Tag Archives: war crimes

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.

 

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

 

 

Call for Applications – Fourth International Social Science Summer School in Ukraine “Violence and its Aftermath in the Soviet and Post-Soviet Context”, Zhytomyr (Ukraine), 4-10 July 2012

Partners:
Embassy of France in Ukraine
Chair of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Ottawa (Canada)
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales [EHESS] (France)
Internet network “historians.in.ua”
Research project “Understanding Violence in Russia”russiaviolence.hypotheses.org
Doctoral School of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy (Ukraine)
French-Russian Centre for Humanities and Social Sciences in Moscow (Russia)
Zhytomyr State University (Ukraine)

Program description:

“How naïve, how kindly and patriarchal the old prisons huddled on the outskirts of towns now appeared – beside these camp-cities, beside the awful crimson-black glow that hung over the gas ovens! You might well think that the management of such a vast number of prisoners would have required an equally vast army of guards and supervisors. In fact, whole weeks would pass by without anyone in an SS uniform so much as appearing inside the barrack-huts. It was the prisoners themselves who policed the camp-cities (…) It seemed as though the German authorities could disappear altogether, the prisoners would maintain the high-voltage current in the wires and go on with their work.”

This is the way Vasily Grossman, a Soviet writer born in a Jewish family in central Ukraine, defines in his major novel Life and Fate the level and sophistication of violence reached in the XXth century. The novel dedicated to the Second World War is a reflection on the management of violence in war conditions and its ambiguity, but also on the violence experienced by political prisoners in Stalinist camps and on the pervasiveness of violence in all spheres of life.  Having lost his mother in the Berdichev ghetto during the war, the writer dedicated his novel to her and her shadow is present in the author’s whole work of writing and memory.

Following Grossman’s path, not only symbolically but also physically by installing the school near his native city, the Summer School will address the complexity and the aftermaths of violence, not only in war times, but also in times of peace, in the Soviet and post-Soviet context.

The Fourth International Social Science Summer School in Ukraine will provide a unique forum for the presentation and discussion of the latest research on violence issues, involving specialists of the topic, as well as young promising researchers.

The School is interdisciplinary. The organizers welcome proposals from the disciplines of history, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and adjacent fields. While the primary focus will be on the socialist and post-socialist era (in the former Soviet Union, Central, Eastern and Southern Europe), pre-Soviet history may also be examined. The discussions and presentations will analyze different dimensions of violence: war and non-war situations; state management of violence, as well as individual and collective strategies; mechanisms of violence outbreak; violent practices and post-violence situations; perpetrators and victims; sources and methods.

Some of the issues of particular interest to the School include:

•    State monopoly of violence, implementation and resistance (past and present)

o    Soviet repressive practices
o    Police: use of force and violent practices
o    Justice, prison, coercion
o    Terrorism and anti-terrorism
o    State management of public protest
o    Violence of/towards economic actors (mafia, raids)

•    War and post-war, conflict situations

o    Mobilization and control of violence in combat
o    Civil population during war and post-conflict
o    Ethnic conflicts, border conflicts, other forms of mass violence
o    Return to civilian life

•    Violent practices and violent behaviour

o    State and non-state violence towards property or objects
o    Social, domestic and everyday violence
o    Gendered dimension of violence
o    Violence and non-violence as a strategy for political, social and economical actors
o    Public protest practices: strikes, demonstrations
o    Education and socialization to violence

•    Memory and representation of violence

o    Collective memory of violence
o    Representation of violence in media and art
o    Life course and trauma
o    Veterans and veterans’ movements

The Summer School is designed to be interdisciplinary and international. Participants are expected to present their own work and to participate in group discussions. The School’s program consists of lectures, panel presentations and discussions, as well field trips within the region, followed by discussion sessions.

Location
Zhytomyr (Central Ukraine, 130 km from Kyiv) is nowadays a middle-sized city of 278,000 inhabitants in a mostly rural area. The official founding date is 884, though this fact and has only a legendary basis. The first records of the town date from 1240 and are linked to Zhytomyr being sacked by the Mongols of Batu Khan. Successively Lithuanian, Polish, Russian, Soviet and Ukrainian, the town has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.
From the times of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, many Poles and Jews lived here. The Jewish roots of Vladimir Lenin are related to Zhytomyr. His grandfather, Mr Blank, belonged to the local town dwellers. In Zhytomyr for a long time lived Khaim Byalik – one of the founders of the modern Hebrew language. The Zhytomyr region is also related to the biography and writings by authors such as Honoré de Balzac, Lesya Ukrainka, and Józef Kraszewski. The famous musicians Svyatoslav Richter and Juliusz Zarembski are also Zhytomyr natives.
During the Soviet years – and still nowadays – the city was more willing to be proud of another of his children, the designer of the first Soviet space rockets Sergey Korolev; two local museums commemorate its life and the Soviet conquest of the space.
During the 20th century Zhytomyr has gradually lost its multicultural nature. The predominant Jewish community was largely annihilated in the Holocaust; the Soviet migration policy has brought there a more mixed population. Today, Zhytomyr is a rather typical post-Soviet city, combining in its landscape architectural traces of the old times, past conflicts injuries, Soviet urbanization marks and post-Soviet commercial development.

Duration:
One week, Wednesday 4 – Tuesday 10 July 2012.

Eligibility
The Summer School is open to PhD students (or students enrolled in a kandidat nauk program) and young researchers (up to six years removed from their PhD or kandidat nauk degree). Empirically grounded proposals are particularly welcomed.

The working language of the Summer School will be English, and it is important that prospective participants have a good knowledge of this language.

The selection committee will select candidates based on their responses to this Call for Proposals. The selected candidates will be advised before the end of May.

Program Costs
There is no program fee. Local transportation from/to Kyiv, accommodation, meals, classes, lectures, seminars and excursions are provided by the organizers and free of charge. The participants or their universities should only pay the travel expenses from the participant’s country to Kyiv.

How to apply?
To be considered for the Summer School, candidates must complete an application form (that includes a 500 word project proposal) and add a CV. They can also send an additional written sample, such as a conference paper, a dissertation chapter, or a publication (optional). The application must be sent by e-mail to ukrainesummerschool@gmail.com, by 15 April 2012.

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After the Death of Col. Budanov – Some Commentaries About Sexual Violence and the War in Chechnya

In July 2011, former Russian army colonel Budanov was killed near his new apartment in a fashionable area in Moscow. In march 2000, Budanov was arrested after he had kidnapped, raped and killed a Chechen girl, Elsa Kungaeva1. His case is one of the very few cases of violence against civilians that have been brought before the tribunals in Russia – and the only well-documented one on sexual violence.

Even if Budanov was arrested in march 2000 for rape and murder, he was afterwards charged only with murder : though a first forensic expertise found evidence of rape, a second forensic expertise “indicated” that the rape had been committed post-mortem. A soldier was charged with raping the dead girl with a shovel before burying her: a criminal case was opened, but he benefited from an amnesty and afterwards went back on his testimony. The fact that Budanov was not charged with rape allowed him to build all his defence on the false assumption that the girl was an enemy combatant – and that he killed her during interrogation in a fit of rage. Therefore, public discussion concentrated on “what is permissible to do to an enemy combatant”, and not on sexual violence.

Budanov was sentenced to 10 years in 2003, and released on parole in 2009 (after several refusals – probably due to the fact that his case had become a symbolic one). As soon as he was released, a new case – supported by the Chechen leadership – was brought against him for the disappearance of 3 civilians in 2000, but this new case was closed after a few months.

This death allows us to see how, more than ten years after the crime, Russian society and Russian authorities react towards war crime perpetrators in Chechnya, and to try to understand why the issue of sexual violence is seldom if never discussed.

Though Budanov had been deprived of all military decoration and titles when he was sentenced to 10 years in 2003, he was nevertheless buried with military honours, the military orchestra of the ministry of Defence played a funeral march and salvoes were fired. Ultra-right groups called their supporters to come to the funerals and police security was reinforced. The priest who led the funerals has been reported to say : “There is now a new saint in Heaven. Together with Alexander Nevsky, Dmitry Donskoy and Evgeny Rodionov he will be praying for all of us2

It was reminded also that Budanov had always benefited from the compassion of Russian public opinion. According to the sociologist Denis Volkov from the independent public-opinion poll centre “Levada-centre”, “Over the years we have conducted several surveys of the attitude of Russians to Colonel Budanov. 50 to 60% of Russians sympathized with the prisoner, even if they did not deny that a murder took place. Most Russians did not doubt that he committed murder, but 36% of respondents said that this happened in Chechnya all the time and should not come as a surprise. What is significant in this crime is that, on the one hand, there was a soldier of the Russian armed forces, on the other – a Chechen girl. That is, there was a clear division between “us” and “them.” The Russian army – is one of the institutions that enjoys a high level of trust in Russian society. Whereas the Chechen girl, as a representative of the enemy’s side, was denied the right to sympathy. In December 2004, 55% of the respondents said that the Budanov trial was a step towards the Chechens. The most important for people was not the crime, but the opposition between “us” and “them“.3

Another journalist remembers that after Budanov was sentenced to 10 years, there was an public poll opinion on TV : “It was on a Moscow channel, TVTs, at this time you could still have live interview of people by phone, and the question was asked: “What would have been your verdict?”. Different answers were proposed: 10 years, life or nothing. And Muscovites voted this way (even the talk show presenter was shocked): 10 years (what the court gave) – 333 votes ; life sentence – 1370 (this is those who wanted to see him more strongly condemned) ; acquit him – 16 000 700”4.

Several journalist, commentators, observers wrote about this death in their newspapers or on the Internet – discussing mainly “is Budanov himself a victim of war”? The question of rape was nevertheless raised by some essayists. On the grani.ru website, essayist Mikhail Kriger criticized quite violently the public reaction towards Budanov’s death: “Budanov was buried with military honors. As a hero. As a warrior. Hundreds of people came to say final goodbyes to the former colonel. The leader of one the parliamentary party proposes to rehabilitate him. Streets are to be somewhere named after him5 (…). That’s the way it is, my dear fellow citizens. Today, half of those who voted on the radio “Ekho Moskvy” were in favor of the rehabilitation of Budanov. He appears now as a new hero. Are you sleeping or what? It is amazing! A murderer, a rapist, a looter, is now our new hero. This same colonel who kidnapped, raped and killed eighteen-years old Elsa Kungayeva.

Let it be clear. Why do I insist on rape? Simply because we can not assume anything else. Because that morning, the dead girl was naked, and our “hero” too. There were signs of rape on the body (it is only afterwards that someone found this clever explanation about a shovel’s handle). If my late wife would have caught me in a similar situation, I wouldn’t even have tried to find excuses. It would have been so obvious. Why, dear Russians, do you pretend to be idiots? Why are you so ready to believe in all sorts of nonsense? Are you really so gullible?6

What I find interesting here is the suggestion that the information given publicly was sufficient to draw the conclusions about what happened7 … but that nobody really wanted to see the facts. This is also stressed by a political commentator for the tabloid newspaper Moskovski Komsomolets, Aleksandr Minkin, who has written several articles on this case. In a radio interview after the murder of Budanov, he reads an excerpt of Budanov’s official acknowledgement of guilt : “As we were left alone, I asked her where her mother was8. She started to scream, to bite and tried to escape. I had to use force. A fight ensued, in the result of which I tore her blouse and bra. I told her to calm down. But she continued to scream and escape, then I had to lay her on the bed and I started to choke her. I choked her throat. I did not take off the lower part of her clothes...”. Aleksandr Minkin comments : “When he says that, left alone with her, he began to ask her where her mother was, and that she started screaming, biting and escaping, then the question arises : what did this interrogation look like, if the person examined had to bite and to try to escape? An examination – it’s when you sit on one side of the table and I sit on the other side of the table and I write down what you say. You don’t have to escape and bite. I am sorry, but you have to escape and to bite only if you are raped.”9

A. Minkin stresses also that so many persons mobilized to defend Budanov because the girl was a Chechen, and people felt the need to defend the honour of a Russian officer : the fact that Budanov was an officer, and not simply a soldier, may indeed explain part of the reactions and the support he benefited from the military hierarchy.

 But apart from this case, the question remains of why the question of rapes committed in Chechnya by Russian soldiers has never been raised publicly in Russia, even if cases were documented10. Several explanations can be found:

• the reluctance of victims to talk about rape and the attitude of Chechen society towards rape and rape victims : the cases were not brought forward by Chechen activists or representatives of civil society

• the general level of impunity for crimes committed in Chechnya : there were only five significant public trials for crimes committed against civilians in Chechnya since 1999, whereas the European Court of Human Rights (where most of the cases are brought now) has condemned Russia more than 200 times since 2006

• the lack of interest of Russian public opinion for a war that always has been presented as a “war on terror”, and has benefited from public support, even before the tragic hostage takings of October 2002 (Dubrovka theatre, Moscow) and September 2004 (School in Beslan)

• the lack of groups or public opinion leaders in Russia who could bring forward this question. The main Russian Human Rights organisations are reluctant to address the issue of women rights or violence against women, and did not have complaints to build upon. There are also in Russia women organisations, who work especially on the question of violence against women: but they address mainly the question of domestic violence and Chechnya is not part of their preoccupations. During a field work in 2010, none of the NGOs we met in Moscow or St Petersburg did mention the army and the war in Chechnya as part of the general problem of “violence against women”, and violence against women is mainly understood as violence against Russian women11. When they mentioned violence against women in the North-Caucasus, they explained it only as “violence due to traditions” (bride kidnapping, vendetta)12, and they are not necessarily aware of the racist subtext in some of the cases they have defended.13.

• the global perception of Chechen males, as well as all Caucasians, as men representing a danger for Russian women … (and not the contrary)

• the question of sexual violence and rape committed by Russian / Soviet army in other conflicts has never been discussed publically – especially as far as WWII is concerned14.

Afterword : looking for the murder suspect…..

The Kungaev family denied any link to this assassination and refuted the versions of a vengeance by Chechen relatives. On August 26, a Chechen (Magomed Suleymanov) was arrested and charged with the murder, though nothing is known about his possible motives and about the possible instigators or his accomplices. Reporting about his arrest, the Kommersant newspaper reported that his was recognized by a witness whose name is kept secret. According to some sources, the witness may have picked him up among three other suspects during the official identification at the police precincts as he was the only one who wore handcuffs…15

Nb : A slightly different version of this text has been prepared for the international workshop “Sexual Violence in Armed Conflicts”, Hamburger Institut fur Sozialforschung / Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra, 9/10 September 2011-08-22

photo credit: http://media.photobucket.com/image/budanov/bdpopeye/popeyes%20pix/3-117.jpg?o=3

  1. See Amandine Regamey, « L’opinion publique russe et l’affaire Boudanov [Russian Public Opinion and The Budanov Case] », The Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies [Online] , Issue 8 | 2008 , URL : http://pipss.revues.org/index1493.html []
  2. http://www.ansar.ru/society/2011/06/16/17186 ; Evgeni Rodionov was a Russian soldier who was taken prisoner and executed in Chechen captivity in 1996 (he was reportedly beheaded after he refused to renounce his Christian faith or remove his silver cross). Some groups call for his elevation to sainthood, but the Russian Orthodox Church refused to canonize him. The mention of Rodionov may show that the priest who led the ceremony belongs to a more “radical” wing of the orthodox church and that this position does not reflect the positions of the church. []
  3. “Социолог Денис Волков – о сочувствующих Юрию Буданову (Sociologist Denis Volkov on those who sympathise with Iuri Budanov)”, 13.06.2011, http://www.svobodanews.ru/content/article/24233154.html []
  4. A. Минкин: “Если бы Буданов задушил и изнасиловал русскую по пьянке, никто не встал бы на его защиту” []
  5. Nb : during the funeral, ultra-right politic V. Zhirinovski proposed to have a street somehere in Russia named in the honour of colonel Budanov []
  6. Михаил Кригер – Страна нашла героя (The country has found a hero) June 14, 2011, http://grani.ru/blogs/free/entries/189215.html []
  7. Indeed, the first official declaration about Budanov by president Putin and chief of staff general Kvashin mentioned the rape ; but less than a month after the deed, in April 2000, Russian news agencies talked only about murder. []
  8. Nb : at this time, Budanov said he arrested the girl because he suspected here mother was a sniper for the Chechen rebels. After some time, he started to explain that the girl herself was a sniper and that he lost his temper because she was responsible for the death of several of his soldiers. []
  9. Александр Минкин: “Если бы Буданов задушил и изнасиловал русскую по пьянке, никто не встал бы на его защиту” (Alexandr Minkin : if Budanov had strangled and raped a Russian girl in a drinking bout, nobody would have defended him”), 13.06.2011 13:00 , http://www.svobodanews.ru/content/transcript/24232588.html []
  10. See « Data and Methodology – What Do We Know About Rapes Committed During the War in Chechnya ? » http://russiaviolence.hypotheses.org/406 []
  11. A lawyer we met, specialised in the defence of women victims of domestic violence in Moscow has, at the same time, defended Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov in a trial against a newspaper …. in spite of the fact that Kadyrov himself has very clearly and publically expressed his idea that a woman is a man’s property []
  12. There is indeed a tendency to explain bride kidnapping as a « cultural phenomenon » or a “renewal of tradition” in Chechnya, whereas the rise of these kidnapping are mainly due to the new structure of power of the Kadyrov regime. Kadyrov and its supporters are young males who have absolute political power, rely heavily on weapons and resort to bride kidnapping to “take” women without going through the negotiations implied in traditional weddings []
  13. One of the major organizations, Anna Centre, was involved in the Ivannikova case in Moscow. This woman killed a taxi driver from Armenia who tried to attack her sexually, and was charged and sentenced with murder without any extenuating circumstances. She received the support of ultra-right groups, such as DPNI (Movement against illegal immigration) which awarded her 50 000 roubles for her courage. The organization did not specifically dissociate itself from DPNI or other rights groups that supported Ivanikova, though racist attacks against “Caucasian rapist” that were made at that time. []
  14. See Norman Naimark, “Russes et allemands : viols de guerre et memoires post-soviétiques” to be published in R.Branche, F. Virgili &alii, Les viols en temps de guerre, Paris, Payot, 2011. []
  15. Сергей Машкин, « Юрию Буданову подобрали уважаемого убийцу », “Коммерсантъ”, №162 (4703), 01.09.2011, http://kommersant.ru/doc/1763234 []