Another Original LR Translation: Eternal Values in Putin’s Russia

Eternal Values:  A Breakdown in Communiciation

Vedemosti

April 9, 2010

by Maya Kucherskaya

Translated from the Russian by LR Staff

As always, corrections to the English text are Welcome

Maya Kucherskaya

The investigation into the terrorist attacks in the Moscow metro is in full swing. Already well known are the names and ages of the suicide bombers, their resumes, and whose wives they were.

One was a girl 17 years old.  At 16  she’d left home to be with her beloved, a famous  rebel fighter, who she first met on the Internet. Then she married him and shared his life, waiting for him at home after his military operations, greeted and fed him.  That is, she did so until he was killed in battle.  Along with that man, who was her reason for being, all meaning went out of her life.  She had nothing left except her love for him, and en empty soul.  She had no family, no education, no life experience, so what was she to do?  As she saw it, her only alternative was to meet him again in the afterlife.  It was not difficult for her to meet her end with enthusiasm, knowing that she was doing the will of Allah and avenging her beloved. The sooner the better!  The warlords unflinchingly took advantage of the young girl’s desperation.

The second female bomber, 28-year-old Maryam Sharipova, was in no way similar to the first.

Mariyam Sharipova, teacher and killer, tried to raise her voice the only way she could

Sharipova  had been an excellent student and then a teacher of computer science — and she came from family of educators.  She was the sister of two “accomplices” of the militant fighters; both her brothers had been arrested, one held for many months, beaten and tortured by being hung upside-down from a hook.  Subsequently it has been learned that she too was the widow of a militant fighter, one Dr. Muhammad, who was associated with Al Quaida and who was killed last summer.

On the morning of March 29 as word of the subway bombings spread through Moscow, people began desperately calling their relatives to see if they were safe.  Everyone felt “it could have been me, I ride that subway, I get off at those stops.”  Now imagine that your relative was not riding on a bombed subway train but arrested, hung upside-down, beaten, and that justice cannot be obtained against his torturers, or murderers.  Then, would our own grandmothers, aunts or mothers adopt the attitude “kill or be killed”?  Or is that too horrible a prospect for you to contemplate.

The subway bombers were not only deluded children, they were also educated professional adults.  They did not all look like crazy fanatics, they were not all fueled by narcotics.  At least one of them acted with a clear head and a firm step, when she went to blow up innocent people. She was like you.  And this can be explained only one way:  That she was living through the same hell on earth, day after day, until she had nothing to lose and was not sorry for her actions. She lost hope.  Suicide may have been an option, but she wanted more than that.  She wanted to cry out at least once against the suffocating power of lawlessness, powerlessness, helplessness and fear, fear for the loss of more close relatives.  But we do not want to think about that.  We can call it terrorism, but in fact it is nothing more than an ugly, ill-advised attempt to communicate with a stone-deaf world.

40-year-old Maya Kucherskaya is a graduate of Moscow State University and UCLA, a columnist for Vedomosti and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Bunin Prize in 2006 and the Russian Student Booker in 2007.  On June 24, 2010, this text was designated “extremist” by the Putin regime and the Vedemosti newspaper was forced to remove the text from its website. A second such designation would empower the Putin regime to shut down the paper, the Russian equivalent of the Wall Street Journal.

*****************************************************************

Here is the original Russian text, just in case it should disappear from its current remote location on the Internet:

ВЕДОМОСТИ

Вечные ценности: Провал коммуникации

Опубликовано 20 Апр 2010 в рубрике «Uridburo.ru – юридические услуги»

Расследование терактов в московском метро идет полным ходом. Уже известны имена и возраст смертниц, чем они занимались и чьими были женами.

Одна — девочка 17 лет. В шестнадцать ушла из дому, за«любимым человеком», известным боевиком, с которым впервые познакомилась по интернету. Потом вышла за него замуж и жила его жизнью — ждала после военных операций, встречала, кормила. Пока его не убили. С гибелью человека, быть рядом с которым и составляло смысл ее существования, жизнь для нее кончилась. Ничего, кроме этой любви, за душой у нее не было. Ни нормальной семьи, ни образования, ни житейского опыта, которые удержали бы ее на плаву. Что ей оставалось? Только одно — снова встретиться с ним, на небесах. Так что наверняка даже на осторожный намек послужить Аллаху эта 17-летняя вдова откликнулась с восторгом — отомстить за любимого? Да чем скорее, тем лучше! Этой девочкой, ее подростковым отчаянием«старшие товарищи» бестрепетно и воспользовались.

Вторая смертница, 28-летняя Марьям Шарипова, вряд ли действовала по подсказке. В прошлом студентка-отличница, потом учительница информатики из учительской семьи, которой всегда интересно было учиться(иначе зачем ей еще и второе, психологическое, образование?). Сестра двух«пособников боевиков». Обоих ее братьев задерживали во время спецопераций, одного много месяцев били, пытали, вешая на крюки вниз головой и избивая. Теперь выяснилось, что Марьям тоже была вдовой — боевика по прозвищу Доктор Мухаммад, связанного с«Аль-Каидой», убитого летом прошлого года.

Когда утром 29 марта прозвучали взрывы, все мы, холодея, начали звонить родным. И каждый чувствовал себя отчасти на«Парке культуры» и«Лубянке», потому что тоже мог оказаться там — минутой, днем раньше, позже… А теперь представим себе, что это нашего родного брата, сына, мужа восемь месяцев — нет, не взрывают в метро, а бьют и подвешивают на крюки, чтобы потом признать невиновным, это нашу бабушку, тетку, мать«случайно» убили. Или убьют завтра. Но нет, представлять все это совершенно не хочется, потому что это ад.

Самое страшное в последних московских взрывах то, что по крайней мере одна из террористок была человеком взрослым, уравновешенным, образованным. Она совершенно не походила на безумную дикарку или«фанатичку». Ее явно не накачивали наркотиками, не одурманивали — зачем? Она сама, с ясной головой и твердым шагом пошла взрывать невинных. И себя. Это значит только одно: она давно жила в том самом аду, терять который было не жаль. И еще она потеряла надежду. Можно было, конечно, уйти из жизни в одиночестве, но, видимо, ей хотелось… только ли отомстить? А может, еще и докричаться? Прокричать напоследок про удушающую власть беззакония, про собственное бесправие, беззащитность, смертный страх за родных — про то, что мы не хотим знать, когда это касается других. Она не сомневалась: иначе ее просто не услышат. Теракт — это еще и уродливая, больная попытка коммуникации с оглохшим миром.

13 responses to “Another Original LR Translation: Eternal Values in Putin’s Russia

  1. This “extremist” text actually follows the official line quite closely, starting with the whole “suicide bombers” thing and then going on with “teacher and killer” and what not.

    In reality “the warlords” indeed “took advantage” of them, just not the warlords Kucherskaya meant:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jun/19/dagestan-suicide-bombers-terrorism-russia

    Certainly, the official account of events is puzzling and incomplete. Last month, investigators said they had discovered an apartment in Moscow where three male accomplices had prepared the women for their mission. They said all three had been shot dead by police after “putting up resistance”. As usual, they offered no details. Investigators also say that the two women travelled from Dagestan to Moscow by inter-city bus – a journey of 48 hours. Other witnesses insist, however, that Mariam was still in Dagestan early on 28 March. It is possible, of course, that she could have flown from Makhachkala to Moscow under an assumed name. So far, though, the investigation isn’t saying this.

    In the week before her death, Mariam ordered a new dress, bought an expensive mop to do household chores and told relatives she had plans to cultivate the vegetable patch. She also advised Gulnara to buy an electric blanket to relieve her rheumatic leg. “I think both women were kidnapped – someone with a background in special services took them on a plane to Moscow,” Gulnara speculates, adding that when she phoned Mariam’s mother early on 28 March, she clearly heard Mariam’s voice in the background. “I know Mariam. She wasn’t ready or death.”

    • During the last 24 months there was a plenty of fake “suicide bombings” in Russia. Ramzan K. excels in this, faking a new “assassination attempt” on himself every few months – the latest one just few days ago.

  2. As of “one Dr. Muhammad, who as associated with Al Quaida” who was allegedly “subsequently learned” to having been her husband (yeah, sure), he was a French-Algerian volunteer in Chechnya for more than a decade. Not only he was not associated with al-Qaeda, but he was not even active in Dagestan. He was a long-time field medic later turned a minor “amir” combat commander in Chechnya (most famous of blasting a Russian APC and killing 5 soldiers in 2008).

    But an actual al-Qaeda doc, al-Zawahiri himself, once travelled to Dag in 1996, but the Russians instantly arrested him and, following long detention and even a trial, RELEASED him. There might be much more to this story, too:

    http://www.axisglobe.com/article.asp?article=256

    • Just goes to show that the sweep of Kremlin lies and propaganda is wide and deep, giving rise to an ignorant, benighted population incapable of making good decisions because it has no real information.

      • My educated guess is Dr. Muhammad was chosen because of general lack of Arab volunteers in North Caucasus nowadays. The veteran ones are now practically extinct (I can’t even think about any right now) and the new ones are simply not coming because it’s a forgotten conflict, and not a very attractive one today when one can choose between going to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia.There were several Arabs jihadis who died in Dagestani insurgency in the past, but I guess the idea of her being a wife of some much better known “a foreign mercenary and a-Qaeda emmisary” killed for example in 2005 (Amir al-Jaber, then declared to be a “mastermind behind Beslan” and what not) and suddenly snapping 5 years later was rejected in favor of picking up an obscure French foreign fighter in Chechnya just because he died relatively recently.

        And, presto. You’ve got a widow after “one Dr. Muhammad, who was associated with Al Quaida and who was killed last summer”. In an “extremist” version, which did not even try to connect the dots and was mostly simply repeating the official line, just without the “liberal” blackshirt Medvedev talking to his henchmen to be “more cruel” in the aftermath of just another Reichstag fire (while the FSB is getting more and more official powers over Russian society from the puppet parliament).

        Here, some “more extreme extremism”:

        http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/13594/

        Video clips have been published, in which, supposedly, the natives of Dagestan Janet Abdurakhmanova and Maryam Sharipova – suicide bombers on March 29 in Moscow metro, justified the motives of their actions.

        The video appeals appeared in one of radical websites on May 30; but they are not accessible from Russia. As reported by the British newspaper The Sunday Times, the women, who speak in the clips, are covered by dense black yashmaks; thus, it is rather problematic to define that they are Abdurakhmanova and Sharipova.

        In one of them, supposedly, Janet Abdurakhmanova, who is sitting on the carpet next to a sub-machine gun, says that she had concluded an agreement with the Allah in exchange for a place in the paradise. In the second video another woman, presumably, Maryam Sharipova, looks less confident; she also tells about her decision to become a shahid. The newspaper writes that Sharipova periodically sighs deeply, loses her thought and looks sooner like a person who has accepted her fate than a committed one like Abdurakhmanova.

        The paper also asserts that only three weeks before the Moscow explosions Dmitri Belyakov, a photographer of The Sunday Times lived in the house of Sharipova during his business trip to Dagestan. The girl did not impress him as a radical Islamist. Maryam’s father Rasul Magomedov believes that his daughter had been tortured and forced to blow her up.

        • I meant Abu al-Saif (as killed in 2005). Oh, and turns out he was actually not even killed in Dagestan.

          Jamestown Foundation (they also write about the fact I already mentioned, that is the lack of Arab fighters in Caucasus today – and by “today” I mean for many years already):

          http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=31305

          The announcement of the killing of Abu Omar al-Saif, “the mufti of Arab fighters in Chechnya”, on December 12, 2005, shed light on the movement’s future and its presence in Chechnya. While the Russian government did not deny or confirm the news until December 16, 2005, Arab newspapers and forums covered the incident and published details on Abu al-Saif’s life that correspond to a large degree with what was published in Jamestown’s Terrorism Monitor on April 23, 2004 (Volume 2, Issue 8). The surprise was that qoqaz.com, the Chechen Arab fighters’ website, came back online with news about al-Saif’s killing, so much so that his brother said that “he learned about the his brother’s killing from several parties, but became sure of it when he saw it on the Arab fighters in Chechnya’s official website” (Al-Hayat, December 11, 2005).

          (…)

          Abu Omar al-Saif, who was responsible for the Islamic courts in Chechnya when then-Chechen president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, attempted to declare Chechnya an Islamic state, became an ideologue of the Arab fighters in Chechnya and connected the presumed state in Chechnya with groups of Muslim clerics in the Arabian Gulf (qoqaz.com). He wrote several articles and books on the issues of Iraq and democracy that did not depart from the jihadist movement’s literature.

          Abu Omar al-Saif married a Chechen woman, who was killed with him in Chechnya. (He was not killed in Dagestan, as some media claimed). He had three children with his Saudi wife—the youngest a six-year-old boy he had in Chechnya when his wife was staying with him before she returned to Saudi Arabia in 1999 with all her children.

          (…)

          The announcement of the killing of al-Saif, which comes in the context of the killing of a number of Salafi-Jihadist leaders in Chechnya, beginning with Khattab, Abu al-Walid al-Ghamidi and Abu Ahmad al-Azimi, raises questions about the effect of Russia’s policy in Chechnya and the likelihood of it succeeding in ending the violence that has been raging in the republic for a decade. Russian policy sees the assassination of Salafi-Jihadist and Chechen resistance leaders as a way to break up those groups. At the same time, Russia used the presence of Arab fighters in Chechnya to claim that there exists a connection between the Chechen resistance and “international terrorism” and thereby to justify its brutal war on Chechnya.

          Yet the reality is the opposite. Since September 11, the Salafi-Jihadist movement in Chechnya has been facing a dilemma, because the Arab fighters’ great financial capabilities, which were what legitimized their presence in Chechnya, changed as a result of the international community’s steps to end funding for Jihadist groups, which cut the channels of financing for Arab fighters in Chechnya.” In addition, the number of Arab fighters in Chechnya is limited because the path is blocked to young men willing to join the groups fighting in Chechnya. A review of the autobiographies of some Salafi-Jihadists in various parts the world indicates that after 2001 a large number of young men tried to go to Chechnya but failed, or left Chechnya to go engage in “jihad” in their own countries or other conflict zones.

          Thus, we note that the situation of Salafi-Jihadists in Chechnya is already difficult. The killing of al-Saif is simply part of that context or crisis. This shows that Russian policy in Chechnya has failed, because the number of resistance operations is increasing despite the weakness of the Salafi-Jihadist movement, meaning that the effect of this movement is limited in comparison with the national Chechen resistance. The killing of Salafi-Jihadist leaders or their absence from Chechnya will not end the resistance. On the contrary, it will release the Chechen resistance from the burden of being connected with international terrorism.

  3. Maybe let me rephrase this myself:

    Putin is a terrorist.

    Literally.

    And no, I don’t mean “just” his men bombing city blocks and marketplaces full of ethnic Russians (among others) using cluster bombs and ballistic missiles, and such.

    And no, of course I don’t “support such acts that happen in Russia, where innocent civilians are killed”.

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