Our correspondent reports from Chechnya

    The bloody war in Chechnya is treated by bourgeois propaganda as an internal conflict and until recently as a military operation for the liquidation of bands of foreign terrorists.
    Thus this war at a certain point stopped being considered as an internal conflict and became an act of self-defense against aggression by bands of foreign terrorists.
    The ideologists of the Russian bourgeois regime base themselves in the presence of mercenaries trained in the Sudan, Turkey, Palestine, Munich and London.


    Our comrades had the opportunity to establish contact with a group of Russian soldiers stationed in the Chechen Republic, among them are troops coming from Krasnodar, Irkutsk, Vladimir and Primoriye. They agreed to answer questions from our correspondents.

    Q. How does the Russian news media report on the course of the war in Chechnya?
    A. We are directly involved in the events. Therefore we can say with complete certainty that the television coverage of the events is nothing other than a crude deception.
    Q. What do you think of the Chechen civilian population? What do they think of you?
    A. What can the Chechens think if their houses are bombarded under orders of our leaders and officers? Put yourself in their place!
    Q. Is there a front line in the war?
    A. No there isn't. At this time a guerrilla war is developing. The guerrillas are hidden among the civilian population and this is the way they attack our rear.
    Q. How much do they pay you in this war?
    A. They promised us a wage of 23 thousand rubles a month (some $800 US). However, they did not tell us that they wouldn't pay us the money directly, but that our mothers would get it.
    The government makes promises; you know very well the value of these promises without our having to tell you. We already have experience in the respect. I for example served in Tver before being sent to Chechnya. At that time they did not pay us our wages. About 300 of us decided to block the Moscow-Leningrad highway. They paid us immediately.
    Q. Do your parents know that you are here?
    A. No, they don't.
    Q. Do the sons of the rich serve in Chechnya?
    A. No, they save their skins at the cost of others' blood. It is the sons of workers and peasants who are in the army.
    Q. What do you think of Soviet power?
    A. It is good. During that time the army did not bombard homes and the civilian population, to serve in the army was an honor.
    Q. Do you think that the army is defending our country in this war?
    A. I doubt it very much. Recently our comrades transported two oil refineries belonging to Berezovski [an influential Russian magnate Russian - note of the translator] from Chechnya. We think that the cause of this war is oil.
    We have heard that for similar reasons our troops shot workers in Leningrad.
    Q. What do you think of the situation in our country?
    A. It is a nightmare. You know that there are more troops under the Interior Ministry than in the army itself. What does this mean?
    It means that our government is preparing to put down the working people of Russia. To prevent a foreign invasion logically the government would strengthen the army, and not detachments of repression from the Interior Ministry.
    Q. Does this mean that the government has the situation under control?
    A. I doubt it.
    First, the troops of the Interior Ministry are made up of mercenaries. Mercenaries have never won a serious political-military conflict.
    Second, the majority of the troops are sons of workers and peasants.
    Draw your own conclusions.
    Q. You are supposed to be here to fight against criminals. Would you fight against the class of parasites, the bourgeoisie?
    A. Against parasites, we would certainly fight voluntarily.


Hasan, a Chechen, 25 years old

    A. It is true that at the beginning the war was fought primarily for military objectives. Later they began to indiscriminately bombard homes of civilians, to bomb civilians.
    I was injured by a piece of shrapnel when I was at home in the middle of a bombardment by Russian troops. I went to a nearby village to get medical attention. The counsel of elders of the village had agreed with the Russian troops that they would not bombard them. Unfortunately they were also bombed for no reason. This is not an isolated incident in this war. With a great effort I got to the neighboring village. Only after checking my wound did they allow me to come in.
    Q. What does the Chechen population think of the war? Do they consider the Russian army as liberators?
    A. At the moment the Chechen population does not hate the Russian soldiers, but, of course, nobody considers the Russian troops to be liberators. The armed units on Chechen territory are not very numerous. The neutralization and liquidation of these units would not be complicated, if this were the real objective of the Russian troops; it could be done quickly and without civilian losses. However, for that it would be necessary to gain the confidence of the civilian population and do it with their support. However, the Russian troops indiscriminately bomb civilian homes with artillery and «Scud» missiles, some soldiers commit atrocities against the civilian population.
    For example, 150 civilians died in the central market of Grozni (the capital of Chechnya - translator's note) when a Russian missile landed. The guerrillas do not go shopping in the market.
    Q. What is the reason for the war?
    A. It seems that someone is benefiting from it.
    Q. What does the Chechen civilian population think of the guerrillas?
    A. It is difficult to answer this question. Some think that Basaev is a paid agent of the Russian intelligence services.
    Q. What attitude do the Russian soldiers have towards the Chechen civilian population?
    A. There have been cases of revenge against the Chechen civilian population by Russian soldiers because of their losses and internal contradictions in this war.
    Q. What does the Chechen civilian population think of Soviet power?
    A. The Chechen people think that this kind of conflict never happened under Soviet power. Life was definitely a great deal better then in all respects.


    The bourgeois propaganda tries to convince all Russians that the chief causes of the «Chechen war» are:
    1) the aggression by international terrorist gangs against Russia from the territory of the Chechen Republic;
    2) the utilization of the territory of the Chechen Republic as a base of operations by criminal structures;
    3) chechen separatism.
    The bourgeois Russian circles assure us that that their aircraft are only bombing refineries and other military objectives used by the Chechen guerrillas. They assure us that their missiles are directed only at military objectives provided by military intelligence. They assure us that the civilian population is forced to flee to the neighboring republics due to the atrocities committed by the Islamic terrorists, that the civilian population is praising their Russian liberators «with tears in their eyes».
    The petty-bourgeois «patriot» has no doubt that it was «individuals of Caucasian nationality» who have attacked civilians in Buynaksk, Moscow and Volgodonsk with the perverse aim of taking vengeance against the Russians.
    All these lies that are being spread by the bourgeois media and the bourgeois Russian regime cannot fail to make any HONEST person indignant.
    1. The foreign mercenaries who are fighting in Chechnya together with Chechen guerrillas are trying to settle themselves in Russian territory through the armed struggle. If these mercenaries are organized and trained abroad due to the political will of their governments this amounts in essence to a direct aggression against Russia by foreign powers.
    However the bourgeois Russian government apparently has not taken any diplomatic measures against these supposed belligerent states - Great Britain, German, Turkey, Sudan and others.
    In fact the armed conflict in Chechnya is caused by factors that are much more complicated than what the bourgeois Russian government alleges.
    The war in Chechnya is the result of the development of internal contradictions within the Russian bourgeoisie. Of this we are sure.
    On the territory of the Chechen Republic a battle is being waged between two sectors of the Russian bourgeoisie for control of Chechen oil and the oil pipeline through the republic. It is clear that there are flagrant contradictions among various groups of the Russian bourgeoisie in this regard.
    A section of the Russian bourgeoisie is supporting and financing the Chechen bourgeoisie, using Chechen mercenaries as well as Russian and foreign mercenaries. Another section of the Russian bourgeoisie, which presently holds the central state power, is using Russian troops for similar objectives.
    Both sectors of the Russian bourgeoisie have an anti-popular, comprador and fascist character.
    The interests of the state are useful to them only when it serves their particular material interests, the super-profits. Otherwise the national interests of Russia and its people, are completely alien to them.
    On the other hand, the interests of these bourgeois groups are bound by innumerable threads with international capital. In turn, on an international level there is taking place a prolonged and acute struggle among various sectors of international capital for the control of sources of super-profits. Therefore in the «Chechen war» foreign interests are undeniably present, it is clear that international capital is interfering in internal Russian affairs, supporting one or another sector of the Russian bourgeoisie.
    The victory of either of these bourgeois groups will not lead to economic and political independence for the popular masses of either Russia as a whole or for the Chechen republic in particular. The oppression of one of the bourgeois groups would be taken over by another of the national and international bourgeois groups.
    Moreover a covert and open struggle is being waged for control of oil deposits and international markets. Eventually this rivalry will lead to armed conflict.
    In certain circumstances a state will try to weaken another rival state utilizing any means and conditions to its advantage.
    The «Chechen war» is weakening both belligerent sectors of the Russian bourgeoisie. This factor is being utilized by international capital in its rivalry with the Russian bourgeoisie. There is a similar rivalry between the Russian and Turkish oil magnates. For their part the bourgeois Turkish forces are interested in the continuation of the armed conflict on the territory of the Russian republic and they further it in one form or another. Similar situations are taking place in other countries.
    The training of mercenaries in foreign countries for participation in the «Chechen war» is explained by the economic motives of certain bourgeois circles in these countries. The «Islamic crusade against the Russia orthodox church» is a fraudulent myth, as is the so-called visceral hatred of the southern nationalities toward the Russians and the stories of «international terrorism».
    It is Chechen oil and the oil pipeline through the territory of the Chechen republic that are the real causes of the present Chechen conflict, in which the interests of various bourgeois groups both in Russia and abroad are in confrontation and concealed.
    However the original cause and the main motive force of the «Chechen war» are the economic interests of the Russian bourgeoisie. For this reason we have concentrated our analysis of its role in the present conflict. The participation of foreign mercenaries in the «Chechen war» is not the cause but rather the result of this war; it is a secondary factor and not the determining one.
    2. For several years the city of Grozni was bombarded indiscriminately by the regular army and the troops of the Russian Interior Ministry. As result a huge number of innocent civilians of various nationalities have died.
    This act of massive state terror against the civilian population is the result of the rivalry among various groups of the bourgeoisie for the redistribution of the wealth located on Chechen territory.

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