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War in Chechnya


War in Chechnya

Declaration of Grigory Yavlinsky, head of the Yabloko faction in the State Duma on November 9 1999

The situation in Russia has become increasingly tense. There are hundreds of thousands of refugees in the Northern Caucasus; there is the threat of a wide-scale partisan war in winter, an increase in civilian casualties, and the provocation of conflicts between the military and the civil leadership of the country owing to unclear political prospects in Chechnya all this becomes a serious factor behind political destabilisation.

In August-November, 1999, the Russian army completed its task in the Northern Caucasus, creating for the first time for the past five years a convincing pre-requisite for a political settlement of the problems there.

In this situation, in order to protect the security of Russian citizens and secure strategic state interests, we believe that it is necessary to demand that Russia's political leadership take immediat eactions and propose the following plan: introduction of an extraordinary situation in Stavropol region, the Daghestan Republic and other territories on the border with the Chechen Republic.

To ensure the required minimum legal basis for the actions of the military forces of the Russian Federation, the following actions must be taken: pursuant to legislation and military regulatory documents, define the zones of military operations and publish the orders of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the RF and the decisions of the supreme governing bodies of the country, whereby the military operations occur.

We should terminate the wide-scale bombing of the territory of the Chechen Republic and suspend the wide-spread ground attack. Negotiations should be conducted with Maskhadov as legitimately elected President of the Chechen Republic on the following terms: all hostages should be freed; the minimum basis should be established for a civil law-governed state in Chechnya; the kidnapping of people and slave trade should be curbed; terrorists announced under international investigations should be extradited to the authorities of the Russian Federation for further trial or the accused should be deported beyond the territory of Chechnya and the Russian Federation; all measures at the disposal of the official authorities of Chechnya should be employed to ensure the disarmament of all unofficial military groupings; all military repressive bodies should be removed; territory all individuals convicted of international terrorism should not be allowed into Chechnya.

The Russian authorities are ready to provide all kinds of support to the official authorities of the Chechen Republic to implement these tasks. If President Maskhadov refuses to conduct negotiations within the framework of the aforementioned terms, a 30-day deadline should be granted to enable all refugees to leave the Chechen Republic. Then the aforementioned tasks will be solved by the federal forces independently.

As several hundreds of thousands of people have already left their permanent residence in the areas of military operation and these numbers may soon rise, the most important task of the state is to settle these people in secure residences and accord them corresponding status. To cater and provide medical services for the people leaving their places of permanent residence, we should deploy immediately state resources and reserves of the Russian Federation, as well as international aid offered by the Red Cross and different international humanitarian organisations and governments of other countries. To enhance the efficiency of the work of border control stations on the administrative border of the Ingushetian Republic and the Chechen Republic, the Federal Border Guard Service (instead of the regiments of the Ministry of Defence of the RF) should be employed to exercise supervisory functions.

November 9 1999