Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance

                         English Language Department
                                   Chair 1

                         The Chaos In the Caucasus

                                        Written by Nebesoff I.,
                                        453. gr.
                                        Checked by Kirillova O.G.



Contents.   2

Introduction.    3

Chapter 1. History of terrorism.  4

Chapter 2. Clash, or conspiracy?  5

Chapter 3. Enter the Wahhabis     6

Chapter 4. Geopolicy.  8

Chapter 5. Economy.    9

Conclusion  12


      You see, nowadays the Caucasus problem is one of the sharpest and most
important for our country. Chechnya and Dagestan are not only oil, but the
source of destability and terrorism.
      After last autumn events in the United States even Americans and
Europeans understood that war in Checnya is not only Russias internal
business, and this war, which we have been leading for several years
already is not only the wish of the Russian Government and oligarchs to
take their piece of pie from the Caucasus oil. The world community has
finally recognised that threat of world-wide terrorism is not a myth, and
this battle has to be led by forces of all countries, which want to live
      In this work I am trying to show the roots of Islam movement and the
history of confrontation in Chechnya. Another aim of this paper is to show
links between Chechnya and world Islamic terrorism, and to show how these
links work. Only when we recognise that terrorism is the world-wide web,
civilized world would be able to unite against this, maybe, the greatest
evil on the Earth, and, probably, one of the biggest world problems in the
new century.
      And the last aim was to show how the Chechen war is affecting the
Russian economy, and what losses we have had since this war started

                      Chapter 1. History of terrorism.

      At least until recently, the main enemy of Islamic terrorism seemed to
be the United States. However diverse  and  quarrelsome  its  practitioners,
they knew what they hated most: the global policeman whom  they  accused  of
propping up Israel, starving the Iraqis and undermining the  Muslim  way  of
life with an insidiously attractive culture.
      Anti-Americanism, after all, has been a common thread in a  series  of
spectacular acts of violence over the past decade. They include the  bombing
of the World Trade Centre in New York in February 1993; the  explosion  that
killed 19 American soldiers at a base in Saudi Arabia in June 1996; and  the
deadly blasts at the American embassies in  Kenya  and  Tanzania  in  August
      In many of the more recent attacks it has suffered, the United  States
has discerned the hand of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi-bom coordinator  of  an
international network of militant Muslims. In February  last  year,  he  and
his sympathisers in  Egypt,  Pakistan  and  Bangladesh  issued  a  statement
declaring  that  "to  kill  the  Americans  and  their  allies-civilian  and
militaryis an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it."
      Now, it might appear, Russia's turn has come to do  battle  on  a  new
front in  this  many-sided  conflict.  The  Russian  government  has  blamed
terrorists from the country's Muslim south for a series of  bomb  blasts  in
Moscow and other cities which have  claimed  over  300  lives.  And  it  has
launched a  broadening  land  and  air  attack  against  the  mainly  Muslim
republic of Chechnya, where the terrorists are alleged to originate.
      In their more strident moments, officials and newspaper columnists  in
Moscow say that Russia is in the forefront of a fight between  "civilisation
and barbarism" and is therefore entitled to western understanding. "We  face
a common enemy, international terrorism,"
      Whereas western countries have chided Russia (mildly) for its military
operation against Chechnya,  Iran  has  been  much  more  supportive.  Kamal
Kharrazi, Iran's foreign minister, has  promised  "effective  collaboration"
with the Kremlin against what  he  has   described  as  terrorists  bent  on
destabilising Russia. Russia, for its part, has thanked Iran for  using  its
chairmanship of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference  to  present  the
Russian case.
      Perhaps because of Russia's  friendship  with  certain  parts  of  the
Muslim world, Mr Putin has firmly  rejected  the  view  that  the  "bandits"
Russia is now fighting could properly be described  as  Islamic.  "They  are
international terrorists, most of them mercenaries, who cover themselves  in
religious slogans," he insists.
      But ordinary Muslims in the  Moscow  street    whether  they  are  of
Caucasian origin, or from the Tatar or  Bashkir  nations  based  in  central
Russia  fear a general  backlash.  "Politicians  and  the  mass  media  are
equating us, the  Muslim  faithful,  with  armed  groups,"  complains  Ravil
Gainutdin, Russia's senior mufti.  Patriarch  Alexy  II,  the  head  of  the
Russian Orthodox church, has been urging his flock not to  blame  their  i8m
Muslim compatriots for the recent violence. "Russian Christians and  Muslims
traditionally live in peace," he has reminded them.

                      Chapter 2. Clash, or conspiracy?

      But  even  if  Russia's  southern  war  is  not  yet   a   "clash   of
civilisations", might it soon become  one?  And  if  so,  would  that  bring
Russia closer to the West, or push it farther away?
      Islam is certainly one element  in  the  crisis  looming  on  Russia's
southern rim, but it is by no means the only one. The latest flare-up  began
in August in the wild border country  between  Chechnya    which  has  been
virtually independent since Russian troops were forced out, after two  years
of brutal war, in 1996  and Dagestan, a  ramshackle,  multiethnic  republic
where a pro-Russian government has been steadily losing control.
      Many people in Russia did not  need  any  evidence;  the  government's
allegations  simply  confirmed  the  anti-Chechen,   and   generally   anti-
Caucasian, prejudice they already harboured.  Other  Russians  take  a  more
cynical view. They believe the bomb  attacks  are  somehow  related  to  the
power struggle raging in Moscow as the "courtiers" of  Ex-President  Yeltsin
try to cling to their power and privilege in the face of  looming  electoral
      Such incidents are grist to the mill of Moscow's conspiracy theorists.
Some believe that the bombs were indeed the work of Chechen extremists,  but
insist that the fighting in the  south  is  mainly  the  result  of  Russian
provocation; some say it is the other way round.  Whatever  the  truth,  the
crisis has certainly played into the hands of the most hardline elements  in
Russia's leadership. But there are  also  signs  that  people  from  outside
Russia have been stirring the pot.
      Mark Galeotti, a British lecturer on Russia's armed forces, says there
is evidence that Mr bin  Laden,  while  not  the  instigator  of  the  urban
bombing campaign, has  offered  financial  help  to  its  perpetrators.  And
fighters under the influence of Mr bin Laden have certainly been  active  in
Chechnya and Dagestan  though their  presence  is  probably  not  the  main
reason why war is raging now.
      With or without some mischief-making by dark forces in Moscow,  Russia
would have a problem in the northern Caucasus.  Hostility  between  Russians
and Chechens goes back to the north Caucasian  wars  of  the  i9th  century,
when the tsar's forces took more than 50 years to bring the  Chechens  under
control. As well as strong family loyal-ries, part of  the  glue  that  held
the Chechens and other north  Caucasian  people  together  was  Sufism,  the
mystical strand of Islam.
      The Bolshevik revolution of 1917 promised to liberate all the  subject
peoples of the sariat empire. As civil war loomed, Lenin and Stalin  made  a
cynical  bid  for  Muslim  support  by  promising  the  creation  of   semi-
independent Islamic states in Russia and  central  Asia,  saying:  "All  you
whose mosques and houses of prayer have been destroyed,  whose  beliefs  and
customs have been flouted by the tsars and the oppressors of Russia    from
now on your beliefs and customs, your  national  and  cultural  institutions
are free and inviolable."
      The reality of Soviet rule was, of course, very different. Periods  of
repression alternated with periods  of  relative  toleration,  but  prechens
(along with seven other ethnic groups) were deported en masse to  Kazakhstan
as part of Stalin's policy of punishing "untrustworthy" ethnic  groups.  But
Chechen culture, in particular, proved remarkably hard to destroy.
      By the i98os, there were estimated to be 50m Soviet citizens of Muslim
ancestry. For most of them, Soviet rule  had  had  a  powerful  secularising
effect. Out of cultural habit, many still circumcised their  baby  boys  and
buried their dead according to Muslim custom. But the closure of all  but  a
handful of mosques, and the virtual end of religious education,  meant  that
knowledge of Islam had nearly evaporated.
      Among the few places in the Soviet Union where Islam  remained  fairly
strong was the northern Caucasus.  The  Sufi  tradition  was  well  able  to
survive in semi-clan-destine conditions. Even without mosques, the  Chechens
were able to go  on  venerating  the  memory  of  their  local  sheikhs  and
performing traditional dances and chants.

                        Chapter 3. Enter the Wahhabis

      Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Sufi tradition has
faced a challenge of a very different type. Emissaries from the Arab  world,
especially Saudi Arabia, have flooded into the Caucasus  and  Central  Asia,
seeing an opportunity in  the  spiritual  and  economic  wasteland  left  by
Marxist ideology.
      Financed by Saudi petrodollars, these preachers have begun propagating
a new form of  Islam,  which  has  become  known  (through  a  slight  over-
simplification) as Wahhabism: in other words,  the  austere  form  of  Islam
dominant in Saudi Arabia. The new version of Islam strives to  be  as  close
as possible to the faith's 1,400-year-old roots. It opposes  the  secularism
of Russian life. Its universalising message aims  to  transcend  ethnic  and
linguistic barriers, and it has no place for the local cults of Sufism.
      Many Chechens and Dagestanis find the new  form  of  Islam  alien  and
uncomfortable, and some actively oppose it.  It  has  caused  division,  and
even violence, within families. But by  building  mosques  and  establishing
scholarships, the Wahhabis have won a following, especially among the  young
 often impatient with  what  they  see  as  a  corrupt  official  religious
establishment left over from Soviet times. Moreover,  in  the  confusion  of
post-Soviet Russia,  the  new  creed  offers  disillusioned  and  money  and
weapons and a sense of purpose which they cannot find anywhere else.
      A daredevil hijacker and hostage-taker, Mr Basaev  took  part  in  the
Russian-backed war against Georgia in 1992-93, and  then  fought  ruthlessly
against Russia in the Chechen war of 1994-96. Trained in  the  Soviet  army,
he now says his life's mission is  to  wage  holy  war  against  Russia  and
avenge its crimes against his people. He is not himself a  Wahhabi,  but  he
seems to have decided that the new Muslims would make  useful  recruits  for
his jihad, even though he does not share their extreme puritanism.
      Mr Basaev was both a Muslim and a Chechen patriot; the  two  qualities
are inseparable. But despite his bushy beard and talk of holy wars, he  does
not quite correspond to the image of  a  single-minded  fundamentalist.  His
heroes, after all, included Garibaldi and Abraham Lincoln.
      Educated in Saudi Arabia, Khattab fought the Russians  in  Afghanistan
before  settling  in  Chechnya.  In  other  words,  he   is   one   of   the
"Afghanis"the  15,000  or  so  unteers  from  all  over  the  Middle   East
(particularly Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt and Algeria) who did  battle,  with
strong American support, against the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan.  Since
the war ended, these fighters have returned to their homelands, or  .  moved
to other countries, in search of new Islamist causes to fight.
      It is the existence of the Afghanis (of whom the most notorious is  Mr
bin Laden himself) which  helps  to  explain  why  Russia  regards  its  own
Islamic  adversaries  as  Frankensteinian  monsters   created   by   western
governments and their friends in Saudi  Arabia  and  Pakistan.  The  Afghani
connection also helps to explain why Russia and Iran see eye-to-eye  on  the
question of Islamist violence. As well as loathing  the  West  and  all  its
works, some of the Afghanis  as zealous practitioners of Sunni Islam   are
sworn enemies of the Shia Muslim faith, of which Iran is the main bastion.
      Iran has always been resentful of  America's  connections  with  Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan, even though its own relations with those two  countries
have been improving.  Russia  sympathises,  to  put  it  mildly,  with  that
resentment.  America,  for  its  part,  is  highly  suspicious  of  Russia's
friendship with Iran.

                            Chapter 4. Geopolicy.

      If there is a geopolitical stand-off involving Russia, America and the
Islamic world, it is not a simple triangle. If anything, Russia and  America
have each identified different bits of the Islamic  world  as  friends,  and
each is suspicious of the other's partnerships.
      Although Russian diplomacy has been quite adept  at  manipulating  the
geopolitical divisions within the Muslim world, there is a real  possibility
that its own clumsiness and brutality could create  a  Muslim  enemy  within
its borders, as well as alienating  Muslims  farther  afield.  Already,  the
Kremlin's heavy-handedness has galvanised the Chechens  to  mobilise  for  a
new war against Russia. The  neighbouring  Ingush  people,  related  to  the
Chechens but hitherto willing to accept Russian authority, may now be  drawn
into the conflictalong with at least four or  five  other  north  Caucasian
peoples who have until now been content to let Russia run their affairs.
      If Russia found itself at war with half a dozen Muslim peoples in  the
Caucasus, the effects would certainly be felt in places farther north,  such
as Tatarstan.
      But if some sort of  common  Muslim  front  ever  emerges  in  Russia,
resentment of Moscow will be the only factor that holds it together. In  the
Caucasus and elsewhere, Muslims are fragmented; there is not even  a  united
or coherent Wahhabi movement.
      Nor is there any natural unity between Chechnya and Dagestan. The  two
also differ over their relations with Russia. The Chechens  still  feel  the
scars of their last war with the Russians, and so the  secessionist  impulse
is much stronger than in Dagestan,  which  has  little  sense  of  a  common
national identity and is economically heavily dependent on Russia.
      Nor is it inevitable that Islamic militancy in the  northern  Caucasus
and in other parts of the Muslim world will reinforce  one  another.  Rather
than being proof that political Islam is  spreading,  the  fighting  in  the
Caucasus is a reminder that Islam exists in many  different  forms.  In  the
heartland of the  Muslim  world,  the  Middle  East,  the  wave  of  Islamic
militancy appears to be receding. In the early i98os, the years  immediately
after the Iranian revolution, the Arab countries and Turkey felt  themselves
most vulnerable to political Islam.
      Those expectations are now subsiding. Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi  Arabia  
all countries that experienced serious Islamic opposition   have  survived,
bruised but intact. Even Algeria, where Islamism took the most violent  form
and was suppressed with particular harshness, seems to have entered  a  more
hopeful phase.
      In the Caucasus and Central Asia, as in former Yugoslavia, the  moment
of opportunity for political Islam came a  decade  or  so  later,  with  the
collapse of communism, and so the new  Islamic  movements  are  younger  and
still developing. They are a powerful and potentially  destabilising  force,
but  they  are  no  more  destined  to  win  power  than  their  equivalents
      There is, however, a form of "peripheral"  Islam  which  ought  to  be
giving Russian policymakers food for thought:  the  impressive  strength  of
the Muslim faith, sometimes accompanied by political radicalism, in  western
cities that lie thousands of  miles  from  the  heartlands  of  Islam.  From
Detroit to Lyons, young Muslims have been rediscovering  their  beliefs  and
identityoften as a reaction against the poverty, racism and (as they  would
see it) sterile secularism of the societies  around  them.  This  phenomenon
owes nothing  to  geopolitical  calculation,  or  to  the  policies  of  any
government, either western or Middle Eastern; nor can it  be  restrained  by
government action. If radical forms of Islam can  flourish  in  places  like
Glasgow and Frankfurt, there is no reason why they canot  do  so  in  Moscow
and Murmanskparticularly if the Russian government seems to be  fighting  a
brutal, pointless war at the other end of the country.

                             Chapter 5. Economy.

      There is a way to resolve the conflict, to which international
involvement is key. Such international involvement, however, can only
happen with Russia`s consent, though both the E.U. and the U.S. have the
means to change the numbers in the Kremlin`s calculations using political,
diplomatic and economic leverage. Such involvement must help Chechnya to
become a truly democratic and peaceful state, thereby eliminating whatever
threats to Russian security it might pose. Incentives are necessary, and
the prospect of a de jure recognition of Chechnya will be a strong
incentive for Chechnya to undergo decisive democratization and
demilitarization. The idea is simple: statehood in return for democracy.
      This idea can be implemented through the United Nations Trusteeship
system under Chapters XII and XIII of the U.N. Charter. Since this can only
be done with the agreement of Russia, and since Russia is a member of the
Security Council, she will have a decisive say in the terms under which
Chechnya will be governed for the period, and in the designation of the
administering authority. This could make Russia feel more comfortable with
the idea, which needs to be a Russian-initiated proposal to succeed.
      The terms of the trusteeship will also have to be acceptable to the
Chechen side, since without the Chechen sides voluntary consent no such
system can be implemented. The prospect of recognition of Chechnya,
together with help in reconstruction and an immediate withdrawal of Russian
troops, are likely to secure Chechnya`s consent.
      The European Union might be a good choice for the role of
administering authority, since the E.U. is seen in Moscow not as a threat
to Russian interests but as an opportunity. The administering authority has
to be charged with the speedy and effective implementation of
democratization procedures at all levels in Chechnya, with the aim of
preparing Chechnya to assume the responsibilities of a recognized
independent state. Economic reconstruction, demilitarization and the
training of civil servants and police will have to be given priority. The
E.U. has acquired much experience in this field in the Balkans.
      Chechens, along with the other ethnic groups that have lived in
Chechnya since before the first war, should be offered a choice whether to
stay or relocate. Those that desire to relocate to or from Chechnya should
be given the necessary economic  and legal support for their transportation
and resettlement.
       Since virtually everyone in Chechnya owns some kind of weapon, a
sophisticated scheme for demilitarizing the country must be worked out,
taking account of local idiosyncrasies. The most effective way to collect
weapons would be to offer market-price compensation. This will succeed if
the inflow of weapons from outside is prevented, which will require an
effective border control.
      The only non-Russian border Chechnya has is with Georgia. OSCE
observers, together with the Georgian border forces, are already monitoring
this border. In future, they can and should be joined by Chechen border
      For the sake of peace, amnesty can be given to all war crimes and
atrocities committed during the last two conflicts. Such amnesty can reduce
the Russian military and security services fears of prosecution and
therefore increase the chance of peace.
      This scheme has advantages for all parties. Russia will free itself
from the constant problem of Chechnya. The relocation of the Chechens who
chose to do so would mean that Russia would be freed from its hostile
population - a problem that Russia has been trying to solve for centuries
(the 1944 deportation of Chechens is an obvious example). Russia would also
free itself from the burden of the economic reconstruction of Chechnya, as
well as stop wasting already limited resources on this unwinnable war.
Moreover, acceptable adjustments can be made to the Russian-Chechen border
in the northwest of Chechnya, thereby making the idea more attractive to
Russia`s public. In addition, the E.U. could compensate Russia by
increasing economic aid, particularly to southern Russian republics.
      The E.U. will also be a winner. Today it might be a "reluctant
empire," but as it undergoes deepening and expansion it is bound to play a
more assertive role externally. Its very presence guarantees its actorness.
While Russia may never become a member, it will become more and more
important to the E.U. due to its proximity. By resolving the Russian-
Chechen conflict, the E.U. will benefit from the increased chance of a
future democratic and stable Russia, the importance of which can hardly be
overestimated. The enormous economic resources that will be required to
administer and reconstruct Chechnya may not be too high a price to pay for
the stability of Europe. Moreover, a substantial part of this expenditure
can be covered by using Chechnya`s own natural resources.
      The benefits to Chechnya are self-evident. It will  get what it has
always strived for - a state of  its own. However, even if independence
were to  come to Chechnya today, there would not be much to  celebrate
since the last two wars have had such  tremendous human, economic, and
social costs.  Chechnya alone is not likely to be able to succeed  in
addressing the huge and difficult post-war  challenges that it would have
to face. The  trusteeship system will guarantee reconstruction  and
economic aid from outside and, by  democratizing Chechnya, will help it to
get rid of  those who have hijacked the Chechen cause for  their own goals.
In short, Chechnya will benefit  from all angles.


      As  you  can  see,  both  Russia  and  Chechnya  are  tired  of   this
unperspective war. We need to find some ways to settle  this  conflict.  But
we, of course, have to do it in such a  way  so  that  not  to  violate  the
interest of our country.
      The problem is that one country, or even the Union of several of  them
cant beat the system of world terrorism. The only way out is to unite  with
all other countries which suffer from terrorism to. The Chechen war  is  not
the  Russian  internal  bisiness,  but  the  act  of  world  fight   against
terrorism, that is why world  community  should  give  us  a  hand  in  this
violent war. Its rather pressing, because our own  economy  isnt  able  to
stand such expenditures to win world terrorism alone.

amnesty  giving freedom for prisoners (for some of them, or for everybody)
armor  synonym for weapon (look)
atrocity  violent action
blast  synonym for explosion (look)
bombing  fighting target with bombs from the aircraft
border forces  military troops, whose aim is to protect state border
expenditure  outcome, wasting
explosion  the process of quick burn
hijack  thiefing the plain by threats of armor and bombs
implementation  realisation
independence  - freedom from will of another state
Islam  the religion of Eastern people, who believe in Magometh.
jihad  holy war against unfaithful
a Muslim country  a country, where Islam is an official religion, or  area,
                    where Islam is the most wide-spread
occupier  enemy soldier  which  controls  the  territory  of  the  captured
opposition  group of people which withstand the official point of view
Orthodox - traditional
peripheral  placed far from centre, near the border
prosecution  making somebody responsible for something illegal.
puritanism  kind of behavior, when man refuses himself from  many  joys  of
reconstruction  rebuilding and restoring the economy, changing its
Sufism - one of Islam brunches, a confession
terrorism  kind  of  banditism,  encouraged  by  Islamic  ortodoxes,  aimed
            against Western peoples
trusteeship  kind of protection, looking after somebody.
unfaithful  man, who doesnt believe in Islam
unity  collecting together
Wahhabi  one of Islam brunches, a confession
benefit  profit, income
weapon  pistols, guns, and other military technique.

" "