“A P P E A L
On behalf of the Vilnius Board of the Lithuanian liberation movement Sąjūdis
With reference to the continuing war of Russia in Chechnya
22 years ago one of the bloodiest pages in the history of the Chechen people began. On 11 December 1994 Russia aggressively attacked the Chechen Republic. About 40 000 Russian military invaded Chechnya, Russia engaged thousands of units of various heavy weaponry, including tanks, artillery, tactical missile systems, multiple launch rocket systems, armoured personnel carriers and many more, and it also used countless small arms, grenade launchers, rocket and hand grenades, various types of mines, etc. The Russian military aircraft incessantly bombed towns and villages of the Chechen Republic on a daily basis.
On 21 April 1996 Russia brutally murdered the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Dzhokhar Dudayev. Also, the following presidents of Chechnya were killed insidiously: On 13 February 2004 – Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, on 8 March 2005 – Aslan Maskhadov, on 17 June 2006 – Abdul-Halim Saydulayev.
On 12 May 1997 the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria concluded the Peace Treaty signed by the President of the Russian Federation Boris Yeltsin and President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov. Thus, Russia recognized the independence of Chechnya both de facto and de jure. And this document remains the most important fact of liberty Chechnya.
In September 1999, Russia having violated this Treaty once again launched even more ruthless and brutal war, which actually lasts until the present time. About a hundred thousand Russian military entered Chechnya. 200 Russian bombers, thousands of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other military equipment were used against Chechnya. At times the Russian military force amounted to 200,000 soldiers with increased presence of military equipment.
As a result of many years of severe and exterminating war about 300,000 people of Chechnya, among them more than 40,000 children, were killed. In essence, in full view of the entire world, Russia had committed genocide of the Chechen people.
With the aim of denigrating the struggle of the Chechen people for the state independence, making the world believe in the “Chechen terrorism” the Russian authorities and security services organized the terrorist acts, including in Moscow, in the Dubrovka theatre complex, known worldwide under the name of “Nord-Ost” and the capture with subsequent destruction of the school together with the hostages in Beslan in Northern Caucasus.
In Chechnya the Russian Army and the troops of the various security services carried out punitive operations with mass shootings, pogroms and looting, torture and rape, secret mass graves, incessant “cleansing” – murder of civilians, abductions and detentions of civilians and the massacre of them, with the subsequent sale of corpses to their relatives. On the territory of Chechnya Russia organized several dozen concentration camps, where Chechens of any age and sex, including children were brutally tortured, raped and murdered.
In addition to the human losses, Chechnya has suffered irreparable damage to the economy, infrastructure, culture, education. Entire towns and villages, factories, institutions of culture and education, medical facilities, rare architectural, historical and cultural monuments were destroyed. Many years of bombardments and artillery shelling led to disastrous pollution of water, soil and air, inflicted irreparable damage to the natural environment, flora and fauna. As a result, in today’s Chechnya the population is massively dying out from the consequences of many years of war, many children are born with physical and mental disabilities, there were epidemics of various incurable diseases.
Russia in Chechnya had violated all the principles and norms of international law relating to the means and methods of warfare. Russia used all kinds of existing armaments, including those prohibited by international conventions as well as the chemical weapons and the weapons with depleted uranium. Chechnya was turned into a death zone.
The international organizations and the world leaders have not given appraisal of the actions of the Russian military in Chechnya, where the war was fought against the entire nation. They did not demand responsibility of Russia for its crimes against the Chechen people.
Where is law and justice?
More than 300,000 Chechens have fled their country forever and became refugees. This process continues to this day. Every year from Chechnya to Europe run thousands or even tens of thousands of people who cannot live there in constant fear because of the criminal regime, the regime of terror, repression and violence created by the Russian authorities in Chechnya.
We, the members of the Board of the Vilnius Lithuanian liberation movement Sąjūdis believe that Russia has been committing most serious crimes against the Chechen people for centuries; denies the right of the Chechen people to self-determination and national independence; as a result of the Caucasian War of 1785 – 1864 and the military invasion to the independent Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in 1994 – 1999 the Chechen nation was colonized by Russia.
Being guided by humane considerations and legal principles, we call upon you to:
1. Appraise the Chechen issue from the viewpoint of the principles and norms of international law and justice.
2. Perform comprehensive objective international investigation of war crimes and crimes against humanity, committed by Russia against the Chechen people.
3. Bring the perpetrators to the international responsibility for war crimes against the Chechen people.
We ask to hold a moment of silence each year on 11 December in memory of victims of genocide of the Chechen people committed by Russia.
Chairman of the Board L. Kerosierius
Executive Secretary of the Board A. Budriūnas
Members of the Board: G. Adomaitis, A. Akelaitis, V. Aleksynas, R. Arutiunianas, A. Augulis, V. Augustinas, A. Bagdanavičienė, K. Balčiūnas, N. Balčiūnienė, S. Boreika, A. Budriūnas, J. Česnavičius, P. Dirsė, S. Eidukonis, P. Gvazdauskas, V. Jakubonis, R. Jakučiūnienė, V. Jankūnas, A. Juknevičius, A. Kaziukonis, L. Kerosierius, J. Kuoras, A. Markūnienė, H. Martinkėnas, K. Milius, J. Parnarauskas, G. Rotomskienė, P. Sakalauskas, M. Sidaravičius, R. Simonaitis, E. Švedienė, A. Vaičiūnas, L. Veličkaitė, G. Uogintas, B. Zaviša, S. Žilinskas
For information: Phone: A. Budriūnas: +370 673 95837; L. Kerosierius: +370 5 231 8111
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.sajudis.com “