over, but the plane flying to London on a different path, the pilot not responding tends to suggest a problem. They could have shot the plane down but instead they didnt. They didnt want to sacrifice a few lives. The plane dived and crashed into the Houses of Parliament. The cost of life was far greater. Im not saying i am a terrorist expert, but i made quite a lot of the right decisions on that show, and after watching that show i was very worried for my safety with prats like them making all the wrong decisions. The London Underground is fitted with floodgates. These take 3 minutes to close. The Mp's decided that to save a few lives, they would leave the floodgates open for a rescue attempt. The tunnel burst and so so so many more lives were lost.

 

Lesson: You can NEVER save ALL the lives. You can, however try to save the majority by sacrificing people. I know the decision is difficult, but someone has to make it. Maybe i will go into politics so i can make the right decisions and save lives.

 

If you want to know what else happened on the program, a bomb in Paddington Station blew up (to be fair, they made the right decision on this one, they made priority to the wounded and then tryed a rescue attempt. I think that was it, but i'll look on the internet to see if there was another one.

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I definitely agree. The Russians (according to the BBC) went in with the attitude of "well their already dead but we can save them and 'bring them back to life' "

 

So they perceived that they were all going to die, so an extra person alive is a bonus. That is not a good attitude to take. The attitude should be "Well their all alive, save as many as possible. Less then all saved is not good enough". Although its not possible most of the time, it motivates more.

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Over 200 dead.

 

Despite the fact that there's estimates of around 1200 people being in the school, it was relatively a horrifying scene. Rebels shooting at fleeing children.

 

I repeat, rebels shooting at children.

 

There were civilians with weapons (reports of one with a sniper rifle, as well) that were not kept off the premises, and retaliated against the rebels.

 

27 of 30 rebels are dead. 3 are caught and being interrogated.

 

Can't say I would have known what to do, but I guess things could have been better.

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At least 326 people were killed, about half of them children, and 727 wounded

 

Was absolute chaos by the sound of it. Sounds like a bomb went off accidentally, causing the russians to storm in in a chaotic fashion and a lot of locals to go in shooting as well (adding to the chaos).

So far it seems no one knows exactly who they were, or any details. Apparently very few were actually chechens, many were from nearby russian regions (inbushetia?), some weren't talking russian, at least one was an islamic woman.

The russians are claiming "international" terrorism so they can go on a crusade like the US after 9/11. Some experts are skeptical. The fact most were from a different region of russia shows there may be wider support for chechen independence. Who knows. Not the russians, that is for sure.

 

The Chechnyans if they had any international support before certainly have no support now. If they had any remote chance of independence they have lost it. Serves them bloody right. Thats my feelings right now, and i genuinly thought, that rather then execution, they should face torture - but i guess that makes me as bad as them.

 

- So a small group of mainly non-chechen people do something wrong, and all the people of chechnya have to suffer? nice logic there.

- Most of the criticism in the international press has falled on russia and putin, so it may have helped out their standing in the world. Sure hasn't hurt it much.

- Most of chechnya (inc their president) condemned the attacks. These are extremists.

- Putin could have sorted out the whole situation years ago, but it is in his interest not to.

-Even a terrible figure like 326 dead pales in comparison to the number killed by russian troops in chechnya... thats why there are so many relatives and widows willing to do such extreme stuff.

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as expected:

 

Putin tightens grip on regions and MPs

President Vladimir Putin made constitutional changes yesterday designed to increase his personal control of the regions and parliament, saying the government needed "strengthening" because it had failed at Beslan in its fight against terrorism.

 

He told regional governors, cabinet colleagues and senior bureaucrats: "We have not achieved visible results in rooting out terrorism and in destroying its sources.

 

"The organisers and perpetrators of the terror attack are aiming at the disintegration of the state, the break-up of Russia."

 

But some analysts said his changes, which amounted to the biggest single shakeup of his four years in power, would not help fight terrorism, but would further strengthen his already tight grip on power.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/russia/article/0,2763,1303957,00.html

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