Roots of nuclear blackmail

Yesterday, Russian troops launched a missile strike close to the South Ukrainian Nuclear Power Plant. The terror that the world sees now in Ukraine is not an isolated act.

The missiles exploded three hundred meters from one of the power plants. A wave from a powerful explosion took out windows and doors in nearby buildings, a fire broke out in an industrial area. A series of strikes were inflicted on residential areas of several Ukrainian cities. 

The terror that the world sees now in Ukraine is not an isolated act orchestrated by the Kremlin dictator. Step by step, observing what the world would say and how it would react to his acts of cruelty, Putin has come a long way. Unfortunately, the reactions were not always adequate, sometimes even forgiving.

An excursion into history – In September 1999, Putin served only a month as the head of the Russian government. There is no official second Russian-Chechen war yet. It will only begin in early October with military columns crossing the borders of Chechnya. But already in September, the main cities and villages of Chechnya are being bombarded and rocketed. Here are just three examples out of dozens like them.

On the night of September 6, two Russian attack aircraft fired several rockets at the small village of Zamai-Yurt in the mountainous Nozhai-Yurt region of Chechnya. Terrible explosions tore apart the houses on its main street. In the certificate of the head of the administration, the names of 22 victims were listed. But it does not include those who subsequently died from wounds. Additionally, it is known that passing residents of other settlements were also affected. In particular, one of the victims was from the neighbouring village of Galaity, and two lived in Mesket.

At least one family from Zamai-Yurt died altogether: a mother and her four children (a son and three daughters) aged 6 to 17.

At about five o’clock in the evening on September 12, 1999, Russian planes made two raids on the village of Kogi, located in the very north of the Chechen Republic. They first dropped bombs on two outlying houses, blowing up and injuring the adults inside, and killing two children, aged three and nine, in the street. The Russian pilots, who turned around for the second approach, attacked their 30-year-old mother, who rushed to the dead children, and two other women: 51 and 63 years old. The eldest of them held her one-year-old grandson in her arms. Falling, she covered him with her body and thus saved the baby’s life.

The village of Kogi has not yet been restored. After that bombing, the inhabitants left it, it seems, forever.

On September 27, four Russian attack aircraft targeted the village of Staraya Sunzha, which at that time was home to about nine thousand people. At least six people were killed, who were hiding in the basement of a house on Batukaev Street. Among them is a 21-year-old pregnant woman and her two children: a boy of two and a half years and a one-year-old girl.

Elsewhere, a 48-year-old man was killed by shrapnel from an exploding bomb (or unguided rocket). In general, more than 20 people were killed in this village that day. Dozens were injured of varying severity. As a result of a targeted strike on secondary school No. 1, schoolchildren who were in the classroom were injured. Some of them severely.

The Database of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee’s Natalia Estemirova Documentation Center (NEDC) at the contains thousands of text, photo and video documents describing such crimes. Already during the second war in Chechnya, one could already identify in Putin’s regime patterns of cruelty, disregard for human suffering and boundless deceit.
If back then, in 1999, the world adequately reacted on suffering of the Chechens, then perhaps the current terror could have been avoided.

Materials of the NEDC can be found on the website

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