The West Masterminded Chechen War to Destroy USSR and Russia - June, 2010

It is now known that the Islamic insurgency in the Caucasus (according to many experts an Al-Qaeda operation) had been an integral part of a long-term Western plan to wrestle the Caucasus region away from Russian control and place it under what some experts refer to as an Islamic Caliphate. Ankara, Baku and Tbilisi, as well as a steady stream of Islamic militants trained in the Arabian peninsula, Pakistan and Afghanistan were the active participants in this agenda throughout much of the 1990s, and its funding and organization was carried out by a consortium of special interests in Washington, London and Riyadh.

It is also now known that Western intelligence agencies also conspired to force Russia out of the Balkans (Yugoslavia in particular) and Central Asia by targeting pro-Russian bastions in those regions. As it has been since the early 1980s, Islamic extremists have been the readily accessible tool that Western powers have exploited to carryout their geopolitical agenda in various theaters of operation. The following are some materials pertaining to this topic -

План «Кавказ» (2008) (Plan Kavkaz Video):  
Chechen leader: US backed states seek to break Russia apart (RT video report):
Oil and the Battle for Chechnya:
Chechen Jihad (book):
 Why should this seemingly Russian problem concern us Armenians? Because Armenians in general, Diasporan Armenians in particular, seem to be having a very hard time accepting the fact that a weakened Russia in the Caucasus actually poses an existential threat for Armenia. To those among us that do not possess clearness of thought regarding this matter, I would just like to say that the Caucasus without an effective Russian presence would prove disastrous not only for Armenia but for the entire Eurasian continent.

Joining three important geopolitical zones - Europe, Central Asia and the Middle East - the Caucasus region is the gateway to Russia's vulnerable south, also known as its soft underbelly. The region is also a major hub for the strategic transfer of Eurasian energy and trade. Strategic planners have long realized that those who control this region could potentially control the political and economic life of Eurasia and beyond.

Moreover, it must be said that the heavily Turkic and Islamic cultural and ethnic makeup of the region in question would not tolerate a non-Turkic or a non-Islamic power in their midst - without a major outside power acting as a guarantor or as a counterweight. Against this Turkic and Islamic center-of-gravity, the Russian presence has been the only counterweight in the region for the past two hundred-plus years. And it is precisely because of the Russian presence in the Caucasus that we Armenians have been able to maintain a nation-state in the region.

It is quite frightening that unbeknownst to most Armenians (because our collective attention has naturally been drawn to the region's east-west geopolitical plain), the northern Caucasus was actually on the verge of a radical Islamic/Turkic transformation throughout much of the 1990s. Had the northern Caucasus fallen victim to this Western/Turkic/Islamic agenda, it would have been the southern Caucasus' turn not much long thereafter.

In short, without a Russian presence in the Caucasus, the region in question would eventually transform itself back into a Turkic/Islamic cesspool. Had the West's intentions for the Caucasus succeeded, not only would we Armenians be lamenting the lose of Nagorno Karabakh today, we would most probably be lamenting the lose of our fledgling republic as well. Without a Russian presence in the Caucasus, Armenia would automatically, by default, become subordinate to Ankara, Baku and Tbilisi. Those who complain about Armenia's current dependence on Moscow need to take the aforementioned geopolitical prospect into serious consideration.

In other words, Armenia's independence from Russia would simply mean Armenia's dependence on Turkey.

Although Moscow has succeeded in crushing the Islamic terror onslaught in the northern Caucasus in the early 2000s and went on to thereafter defeat the Western-backed military regime in Georgia in 2008, Russian official know that a Turkic/Islamic threat remains in the region. As a result, as long as ethnic Russians run the show in the Kremlin, official Moscow will do everything in its power to have a strong presence in the Caucasus, both north and south. And needless to say, Armenia, located strategically in the south Caucasus, is pivotal to the Kremlin's aforementioned agenda. Armenians therefore need to wake up from their sleep and realize that US actions in the region has directly and indirectly been very detrimental to the health and well-being of the Armenian state. In my opinion, had the US been successful in its policies against Russia, Armenia would have once again disappeared from the map.

The Caucasus region is like a table where Westerners, Turks, Azeris, Georgians, Iranians, Islamists, Russians and Armenians sit around and discuss political and economic matters. Imagine an Armenia at this table without the presence of Russia. In other words: Imagine Armenia's situation in a heavily Turkic, Islamic and Western dominated political landscape without the presence of the Russian Bear. Yes, it's a very frightening proposition, which is why I say the south Caucasus needs Pax Russica. For that to happen, however, Russia first has to drive-out Western interests from the entire region.

Turkey and Chechnya

I have already addressed the covert yet fundamental role Western powers played in encouraging the Chechen uprising in southern Russia during the 1990s. We now know that the war in Chechnya was an attempt by foreign powers to sever the geostrategically crucial region in question away from Moscow's control. Due to political considerations, however, Western support for terrorists in Chechnya could not be carried out overtly. As a result, Western support for Chechnya was for the most part relegated to covert assistance as well as diplomatic support, humanitarian help and pro-Chechen propaganda in the Western world's news press. And now, some information on the Turkish factor in the bloody conflict in the north Caucasus.

It was well known that for many years Turkish volunteers, more specifically members of the extremist pan-Turkist paramilitary organization known as the Grey Wolves, were sent into Chechnya to help Islamic extremists there fight against Russian security forces. Obviously, detailed information about Turkey's role in Chechnya, as well as that of the West's, remain classified. Nevertheless, it was widely known at the time that Chechen terrorists got their logistical support, financial support, medical support, military training and volunteers primarily from Pakistan, Gulf Arab states, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. It was also reported that the Islamic terror organization known in the West as Al Qaeda was partaking in the anti-Russian activities there as well.

During various stages of the conflict, it was well documented that not only were Turks fighting alongside Chechens, but wounded Chechen militants were being transported to Turkey via Georgia for treatment and recuperation. Naturally, the same was being done in Azerbaijan. Moreover, in Azerbaijan, Turkish operatives were participating in anti-Russian, anti-Iranian and anti-Armenian activities naturally in accordance with their pan-Turkist ideology. During the early 1990s, Turkish military officers, members of the Grey Wolves and personal from Al-Qaeda were even said to have participated in battles against Armenians of Nagorno Karabakh.

Nevertheless, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia had become safe-havens for Chechen terrorists for many years. Needless to say, all this was occurring right under the watchful eyes of top level US officials as well as various other Western powers. Doing research on this topic one cannot help but see the unmistakable Turkish flavor in the Chechen rebellion. And despite the Russian Federation's cordial relations with the Turkish state today, Moscow today continues to remain resentful and suspicious of Ankara. Russian-Turkish rivalry goes back hundreds of years. The two Eurasian powers continue to be natural competitors in the region to this day. Although the Islamic uprising in the Caucasus has been crushed by Moscow and although Ankara's presence in the region has diminished greatly, Turks continue being one of Russia's main regional problems.



The West Masterminded Chechen War to Destroy USSR and Russia

Fifteen years ago, on December 11, 1994, Russian troops entered the territory of the Chechen Republic, which marked the beginning of the First Chechen Campaign to root out terrorism and establish law and order in the troubled nation. The events, which triggered the armed conflict, started developing in the autumn of 1991, when the Chechen administration declared sovereignty and announced its decision to pull out from the RSFSR and the USSR. During the next three years the Chechen government was busy with dissolving the previous power agencies, canceling the laws of the Russian Federation and establishing the armed forces of Chechnya with President Gen. Jokhar Dudayev at the head. The armed forces of Chechnya were armed with Soviet-made small arms and military hardware that were left in the republic after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

As a result of such separatist activities, Chechnya became a real threat to Russia and became a source of international terrorism. Military actions in the republic continued for nearly two years. Over 4,000 Russian servicemen were killed in the war, about 2,000 went missing and nearly 20,000 were wounded, RIA Novosti says. Russia and Chechnya signed the Khasavyurt Accord in 1996 - after two years of military actions – the ceasefire agreement, which marked the end of the First Chechen War. The document was signed by the head of Russia’s Security Council Alexander Lebed and the leader of the Chechen separatist movement Aslan Maskhadov. Lebed died in a helicopter crash in 2002. Maskhadov, the leader of Chechen terrorists, was killed by Russian troops in 2005.

Chechnya became Russia’s strongest pain. Thousands of Russian families and people of other nationalities left the republic. The Chechen administration had a goal to build an independent Islamic state from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. The second Chechen war began in the summer of 1999 with the intrusion of Shamil Basayev’s and Khattab’s gunmen in the Republic of Dagestan. Chechnya started living under the conditions of a counter-terrorist operation, which continued for ten years and was officially stopped only on April 16, 2009. All terrorist leaders were killed during the second campaign. Many former separatists took the side of Chechnya’s legitimate administration chaired by pro-Russian politician Akhmad Kadyrov. Russia wired enormous funds to Chechnya to restore the nation’s economy.

The West could do nothing else but follow the policy of double standards and accuse Russia of violation of human rights in Chechnya. Chechen terrorists conducted and claimed responsibility for a series of horrific terrorist acts in Russia throughout those years: apartment buildings were exploded in Moscow, Buinaksk and Volgodonsk in 1999; hundreds were taken hostage at Moscow’s music theater in 2002. The Chechen gunmen conducted the most terrible terrorist act in September of 2004, when they killed tens of innocent children in Beslan. Chechnya ’s sitting President Ramzan Kadyrov, who was a teenager during the First Chechen War, believes that the war in Chechnya was masterminded by the West. Western countries, Kadyrov thinks, instigated the war to make the USSR and then Russia collapse.

“It is an open secret nowadays that the Soviet Union fell apart contrary to the will of its people. They decided in the West that they should not stop at that. They wanted to fire up a local war which would embrace more regions and eventually weaken or even destroy Russia as a joint nation,” Kadyrov told journalists December 11 in Grozny. “They wanted to trigger a local religious conflict in Chechnya and have the Muslim population involved in it. Afterwards, they wanted to provoke mass disturbances in the country. I am certain that there were no objective reasons to start the war with the use of aviation, artillery and hundreds of thousands of military men,” Interfax quoted Kadyrov as saying. 

“The West was pursuing its goal, but Russia’s then-administration unconsciously did its bidding and let the local conflict grow into a national tragedy. No one can say today how many billions of dollars Russia had to spend on that war. It was the West that obtruded the war on Russia,” Kadyrov said. It is worthy of note that the deployment of Russian troops in Chechnya was not a disturbance of the republic’s peaceful life. First blood was shed long before December 11, 1994. Chechnya was involved in a series of internal fratricidal wars before 1994.

Chechen Chief Blames CIA For Violence

The Kremlin-backed chief of Russia's turbulent Chechnya region said his forces were fighting U.S. and British intelligence services who want to split the country apart, according to an interview published on Thursday. Former rebel-turned-Moscow-ally Ramzan Kadyrov said in comments to Zavtra newspaper reprinted on his official website that he had seen the U.S. driving licence of a CIA operative who was killed in a security operation he led. Chechen authorities have previously said insurgents following the radical Wahabist form of Islam receive support from international Islamist groups sympathetic to al-Qaeda, but have not accused the West of instigating violence. "We're fighting in the mountains with the American and English intelligence agencies. They are fighting not against Kadyrov, not against traditional Islam, they are fighting against the sovereign Russian state," he said.

The West sought to attack both Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the country as a whole by targeting the country's weakest regions, Kadyrov said in the comments republished prominently on Kadyrov was appointed by Moscow as a bulwark against separatist rebels in the mainly Muslim province, but rights activists say he flouts federal laws and is himself responsible for much of the violence that has grown in recent months. "The West is interested to cut off the Caucasus from Russia. The Caucasus - a strategic frontier of Russia. If they take away the Caucasus from Russia, it's like taking away half of Russia."

Many Chechens have emigrated to Europe, Turkey, and Georgia and some have been recruited as insurgents, said Kadyrov. "Now they strike a blow against Putin and Russia. Chechnya, Dagestan are weak, vulnerable parts of the Russian state," Kadyrov said, referring to the neighbouring region, which has also been rocked by violence. Asked if he was saying there were signs of CIA and MI6 participation in the violence, he said "Of course", he had seen evidence of their direct involvement in an operation he led. "There was a terrorist Chitigov, he worked for the CIA. He had U.S. citizenship...When we killed him, I was in charge of the operation and we found a U.S. driving licence and all the other documents were also American," he said.


Western Secret Services Plotted Chechnya’s Separation

Next Photo

The western secret services plotted in 1990s Chechnya’s separation from Russia. Ichkeria’s passports were printed in France and the weapons were delivered to Chechnya via Georgia, according to The Caucasus Plan documentary that Russia’s First Channel showed late Tuesday. One of protagonists of the film is Abubakar, Turkey’s resident of Chechnya’s origin, who has been living under the assumed name of Berkan Yashar for 40 years. Yashar said he got that name after inking a contract with the U.S. Department of State.

In the documentary, Yashar narrated how he had been building up a political platform for Chechnya’s separation in early 1990s. The project was funded by different states. The passports for unrecognized Ichkeria were printed in France, the money was minted in Germany, Yashar said. Then Chechnya’s President Johar Dudaev appointed Yashar deputy foreign minister in 1992. Yashar simultaneously held different offices in Turkish government. He was the so-called power behind the throne in 1990s in Chechnya, controlling all more or less significant financial transactions of the North Caucasus militants, the filmmakers said.

He was one of the masterminds of the diamond trafficking operation. Rough diamonds from northern Russia were illegally exported by using the charter flights. Representatives of Turkey and officials of Azerbaijan's government were involved in negotiations aimed at arranging the flights. The profit was spent to buy mines to explode combat vehicles, Abubakar told the camera crew.

Theoretically, the aircraft flights were banned from Grozny, but the airport got the permission somehow. The plane first flew to Baku, Azerbaijan, and then to Turkey as an Azeri airliner. But that channel was closed in a few years and they had to establish a new link, via Georgia, through Pankiss Gorge, Yashar said. Boris Berezovsky took over the diamond business in part and in whole, according to Yashar. I knew practically nothing about that man, who later on has completely grabbed that business and is in it, I’m sure at 100 percent, up to today, Yashar said.


Spy Chief: West Wants to Split Russia

Russia's security chief said that Western spies were working to weaken and break up the country and singled out British agents as the most intrusive, according to an interview published Wednesday. Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Federal Security Service, the main KGB successor agency, also claimed that foreign spies were working to foment discontent in Russia in the run-up to December's parliamentary elections and the presidential vote next spring. Patrushev is a longtime ally of President Vladimir Putin, and his comments reflect deeply entrenched suspicions of Western intentions in the Kremlin's inner circle amid a cold spell in Russia's relations with the West. Putin himself is a 16-year KGB veteran and former chief of the Federal Security Service, known as the FSB. "Politicians thinking in the categories of the Cold War still retain their influence in a number of Western nations," Patrushev told the weekly Argumenty i Fakty. "They have claimed credit for the collapse of the Soviet Union, and they are hatching plans aimed at dismembering Russia. They are viewing special services and their organizations as an efficient instrument for their implementation."

Patrushev said that foreign spies were focusing their efforts on gathering information related to Russia's elections. "They are trying to influence protest feelings and demonstrations in Russia." He singled out Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, or MI6, saying its agents "aren't only gathering intelligence in all areas, but they are also trying to influence the development of the domestic political situation in our country." Britain's Foreign Office didn't immediately have any comment on the matter. Russian-British relations have been sliding, and they were strained further by last November's poisoning death in London of former Russian security agent Alexander Litvinenko. Litvinenko, a fierce Kremlin critic given asylum in Britain, accused Putin on his deathbed of being behind his polonium poisoning — charges the Kremlin has angrily denied. Russia has rejected British demands for the extradition of the sole suspect in Litvinenko's murder, former KGB officer Andrei Lugovoi, who met with Litvinenko in a London hotel bar the day he fell ill. Putin dismissed the extradition demands as a relic of British "colonial thinking." Patrushev said that his agency had learned how to counter British intelligence. "We know both its strong and weak points," he said. "Since the times of Elizabeth I, (MI6) agents have been guided by the principle of the ways justifying the means. Money, bribery, blackmail, exemption from punishment for crimes committed are their main recruitment methods."

Patrushev claimed that British intelligence has relied on people who fled abroad to avoid criminal charges in Russia — an apparent hint at Kremlin critics living in Britain, such as tycoon Boris Berezovsky and Chechen rebel leader Akhmed Zakayev. Russia has vainly sought their extradition. Patrushev also alleged that foreign spies were using non-governmental organizations "both for gathering intelligence information and as an instrument for having a hidden influence over political processes." He pointed at the revolutions that ousted unpopular governments in the former Yugoslavia, Ukraine and Georgia as a product of such activities. The statement reflected Kremlin concerns over outside influence within Russia amid Western accusations of backsliding on democracy — the fears that prompted the government to tighten restrictions on NGOs. "There is a danger of foreign NGOs being used to finance activities to undermine Russia," Patrushev said. He claimed that some NGOs were also being used by international terror groups to support militants in Russia's volatile North Caucasus. Patrushev said the CIA and MI6 were actively relying on the special services of Poland, Georgia and the Baltics to spy on Russia. He said his agency had uncovered 270 foreign intelligence officers and 70 agents they had recruited, including 35 Russian citizens, since 2003. While fuming at the West, Patrushev said that his agency would continue to cooperate with its Western counterparts in combating international terrorism.


The War in Chechnya

With regard to Chechnya, the main rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Al Khattab were trained and indoctrinated in CIA sponsored camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Yossef Bodansky, director of the U.S. Congress's Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, the war in Chechnya had been planned during a secret summit of HizbAllah International held in 1996 in Mogadishu, Somalia. 21 The summit, was attended by Osama bin Laden and high-ranking Iranian and Pakistani intelligence officers. In this regard, the involvement of Pakistan's ISI in Chechnya "goes far beyond supplying the Chechens with weapons and expertise: the ISI and its radical Islamic proxies are actually calling the shots in this war". Russia's main pipeline route transits through Chechnya and Dagestan. Despite Washington's perfunctory condemnation of Islamic terrorism, the indirect beneficiaries of the Chechen war are the Anglo-American oil conglomerates which are vying for control over oil resources and pipeline corridors out of the Caspian Sea basin. The two main Chechen rebel armies (respectively led by Commander Shamil Basayev and Emir Khattab) estimated at 35,000 strong were supported by Pakistan's ISI, which also played a key role in organizing and training the Chechen rebel army:

[In 1994] the Pakistani Inter Services Intelligence arranged for Basayev and his trusted lieutenants to undergo intensive Islamic indoctrination and training in guerrilla warfare in the Khost province of Afghanistan at Amir Muawia camp, set up in the early 1980s by the CIA and ISI and run by famous Afghani warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. In July 1994, upon graduating from Amir Muawia, Basayev was transferred to Markaz-i-Dawar camp in Pakistan to undergo training in advanced guerrilla tactics. In Pakistan, Basayev met the highest ranking Pakistani military and intelligence officers: Minister of Defense General Aftab Shahban Mirani, Minister of Interior General Naserullah Babar, and the head of the ISI branch in charge of supporting Islamic causes, General Javed Ashraf, (all now retired). High-level connections soon proved very useful to Basayev.

Following his training and indoctrination stint, Basayev was assigned to lead the assault against Russian federal troops in the first Chechen war in 1995. His organization had also developed extensive links to criminal syndicates in Moscow as well as ties to Albanian organized crime and the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). In 1997-98, according to Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) "Chechen warlords started buying up real estate in Kosovo... through several real estate firms registered as a cover in Yugoslavia. Basayev's organisation has also been involved in a number of rackets including narcotics, illegal tapping and sabotage of Russia's oil pipelines, kidnapping, prostitution, trade in counterfeit dollars and the smuggling of nuclear materials (See Mafia linked to Albania's collapsed pyramids, 25 Alongside the extensive laundering of drug money, the proceeds of various illicit activities have been funneled towards the recruitment of mercenaries and the purchase of weapons.

During his training in Afghanistan, Shamil Basayev linked up with Saudi born veteran Mujahideen Commander "Al Khattab" who had fought as a volunteer in Afghanistan. Barely a few months after Basayev's return to Grozny, Khattab was invited (early 1995) to set up an army base in Chechnya for the training of Mujahideen fighters. According to the BBC, Khattab's posting to Chechnya had been "arranged through the Saudi-Arabian based [International] Islamic Relief Organisation, a militant religious organisation, funded by mosques and rich individuals which channeled funds into Chechnya". Concluding Remarks Since the Cold War era, Washington has consciously supported Osama bin Laden, while at same time placing him on the FBI's "most wanted list" as the World's foremost terrorist. While the Mujahideen are busy fighting America's war in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, the FBI --operating as a US based Police Force- is waging a domestic war against terrorism, operating in some respects independently of the CIA which has --since the Soviet-Afghan war-- supported international terrorism through its covert operations.

In a cruel irony, while the Islamic jihad --featured by the Bush Adminstration as "a threat to America"-- is blamed for the terrorist assaults on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, these same Islamic organisations constitute a key instrument of US military-intelligence operations in the Balkans and the former Soviet Union. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, the truth must prevail to prevent the Bush Adminstration together with its NATO partners from embarking upon a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity.


British And American Covert Operations In Chechnya

"The Clinton administration followed up by providing strong support to the KLA, even though it was known that the KLA supported the Muslim mujahadeen. Despite that knowledge, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had the KLA removed from the State Department list of terrorists. This action paved the way for the United States to provide the KLA with needed logistical support. At the same time, the KLA also received support from Iran and Usama bin Laden, along with 'Islamic holy warriors' who were jihad veterans from Bosnia, Chechnya and Afghanistan. Swiss journalist Richard Labeviere, in his book, 'Dollars for Terror,' said that the international Islamic networks linked to bin Laden received help from U.S. intelligence community. Indeed, Chechen sources claim that U.S. intelligence also aided them in their opposition to Russia. Given that U.S. policy in the post-Cold War period has not only been anti-Russian but anti-Iranian, the United States worked closely with Pakistan's predominantly Sunni Inter-Services Intelligence organization. Through ISI, the United States recruited Sunni mujahadeen by staging them in Chechnya to fight in Bosnia and later in Kosovo."

"As the intelligence newsletter Stratfor -- which Time magazine ranked as the nation's top intelligence site in 2003, and which Barron's described as 'a private quasi-CIA' -- pointed out a few months ago, with Ukraine now firmly in the West's orbit, America, with NATO and the EU, has managed to succeed exactly where Hitler and Napoleon failed: it has dismantled the Russian empire, leaving the rump state exposed, weakened and essentially at the West's mercy.... In the wake of the Beslan massacre in September, 2004, in which hundreds of children were killed during a Chechen separatist seizure of a school in southern Russia, President Putin went on television and blamed certain foreign powers for supporting the terrorists with the aim of defanging Russia for good, breaking it apart, and seizing its valuable resources. He did not name the United States, but it was clear whom he meant. .....Stratfor, whose politics could be described as something between patriotic-American and realpolitik, agreed. According to its Kremlin sources, Putin specifically named the U.S. and Great Britain during private meetings. And as Stratfor noted in its April report, there is plenty of evidence to support the Kremlin's claim. In the first place, while Muslim separatist militants from other conflict zones are shunned and even violently pursued by the U.S., the Chechen separatist representatives are routinely given haven and official voice in both the U.K. and America. ... As Stratfor notes, the British connection to the Chechen separatists goes farther back. 'During the first Chechen war -- from 1994 to 1996 -- retired U.K. special forces officers trained British Muslim recruits in British territory to fight in Chechnya,' Stratfor claims, echoing reports out of Russia. 'Some militants who attended that training and were later captured told the Russian government.' After Chechnya gained de facto independence, a scandal apparently erupted in Russia-U.K. relations when de-mining instructors from a private security firm, which included American ex-military personnel, were caught 'training Chechen militants how to launch mine and bombing attacks against Russian troops,' according to Stratfor.."

"Why would a group of leading American neo-conservatives, dedicated to fighting Islamic terror, have climbed into bed with Chechen rebels linked to al-Qaeda? The American Committee for Peace in Chechnya (ACPC), which includes Pentagon supremo Richard Perle, says the conflict between Russia and Chechnya is about Chechen nationalism, not terrorism. The ACPC savaged Russia for the atrocities its forces have committed in the Caucuses, said President Vladimir Putin was 'ridiculous', claimed Russia was more 'morally' to blame for the bloodshed than Chechen separatists and played down links between al-Qaeda and the 'Chechen resistance'. The ACPC's support for the Chechen cause seems bizarre, as many of its members are among the most outspoken US policymakers who have made it clear that Islamist terror must be wiped out. But the organisation has tried to broker peace talks between Russia and Chechen separatists. The ACPC includes many leaders of the neo-conservative think-tank, Project for the New American Century (PNAC), which advocates American domination of the world.... ACPC executive director Glen Howard said the continuation of the 'brutalising tactics' of Russian forces would only lead to 'the resistance employing more brutal tactics' like the assault on School Number One in Beslan...... The nurturing of Chechen fighters against Russia recalls America's support for the Mujahideen in Afghanistan - an act that went on to spawn al-Qaeda and the Taliban.... Howard said hardliners like Richard Perle were backing Chechnya as they 'understood what it feels like to be under the Russian yolk'. Some critics believe the support for the Chechens may be a cold war hangover or part of a policy to keep Russia weak through bloodletting in the Caucuses.... According to Howard, due to the vast energy resources in the Caucuses, the West, which is heavily dependent on foreign energy, has strategic interests in the area to which it cannot afford to turn a blind eye."


Russia reveals US plans to capture Caucasus

Russian Channel 1 presents a documentary ‘Plan Caucasus’ about the plan of western intelligence service to make Caucasus the battlefield between the Western world and Russia. The reporter states that the first point was the ignition of Nagorny Karabakh conflict and then in other places of Caucasus via the nationalistic moods strengthening. A Chechen man Abu Bakar, a news analyst of the German radio station «Freedom” in the 60s, who worked under the pseudonym Berkan Yashar, reveals the secret plans of the US Foggy Bottom. Baker was enrolled by the USA, and even after he left ‘Freedom’ and headed for Turkey, where he became a powerful authority, Abu remained a “grey eminence”, through whom the West controlled the situation in Caucasus and financed separatists’ tribes.

He said that the plan of Chechnya annexation was backed by Germany, France, Great Britain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. His words were proved with pictures of money, printed in Germany that might still be in the Munich factory, and fake passports, printed in France. His words are confirmed by some other people. Thus, Shamseddin Yusef, the Foreign Secretary in Dudaev’s government, says: “CIA people even took us to London. Then the war in Iraq started. They planned to take over Chechnya after the victory in Iraq, but that war didn’t finish as soon as they predicted. Neither does Richard Perl, the ex- US Ministry of Defense counselor and one of the key strategists of the war in Iraq, conceal the fact that America tried to give spiritual and financial support to Dudaev.

The reporter also states, that Western powers pursued in Caucasus not only political, but financial interest as well. Since 1992 with Jokhar Dudaev’s help there operated a contraband canal that exported to the West Russian diamonds and gold. For the right to drive it through Chechnya Dubaev got a quarter of the profit received from diamonds’ gem-cutting and selling. After the airport in Groznyy was shut in 1994, Berkan changed the scheme of diamonds transportation and started to put them across Pankiyskoe clove to Turkey. Akhmed, one of Dudaev’s mates, states that the bloody story of Chechen diamonds goes on even now. The money, saved between the First and Second Chechen Wars, was put in the diamond mines of Africa. The input of money into these mines gives enormous profits to Akhmed Zakaev and Whice Akhmadov, the man, whose name was mentioned in relation to Badri Patarkacishvili’s death.


Head of Russian Secret Service Accuses MI6 of Plotting Against Putin

Putin is expected to engineer the choice of a crony as new President and retain most of the power in Russia

MI6 is stirring up dissent in Russia to influence upcoming elections and stop President Putin holding on to power, the Kremlin's security chief claimed yesterday. The head of Russia's Federal Security Service - the successor of the KGB - said British spies were intent on weakening Russia and breaking up the country. British secret agents had been doing the same since the reign of Elizabeth I, claimed Nikolai Patrushev, a close ally of Mr Putin. In an interview with the weekly Argumenty I Fakti, Patrushev alleged that MI6 agents were "not only gathering intelligence in all areas but also trying to influence the development of the domestic political situation in our country." "Right at the moment foreign intelligence services are making considerable efforts to get information about the forthcoming elections to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) and presidency," he said. Last week, Mr. Putin announced he would lead the dominant United Russia party, which would give him a strong chance of becoming Prime Minister next year when the constitution requires that he step down as President after two consecutive terms.

Analysts expect him to engineer the choice of a crony as new President and retain most of the power in Russia himself. Foreign Office sources said this week that election observers are not being given normal access to Russia ahead of the parliamentary vote in December and the presidential election in March. Britain's ambassador to Russia, Tony Brenton, suffered months of harassment from the pro-Kremlin youth organisation, Nashi, after attending an opposition conference in 2006. The Foreign Office sources said British-Russia relations remained at a low and were not likely to improve in the near future because of Russia's refusal to extradite Andrei Lugovoi, the businessman wanted in connection with the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko in London last November. Perhaps speaking for internal consumption, Patrushev painted a paranoid picture of Russia beset on all sides by foreign spies, eager to dig up the country's secrets and destabilise it ahead of the elections. British agents were the worst offenders, he said, although he offered no new evidence. "Since the time of Elizabeth 1 the British principle has been 'the end justifies the means," he said. "Money, corruption, blackmail, offering immunity from prosecution, these are their main methods of recruitment."

In Cold War language, Patrushev attacked not only MI6 but also spies from Poland, the Baltic States, Georgia, Turkey and Pakistan as stooges of the CIA. Spies were poking their noses into everything from the state of Russia's armed forces to conditions in the Caucasus, Siberia and the Far East, he said. "Regarding the collapse of the Soviet Union as their achievement, they are now nurturing plans to carve up Russia," he said. But he reserved special scorn for London, now the base of Russian exiles such as Boris Berezovsky. "Lately, to achieve their political goals, the British have been relying on individuals accused of crimes and hiding abroad from Russian justice," Patrushev said. He reiterated accusations that Berezovksy and Litvinenko had tried to recruit Russian citizens to work for MI6. He also dredged up old allegations, dating back to 2005, that British agents had placed fake rocks in Moscow parks to hide their transmitters. And he claimed that the use of non-governmental organisations was "in the arsenal" of foreign intelligence services trying to provoke a revolution in Russia similar to the 2004 Orange Revolution in the Ukraine.


Moscow Says Georgia And Azerbaijan Support Islamic Rebels

September 21, 1999

With increasing frequency, Russian officials are charging that Islamic fighters, weapons and funds are being funneled via Georgia and Azerbaijan to terrorist groups in the North Caucasus. Such charges have been aired in recent days by Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Federation Council Chairman Yegor Stroev, Duma Chairman Gennady Seleznev, Duma Defense Committee Chairman Roman Popkovich, and Colonel-General Leonid Ivashov (head of the Defense Ministry's Main Department for International Military Cooperation). None of these has cited any supportive evidence.

The timing and venue of some of these statements adds to their significance. Ivanov spoke out on the subject as he emerged from a meeting with President Boris Yeltsin; Stroev, following a closed-door session of the Federation Council on the events in the North Caucasus; and Seleznev as the Duma included those accusations in a special resolution on the situation in the Caucasus. This seems to reflect a growing political backing in Moscow for the use of pressure on Azerbaijan and Georgia, as was the case during the 1995-96 Russian-Chechen war, when Moscow made similar allegations which it was never able to substantiate.

In Baku, senior presidential adviser Vafa Guluzade and National Security Minister Namig Abbasov dismissed the latest charges directed at Azerbaijan as baseless. But the wording of their statements has been remarkably restrained, and other Azerbaijani officials have said nothing. Baku seems intent on preserving the recent, slight warm-up in its bilateral relations with Russia (see the Monitor, September 10) against collateral damage from the war in the North Caucasus.

Georgian officials, for their part, have been more forthright in discussing the potential implications of Moscow's assertions. State Minister [equivalent to prime minister] Vazha Lortkipanidze, who is known for his conciliatory attitude toward Russia, expressed concern that the allegations might presage "an attempt to involve Georgia in the North Caucasus conflict and destabilize the situation in Georgia itself." President Eduard Shevardnadze's adviser on international law, Levan Aleksidze, urged Russia to "stop painting Georgia in the enemy's image" and described the situation in the North Caucasus as evidence of Moscow's "policy error" of supporting separatism in the South even as it combats "separatism" in the North. Georgia's border troops commander, Lieutenant-General Valery Chkheidze, termed the accusations against Georgia "demagogic," designed for internal political consumption.

These Georgian officials, and an official statement of Georgia's Foreign Ministry, all underscored Georgia's interest in upholding the principle of territorial integrity and preservation of existing borders. Azerbaijani President Haidar Aliev--during talks with a Council of Europe delegation in Baku--emphasized Azerbaijan's interest in upholding the same principles and in thwarting Islamic fundamentalism. Specifically, Aliev mentioned Azerbaijan's interest in the restoration of stability in neighboring Dagestan (Itar-Tass, Turan, Azad-Inform, Radio Tbilisi, Prime-News, September 14-19; Nezavisimaya gazeta, September 15).



For several years Kremlin spokespersons have identified Turkey as the primary source of foreign jihadi volunteers (always referred to as naemniky, "mercenaries" in official proclamations) fighting alongside their Chechen adversaries. One spokesman claimed "We keep killing armed Turkish citizens on Chechen territory" and another described Turkey as "a record breaker for producing foreign mercenaries killed in Chechnya." [1] While skeptics might be tempted to dismiss such claims as mere bluster in light of Turkey's well known secular tendencies, the evidence is mounting that Turkish volunteer fighters make up a sizeable component of the foreign element fighting alongside the indigenous Chechen insurgents in Russia. While it is widely recognized that the 100-200 foreign jihadis fighting alongside the approximately 1,200 Chechen insurgents are led by Arab emirs (commanders) such as the slain Amir Khattab (a Saudi whose mother was Turkish according to jihadist websites), Abu Walid (Saudi killed April 2004), and Abu Hafs al Urdani (aka "Amjet" a Jordanian), the Russian government has consistently maintained that Turks play a prominent role among the foreign "terrorists" in Chechnya. [2] To support their claims, Russian security services have produced Turkish passports found on the bodies of several slain fighters and have given the names and personal details of Turkish jihadis killed in Chechnya. Among others, Russian spokespersons referenced one Ziya Pece, a Turk who was found dead with a grenade launcher following a fire fight with Federal forces. Russian officials have also provided detailed information on 24 Turkish fighters killed between 1999 and 2004, and Russian soldiers in Chechnya have spoken of engaging a unit of 40 skilled Turkish fighters. [3] If this were not compelling enough evidence, Russian security forces have also produced a living Turkish jihadi named Ali Yaman who was captured in the Chechen village of Gekhi-Chu.

A Turkish Platoon in Chechnya

Surprisingly, this evidence is not refuted by Chechen or Turkish jihadi sources and on the contrary has been corroborated on such forums as the website produced by Arab and Chechen extremists linked to the field commander Shamil Basayev. The following excerpt from a kavkaz interview with a Turkish jihadi commander in Chechnya is illuminating and suggests the existence of a Turkish jamaat known as the "Ottoman platoon" in the Arab-dominated International Islamic Brigade (it also corroborates the above Russian claim that Federal forces have killed 24 Turks in Chechnya): "Interview with the Chief of the Turkish Jamaat ‘Osmanly' (Ottoman) fighting in Chechnya against the troops of Russian invaders, Amir (Commander) Muhtar, by the Kavkaz Center news agency: (Interviewer) Are there many Turks in Chechnya today? Some mass media were reporting that there are about 20 of you guys.

(Amir Muhtar) Out of the first Jamaat that was fighting in 1995-1996 seven mujahideen have remained. Back then there were 13 of us. They are actually the core of the Turkish jamaat in Chechnya today. Twenty-four Turks have already died in this war. Among them was Zachariah, Muhammed-Fatih, Halil…Three mujahideen became shaheeds (martyrs) during the battle with commandos from Pskov in the vicinity of Ulus-Kert. Some died before that in the battles in Jokhar (Grozny). Five were wounded." [4] In February 2004 a Turkish jihadi website devoted to Chechnya also announced the martyrdom (shehid olmak) of three Turkish mujahideen in just two weeks. [5] Another site that has been removed left the following account of the combat that led to the martyrdom of three Turkish jihadi fighters: "Last night we had news from verifiable sources that a group of Turkish mujahideen came across Russian soldiers north of Vedeno in a small village. After stumbling on them a fire fight ensued and one Algerian and three Turkish brothers died. The Algerian's name is Hassam and the Turkish brothers' names are Ebu Derda, Huzeyfe and Zennun. These brothers fought in Commander Ramazan's unit in the Dagestan conflict." [6]

For several years now Turkish jihadi websites have actually been posting the martyrdom epitaphs of Turkish fighters who died in the Chechen cihad. Much of the jihadist rhetoric found on these Islamist sites will be familiar to those who follow the martyrdom obituaries of foreign jihadis who have died fighting in Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan and other conflict zones. The following account, for example, describes the fate of a Turkish fighter who followed the well worn path of roaming Turkish jihadis in the Balkans before being killed: "Shaheed Bilal Al-Qaiseri (Uthman Karkush). 23 years old from Qaiseri, Turkey. Martyred during the Withdrawal from Grozny, February 2000: Bilal fought for six months in Bosnia during 1995 from where he unsuccessfully attempted to travel to Chechnya. He went to fight for the Jihad in Kosova but returned after a month when the fighting ceased. He came to Chechnya in August 1999 where he participated in the Dagestan Operations in Botlikh. After the Mujahideen withdrew, he was planning to return to Turkey when Russia invaded Chechnya. He participated in the fighting in Argun and, subsequently, Grozny. Before and throughout Ramadan he cooked for the Mujahideen in his group. During the fighting he was distinguished for his bravery. After seeing a dream in which he was married, he decided to marry a Chechen, but Shahaadah (martyrdom) was destined for him instead. He was severely injured during the withdrawal from Grozny in the village of Katyr Yurt where his room received a direct hit from Russian Grad Artillery. He was later martyred from his injuries in the village of Shami Yurt."

Ethnicity and Turkish jihad in Chechnya

The following epitah, which describes a Turkish martyr "with some Chechen ancestry" speaks of a deeper and less obvious current in the Turkish jihadi movement that delineates Turkish volunteer fighters from the majority of trans-national Arab jihadis fighting in Chechnya: "Shamil (Afooq Qainar). 25 years old from Istanbul, Turkey.

Martyred in Grozny, November 1999:

With some Chechen ancestory, he deeply loved Chechnya and was more often alongside Chechens than Turks. He had also participated in the Chechen Jihad of 1996-99. With his good manners, polite demeanor and modesty, he got along well with everyone. He also took part in the Dagestan Jihad in the Novalak Region where, notably, his group fought their way out of a Russian siege at a cost of 25 Shaheed (martyrs). He was martyred in the second month of this War (November 1999) in Grozny." [7]

While it might be overlooked, the fact that the slain Shamil is, like many of his compatriots, of Chechen extraction, is of tremendous importance. It would seem that many Turks who volunteer to fight on the behalf of the Chechens do so because they have ethnic origins in the Caucasus region or identify with the Chechens as irkdashlar (kin).

In the 19th century, Tsarist Russia instigated a brutal policy of ethnic cleansing that saw tens of thousands of indigenous Caucasian highlanders expelled to Anatolia. While public expressions of Laz, Circassian, Kosovar, Bosniak, Tatar and Chechen ethnic identity were subsequently discouraged in officially homogenous Republican Turkey, folk traditions such as the famous Caucasian highlander sword dances, Albanian borek (pastry), Crimean Tatar destans (legends), and ritualized commemoration of past victimization at the hands of Russians, Serbs, Bulgarians and others continued.

It was only with the liberalization of Turkey under President Turgut Ozal in the early 1990s that these historical sub-ethnic grievances could be expressed in the public sphere. As this unprecedented celebration of ethnicity and commemoration of past repression took place in a liberalizing Turkey, Turks were confronted with horrifying images from the Balkans and Caucasus. Stories of rape camps in Bosnia, mass graves in Kosovo, and televised images of columns of pitiful Chechen refugees in Russia struck many Turks as a replay of the apocalyptic destruction of millions of Balkan-Caucasian-Ukrainian Muslims by Orthodox Christians in the 19th century.

As a result, informants interviewed by the author in Turkey in the summer of 2004 claimed that many young men from villages in Eastern Turkey inhabited by people of Caucasian origin were told by their family patriarchs to go and fight for their honor, faith, and ancestral homeland in Chechnya. Moreover, with the advent of the internet in Turkey, gruesome images of horribly mutilated Chechen women and children, mass burials and vandalized mosques appeared on Islamist and secular-nationalist websites alike and enraged many traditionalists in the country. In this climate, both nationalists and religious extremists exploited many Turks' sense of ethnic or religious solidarity with their Chechen "brothers and sisters" and invoked strong feelings of namus (a traditional sense of machismo, pride and honor among Turks that comes from the defense of faith, family, motherland, and honor of one's women).

Like the Turks who continue to fight and die in Chechnya, the websites that glorify the defense of the Chechens run the gamut from the anti-American/Zionist rhetoric of the Islamists to the nationalist irredentism of the Pan-Turkists. But the latter predominate. [8] The pro-Chechen websites with an ethnic dimension tend to feature images of Turks wearing traditional Caucasian folk costumes and 19th century anti-Russian heroes. Others with a slightly more nationalist bent (such as blend images of Ataturk and Alparslan Turkes (the founder of the Turkish Boz Kurt-Grey Wolves extreme nationalist party) with images from Chechnya. As these sites make clear, many Turks who fight in Chechnya are engaging in the same sort of volunteerism that led Albanian Americans to go fight in Kosovo in 1999 under the auspices of Homeland Calling and other widely recognized diasporic organizations.

This ethnic diaspora narrative might also explain some of the Arab jihadi participation in Chechnya. Many Chechen refugees settled in Ottoman Jordan following their expulsion from Russia in the 19th century. Jordanian Arabs of Chechen extraction, such as the influential Sheikh Muhammad Fatih, have played an important role in the Chechen jihad as warriors, preachers, and fund raisers.

Notwithstanding the involvement of Turks in the Chechen conflict, it would be erroneous to interpret this as proof that secular Turkey faces a serious Islamist problem. Turkish jihadis who have fought in Chechnya have found the Wahhabi Puritanism of their Arab jihadi comrades-in-arms unsettling, and many secular Turks partake in "jihad tours" simply to gain prestige at home in their tight knit families or neighborhoods. In addition, the vast majority of Turks interviewed tended to view Chechens as "terrorists" who reminded them of the hated Kurdish PKK/Kadek militants.

Finally, the involvement of two Turkish extremists (Azad Ekinci and Habib Akdas) who had a history of jihadi activity in Chechnya in the bloody al-Qaeda bombings in Istanbul in November 2003 further undermined the Chechen cause in the country. [9] Indeed for all the romantic notions, some Turks have of volunteering to fight on behalf of the Chechens, the carnage wreaked on innocent Turks by El Kaide Turka (Turkish al-Qaeda) clearly demonstrates that jihadism has a potentially unpredictable effect on those who are attracted to it.


Turkey Succours Wounded Chechens

Dozens of Chechens here have been treated with the help of Turkish Islamist aid groups. Indeed, 150 new patients are expected to arrive at this hospital soon. In the wards, the patients - all young men - were nervous about being interviewed as they were concerned about the possibility of Russian reprisals against their relatives back home. Mohamed, a former student, lost his arm during a Russian air raid in Grozny. He would not say exactly how he had come to Istanbul. Real anger is palpable at a big pro-Chechen demonstration in Istanbul where protesters are expressing their frustration at what is happening to fellow Muslims in Chechnya. The Russians allege that financial and material aid to Chechnya is flowing through Turkey, although this is hard to prove. Pro-Islamist groups say their focus is on humanitarian assistance, but they say the government could and should do more. "No official policy can stand against the will of the people for long", says Bulent Yildirim of the National Youth Foundation. "Turkish public opinion is very sympathetic to the Chechens. So the current government will have to change its policy - or the people will change the government." Turks of Chechen origin are busy helping the few refugees who have made it to Turkey. Bouka Aidamirova escaped across the Chechen mountains and crossed into Georgia with her son, just before the Russians shut the route down. Bouka says she wants to go back - but only when the Russians have gone for good. For the moment however, she is stranded.

Turkey must be cautious

Politicians in Ankara may be sympathetic, but Russia is a huge neighbour, and Turkey's second largest trading partner. There are good reasons for treading carefully, according to Fehmi Koru, a political commentator, in a country with its own large minority group, the Kurds. "Turkey is very much dependent on Russian natural gas for example. And also there are people who feel that if Turkey tries to make a fuss about the Chechens, people will bring up the Kurds," Mr Koru says. At the moment, the Turkish government will not pour oil onto troubled waters. But if the war in Chechnya drags on, there may be pressure for a change of heart


Turkey And The Chechens

There is a substantial Chechen exile community in Turkey, which is particularly strong in Istanbul, and millions of Turks also trace their ancestry to the Caucasus. During the Russian military campaigns against Chechen rebels in the last few years, there have been persistent allegations from Russia that Turkish organisations have offered financial and material support to the independence movement. The Turkish and Russian governments recently signed an agreement for closer co-operation against militant groups, and the authorities in Ankara have always insisted that there is no official support for the rebel campaign. But Chechen fighters have been treated in Turkish hospitals, and the ruthlessness of the Russian military has generated considerable sympathy among ordinary Turks for their Chechen brethren. Turkey has also been dragged unwillingly into several previous hijackings involving the Chechen issue. The most famous occurred in 1996, when a group of pro-Chechen gunmen seized control of a passenger ferry off Turkey's northern Black Sea coast. More than 200 people were held hostage for several days by a gang, which included both Chechens and Turks. The hijackers were eventually imprisoned but all of them later escaped amid strong suspicions that they were allowed to go free.


The Chechen Diaspora is still taking shape. The devastating war in Chechnya that has lasted for ten years has already produced a large number of refugees. Most of them, of course, moved to Russia, while others chose to escape the old Empire and preferred to settle in Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, trying to reach Western Europe from those countries. The second war in Chechnya has been going on for six years, leaving refugees without much hope of returning home anytime soon. They have started organizing themselves, trying to build the basis for a Diaspora, whose main task, like many other Diasporas around the world, is to support the resistance against the enemy. Turkey may be the best place for those seeking to continue the fight in Chechnya from abroad. During the first Chechen war (1994-1996), Turkish authorities played host to exiled Chechen warlords and allowed several Turkish mayors who were members of the Prosperity Party, an Islamic party, to provide medical aid and general support for the Chechen guerrillas. Within Turkish political society there even emerged a coalition between hardcore Islamists and nationalists who favored Turkish military intervention in Chechnya.

Thus, since the beginning of the second Chechen war in 1999, Turkey has represented a perfect safe haven for Chechen refugees, among them fighters who think that the war should be also supported from abroad and who look for international backing. Some 3,000 to 4,000 Chechens arrived in Turkey between 1999 and 2001. Since then, however, the number has declined. There are now probably only 1,500 Chechens left in the country. While some returned to Chechnya, the vast majority fled to Europe through Bulgaria or Ukraine. The situation for Chechen refugees in Turkey has changed. Political forces have largely given up the Chechen issue. The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks were a factor in this, but not the only one. Today, religious associations, groups and individuals continue to support the Chechen cause as an act of giving Zakat (charity), one of the five pillars of Islam.

Turkish authorities, however, could not politically and openly take the "safe haven" position. Turkey had to increase its commercial and economic relations with Russia; Ankara is seeking to establish a privileged relationship with Moscow, particularly involving natural gas, and cannot allow the Chechen issue to weaken those efforts. Moreover, after September 11 and the start of the global war against terror, Turkish solidarity for Chechnya became difficult to sustain: the hosting of wounded Chechen fighters and arms transits (as was the case between 1994 and 1996, according to many observers and journalists) became hard to justify. Russia's information blockade of Chechnya also made it more difficult to aid the Chechens. It did not mean that the Turkish authorities did not know what was going on there, but it made it more difficult for them to make a convincing case that support from non-governmental associations or groups in Turkey would not be used for "terrorist" purposes.

However, it would be false to say that the moderate Islamist government of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has totally renounced his country's historical and geopolitical alliance with local Caucasian forces against Russia. Turkey is simply playing a two-level game. On the one hand, Turkey proves to Russia its good intentions by putting pressure on the Chechen Diaspora. On the other, it keeps open opportunities for Chechen resistance groups to act from its territory – for example, by collecting and transferring funds to the Chechen guerrillas. Using this strategy, Turkey retains a powerful tool in its ongoing negotiations with Russia on commercial and economic matters. Through the Chechen Diaspora, Ankara is able to obtain concessions from Moscow. Thus the Turkish government is willing to sacrifice one part of the Chechen Diaspora and allow another part to prosper and act in the interests of the Chechen guerrillas. Erdogan's government needs the Chechens: it needs to keep them active, but not too active.

Two examples illustrate this approach. In February 2004, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdulla Gül brought back from his visit to Moscow a list of 20 Chechens living in Turkey. Within months, several prominent Chechen rebels had either moved or relocated from their homes in Turkey. One of them, Zeindi Umarov, a former bodyguard of Aslan Maskhadov and a close collaborator of Umar Khanbiev, Maskhadov's general representative in Europe (including Turkey and South Caucasus), was resettled in Baku. At the same time, Alla Dudaeva, wife of the first Chechen president, Djokhar Dudaev, is still leaving peacefully in Istanbul; it seems that she is even protected by the Turkish authorities. More generally, some Chechen activists still find a welcoming shelter in Turkey. Zeindi Umarov was sacrificed so that others could stay.

Several days before the NATO summit in Turkey and the visit of President Vladimir Putin to Turkey in June 2004 and in December 2004, respectively, a dozen Chechen refugees from the refugee camps located on the outskirts of Istanbul were arrested by the Turkish special forces and charged with maintaining ties to Islamist groups, al-Qaeda in particular. (The arrests were confirmed by Chechen contacts in Istanbul and by Amnesty International, which provided the author of this article with a list of 12 names, all Chechens, arrested in June 2004.). All were released after the events and none of them had any effective links with international terrorist or Islamist networks. These arrests were only demonstrations of force by Turkish authorities, and probably also a kind of intimidation aimed at Chechens who might be tempted to go beyond the boundaries set by official structures in Turkey.

Playing the Chechen card as a negotiating tool assumes that all Chechen activities are under Turkish governmental control. Both of the above examples illustrate this two-level game. It could be dangerous if some Chechen groups were acting autonomously, outside the Turkish government's political strategy. Turkey lets some Chechens continue the war, but only under conditions imposed by the government in Ankara. That is why the Chechen Diaspora in Turkey is so tightly supervised. There is no political freedom for Chechen refugees, no chances for any Chechen political tendency to organize itself if the Turkish control structures do not allow it. The only political tendency that is unofficially accepted is the Maskhadov-related group. This has created a rift between the "Maskhadovites" and the "Dudaevists", who believe that Aslan Maskhadov, because of his moderation, has led Dudaev's legacy astray. This latter group cannot act freely. Rifts aside, the active part of the Chechen Diaspora in Turkey – including both fighters and emissaries collecting funds for them – continue to take advantage of their host's two-level game. And this, of course, does not go unnoticed by the Russians (see, for example "Turkish public organizations help Chechen separatists?", RIA Novosti, 5 November 2004).


Turkish building company denies funding Chechen militants

Turkish building company ENKA Wednesday rejected claims, made in a documentary program broadcast Tuesday on Russia's Channel One TV, that it had provided financing in the 1990s to Chechen militants. "We state that all information regarding our company broadcast April 22 in the Plan Caucasus TV program on Channel One is totally groundless and untrue," ENKA said. "We deny all such accusations." ENKA is one of Turkey's largest construction companies working in Russia. The claims were made against ENKA in the TV program by Sultan Kekhursayev, now living in Istanbul. He said he had been "[now dead Chechen separatist leader Dzhokhar] Dudayev's army brigadier general." Kekhursayev said large Turkish companies working in Russia, including ENKA, funded the seizure of Chechnya's capital Grozny in the summer 1996, adding that they "had done much" to assist militants. Sporadic terrorist attacks and militant clashes are common in Chechnya, although the active phase of the Kremlin campaign to fight separatists and terrorists is over. Violence often spills over into neighboring North Caucasus republics, including Ingushetia and Daghestan.


Russian Official: 'Chechen' IS Warlords Are U.S.-Trained Georgians

Ilya Rogachev, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Department for New Challenges and Threats, has said that Chechen militants fighting with the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria are not Russian citizens but Kists from Georgia's Pankisi Gorge. In an interview with the Ekho Moskvy radio station on January 16, parts of which were transcribed by other Russian media outlets, Rogachev blamed Georgia for the phenomenon of Chechen militants in Syria. The Russian Foreign Ministry official said that Georgian Kists -- ethnic Chechens from the Pankisi Gorge -- were "among the most prominent warlords who have already proved themselves in IS." Rogachev did not name these warlords but said they were "trained in Georgia, probably by Georgian specialists, who in turn were taught by the Americans."

These comments -- perhaps surprisingly -- echo reports in Western news outlets, which have placed Georgia's Pankisi Gorge under an intense media spotlight, mostly because of the sudden rise to notice of IS's military emir in Syria, Umar al-Shishani, who is from the Pankisi Gorge. While Umar al-Shishani was a conscript in the Georgian Army, some news reports have emphasized that he was possibly trained by officers who may have been trained by Americans.  The Foreign Ministry official echoed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov when he said that there were "not as many North Caucasians with Russian passports in IS as it is acceptable to imagine." Rogachev said that there were "Chechens from other countries, including those who received asylum abroad" fighting with IS in Syria and Iraq. In November, Chechnya's Kadyrov lashed out at the West over what he said was a deliberate attempt to portray Chechens as terrorists in Syria. Kadyrov said that the "overwhelming majority" of Chechens in Syria were "residents of Western countries who were born there or who left 20 years ago."

According to Interfax Religion, Rogachev claimed that there were 800 Russian nationals fighting alongside the IS group. However, Rogachev said that this figure was based on "unofficial, expert assessments" and did not offer any information about what the Russian security services believe the numbers of Russian citizens fighting in Syria and Iraq to be.

Blowback Threat

Rogachev also warned that Islamic State (IS) militants were "spreading out throughout the world and pose a serious threat." The Foreign Ministry official said that the rapid influx of militants to Syria and Iraq had not been curbed. In an odd twist, Rogachev hinted that the U.S.-led air strikes against IS had had an effect. While he did not mention the air strikes conducted by the U.S.-led coalition against IS in Syria and Iraq -- which, after all, Moscow opposes -- Rogachev did say that IS was taking losses in Syria and Iraq. "Now we can say there is some sort of balance. The rapid expansion of IS has stopped: IS militants are incurring significant losses and many of them have returned to their home countries, having lost faith in an ultimate victory," Rogachev said. Rogachev also warned that IS militants who returned to their home countries from Syria and Iraq "represent a very serious threat."

"Experience has shown that individuals who have spent some time in conflict zones rarely return to a normal life. Going forward, they continue to engage in illegal activities, not necessarily terrorist [activities]. This could be ideological indoctrination," Rogachev said. The Russian Foreign Ministry official also repeated Moscow's claim that the rise of IS in Syria was a result of "foreign military aid to Syrian rebels in the fight against the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad." Russia and Iran, Assad's two most powerful allies, have both asserted that the IS group was created as a result of assistance provided by the United States and its Western allies to moderate Syrian rebels.

International Terrorism Does Not Exist

General Leonid Ivashov (left) with journalist Christopher Bollyn from American Free Press
General Leonid Ivashov was the Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces when the September 11, 2001, attacks took place. This military man, who lived the events from the inside, offers an analysis which is very different to that of his American colleagues. As he did during the Axis for Peace 2005 conference, he now explains that international terrorism does not exist and that the September 11 attacks were the result of a set-up. What we are seeing is a manipulation by the big powers; this terrorism would not exist without them. He affirms that, instead of faking a "world war on terror", the best way to reduce that kind of attacks is through respect for international law and peaceful cooperation among countries and their citizens.
As the current international situation shows, terrorism emerges where contradiction aggravate, where there is a change of social relations or a change of regime, where there is political, economic or social instability, where there is moral decadence, where cynicism and nihilism triumph, where vice is legalized and where crime spreads. It is globalization what creates the conditions for the emergence of these extremely dangerous phenomena. It is in this context that the new world geo-strategic map is being designed, that the resources of the planet are being re-distributed, that borders are disappearing, that international law is being torn into pieces, that cultural identities are being erased, that spiritual life becomes impoverished...

The analysis of the essence of the globalization process, the military and political doctrines of the United States and other countries, shows that terrorism contributes to a world dominance and the submissiveness of states to a global oligarchy. This means that terrorism is not something independent of world politics but simply an instrument, a means to install a unipolar world with a sole world headquarters, a pretext to erase national borders and to establish the rule of a new world elite. It is precisely this elite that constitutes the key element of world terrorism, its ideologist and its "godfather". The main target of the world elite is the historical, cultural, traditional and natural reality; the existing system of relations among states; the world national and state order of human civilization and national identity.

Today's international terrorism is a phenomenon that combines the use of terror by state and non-state political structures as a means to attain their political objectives through people's intimidation, psychological and social destabilization, the elimination of resistance from power organizations and the creation of appropriate conditions for the manipulation of the countries' policies and the behavior of people. Terrorism is the weapon used in a new type of war. At the same time, international terrorism, in complicity with the media, becomes the manager of global processes. It is precisely the symbiosis between media and terror, which allows modifying international politics and the exiting reality. In this context, if we analyze what happened on September 11, 2001, in the United States, we can arrive at the following conclusions:

1. The organizers of those attacks were the political and business circles interested in destabilizing the world order and who had the means necessary to finance the operation. The political conception of this action matured there where tensions emerged in the administration of financial and other types of resources. We have to look for the reasons of the attacks in the coincidence of interests of the big capital at global and transnational levels, in the circles that were not satisfied with the rhythm of the globalization process or its direction. Unlike traditional wars, whose conception is determined by generals and politicians, the oligarchs and politicians submitted to the former were the ones who did it this time.

2. Only secret services and their current chiefs x or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations x have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. Generally, secret services create, finance and control extremist organizations. Without the support of secret services, these organizations cannot exist x let alone carry out operations of such magnitude inside countries so well protected. Planning and carrying out an operation on this scale is extremely complex.

3. Osama bin Laden and "Al Qaeda" cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders. Thus, a team of professionals had to be created and the Arab kamikazes are just extras to mask the operation. The September 11 operation modified the course of events in the world in the direction chosen by transnational mafias and international oligarchs; that is, those who hope to control the planet's natural resources, the world information network and the financial flows. This operation also favored the US economic and political elite that also seeks world dominance.

The use of the term "international terrorism" has the following goals:

Hiding the real objectives of the forces deployed all over the world in the struggle for dominance and control; Turning the people's demands to a struggle of undefined goals against an invisible enemy; Destroying basic international norms and changing concepts such as: aggression, state terror, dictatorship or movement of national liberation; Depriving peoples of their legitimate right to fight against aggressions and to reject the work of foreign intelligence services; Establishing the principle of renunciation to national interests, transforming objectives in the military field by giving priority to the war on terror, violating the logic of military alliances to the detriment of a joint defense and to favor the anti-terrorist coalition; Solving economic problems through a tough military rule using the war on terror as a pretext. In order to fight in an efficient way against international terrorism it is necessary to take the following steps:

To confirm before the UN General Assembly the principles of the UN Charter and international law as principles that all states are obliged to respect; To create a geo-strategic organization (perhaps inspired in the Cooperation Organization of Shanghai comprised of Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) with a set of values different to that of the Atlantists; to design a strategy of development of states, a system of international security, another financial and economic model (which would mean that the world would again rest on two pillars); To associate (under the United Nations) the scientific elites in the design and promotion of the philosophical concepts of the Human Being of the 21st Century. To organize the interaction of all religious denominations in the world, on behalf of the stability of humanity's development, security and mutual support.

General Leonid Ivashov is the vice-president of the Academy on geopolitical affairs. He was the chief of the department for General affairs in the Soviet Union's ministry of Defense, secretary of the Council of defense ministers of the Community of independant states (CIS), chief of the Military cooperation department at the Russian federation's Ministry of defense and Joint chief of staff of the Russian armies.


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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. Please note that the comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years has helped me see the Russian nation as the last front on earth against the scourges of Westernization, Americanization, Globalism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western/European civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. These sobering realizations compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of Cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and perhaps the only voice preaching about the strategic importance of Armenia's close ties to the Russian nation. From about 2010 to 2015, I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult for me as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling, dare I say voice, inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and fully integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relief, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that generally speaking Armenians are collectively recognizing the vital/strategic importance of Armenia's ties with the Russian nation. Today, no man, no political party is capable of driving a wedge between Armenia and Russia. That danger has passed. Anglo-American-Jewish agenda in Armenia failed. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal.

Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say anything if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several "anonymous" visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply insult/attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a historical record and a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you as always for reading.