Tag Archives: north caucasus

New publication from team members : Chechnya at war and beyond

 

Edited by Anne Le Huérou, Aude Merlin, Amandine Regamey, Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski, Routledge – 2014 – 272 pages

 

 

The Russia-Chechen wars have had an extraordinarily destructive impact on the communities and on the trajectories of personal lives in the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya. This book presents in-depth analysis of the Chechen conflicts and their consequences on Chechen society. It discusses the nature of the violence, examines the dramatic changes which have taken place in society, in the economy and in religion, and surveys current developments, including how the conflict is being remembered and how Chechnya is reconstructed and governed.

 

CONTENT
Introduction Anne Le Huérou, Aude Merlin, Amandine Regamey, Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski

Part 1: Traces of War: Between Remembrance and Erasing 1. Grozny as Before the War: Remembrance and Reconciliation in ‘Virtual’ and ‘Real’ Post-Soviet Communities Walter Sperling 2. Remembering and Forgetting in Chechnya Today: Using the Great Patriotic War to Create a New Historical Narrative Aude Merlin 3. Victims and Heroes: Commemorating the Russian Military Casualties in the Chechen Conflicts Natalya Danilova 4. Reconstruction in Chechnya, at the Intersection between Politics and the Economy Musa Basnukaev

Part 2: State and Non-State Rationales of Violence 5. State and Violence in Chechnya: 1997-1999 Ekaterina Sokirianskaya 6. Kidnapping and Hostage Taking between the Two Chechen Wars: 1997-1999 Mikhail Roshchin 7. Ramzan Kadyrov’s ‘Illiberal’ Peace in Chechnya John Russell 8. Between War Experience and Ordinary Police Rationales: State Violence against Civilians in Post-war Chechen Republic Anne Le Huérou 9. The North Caucasus Insurgency: Understanding the Chechen Rebels in the Context of the Caucasus Emirate Jean-François Ratelle

Part 3: The Impact of War on Chechen Society 10. Rereading Human Rights Reports: Material Violence in Chechnya: 1999-2001 Amandine Regamey 11. Sufism in Chechnya: Its Influence on Contemporary Society Mayrbek Vachagaev 12. Virtue Campaign for Women in Chechnya under Ramzan Kadyrov: Between War Backlash Effect and Desire for Total Control Tanya Lokshina 13. Chechen Refugees in Europe: How Three Generations of Women Settle in Exile Alice Szczepanikova

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AUTHORS’ BIO

Anne Le Huérou is a Lecturer in Contemporary Russian and Post Soviet studies at Université Paris Ouest Nanterre and a Research Associate at the Institut des Sciences sociales du Politique and at the Centre d’études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CERCEC), l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS) Paris. France.

Aude Merlin is a Lecturer in Political Sciences at Université libre de Bruxelles and a member of CEVIPOL (Brussels, Belgium)

Amandine Regamey is a Lecturer in Russian Language at University Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and a Research Associate at the Centre d’études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CERCEC), l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, France.

Elisabeth Sieca-Kozlowski is Founder & Chief editor of The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies (http://pipss.org) and a Research Associate at the Centre d’études des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CERCEC), l’École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), Paris, France.

 

La question policière au Daghestan

L’association Memorial a organisé une conférence de presse vendredi 1er mars consacrée au problème policier dans la République du Daghestan : affaires de corruption dans la police et enquêtes concernant ces affaires, renouvellement des certificats d’aptitude, déprofessionnalisation, lutte contre la rebellion armée, réactions des autorités politiques locales et fédérales. Vous trouverez un résumé (en russe) des principales interventions sur les sites Kavkazskij Uzel et Kavkazskaja Politika , ainsi que la retranscription video de l’ensemble de la conférence de presse.

Colloque Tchétchénie – Logiques de violence et expérience de guerre – 22 & 23 Octobre 2012 – Le programme

 

Tchétchénie – Logiques de violence et expérience de guerre

Paris, 22-23 octobre 2012

Auditorium de la BULAC, 65 rue des Grands Moulins, Paris 13 (M° Bibliothèque François Mitterrand)

Lundi 22 octobre

 

9h30-10h00 : Introduction, Aude Merlin, Université Libre de Bruxelles & Anne Le Huérou, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense /CERCEC  

 

10h00-12h30 Combattre et légitimer la guerre (Fighting and its Legitimization)

Présidente : Françoise Daucé, Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand / CERCEC

  • Radan Haluzík, Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague, “In the beginning it was like a game of soldiers, unfortunately with tragic results…“ The Rationale of War Ecstasy, Aesthetics and Performativity
  • Nataliya Danilova, University of Nottingham, The commemoration of the Russian military casualties killed in Chechnya
  • Jean-François Ratelle, University of Ottawa / George Washington University, Pathways and Processes toward Violent Participation Following the End of the Counter-Terrorist Operation in Chechnya
  • Cerwyn Moore, University of Birmingham, Assessing the Caucasus Emirate: An Analysis of the Regional Insurgency

Discutante : Aglaya Snetkov, Senior Researcher, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich

 

12h30-14h00 : déjeuner

 

14h00-16h30 : Guerre et logiques de violence post-guerre  (Logics of War and Post-War Violence)

Présidente : Vanessa Voisin, historienne, directrice adjointe du CEFR, Moscou

  • Mikhail Roshin, Institut d’Orientalisme de l’Académie des sciences de Russie, Проблема похищения людей в годы между двумя чеченскими войнами (1997-1999) (Le problème des prises d’otage dans les années d’entre deux guerres (1997-1999)
  • Emma Gilligan, Department of History, University of Connecticut (USA), Origin, meaning and military practice of the “zachistka”
  • Anne Le Huérou, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense /CERCEC, Violences « post-conflit » en Tchétchénie : héritage de la guerre, structures répressives, perpétuation de l’impunité
  • John Russell, University of Bradford (UK), Ramzan Kadyrov’s ‘illiberal peace’ in Chechnya

Discutante : Katya Sokirianskaya, docteure en science politique, chercheuse pour l’International Crisis Group, Moscou.

 

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19h30-21h30 Conférence publique : Tchétchénie : un après-guerre sans paix ?»

Maison des métallos (salle 2), 94 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 PARIS

 

Avec la participation de Igor Kaliapine, (comité contre la torture, Joint mobile group en Tchétchénie), Tanya Lokshina (Human Rights Watch Russie), Jean Radvanyi (INALCO), une journaliste de Grozny.

Conférence animée par Sacha Koulaeva (FIDH) avec la participation de l’ACAT, Amnesty International, FIDH, Human Rights Watch France et avec le soutien de la Ligue des droits de l’Homme.

 

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Mardi 23 octobre

 

9h-11h00 : Quelles sources pour l’analyse des violences  en Tchétchénie ? (Analysing Violence : What Sources ?)

Présidente : Raphaelle Branche, Université Paris I/ Centre d’Histoire sociale

  • Ludmilla Polshikova,  « Stichting Russian Justice Initiative», Чечня как пространство насилия и его координаты в устных свидетельствах 2001-2003 гг (La Tchétchénie comme espace de violence et ses paramètres dans les témoignages oraux de 2001-2003)
  • Zadora, Anna, Centre de la protection internationale (Strasbourg-Moscou), Evénements” tchétchènes : quelques réflexions à travers les requêtes des victimes devant la CEDH.
  • Regamey, Amandine, Centre d’Etudes Franco-Russes, Moscou, Tchétchénie 1999-2001 la place des violences matérielles

Discutante : Marielle Debos, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense/ISP

 

11h00-11h30 : pause café

 

11h30-13h30 : Guerre et bouleversements sociaux (Social Consequences of War)

Président: Maïrbek Vatchagaev, historien.

  • Tanya Lokshina, Senior Russia Researcher, Human Rights Watch, Moscou, Women in Chechnya
  • Alice Sczepanikova, Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Living with the consequences of war: Chechen refugee women in Europe and the transformation of society
  • Ieva Raubisko, University of Latvia, Processes of loss and moral transformation in post-war Chechnya

Discutante : Nathalie Duclos, Université de Tours/ ISP

 

13h30-15h00 : déjeuner

 

15h00-17h00  La fabrique des identités par la guerre (Creating Identities Through the War)

Président : Alain Blum, directeur du CERCEC (CNRS/EHESS)

  • Aude Merlin, Université libre de Bruxelles/CEVIPOL, Usages politiques de l’histoire et de la mémoire : les enjeux paradoxaux de la fabrication d’une identité collective sélective dans la Tchétchénie de R. Kadyrov
  • Walter Sperling, Ruhr University Bochum (Germany) Grozny as before the War: Remembrance and Reconciliation in ‘Virtual’ and ‘Real’ Post-Soviet Communities
  • Pavel Polian, Institut de Géographie de l’Académie des Sciences, Moscou, Грозненская агломерация как жертва войны: о расселение Чечни в постсоветское время (L’agglomération de Grozny comme victime de la guerre : de l’habitat en Tchétchénie à l’époque post-soviétique)

Discutante : Silvia Serrano, CERCEC (CNRS/EHESS)

 

17h00-17h30 : pause café

 

17h30-18h30 : Discussion finale animée par Jean Radvanyi, Professeur à l’INALCO. 

New team members publication online : “massacre de civils en Tchétchénie”, Encyclopedia of Mass Violence

Please find here a new publication by Amandine Regamey and Anne Le Huerou for the Online Encyclopedia of mass violence. This is a case study of civilians’ massacres that occurred in Grozny and its suburbs from December 1999 to the beginning of February 2000.

Call for paper – Chechnya: Rationales of Violence and War Experiences – Paris, 22-23 October 2012

 

Chechnya: rationales of violence and war experiences

Paris, 22-23 October 2012

 VERSION FRANCAISE / РУССКАЯ ВЕРСИЯ

 Since 1994, the Chechen war has been qualified in diverse ways by actors and observers – colonial war, counter-terrorist operation, restoration of constitutional order, war of extermination. This profusion – or perhaps confusion of qualifiers reveals a multitude of explanations for the causes, aims and consequences of the war, and often hints at the exceptionality of the conflict. The aim of this conference will be not only to sum up, renew and enrich existing research on the Chechen war, but also to put the phenomena of violence at work there in a comparative perspective that takes into account the renewal of the historiography of 20th century wars.

The Chechen war, which broke out in 1994 and began again in 1999 after a 3-year cease-fire, played a central role in Russia’s political evolution. Several studies (Tishkov, Hughes, Dunlop, Lieven, Evangelista) have shown how the Chechen war was linked with the collapse of the USSR and the reconfiguration of the political system and Russian federalism, but also the role played by that war in certain important Russian political events (Yeltsin’s re-election in 1996, his resignation in 1999 in favour of Prime Minister Putin, whose popularity was on the rise thanks to the war).

Although estimates of the number of victims of the first (1994-96) and second wars (since 1999) remain a subject of debate (Cherkassov, Maksudov), as do the periodisations of these wars, studies by NGOs suggest tens of thousands of deaths in the two wars. Since 1999, those missing number in the thousands – testimony to the repressive system put in place to “fight against terrorism”. The policy of systematic filtering of the population aimed particularly at men (Le Huérou, Regamey) was accompanied by numerous acts of violence (torture, rape, summary executions). The coming to power of Akhmad Kadyrov, succeeded on his death in May 2004 by his son Ramzan, meant a change in the rationales of violence and a “Chechenisation” of the conflict, which leads to the use of the notion of “civil war”.

At the present time, the violence taking place in the whole of North Caucasus is analysed as a combination of a spread of war violence from Chechnya and of rationales proper to the Republics of North Caucasus (Merlin). The question of the spread of rationales of war violence into the whole of Russian society is also raised, there being so many Russian soldiers and officers today having gone through Chechnya, but policemen especially (Le Huérou, Sieca-Kozlowski). Bombings and hostage-takings linked to the Chechen conflict also raise the issue of Moscow’s handling of terrorist acts (Dunlop).

Because Kadyrov was installed by Moscow in order for Chechnya to re-enter into Russia’s fold, his power paradoxically raises the question of the degree of autonomy of a Republic whose leader claims to govern while not adhering to Russian laws (on women’s rights in general), and Chechnya’s place in today’s Russia’s political game (Malashenko, Lokshina). Another important element in Moscow-Grozny relations is the memory of the deportation of Chechens in 1944, the aim of an official mobilisation policy by pro-Russian Chechen authorities. Lastly, even if relative and truncated, the policy of amnesty for combatants suggests an “end of war” policy in which the issue of justice is not broached at any moment whatsoever.

 

It is the whole of these tendencies and rationales of violence at work that the conference will re-examine, drawing on deeply renewed research in war studies done in the past twenty years from the perspective of history, political science, anthropology, international relations, philosophy and law. Occasionally borrowing from anthropology (Audoin-Rouzeau, Ingrao), recent historical research has built up the concept of the culture of war (Becker, Horne), studying the war experience of combatants (Duclos, Reno, Debos) and suggesting several explanations for war violence. Putting forward the notion of trivialisation and brutalisation (Mosse, Bartov), examining issues such as consent (Audouin-Rouzeau, Becker, Browning) or the extent of constraint (Rousseau, Cazals), they also emphasize specific acts of violence, particularly torture and sexual violence (Branche, Virgili). Other research points to a need to pay particular attention to post-war moments (Cabanes, Capdevilia, Duclos, Jardin, Picketty), to the situation of former combatants (Delaporte, Edele, Prost, Oushakine) and to forms of transitional justice (Saada, Lefranc, Nadeau, Delpla, Rousso). Finally, we will address questions such as how conflicts fit into an international dimension and discuss the role of international actors and issues of labelling and qualifying a conflict (Lindemann).

 

Our objective in this conference – which will mainly focus on the history of Chechnya since the end of the Soviet period and the collapse of the USSR – is therefore not only to examine political, economic and social trends having marked the Republic, but to reflect on conditions determining the production of knowledge on this war from a comparative perspective, thanks to specialists on other conflicts who will participate as discussants.

We will be interested in the most relevant tools, methods, questionings for furthering understanding and analysis of this conflict, and will pay particular attention to the various existing sources, to the way they are used by different actors, as well as historians. We will pay attention to a precise chronology of the last twenty years, attempting to replace events in the context of the era, so as to avoid any anachronism or temptation to re-interpret the past in light of the present. Finally, though many research works emphasize the consequences of the conflict on how Russia has evolved, we will emphasize the consequences of this conflict on Chechnya and Chechen society.

 

The questions we wish to address can be grouped under four main themes:

How to work on this war?

This question, unavoidable for a conflict as contemporary as that of Chechnya, is in fact a dual one. As an ethical and political question, it is of importance today for all researchers in the domain of extreme violence (Sémelin, Zawadzki, Le Pape, Siméant, Vidal). If it is necessary that we discuss this war, which took place right in front of us, is it possible to produce knowledge which is purely academic and involves neither taking a stand nor action? How can we work without endangering, worsening the condition of persons who are the object of extreme acts of violence, at the very time when these acts of violence are taking place?

Then there is the question of sources. The war in post-Soviet Chechnya began less than twenty years ago, and has given rise to a profusion of journalistic sources, humanitarian or human rights NGO reports, testimonies gathered by the latter which are extremely valuable sources (Lokshina, Sokirianskaia); numerous actors and witnesses can be questioned. At the same time, Chechnya was and has to a great extent remained inaccessible: in addition to the dangers inherent in any armed conflict were those of the chaotic period between the two wars marked by hostage-taking and assassinations, besides the entry prohibitions put in place by the Russian authorities as of 1999. Still today, Chechnya remains a dangerous region where the foreign visitor or researcher is under strict control. In this context, what do existing sources tell us and what sources are used by and are usable by researchers?

Political rationales of violence

Our aim here is to analyse acts of violence committed against civilians as well as their perpetrators, from the point of view of the military and police rationales at work in the conflict. In this case, two problems arise– the qualification and labelling of the conflict (war, anti-terrorism) and the consequences of this naming on the war terrain; what relationship is there between the naming of the enemy by the political power and the practice of acts of violence on the terrain?  Are there borrowings of anti-terrorist practices from other countries, as well as from Soviet counter-insurrection practices? In what way does the conduct of the war reflect the situation in the military, but also, in what way does it bring about reforms and reorganisations? How to evaluate the role played by R. Kadyrov’s armed forces in this violence? What are the relations between the boeviki, independentist and/or Islamist combatants and the civilian population? How to analyse the recourse to terrorism and its evolution during the war years? From the legal perspective, what links are there between the various stages of the conflict (jus ad bellum/ in bello/ post bellum) that enable us to speak of its breaking out, taking place, and of issues of after-war justice/reconciliation. Finally, how to record the Chechen war in the long history of wars and characterise it with the tools of “war studies”? Is the distinction between “old” and “new” war (Kaldor) operational in the case of this conflict?

War experiences and socio-cultural consequences of the war

We would like to examine the existing sources, testimonies, memoires, narrations and fictions to try to understand what was lived by those who went through the war. First of all by the civilian populations, whether they remained in Chechnya or fled the conflict. Whereas the Russian population living in Chechnya-Ingushetia during the Soviet era left the territory gradually, beginning in 1991, what were the effects of the war on Chechen society, and on the different peoples/persons living in Chechnya before the war? What were the economic consequences and issues brought on by the war? How to analyse the evolution of religion and religious practice, as well as the political mobilisations of religion? How did social cohesion evolve in its various forms and what role in these upheavals is played by the teïp, traditional organisation in clans (Sokiranskaia)? What specific forms of violence were women exposed to, how did their role evolve and, more generally, how did gender relations evolve during the war? Can we speak of a “re-traditionalisation” today, and if so, how can it be explained? What about the formation of a diaspora and of Chechen communities in exile, what type of social links connect those who left – and sometimes returned to Chechnya?

We will also examine the war experience of combatants, particularly in terms of “war trauma”, but also in the translation of these reactions into resistance and disobedience movements. How the rationales of violence proper to police and military institutions play themselves out on the terrain, and how, inversely, violence and the war experience influence the behaviour of policemen and the military once back in Russia, outside of Chechnya.

Phases of “non-war” and ends-of-war

Contrary to the temptation to see the history of Russian-Chechen relations only structured by war and confrontation, we will also examine times of “non war”. First of all, the years between 1970-1980, a peaceful period, though not without tensions which remains to be re-explored. Second, the events of the beginning of the 1990s, after the fall of the USSR, the nature of the political relations between Moscow and Grozny and the modalities of negotiations or non-negotiations, as well as the role of the various actors involved. Finally, how to qualify the period between 1996-1999 (“interwar”, “end-of-war”) and the present period?

For all these periods, we will ask what legal relations were set up between Grozny and Moscow, how the status of Chechnya evolved and how the issue of recognition intervened in the process. What were the forms of political management of Chechnya by Moscow and what forms of government in Chechnya itself were given priority? How is Chechnya managed by Moscow from the viewpoint of the whole North Caucasus? How to analyse relations between Chechen and Russian elites, whether before and during the wars, and today, under Ramzan Kadyrov? How were economic relations with Moscow and the rest of Russia established, how did Chechnya fit into the networks and what role did it play in the circulation of various flows – economic and financial, legal and illegal? Finally, we will ask how, during these 20 years, issues of justice and impunity were addressed, in particular, the importance of internal justice mechanisms in comparison with the possibilities and limits of international justice; notably in the absence of Russia’s ratification of the Rome statute founding the CPI.

 

The inter-disciplinary conference is open to the contributions of historians, sociologists, researchers in political science and international relations, cultural studies, literature and the cinema, as well as specialists in military questions. Although the conference will focus mainly on Chechnya since the fall of the USSR, contributions on earlier periods are also welcome, as are proposals involving a comparison between the Chechen case and other conflicts.

 

Schedule

Persons wishing to participate should send to chechnyaviolence@gmail.com a résumé of 300 to500 words along with a short biographical note (no CV) for May 4th 2012.

Participants accepted will be informed by June 1st 2012.

Participants will be requested to provide an abstract of approximately 5-7 pages (3000-5000 words) for September 15th 2012.

Working languages: French, English, Russian (presentations are possible in these three languages, French-Russian and Russian-French translation only will be available).

Information: http://russiaviolence.hypotheses.org, chechnyaviolence@gmail.com

 

This conference is organised by the research project Understanding Violence in Russia: War, Institutions, Society thanks to the support of the “Emergence(s)” Programme of the City Hall of Paris.

Organising Institutions: Centre d’étude des mondes russe, caucasien et centre-européen (CERCEC) (CNRS/EHESS); Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris; The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies (PIPSS.ORG); Université Libre de Bruxelles-; Centre d’études franco-russe, Moscow.

Scientific Committee Alain Blum (CERCEC (EHESS/CNRS)), Raphaëlle Branche (University Paris-1, CHS, IUF), Marielle Debos (University Paris Ouest, ISP), Jean-Vincent Holeindre (Panthéon-Assas University (Paris 2), Centre Raymond-Aron (EHESS)), Mary Kaldor (London School of Economics), Julie Saada (Artois University), Aglaya Snetkova (Centre for Security Studies, ETH, Zurich), Katia Sokirianskaia (International Crisis Group, Moscow), Maïrbek Vachagaev (Association for Caucasian Studies, Paris), Vanessa Voisin (CEFR-IRICE)

Memorial Announces Release of New Book on Enforced Disappearances in Chechnya

On February 13th, Human Rights Center Memorial will hold a press conference to present its new book on enforced disappearances in Chechnya between 1999 and 2000.

venue : Memorial Society, Maly Karetny pereulok d5/10

Participants :

Oleg Orlov — director of the human Rights center Memorial

Ekaterina Sokirjanskaja — director for the North Caucasus, International Crisis Group.

Rukijat Hadzhieva —  “Memorial” HR center

Aslan Hadziev — “Memorial” HR center

Aleksandr Cherkasov,”Memorial” HR center