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Novye Izvestiya
Shagen Ogandzhanyan


Was it worth to sped blood?


Yesterday members of several Causcasian diaspora groups discussed a wide range of problems concerning this region. They came to the following general conclusion: The Caucasus will not separate itself from Russia. The misuse of power, however, in their opinion contributes the increase of separatist spirit. At the same time Alu Alkhanov met with the Moscow elite of another people: the Chechens.

Yesterday representatives of the elite of the Chechen diaspora, entrepreneurs, deputies and senators, to meet with the republic’s new president. Mr. Alkhanov and the members of the diaspora signed a memorandum for the “interaction of the president of Chechnya and the Coordinative Council of Chechen social, political and cultural movements and organizations in Russia”. Mr. Alkhanov remarked that the Chechen society does not need a war, but “the idea of life and creative work”. The president and the Chechens living outside the republic found themselves unite without reserve concerning another question, too. The pardon of Yuri Budanov, as was officially resolved at the meeting, “would be immoral, politically immature and short-sighted”.

What interferes with the realization of “the idea of peace and creative work”? This was discussed by representatives of other peoples of the region during a round table they had carried out. You can see with the naked eye that we, the Caucasians, are not very similar to the Russians. But there is one thing we have in common, the eastern mentality. We rather respect strength than law and democracy”, expressed the director of the Center for Interethnic Cooperation, Ashot Airapetyan, his opinion first. Going along with this the strength loving Mr. Airapetyan dislikes the Russian law-enforcement organs’ “favourite method” of antiterrorist struggle: the control of grocery and storage markets. In addition, the Moscow registration system evokes bewilderment to Mr. Airapetyan, since those persons who generously support the terroristiс attacks can, of course, get correct papers. “I think that one important reason for the separatist spirit in the North Caucasus is the salary of our policemen”, Mr. Airapetyan added.

Mentality is mentality, but I don’t entirely agree“, striked back Shapi Kaziev, member of the Moscow Dagestan community and chief editor or the publishing house “Echo Dagestan”. “In Dagestan there is no love to the strong hand, but love to justice”. In Moscow, as Mr. Kaziev admitted, in the central mass media they talk a lot more about separatism than in the Caucasus. Concerning the interaction of ethnic communities and authorities, “the process is running, but to reach an acceptable point is impossible”. Let’s remind, that recently policemen in Moscow assaulted the test pilot Magomed Tolboev, Hero of Russia. The watchful vigilants just strongly disliked the glaringly Avarian appearance of Mr. Tolboev. One of Mr. Kaziev’s friends and compatriots came to Moscow to see the his grandfather’s grave who was killed during World War II. The policemen disliked the guest, too, and assaulted him, too. But since the victim is no Hero of Russia, the newspapers did not write about him. But the Dagestan got in serious doubt about the question, if it was worth for his grandfather to sped blood for this country.

“We don’t need a strong hand, but a strong head”, the “Afghan” general, former Russian vice minister for nationality affairs and pride of the Ossetian diaspora Kim Tsagolov made his little contributions to the parade of opinions. He turned out to be the most categorical in his comments. “If to speak about interethnic conflicts, I always doubt a lot, if we use this term in the right way”, announced the general. And since we can’t even name one interethnic conflict that has been entirely solved, Mr. Tsagolov supposed, that probably “a wrong diagnosis and a wrong cure” of this social phenomenon are occurring. Further, Mr. Tsagolov unmasked the myth of national traditions (“Traditions are common to all mankind and their manifestations have national character”) and queried the mere validity of the term “mentality”. The general asked the rethorical question, if assaulting Tolboev is a manifestation of the Russian mentality. Concerning the policemen’s caucasophobia Tsagolov told the following anecdote. One evening in February the general went out of his house in Moscow without an overcoat to breath some fresh air. A police patrol asked him for his papers, because he is Caucasian. Now, to Mr. Tsagolov’s own confession, “something hit him”, and he announced that in reality he was the singer Rosenbaum (the general in fact quite looks like him). The policemen immediately apologized, they did not examine his papers and even asked “Comrade Rosenbaum” to sing.

Step by step the discussion went over to the mass media’s role in the illumination of the Caucasian matter. Mr. Kaziev told about an experiment he had carried out. Two fake new were put into the newspapers. The first was about two Caucasian groups were going to meet on a market place at “Luzhniki”. In the second, that in the Central House of Literature a meeting should be held with a writer from Kabardino-Balkaria (North Caucasus) who got the Noble price. As a result, for “Luzhniki” the journalists “flew together like crows for the battle at Kulikovo pole”. And to the Central House of Literature “came one lady who declared that she went to school with the writer”. “That much about the question of objectivity”, explained Mr. Kaziev.

Mr. Airapetyan for his part said, that two years ago his center organized a meeting of 15 outstanding representatives of the Chechen diaspora from different regions of Russia. Being filmed by cameras of federal TV channels they declared that they are willing to support the reestablishment of Chechnya. “At night on the First Channel there was no word about what they said, but there was a 15 minute report about prostitutes in Moscow”, grieved Mr. Airapetyan. “About prostitutes you can report objectively as well”, joked Mr. Tsagolov.



Source: Novye Izvestiya

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