Is Chechnya sliding back into chaos?

Chechen Gunman in GroznyThe simmering conflict between warring clans in Chechnya has exploded back into live over the past few weeks.

A violent confrontation between the motorcades of President Ramzan Kadyrov, backed by the Kremlin, and Badruddi Yamadayev, brother of a militia leader backed by the Russian Defence Ministry, threatens to be the spark that ignites yet more conflict in Chechnya.

Traffic jam turns to gunfire

The two rival motorcades (totalling close to a hundred cars) had the misfortune to be travelling in opposite directions on the same road, at the same time. And, in a war-torn country where image is everything, neither would back down to let the other pass.

(To get an idea of what a 50 car motorcade in Chechnya looks like these days, take a look at this video of another Ramzan Kadyrov convoy. In particular, look at the high performance cars – apparently, there are “at least nine Porsche Cayenne vehicles, two BMW 5 Series, two Mercedes S-Class, and eight Lexus GX 470 (or Toyota 100 Land Cruiser)” in the convoy. Cars like that don’t come cheap).

Anyway, one thing led to another and, soon, heavily armed bodyguards were exchanging fire. The Chechen authorities deny that anyone was killed in the skirmish, but the Reuters news agency has reported that up to 18 people – both bodyguards and civilians – were killed in the battle.

Anxious to avoid massive bloodshed, Kadyrov himself apparently stepped in to calm the situation. According to the Times, before they left the scene, both Kadyrov and Yamadayev exchanged a bear hug.

Yamadayev under seige

But looks are often deceiving in Chechnya. Kadyrov might have sensed that a battle on the road was in his interests but, once out of range, he ordered 300 Chechen police to surround the base of the Vostok Battalion, headed by Yamadayev’s elder brother, Sulim Yamadayev. A three day seige ensued, during which two members of the Vostok battallion were killed.

At the same time, Kadyrov began a war of words, accusing rival Yamadayev and his brother of abuductions and murders. In a statement he announced that:

“As president I have summoned law enforcement heads and asked them why the Vostok battalion is ‘commanded’ by Badrudi Yamadayev – a man who should be in jail, but instead is walking around armed to the teeth and committing further crimes.”

The Speaker of the Chechen Parliament, a Kadyrov ally, has also called for Yamadayev to step down as commander of the Vostok battallion.

According to media reports, Badruddi Yamadayev escaped the seige and is in hiding.

Is the Kremlin losing control?

Ramzan Kadyrov, Vladimir PutinPutin’s reputation as a strongman is built in part on his ability to bring stability to the Russian Caucasus, and his ability to bring Chechnya to heel under a puppet regime led by Kadyrov.

But a violent confrontation of this magnitude in Chechnya is a massive embarrassment for the Kremlin and for Putin personally.

At best, this month’s conflict demonstrates that Kremlin no longer has control of the situation in Chechnya.

At worst, though, the conflict could demonstrate that the Kremlin does not have control over even its own Defense Ministry. The Vostok Battallion is backed by the Defence Ministry and, as such, is the only (legal) militia in Chechnya not under the direct control of either Kadyrov or the Kremlin.

As Chechen analyst Ruslan Martagov notes:

“One is under the orders of the presidential administration, the other is under the orders of the Defense Ministry. What prevents them from summoning both these people and telling them, ‘You take your troops here, and you take your troops there’? This would take about 20 minutes,” Martagov says. “Either they don’t want to do that, or they have absolutely no control over the situation there.”

Scary.

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40 Responses

  1. GER O'BRIEN says:

    So much for stability in Chechnya then. After twice levelling the place and then installing an animal as President, what can one expect?

    “at least nine Porsche Cayenne vehicles, two BMW 5 Series, two Mercedes S-Class, and eight Lexus GX 470 (or Toyota 100 Land Cruiser)” in the convoy. Cars like that don’t come cheap).”

    Great to see the Moscow’s Chechnya rebuilding fund being put to good use. I wonder what the clowns who reckon the Kremlin got Chechnya right have to say now?

  2. Tim Newman says:

    Let’s face it, Kadyrov turning around and biting the Kremlin on the arse was always a matter of when rather than if. He might have been the least worst solution to a serious problem at the time, but Putin appears to have had no long-term plan than to hope Kadyrov turns into something resembling a normal person.

  3. Tim Newman says:

    Great to see the Moscow’s Chechnya rebuilding fund being put to good use.

    My thoughts exactly. Don’t forget the grand mosques, palaces, etc. also on the plans. I’m sure Chechens are crying out desperately for these.

  4. This particular story is over a week old.

    What has happened since?

    Dudayev and Maskhadov had their own negative issues as well.

    Part of Chechnya’s inner problem seems to be that it doesn’t have a single leader who the people on the whole look up to.

    While a cause of concern: practically, it’s a bit jumping the gun to assert that things are about to get back to where they were during the Dudayev and Maskhadov periods.

    In the meantime, there’s been the cheap shotting from the usual sources.

  5. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”This particular story is over a week old.”

    And? The first war is 12 years old. Doesnt lessen what happened. Matter of time before the fun and games starts again.

    ”While a cause of concern: practically, it’s a bit jumping the gun to assert that things are about to get back to where they were during the Dudayev and Maskhadov periods.”

    Nobody is saying these periods were good either. But both Dudayev and Maskhadov had genuine mandates from the Chechen people – something one could certainly question in the case of Ramzan. And frankly its a disingenuous tactic to equate Maskhadov with terrorism. There is not a single scrap of evidence that Maskhadov supported any terrorism, and you continuously equate him with Basaeyev -Maskhadov was not a terrorist. What he was was a highly competent military commander who comprehensively defeated the Russians in 1996. Thats the problem that both you and Moscow had with him. As Johnnie B Baker has said himself – a highly read Russian historian(indeed, a publisher of research in peer-reviwed journals) -Russia would not leave Maskhadov run Chechnya in peace from 96-99, and that is why the contry failed.

    ”Part of Chechnya’s inner problem seems to be that it doesn’t have a single leader who the people on the whole look up to.”

    I certainly agree with this -when Moscow has killed all the legitimate leaders, all that are left are puppets.

    ”My thoughts exactly. Don’t forget the grand mosques, palaces, etc. also on the plans. I’m sure Chechens are crying out desperately for these.”

    🙂 What I find most hilarious is that some people actually consider all this a good outcome. Its modern Russia in microcosm – all paint and powder but no substance or solid foundation.

  6. Makes perfect sense:

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=“Chechnya,+EU-Serbia+and+a+Disputed+Lands+Update”&btnG=Google+Search

    *****

    “So much for stability in Chechnya then. After twice levelling the place and then installing an animal as President, what can one expect?”

    As of now, the situation remains more stable than the worse of the Dudayev and Maskhadov periods. Many of those liking Maskhadov disliked Dudayev and vice versa. How great a “mandate” those two had is questionable. At best, Maskhadov was unable to deal with the terrorist problem in Chechnya. At worst, he contributed to it. Some see both instances.

    Post-Soviet Russia hasn’t made it a habit to level other republics. One of many indicators to show its attempt at a calm resolution.

    As for levelling places and killing people, Iraq remains an ongoing and seemingly (for many antway) greater tragedy.

    No one I know characeterizes this latest skirmish as “a good outcome”, Rather, there’s a view that worse has happened. The prevailing post-Maskhadov era optimistic mood is of the view that Chechnya will have peaks and valleys, but in a less damaging way than before. The hope being that reconstruction and sanity will prevail.

    While not admitting it, outside Russia unfriendly agitators use Chechnya’s misfortune to score cheap propaganda points.

  7. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”As of now, the situation remains more stable than the worse of the Dudayev and Maskhadov periods”

    You mean the periods when firstly Russia levelled the place, then did their best to destabilise Maskhadov’s legitimately elected regime? Definitely.

    ”At best, Maskhadov was unable to deal with the terrorist problem”
    I cant argue with this, but it is clear that being continuously underminded by Moscow and denied cash to run the place certainly contributed. There is no doubt in my mind that the Kremlin wanted Maskhadov’s government to fail, and did their level best to ensure it did. Sour grapes and sore losers, some might say.

    ”Post-Soviet Russia hasn’t made it a habit to level other republics.”
    No, hopefully one was enough for them, and they got their arse kicked there for long enough before winning(?).

    ”While not admitting it, outside Russia unfriendly agitators use Chechnya’s misfortune to score cheap propaganda points.”
    Mike, I spent long enough inside Russia and am hopelessly mired with the Russians. Propoganda is describing the Chechen Wars as necessary and a ”wake up call to revamp the armed forces”. Pointing out the horrendous mess Russia has made there is not propoganda; its called ‘stating the obvious’.

  8. Robert Bruce Ware, Dmitry Simes and Nick Petro are among the “name” observers who share my general take.

    Maskhadov was essentaily approved by the Kremlin as a better option over Dudayev. What does Russia gain by carnage in Chechnya? In comparision, what do some others gain by having it continue? Meantime, Chechnya has tragically had its own inner elements seeking to do battle with each other.

    When Maskhadov assumed the presidency, Russia was in dire straits. Hence, aid was harder to come by.

    Saying that Russia has military flaws as shown by the two wars in Chechnya doesn’t cancel out the wrongs going on in that part of the Caucasus.

    For the time being, both Chechen sides in this recent skirmish seem to have taken a step back, They’re both said to be dependent on different branches of Russian government institutions. All four should see reason in not letting things get out of hand.

    Yeah, it seems like others (not saying anyone here) are looking for the situation to spiral out of control as means of scoring cheap propaganda points.

    Let’s see how this all plays out. It’s something to be judged in the coming years.

    I’m hoping for a peaceful reconstruction. Regardless of what some others say, one wonders what they’re actually hoping for. You know that saying about good news being no news.

  9. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Robert Bruce Ware, Dmitry Simes and Nick Petro are among the “name” observers who share my general take.”

    If that’s the same Nick Petro who reckoned Russia had freer media than the USA because the Russians could ‘easily get subscriptions to western media at Pochta Rossii offices’, then I think I’ll take my chances with Tom De Waal and Chris Bird, both of whom have spent years in Chechnya and the North Caucuses.

    ”Maskhadov was essentaily approved by the Kremlin as a better option over Dudayev. What does Russia gain by carnage in Chechnya?”
    Oh thats easy to answer. Revenge and control. Russia was mauled by Maskhadov, a bunch of rebels with AK-47s and grenade launchers. The Russians were furious and were determined to have their day. A lot of ordinary Russians were delighted when ‘Strongman’ Putin rolled the tanks back in 1999. Of course, right now Russia has nothing to gain by carnage their – the war is supposed to be over, after all. Superman Putin allegedly sorted the whole thing out. Or did he…? We’ll know soon enough.

    ”Yeah, it seems like others (not saying anyone here) are looking for the situation to spiral out of control as means of scoring cheap propaganda points.”
    In fairness only sick people would be hoping for more trouble there, and bad and all as it is, its preferable to war. Its just a pity Russia had to level the place twice to understand that themselves. Once, or not at all, would have been enough for most countries.

    ”When Maskhadov assumed the presidency, Russia was in dire straits. Hence, aid was harder to come by.”
    I appreciate that. But it doesnt excuse the activities of the FSB in the region at the time, which were aimed directly at destabilising the Maskhadov government. Unfortunately, Russia made this personal from day one, first with Dudayev then Maskhadov.

    ”Regardless of what some others say, one wonders what they’re actually hoping for. ”
    Who?

    Sorry for calling your work propoganda, in fairness you’re entitled to your view same as anybody.

  10. If anyone is a propagandist it’s you.

    Petro’s views of Russian media are more detailed than what you presented and I note how you haven’t challenged RBW.

    There’re plenty of pious morality preaching on Chechnya as if more “civilized” types aren’t killing in greater numbers elsewhere (Iraq).

  11. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Petro’s views of Russian media are more detailed than what you presented and I note how you haven’t challenged RBW.”

    Certainly they are. His central plank is that Russian media is free. As someone who lived there I believe he is wrong. As for RBW, I note how you havent challenged Tom De Waal. Indeed, unless I am mistaken you hadnt heard of him until last year – quite suprising for someone commenting on Chechnya.

  12. English language mass media isn’t as free as some think. Look what happened to Ashleigh Banfield as one case in point.

    There’re many examples showing a diversity of views in Russian media. Hard hitting at that. At last notice, Kommersant’s Kolesnikov wasn’t busted up for releasing the Putin rape remarks. The situation with the three main Russian TV networks has been a cause of criticism. There’s also the “diversity” issue with the three main American TV news networks and reasoned criticism of NPR and PBS.

    I’ve known of De Waal for a good few years. Perhaps his name didn’t intially register in a prior discussion.

    This latest firefight in Chechnya could’ve been much worse. It happened over a week ago, with no reported furher fighting.

    I sense that Chcehnya is probably going to have continued peaks and valleys and that the peace option will eventually prevail.

  13. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”There’re many examples showing a diversity of views in Russian media. Hard hitting at that.”
    Hard hitting at the West, but not at the Kremlin.

    ”I sense that Chcehnya is probably going to have continued peaks and valleys and that the peace option will eventually prevail.”

    Let us hope that is indeed the case. But dont put your life on it.

  14. Why should I when there’s no reasonable need to do so? I’ve made what a good number would consider as a reasonable forecast.

    Regarding the earlier negatives stated about Russian action in Chechnya, the beheading of Western journalists, implementing of Sharia Law and utilization of outside agitators like Khattub aren’t something that should be glossed over.

    I’m all for a periodic Chechnya update to monitor the progress or lack thereof.

  15. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Why should I when there’s no reasonable need to do so?”

    So you wouldnt put your life on it?:-) Didnt think so somehow. I hope your forecast is correct, as I said earlier.

    ”Regarding the earlier negatives stated about Russian action in Chechnya, the beheading of Western journalists, implementing of Sharia Law and utilization of outside agitators like Khattub aren’t something that should be glossed over.”

    First of all, lets get something clear about Chechnya. Neither Maskhadov nor Dudayev approved of any of the above, and indeed one could argue that Chechnya was hijacked by foreign Islamists. Islam was a late enough arrival to Chechnya and not only that it was routinely ignored by the majority of Chechens even during Imam Shamil’s reign, who used Islam to unite much of the Chechen and Dagestani tribes. The influence of Islam is greatly overstated in the region, much like the troubles in Northern Ireland being labelled a ‘Holy War’, something it never was. I dont disagree that the involvement of the likes of Khattab was reprehensible and indeed the behaviour of Basaeyev shameful and horrifying. But to tar the whole Chechen movement with the Islamist brush is just plain wrong. Chechnya does not equal Basaeyev and Khattab and to claim so is disingenuous. Russia, on the other hand, was a sovereign government carrying out mass murder on one of its own regions, killing ethnic Russians as well. Nobody is glossing over the crimes of Khattab and Basaeyev, but you are actually on record as approving of the first Russian invasion. This is borne out of basic lack of knowledge of what happened, and I’m sorry to say that.

  16. Rational people don’t put their life on the line when it’s not necessary.

    Russia is a sovereign state fighting terrorism within its borders. The Israelis and Turks have done likewise. It’s disingenuous to portray Russia minus Chechnya as somewhow more brutish than what had been going on in Chechnya.

    It’s also very disingenuous to piously rant on about Russian committing mass murder in Chechnya. In comparison, the 2003 Anglo-American attack on Iraq has created more refugeees and fatalties. Many consider that attack to be lacking a basis of legitimacy. Especially when compared to the two wars in Chechnya.

    Most Muslims the world over aren’t fundamentalist terrorists. This doesn’t eliminate the threat of a few fanatics. Their presence in Chechnya was clear. At this thread, nothing was said to the contrary.

    Once again, Dudayev and Maskhadov didn’t have full control over the situation to go along with their own faults.

    Concerning this thread, the stated “lack of knowledge” doesn’t pertain to myself. I’ve no legitimate reason to apologize for confirming this reality.

  17. Tim Newman says:

    It’s also very disingenuous to piously rant on about Russian committing mass murder in Chechnya.

    Maybe, but it’s an infinitely preferable stance than stating the Russian actions in Chechnya were fully justified.

  18. Coming from someone who is lax on the greater “mass murder”, care of the 2003 Anglo-American attack on Iraq.

    Ditto the NATO supported Turkish actions against the Kurds from 1975-2000. A matter still not completely ended.

    “Mass murder” to mean civilian casualties

    Russia had a perfectly legitimate basis for fighting against the clear cut lawlessness in Chechnya.

    Having underghone that process, Russia must upgrade the qualitative level of its conventional military capability.

  19. Good Kurds, Bad Kurds
    http://www.kevinmckiernan.com/doc.html

    NATO member Turkey has been nowhere near as willing to grant its Kurdish population the kind of cultural and political autonomy that Russia has granted to Chechnya and other parts of its federation.

    Regarding the last post, the casualty rate against the Turkish Kurds isn’t as great as Chechnya. It’s neverthless horrid enough. The refugee figures in that Turkish matter are noticeably higher.

  20. Tim Newman says:

    I suppose if one considers historical events with such childlike simplicity whereby judgement of a war’s justification is simply a matter of numbers killed and nothing else, then the US invasion of Iraq belongs in a discussion criticising Russia’s actions in Chechnya.

  21. I’ll try findimng the link to this reasonably balnced overview that I just found in a backup folder:

    From 1991 to 1994, tens of thousands of people of non-Chechen ethnicity, mostly Russians, left the republic amidst reports of violence against the non-Chechen population. Chechen industry began to fail as a result of many Russian engineers and workers leaving or being expelled from the republic. During the undeclared Chechen civil war, factions both sympathetic and opposed to Dudayev fought for power, sometimes in pitched battles with the use of heavy weapons.

    In March 1992, the opposition attempted a coup d’état, but their attempt was crushed by force. A month later, Dudayev introduced direct presidential rule, and in June 1993, dissolved the parliament to avoid a referendum on a vote of non-confidence. Federal forces dispatched to the Ossetian-Ingush conflict were ordered to move to the Chechen border in late October 1992, and Dudayev, who perceiving this as “an act of aggression against the Chechen Republic,” declared a state of emergency and threatened general mobilization if the Russian troops did not withdraw from the Chechen border. After staging another coup attempt in December 1993, the opposition organized a Provisional Council as a potential alternative government for Chechnya, calling on Moscow for assistance.

    Dudayev’s supporters pray in front of the Presidential Palace in Grozny, 1994. Photo by Mikhail EvstafievIn August 1994, when the coalition of the opposition factions, based in the north of Chechnya, launched an armed campaign to remove Dudayev’s government, Moscow clandestinely supplied rebel forces with financial support, military equipment, and mercenaries. Russia suspended all civilian flights to Grozny while the air defense aviation and border troops set up a military blockade of the republic. On October 30, 1994, unmarked Russian aircraft began bombing the capital Grozny. The opposition forces, who were joined by Russian troops, launched a clandestine but badly organized assault on Grozny in mid-October 1994. It was followed by a second, larger attack on November 26–27, 1994. Dudayev’s National Guard forces repelled the attacks. In a major embarrassment for the Kremlin, they also succeeded in capturing some 20 Russian Army regulars and about 50 other Russian citizens secretly hired by the Russian FSK state security organization.[4]

    On November 29, President Boris Yeltsin issued an ultimatum to all warring factions in Chechnya ordering them to disarm and surrender. When the government in Grozny refused, President Yeltsin ordered an attack to restore “constitutional order.” By December 1, Russian forces were carrying out heavy aerial bombardments of Chechnya, targeting both military sites and the capital Grozny.

    *****

    Hope I find it. Meantime, there’s more than enough plausible fact based info out there.

    The lead up to the second Chechen war involved Chcehen separtist attacks on Dagestan with Maskhadov not so willing to assist Russia.

    The past is done.

    Time to move forward in a peacfeul direction.

  22. “Tim Newman Says:
    April 30th, 2008 at 7:24 am
    I suppose if one considers historical events with such childlike simplicity whereby judgement of a war’s justification is simply a matter of numbers killed and nothing else, then the US invasion of Iraq belongs in a discussion criticising Russia’s actions in Chechnya.”

    ****

    Actually you’re the childlike one here with your arrogant and ignorant portrayals of Russian and Serb actions versus how you spin those of countries you’re more familiar with and sympathetic to.

    I was appropriately replying to your friend’s hypocritical raving about Russian manner.

    Using your own “logic”, he was the one being “childlike”.

  23. Neocon types often flunk at understanding the other side they oppose. This explains a good portion of what they say.

  24. Tim Newman says:

    Russian forces were carrying out heavy aerial bombardments of Chechnya, targeting both military sites and the capital Grozny.

    Yes, it is the “heavy aerial bombardments” of the capital Grozny which is what most people object to, and it is interesting that the author of the piece separates it from being a military target.

    As a way of defeating terrorism in a province, “heavy aerial bombardments” of the province’s capital is generally looked down upon. Only the Russians would still be shaking their heads wondering why they’re being criticised.

  25. Tim Newman says:

    Actually you’re the childlike one here with your arrogant and ignorant portrayals of Russian and Serb actions versus how you spin those of countries you’re more familiar with and sympathetic to.

    Yes, nothing is more akin to the behaviour of a child than portraying Russian and Serb atrocities agains civilians as, well, atrocities. Why, only the other day I passed a primary school and spotted a boy, no older than 4 years old, digging several thousand Bosnian Muslims out of his sandbox.

  26. Tim Newman says:

    I was appropriately replying to your friend’s hypocritical raving about Russian manner.

    Unless Ger is guilty of massacring civilians, which in all likelihood he is not, then I’m afraid his criticism of the Russian government doing just that in Chechnya cannot, in any way whereby usage of the word is correct, be described as hypocritical.

    Of course, if it turns out that Ger flattened a provincial capital or two during a drinking binge, then I agree he is as hypocritical as they come.

  27. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”It’s also very disingenuous to piously rant on about Russian committing mass murder in Chechnya.”

    Good. You now have moved onto acknowledging that Russia did indeed commit mass murder there. Small steps, but forward nonetheless.

    ”Once again, Dudayev and Maskhadov didn’t have full control over the situation to go along with their own faults.”

    Nobody has ever disputed this. Quite how it justifies a conventional ground invasion involving forward aerial bombing the severity of which had not been seen in Europe since 1945 is still beyond me though.

    ”Coming from someone who is lax on the greater “mass murder”, care of the 2003 Anglo-American attack on Iraq.”

    The relevance of this to a thread on Chechnya is not entirely clear to me at all, and very obviously does not excuse the horror Russia unleashed in 1994. If I jumped into bed with a student I dont think her indoors would accept as justification the fact that others had done the same thing before me.

    ”The past is done.”

    It is for the likes of you who fail miserably at defending what Russia did. Try telling the ‘past is done’ to the thousands of Chechen women with no husband living in hovels whilst Putin buys luxury cars for the thugs he has installed there.

    ”Actually you’re the childlike one here with your arrogant and ignorant portrayals of Russian and Serb actions versus how you spin those of countries you’re more familiar with and sympathetic to.”

    Quite clearly Tim is not childlike. Unlike you, he understands that killing at least 40,000 of your own people in a botched war is unacceptable. There is no spin required whatsoever to cop this.

    I think the heart of all this is that your comments Mike are borne out of knowing nothing about what happened and Great Russian Nationalism. I think if you took some time to read about it (and not Petro’s pro-Moscow bullshit) you would have a different view. But then again maybe you wouldnt after all.

    ”Rational people don’t put their life on the line when it’s not necessary.”
    I think there’s been a misunderstanding here. To ‘put your life’ on something is a figure of speech, not meant literally. It means simply you are certain something will happen.

  28. Quite clearly, the two of you carry on in a childlike manner.

    Like your opening barb about “clowns” saying that there’s stability in Chechnya. or such simplistic characterizations as “Great Russian nationalism” upon me. There’s nothing “bullshit” about what petro wrote ion the subject of Russian media.

    The situtation in Chechnya has in fact stabilized since the end of the second Chechen war. This mid April clash doesn’t seem to have spread.

    You’ve once again failed miservably in trying to slur what I’ve said.

    Newman, are you really that obtuse? Like at the 400 plus SL thread, where you carried on like an autistic child about how Serbia “lost” the right to govern Kosovo. In those repeat autistic comments, you didn’t reply to the facts and fact based opinions which soundly debunk such nonsense.

    As for “atrocities”, even Carla Del Ponte is now giving some acknowledgement of the atrocities your kind ignore. In her case, it’s to promote her book, rather than to have pursued an earnest human rights agenda. She should be taken to task for such manner.

    You once again misinterpret what was clearly communicated about mass graves in Bosnia. Your “sandbox” reference is perhaps indicative of your childlike manner.

  29. Andy says:

    Despite my fear of being accused of stifling debate I feel compelled to ask – would you children all like a lollypop?

    🙂

  30. Thanks for the offer.

    I prefer chocolate.

    Unless it’s specially made, a lollypop has less of a nutritional value.

  31. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”Like your opening barb about “clowns” saying that there’s stability in Chechnya. or such simplistic characterizations as “Great Russian nationalism” upon me.”

    Mike, anyone who reckons Chechen War I was necessary and justified has to be a Russian nationalist. I believe that to be an objective fact. My problem with the likes of you is that there may actually be people out there dumb enough to believe what you are saying. I am convinced you know nothing of Chechnya beyond the Bluffers Guide, and your opinions reflect that. Either that or you are actually evil, which I doubt.

    ”You’ve once again failed miservably in trying to slur what I’ve said.”

    I dont believe I have tried to slur you. I simply questioned your views, and you have been found wanting, clutching at hopeless straws written by pro-Kremlin writers. I think anyone who says Russia has a freer media than the West needs to have their head examined or are actually in the pay of Moscow, and I stand by that assertion. This is not about you at all Mike, though you try to make it so. Its about mass murder that you seek to justify, and I dont believe your views should be allowed stand unchallenged.

    ”.. where you carried on like an autistic child about how Serbia “lost” the right to govern Kosovo.”

    Is there any actual need for such a comment? I’ve tried my best to behave and Tim simply doesnt use this type of phraseology. Put a sock in it Mike.

    ”Despite my fear of being accused of stifling debate I feel compelled to ask – would you children all like a lollypop?”

    A Cola Chupa-Chup would be nice:-)No, ya predpochitayu cigaryeti:-( Kak zhal:-)

  32. You’re carrying on like the dumb one for thinking there was no basis for Chechen war I.

    You think Iraq war II is more justified?

    I NEVER said Russia has a freer media. You constantly distort what I’ve said.

    American mass media has some serious issues which others besides myself have detailed with facts and fact based opinions.

    You’re the one who should “put a sock on it”.

  33. GER O'BRIEN says:

    ”You’re carrying on like the dumb one for thinking there was no basis for Chechen war I.”

    I have outlined why it was unjustified on numerous occasions to you Mike, and your responses are always the same: ”Russia was right to invade”. Well, as history has borne out, they were wrong. You dont know the first thing about the place, heck you dont even know what an aul is.

    ”You think Iraq war II is more justified?”

    Relevance to this thread?

    ” NEVER said Russia has a freer media. You constantly distort what I’ve said.”

    No, I didnt mean that you said this -I meant Petro. To which I respond again; bullshit. The man is talking a load of crap.

    ”American mass media has some serious issues which others besides myself have detailed with facts and fact based opinions.”

    I’m sure it does. But it doesnt have issues even nearly as serious as Russian media has. American media wont publish you or other Russophiles; it doesnt mean that it is censored. It just means it doesnt publish Russophiles all that often.

  34. As for another point that was raised:

    It shouldn’t be about me. However, ther’re the ongoing hypocritical pranks.

    BTW, Sean Guillory is apparently not fluent in Russian.

    Something your jerk friend Chris Doss and others don’t note.

    Many a Rusisan born Russian have expressed appreciation at my efforts to see their views better reflected at English language venues.

  35. I’ve outlined why there was a basis for it and you once gain duck those points.

    Your excuse for American mass media flaws is typical of the gross hypocrisy out there.

    In comparison, Russian media is expected to be more open to your kind of views.

    Iraq war II is relevant because of the double standards from the likes of Newman and yourself.

  36. Tim Newman says:

    Like at the 400 plus SL thread, where you carried on like an autistic child about how Serbia “lost” the right to govern Kosovo.

    Yes, because although detection rates of autism in children is improving, it is still very difficult. At least it was, until doctors discovered the Averko method of detection wherby any child condemning Serb ethnic cleansing in Kosovo could easily be identified as suffering from autism.

    In those repeat autistic comments, you didn’t reply to the facts and fact based opinions which soundly debunk such nonsense.

    Would those be the opinions whereby the Serbs did not carry out ethnic cleansing against the Kosovars, or the opinions whereby the Serbs did not carry out a massacre at Srebrenica? Such opinions are not fact based, they have been demonstrated to be such, and hence no reply was necessary.

    You once again misinterpret what was clearly communicated about mass graves in Bosnia.

    Oh no. You have consistently and forcefully denied that several thousand Muslim males were summarily executed at Srebrenica. When I pointed you towards the official UN report which identified by name and burial location these murdered people, you dismissed it as propoganda and instead pointed me towards opinion pieces in ZMag as a more authoritative source. What you communicated about mass graves in Bosnia was clearly communicated, but there is no misinterpretation: you clearly deny or downplay the massacre at Srebrenica at every opportunity.

  37. At best, Newman has a learning disability. He’s otherwise a flat out demagogue or a combo.

    At that thread, his pious characterizations were fully addressed. He had no comeback, other than his repeat convoluted observations.

    This is to be expected from someone having a high regard to a neocon tilted blog which does a lousy job at adressing views running opposite of it.

  38. Tim Newman says:

    For anyone interested in the UN report detailing the numbers murdered by the Serbs in Srebrenica, here is the link. I urge anyone not convinced that a massacre did occur to read it.

    By contrast, ZMag contributes to the debate with such articles as “Genocide Inflation is the Real Human Rights Threat: Yugoslavia and Rwanda” where we learn that:

    “the claims of 8,000 executed [at Srebrenica in 1995] have never been verified by forensic or credible witness evidence of anything like this scale of killing”

    Which suggests the UN report is made up, probably by a NATO kangaroo mass media, or a mass Eng. Lang. court, or something.

    On the subject of the Serb ethnic cleansing campaigns in Kosovo, I refer to this article by Human Rights Watch, which relates to events in 1998, a year before the NATO intevention:

    The government offensive was an apparent attempt to crush civilian support for the rebels. Government forces attacked civilians, systematically destroyed towns, and forced thousands of people to flee their homes. One attack in August near Senik killed seventeen civilians who were hiding in the woods. The police were seen looting homes, destroying already abandoned villages, burning crops, and killing farm animals.

    The majority of those killed and injured were civilians. At least 300,000 people were displaced, many of them women and children now living without shelter in the mountains and woods. In October, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) identified an estimated 35,000 of the displaced as particularly at risk of exposure to the elements. Most were too afraid to return to their homes due to the continued police presence.

    No doubt Averko will dismiss all of the above as propaganda, or – having learned a new word from me – childlike, but I encourage anyone else to consider these sources before buying into the Serb propaganda which Averko is peddling.