“How do you assess the actions of Russia in attacking the sovereign Chechen Republic of Ichkeria by military force first in 1994 and a second time in 1999,” asks Musa Taipov, representative of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, in his open letter to Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, President of the United Nations General Assembly.
Open letter to the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann
At the United Nations General Assembly, you, as President of the General Assembly, accused Georgia of violating the UN Charter.
“By invading South Ossetia, Georgia committed an act of aggression and violated the UN Charter,” you said at a press conference at the UN Headquarters.
“Certainly, Georgia, by invading South Ossetia, committed an act of aggression. Quite obviously, Georgia thus violated the UN Charter. It is necessary to address this complex situation, taking into account how it began,” you said in response to a question from a reporter of the US news agency, Bloomberg, about whether Russia had violated the UN Charter by encroaching the territory of Georgia.
In connection with such a principled assessment of Georgian actions against South Ossetia, currently occupied and soon to be annexed by Russia, we ask you, in your capacity as President of the UN General Assembly, to give an assessment of Russian actions against the sovereign Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, and to answer the following questions:
1. How do you, esteemed President of the General Assembly, Your Excellency Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, assess the actions of Russia in attacking the sovereign Chechen Republic of Ichkeria by military force first in 1994 and a second time in 1999 (the occupation continues until this day), inflicting irreparable damage to the Chechen people:
– The killing of more than 200,000 peaceful inhabitants, including more than 40,000 children;
– The destruction of the economy, vital infrastructure, health care facilities, educational buildings, and cultural institutions;
– The destruction of monuments of architecture, historical objects, and religious establishments:
– The infliction of enormous damage to the environment;
– Extrajudicial killings;
– Kidnappings, trade in dead bodies of tortured peaceful inhabitants;
– Tens of thousands of citizens of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria were disabled as a result of Russian military action;
– Hundreds of thousands of citizens were forced into exile to all four corners of the world;
– Tens of thousands of citizens of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria continue to suffer as hostages and are being tortured in prisons and camps in Russia, suffering daily from unheard-of torture and ill-treatment, being held under false charges;
2. Are you aware that on 22 November 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingush Republic ratified the Declaration of Sovereignty of the Republic of Chechnya, and that on 10 April 1990, the President of the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev, signed the Law on the Basis of Economic Relations between the USSR, Soviet, and Autonomous Republics, which fully equated the status of the former autonomous republics within Russia and other Soviet republics with that of the Soviet republics?
3. Are you aware that the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria restored its statehood as a result of the disintegration of the USSR, just like other former Soviet republics of the USSR (including Russia itself), and that at the time of the dissolution of the USSR in December 1991, the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was no longer a part of the Russian Federation, no longer being an autonomous part of it?
4. Are you aware that the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria adopted a Constitution of a sovereign state on 12 March 1992, that is before the Russian Federation had adopted its present Constitution of 12 December 1993, which arbitrarily included the Chechen Republic, –at the time already an independent state,– as a subject of the federation?
5. Are you aware that on 13 March 1992, the President of the Republic of Georgia signed a Decree on the Recognition of the Independence of the Republic of Chechnya?
6. Do you regard the actions of Russia in relation to the Republic of Chechnya and its people also as aggression, or should the actions of Russia against the Republic of Chechnya be judged under other international legislation?
7. If such “other” international legislation does exist, could you please provide us with the text of the legislation so that the general public could acquaint itself with it through mass media?
If you were not previously aware of the facts mentioned above, we ask you, after acquainting yourself with the facts, to give a proper assessment of the actions of Russia in relation to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Let your assessment be as principled as that which you gave regarding the actions of Georgia in relation to South Ossetia, when you called Georgian actions an act of aggression against South Ossetia.
If you agree with the facts mentioned above, will the actions of Russia in relation to the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria be declared to be an act of aggression, or will the events be silenced, which would, in fact, mean that double standards are applied in similar situations, resulting in much more serious consequences for the long-suffering Chechen people?
We hope to receive an answer to our appeal.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, we express our satisfaction that such a principled and responsible leader has been elected as President of the UN General Assembly.
Representative of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in France
This appeal has been sent to the electronic mail address of the General Assembly of the United Nations
Original appeal in Russian:
Открытое обращение к Председателю Генеральной Ассамблеи ООН
Муса Таипов, 17.09.2008