YABLOKO to conduct a conference “War in Chechnya: political mistakes and war crimes”


On November 28, YABLOKO will conduct a conference called “War in Chechnya: political mistakes and war crimes” coincided with the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the First Chechen war and 15th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Chechen war. The conference will take place at YABLOKO main office. War in Chechnya and war in Ukraine: is there anything in common? Were the Chechen lessons learned? Would we have a war in Ukraine now if the Chechen war hadn’t taken place? How can the Chechen experience help to avoid the same mistakes with the situation in Ukraine?

A photo exhibition called “Chechnya-Ukraine: New war, old mistakes” – a photo report of the Chechen wars and the armed conflict in Ukraine including pictures that haven’t been published before – will be launched within the conference. Politicians, public persons, veterans of combat operations and journalists who had witnessed the beginning of the war in Chechnya, participated in it and also witnessed military operations in Ukraine will participate in the conference.

The moderators of the conference:

Prof.Galina Mikhaleva, Secretary of YABLOKO Political Committee, PhD in Political Science

Dmitry Florin, YABLOKO member, veteran of combat operations in Chechnya, independent journalist, author of a book on the war in Chechnya


Participants of the conference:

Grigory Yavlinsky (YABLOKO founder, deputy at St.Petersburg Legislative Assembly), Sergei Mitrokhin (YABLOKO Chairman), Arcady Babchenko (independent journalist, veteran of combat operations, reported about military actions in Ukrain ), Stanislav Dmitriyevsky (human rights advocate from Nizhny Novgorod), Tatiana Kasatkina (Memorial human rights group), Sergei Kovalev (YABLOKO, Memorial human rights group), Tatiana Lokshina (Demos centre, Moscow), Timur Olevsky (journalist, reported about military operations in Ukraine), Oleg Orlov (Memorial human rights group), Kheda Saratova (human rights advocate from Chechnya, Memorial), Alexandr Cherkasov (Memorial human rights group), Grigory Shvedov (editor of Kavkazsky Uzel), Lev Shlosberg (YABLOKO Bureau member, Chair of the Pskov branch of YABLOKO), Mikhail Shevelev (independent journalist, made reports during the Chechen war) and others.

The conference will take place at YABLOKO main office, 31/2 Pyatnitskaya Street, construction 2.


The very first “secret” assault of Grozny, Chechnya, took place on November 26, 1994. The attempt of Russia’s secret services to capture the city and topple president Dzhokhar Dudayev failed. Russia’s militants who had been recruited by the Federal counterintelligence service participated in the assault. The abortive assault of Grozny showed the active participation of Russia’s authorities in the Chechen internal conflict and in connection with that the Security Council of the Russian Federation took the decision to start force “measures aimed at maintaining of constitutional order”. The burnt column of Russia’s tanks, captured Russia’s militants became the result of such a decision.

Minister for defense Pavel Grachev publicly abandoned the captured militants and stated that “a large number of mercenaries fight for both parties of conflict”. Also, he called the tank column “a column of armed opposition to Dudaev”. Despite the fact that at that time TV channels weren’t poisoned by censorship and showed the captured soldiers who said their names and part numbers, the official authorities abandoned them.

A similar thing takes place in Ukraine at the moment. “The lost paratroopers”, “captured and dead Russia’s soldiers who “suddenly” turned out to had been dismissed from the part lists” or had gone on “vacations”. They’ve been abandoned too.

The presence of the Russian army in the conflict in Ukraine is being officially belied the same way as in 1994. Everyone knows what followed the assault of Grozny, Chechnya, on November 26, 2014.


Death toll on behalf of the federal forces

5,402 killed

16,098 wounded

510 missing in action

Loses of the Chechen military units:

2500-2700 killed

Killed civilians:

According the Izvestia newspaper, from 9 to 14 thousand people

According to Aslan Maskhadov, more than 120.000


The Second Chechen war:

In August 1999 an uncontrollable group of Chechen militants invaded the territory Dagestan. The elected president Aslan Maskhadov disapproved of the invasion. However, the decree ordering the start of the “counter-terrorist operation” was passed by President Boris Yeltsin in September.

On September 23 Russian troops started mass bombing of Gronzny an its surrounding, on September 30 they entered the territory of Chechnya. The Second Chechen war continued the First Chechen war.

Military losses

According to Russia’s official data, the federal forces lost 4,572 soldiers, 15,549 were wounded, 10,800 Chechen militants were killed, about 1000 civilians were killed.

Dmitry Florin


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