‘THE OATH’: A SURGEON UNDER FIRE by Khassan Baiev with Ruth and Nicholas Daniloff. Pub: Walker & Company, New York, USA, 2003. $26.00 "Two reasons motivated me to write The Oath. First, I wanted the world to know that war is a hellish thing that victimizes the innocent. In war there are no winners. Secondly, and equally important, I wanted to introduce my readers to the Chechen people." -- Dr Khassan Baiev, The Oath
Russian president Vladimir Putin, in a vain attempt to exploit the Beslan school siege in North Ossetia on September 3, in which more than 340 people died, has sharply increased the scale and intensity of executions, tortures and kidnaps in Chechnya that are already a part of the Chechens’ lives...1
Aslan Maskhadov, the elected president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, appealed on July 21 for international support for Chechnya’s "conditional independence" under international protection. His statement, published on chechenpress.com, his government’s official news service...
President Vladimir Putin is now even more determined to resist the Chechen people’s fight for independence, as he faces parliamentary elections this year and a presidential poll next year. Anxious to give the impression that the pledge he was elected on–to end the Chechens’ struggle for independence–has in fact been carried out...
The crash of a Russian army helicopter on August 19 near Johar-Gala (Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, also known as Ichkeria), in which at least 114 Russian soldiers, many of them officers, died, was a great embarrassment both to the military and to president Vladimir Putin.
The Chechen peace agreement of August 1996 left the question of Ichkeria’s political status to be resolved within five years. This diplomatic fudge was differently interpreted by the various parties involved.
Aware that their survival depends on unity, the Mountain Peoples of the Caucasus have frequently attempted to achieve this goal in the face of persistent threats from Russia as well as other regimes in the region.