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View Diary: Anti-Chechen Racism Unbridled (152 comments)

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  •  Even more complicated than that. (17+ / 0-)

    First, the years after Stalin's death were hardly a boon in Chechen culture, except by comparison: though they were allowed to repatriate, they were generally not allowed to build mosques, or to participate in local government, or to challenge the mandatory Russification policies of local education.  Richard Sakwa has argued (convincingly, I think) that this was a major reason that this sunk any chances for a progressive, developed, middle-class Chechen population: they were a forced underclass in their own homeland.  And people have to remember that the Stalin era policy was outright genocide, which hangs over a lot of the subsequent history.

    Also remember the proximate reason for the second Chechen war was the series of apartment building bombings across the country during September 1999, and yet nearly all of the arrests and allegations were made against Karachai and Avars.  We don't even have to go as far as some of the Kremlin's biggest critics and debate whether the bombings were an inside job: the fact is that Russia used turmoil in the Caucasus as a way of reinvading territory that had, except for international recognition, become independent a few years before.  

    And yet there's no doubt that the actions of Chechen separatists - so violent and chaotic and indefensible - have made it impossible to sympathize with their cause, even in light of their history.  

    Anyway, none of this may have any relevance to Boston, but I wanted to throw some of this out there.  It's a depressingly complicated history.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:06:24 PM PDT

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