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Dƶoxar Dudayev and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

Luistxo Fernandez 2013/04/21 10:34
Today is the 17th anniversary of the assassination of former Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev. He was tracked by his mobile phone and targeted by Russian missiles during the first Chechen war.

This name, Dzhokhar, has a certain sonority. We've seen it again these days, sadly, a certain Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is one of the responsibles of the Boston Marathon attack. It was written Dƶoxar in Chechen while Chechnya was de facto independent under President Dudayev. I saw it written that way in Chechen, in Tartu, Estonia, in a sign at the Barclay hotel door, while on vacation in 2000.

Dƶoxar Dudayev was commander of a major strategic bomber unit placed in Estonia, at the end of life of the Soviet Union. His troops were ordered to repress the pro-independence democratic in Estonia, but Dudayev refused. An Estonian friend explained this to me there in Tartu that day, as the hotel had been the former headquarters of Dudayev's command post. Estonians highly regarded Dudayev. It was for me an emotional moment, to see this sign, written in a minority language with not much more speakers than Basque though a more minoritised status (we also share an ergative construction), that briefly acquired a more decent and proper status.

In 1991 Dudayev left the Red Army and Estonia, and went to Chechnya to lead the independence project. They succeeded at first, peacefully and democratically, in the first half of the 1990s, and they created the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Among other measures, they introduced a Latin alphabet for the Chechen language, replacing the Soviet-era Cyrillic. That's the script at the center of the Tartu plate.

It was also during those years that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was born. Conceivably, admiration for Dudayev might have influenced the choice of name.

In 1996, Russia decided to intervene militarily, to restore the empire and let no other small nation be free. The first Chechen war, led by Boris Yeltsin, was a disaster for the Russian army was defeated and humiliated. However, it was also bloody and terrible for Chechnya, and among the thousands of victims, its president, Dudayev.

Russia retaliated with more blood and military power in the second Chechen war, led by Vladimir Putin on that occasion. They won, but at what cost: insurgency leading to terrorism, murderous repression, Islamic radicalization of both the resistant groups and the corrupt puppet regime and pro-Russian warlord Ramzan Kadirov (link to his Instagram).

In 1991, Estonia and Dudayev separated, and we know how History has go on. Estonia is a prosperous and modern country, and the euro is their currency. Chechnya is a nightmare of repression and Islam.

What if... in 1991, when Estonia and Dƶoxar Dudayev separated, they had been free to continue the business of politics peacefully? Estonia got that chance, and now it is a prosper tech-savvy republic in the eurozone. Chechnya is a nightmare of repression and Islam. Dƶoxar Dudayev might have lead the country in another direction, should not Russian imperialism impose the war. We can hardly imagine Chechnya in the European Union, but they may have had another destiny, much more peaceful and prosper (and constructive for the international community) than the present status. It wouldn't be Estonia, but I suspect that it would be a very different outcome. Dƶoxar Tsarnaev also would have lived another life, one that probably would not have led to plant bombs on the streets of Boston.

Peeter dio:
2013/04/21 13:53
Thank you, Luistxo, for nice remembrance!
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Luistxo works in CodeSyntax, tweets as @Luistxo and tries to manage the automated newssite Niagarank. This Cemetery is part of a distributed multilingual blog (?!). These are the Basque and Spanish versions:

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