Tatchell arrested for LGBT Chechens
Tatchell arrested in Russia
SJWThu, 21/06/2018 - 12:03

While he isn’t perfect and I don’t idolise him, Peter Tatchell is one of my heroes. He has consistently put his own safety on the line for the sake of human rights, especially LGBT+ rights.

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International pressure fails to halt Chechen tortures

Submitted by Matthew on 3 May, 2017 - 6:29 Author: Mike Zubrowski

Despite international pressure, the detention and torture of suspected gay men by the Chechen government since late March has continued, and more secret concentration-camp style prisons have been discovered.

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Chechnya: stop anti-gay state killings

Submitted by Matthew on 12 April, 2017 - 10:22 Author: Mike Zubrowski

Over 100 men suspected of being gay have been rounded up and detained by the Chechen authorities, with many tortured and some killed.

Chechnya has an authoritarian and extremely repressive state presiding over a deeply homophobic society, but this development is shocking even in this context. Some of the suspected gay men were killed in violent raids, whilst others have been kept in secret “concentration-camp style” prisons, where many have been subjected to electric shocks and violent abuse, with some beaten to death.

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TUC silence on Russian aggression is nothing new

Submitted by AWL on 23 September, 2014 - 5:49 Author: Eric Lee

In an otherwise excellent piece on the TUC’s passing of an idiotic resolution on Ukraine, Dale Street writes that “for the first time since the Second World War the territory of a European country has been seized by that of a neighbouring big power.”

That doesn’t sound right — and it isn’t.

In fact there have been several occasions since 1945 when European countries have been the victims of aggression by neighbouring big powers.


Submitted by dale street on Thu, 25/09/2014 - 10:19

Not the most important political issue in the world, and not central to the politics of the original article, but just to defend the sentence:

“For the first time since the Second World War the territory of a European country has been seized by that of a neighbouring big power.”

Crimea is now, since March, a “federal subject” of the Russian Federation. It was previously part of the sovereign state of Ukraine. But now it is a fully integrated part of the sovereign state of Russia.

None of the other invasions mentioned by Eric resulted in actual sovereignty over a piece of land being formally transferred from one state to another.

Stalinism certainly controlled Hungary and Czechoslovakia. But they did not end up, post-invasion (1956 and 1968), as the equivalent of a federal subject of the Russian Federation, i.e. they were not formally integrated into the Russia or the Soviet Union.

Northern Cyprus is occupied by Turkey and claims to be independent. But not even Turkey claims that it is part of Turkey.

Chechnya attempted to go independent when the Soviet Union broke up but was eventually defeated. It was never the territory of another European country which was seized from that country and then incorporated into Russia. Russia ‘simply’ refused to allow it go independent.

South Ossetia and Abkhazia both claim to be ‘independent’, following Russian military aggression. But neither have been incorporated into the Russian Federation as federal subjects. (The same also applies to the Transnistrian Republic of Moldova.)

So, what distinguishes Crimea from all the other instances cited is not military invasion and occupation – which certainly also happened in the other cases cited by Eric – but the fact that it ended up being fully integrated into Russia, having previously been part of a different sovereign state.

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Moscow bombings: against terrorismMatthewThu, 01/04/2010 - 17:48

According to press reports, on Wednesday 29 March two women suicide bombers exploded their bombs on the Moscow underground. The blasts, timed to coincide with the morning rush hour, killed at least 38 people and injured many more, several seriously.

According to local analysts the likely culprits are Islamist rebels from the North Caucasus. The most probable of these are those based in Chechnya using so-called Black Widows as bombers (women who have had husbands or brothers killed by Russian or Russian-backed forces in the region).

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Chechnya: the war continues

Submitted by Anon on 10 December, 2005 - 12:21

By Dale Street

Parliamentary elections were held in Chechnya on 27 November. 356 candidates representing seven different parties competed for election to 40 seats in the Popular Assembly (the lower house) and 18 seats in the Republic Council (upper house).

Clear winners in the elections, with 60% of the vote, were the pro-Putin United Russian Party. The Communist Party came second with 13% of the votes, and the Union of Right Forces came third with nearly 12% of the votes.

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Putin’s victims

Submitted by Anon on 22 March, 2005 - 12:58

By Dale Street

Aslan Maskhadov, a long-standing Chechen separatist leader and one-time president of Chechnya, was killed by Russian forces on 8 March in the south-Chechen settlement of Tolstoy-Yurt.

Maskhadov was born in Kazakhstan in 1951. His family had been victims of the mass deportation of the Chechen people carried out by Stalin at the close of the Second World War. Maskhadov’s family survived and was allowed to return to Chechnya in 1957.

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Pathology in the name of liberation

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 22 September, 2004 - 12:00

By Chris Reynolds

At least 338 people have died since gunmen claiming to champion Chechen national rights seized a school in North Ossetia (a territory neighbouring Chechnya) on 1 September and took pupils, teachers and some parents hostage.

Nearly 400 people are still missing according to teachers at the school. Many of the dead and missing are children.


Submitted by AWL on Sat, 25/09/2004 - 10:33

The pamphlet by Plekhanov which I cite above was specifically criticised by Lenin in "State and Revolution". So, why did I think I could cite it without veering towards reformism?

Lenin's main criticism of the pamphlet is what it doesn't say about state and revolution. Fair enough: but that doesn't disqualify what it does say.

Some of what it does say, Lenin writes, is valuable. But some, he says, is "philistine", amounting to a "clumsy" disquisition that an anarchist is indistinguishable from a bandit.

Fair point. Plekhanov's pamphlet, rather bilious in tone (Plekhanov himself was a former Bakuninist), does try to damn all anarchists with the misdeeds of an individualist-anarchist minority.

In 1917, when Lenin was trying - and eventually with some success - to win over the best of the anarchists in the great regroupment of working-class militants generated by World War 1, obviously Lenin would be concerned to distance himself from crude blunderbuss denunciations of all anarchists.

Lenin does not dispute the idea that some anarchists can mutate into banditry.

So I think it is legitimate to cite Plekhanov's words to cast light on how some nationalists can mutate into banditry.

Not all nationalists, of course, and still less all anarchists. And that is an important political point. The bland alibi proposed by some of the left - the school hijacking was horrible, of course, but what can you expect from such an oppressed people - is both condescending and false.

Oppressed peoples can fight back, and have fought back, by methods more suiting to their ends - methods which we may not consider the best to serve their ends, but which nevertheless serve, or might serve, their ends to some extent. A group which mutates into using methods like school hijackings has mutated not only in its methods, but, de facto, in its ends.

Chris Reynolds

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Putin uses Beslan to increase his power

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 22 September, 2004 - 12:00

By Dale Street

The series of “reforms” announced by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of the Beslan school massacre have nothing to do with fighting terrorism. They are another stage in the evolution of Putin’s authoritarian and semi-dictatorial regime.

The Washington Post summed up the ‘reforms’ as: “An unambiguous step towards tyranny in Russia. There is no complexity or fuzziness about the significance of Putin’s actions.

Putin is imposing dictatorship the old-fashioned way. …Russia needs to fight terrorism.

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