Over the last year the war in Chechnya had became a "secret war" for the Russian people. The media ignored any information about armed clashes and military activities in this “Rebel republic”. The state controlled TV channel limited itself to reporting only about the “recovery” and "returning to normality" in this troubled region. But over the last two-three months all these lies have blow up in the Kremlin’s face.
First on June 22 (the anniversary of the Nazi attack on the Soviet Union) Chechen and Ingushi rebels occupied for one night the capital of the Republic of Ingushetia, Nazran. During this spectacular operation more then 100 local policemen were killed with few losses on the part of the insurgents. The Russian Defence Minister that had dedicated his energies in the recent period in anti-terrorist manoeuvres near the coast of Japan defined these incidents as the " agony of the bandits "
But in reality it looks more like the agony of Russian policy in the North Caucasus. In the middle of August about 200 rebels attacked again - this time the target being the Chechen capital Grozny. A few days later two Russian passenger jets with more then 80 people on board were brought down by Chechen terrorists and exploded.
It's not clear what actually happened to those jets. Russian officials from the very beginning didn't show much enthusiasm to comment on these tragic events. Unofficial sources reported about an alarm signal that came from one of the plane about a hijacking. The opposition press published some information about the possibility that the plane was shot down by military rockets because it was close to nuclear plant like, the same kind of rumours that were initially spread about the plane that was supposed to have been shot down in Pennsylvania on 9/11.
The latest developments in this terror campaign are the bomb blast on August 31 in the centre of Moscow when 9 people were killed and on September 1 when the hostages were taken in a North Ossetia village school. These terrible acts of barbarism have shocked all the people of Russia. The government can no longer claim that “everything is quiet in Denmark”.
It's clear that the Putin regime can't solve the problem of Chechnya. It is now slowly becoming a problem of all of the North Caucasus. The people of Chechnya and of the neighbouring republics suffer from the terror carried out by the Russian army and the special police and have thus joined the Resistance. The picture is absolutely like the one in Palestine or Iraq. Women that have lost their families at the hands of the Russian military become suicide bombers – a phenomenon known as "Black wisdom".
Now the Russian army can't do anything about it. The latest events demonstrate that the Army and Police commands are totally incompetent. Most of the military personnel are on contracts ‑ good not in the battlefield but only for robbery and rape. The generals and other officers are more interested in taking a percentage from the local oil business that in anything else.
However, Putin cannot put an end to the war. It would not just mean the collapse of his whole political line on Chechnya, but it would also involve the loss of this important region for the Russian monopolies, especially the oil companies. The American competitors are only just behind the door. The Americans are building an oil pipeline from Baku in Azerbaijan to Jerat in Turkey and they have a puppet government in Georgia led by the adventurist and nationalist Mikhail Sarakashvili.
The fanatical Islamic terror also cannot solve anything for the people of Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. As in Palestine their terrorist activities merely provide the excuse for the occupying army to step up its repression. The Islamic Chechnya that existed between 1997-2000 was a nightmare for all the people. The solution can only be found through internationalism and the building of a Socialist Federation of North Caucasus – what the Bolshevik government brilliantly achieved in the early 1920s.
The good news is that the Russian working class has started to recover from the nationalist and chauvinist illusions that it had. According to the Russian bourgeois web page www.Gazeta.ru, the majority of workers and people in the lower social groups are calling for an immediate end to the Chechen war and want the money to be spent on social needs instead. We must remember that the rank and file solders are recruited almost solely from working class and peasant families, those families that can't afford to pay bribes to the military officers.) It can take time, but the working class is drawing lessons from this experience. The majority of supporters of Putin’s policy are right-wing pro-western liberal hacks.
The Russian working class will draw all the lessons over the coming period. The end of barbarism in the Caucasus will come once the workers move decisively. They will rediscover from their own experience the great traditions of Bolshevism. Although to many today this perspective may seem far away, it is inevitable. A new revolution in Russia, the former Soviet republics and the whole of Eastern Europe and central Asia, will finally rekindle the spirit of internationalism and working class solidarity.