Remember the Date: 12 May 1997 - the signing of the peace accord ending the First Chechen War

posted 15 May 2017, 11:57 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 15 May 2017, 12:10 ]
On 12 May 1997 President of Russia Boris Yeltsin and President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov signed a peace treaty that brought to an end what has become known as the First Chechen War. In a report on the anniversary, Caucasian Knot quotes Oleg Orlov of Memorial Human Rights Centre as saying the treaty was at the time "perceived as a kind of positive event, the end of the war, and the possibility for new prospects." However, subsequently "the situation began to develop under a different scenario and all hopes for peace appeared to be unjustified. This is the fault of politicians and society, both in Russia and in Chechnya. The fact is that in Moscow and Chechnya supporters of the 'war party' gathered strength. Revanchist moods among Boris Yeltsin's subordinates began to prevail almost immediately after the treaty had been signed. The treaty with Chechnya was viewed only as a cover to prepare a revenge, for a new war. Members of the 'war party' in Moscow, among other things, supported the extremist forces in Chechnya. [...] Law enforcers, including the FSB and its chief Vladimir Putin quite frankly showed their unwillingness to follow the peaceful development of relations between the two parties to the treaty." Orlov also stated that Russian society "also faced growing opposition to agreements and treaties with Ichkeria. [...]Deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council used the treaty to criticize Boris Yeltsin. A lot of politicians began to develop their PR based on such criticism. Society turned out to be submissive to such a position, stating that 'a great country had been humiliated,' that 'the victory had been stolen,' and so on." Oleg Orlov believes that the consequence of this "was a new war, new destruction, crimes and victims." [translation of comments by Oleg Orlov by Caucasian Knot]

Photo of the signing of the peace treaty: Caucasian Knot

'Peace treaty in Chechnya disrupted by populists 20 years ago,' Caucasian Knot, 14 May 2017