Russia and Chechnia: The Permanent Crisis: Essays on by Ben Fowkes

By Ben Fowkes

This number of essays explores the connection among the Chechens and their Russian conquerors, tracing the expansion of distrust and hostility, the increase of Chechen nationwide feeling, and the fruits of this technique within the struggle of 1994-1996. each one contributor seeks to light up the advance of this courting from a special attitude: the altering picture of the independence opponents of the 19th century, the tragic tale of the deportation of 1944, and the history of the new clash.

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As a response to internal developments in the ChechenIngush ASSR, the growing assertion of Chechen nationalism and the expanding activities of the Sufi brotherhoods, and in parallel to the new Islamic strategy of 'scientific atheism', a historical conference was held in Grozny in August 1973. Kh. Bokov, the First Secretary of the local Communist Party branch, the joining of Checheno-Ingushetia to Russia was described as an important and historically progressive event. It was emphasized that as a result of the integration of the peoples of the North Caucasus into Russia, their salvation from physical annihilation was secured....

In order to solidify its hold on its political and territorial gains, in 1920 the Bolshevik leadership admitted a massive number of new Russian members, mostly of the new type of party cadre: hardened Civil War heroes, tough, simple Russian peasants, and dynamic and aggressive workers familiar to political violence. The Bolshevik Party in this way acquired more Russian features, menacing ethnic diversity and inter-ethnic harmony. The most important reaction to the Russians' increasing dominance in national affairs in the immediate post-civil war period came from the North Caucasus.

Heroes became anti-heroes, insurrections against tsarism, until recently celebrated, were now execrated. It was formally stated that nearly all anti-colonial struggles against tsarism had in fact been reactionary. 70 In 1952, there occurred a 'grim and thoroughgoing purge of scores of local and national museums' in all non-Russian regions of the Soviet Union. 71 In this way, the history and the cultural development of the non-Russian peoples were interpreted retroactively in the light of Great Russian messianism.

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