"The Chechen mujahedeen cumulate their malice caused by the Armenian policy" - Mediamax.am


"The Chechen mujahedeen cumulate their malice caused by the Armenian policy"

Exclusive interview of the chief ideologist of Chechen gunmen Movladi Udugov to Mediamax (July 1999).

Movladi Udugov
Movladi Udugov

Exclusive interview of the chief ideologist of Chechen gunmen Movladi Udugov to Mediamax (July 1999).

In July 1999, Mediamax made an exclusive interview with Movladi Udugov, who was considered to be the "chief ideologist" of Chechen gunmen during the first Chechen war. We established contact with Udugov through the "Caucasus Center" web site and shortly afterwards received written answers to our questions with the following reference: "We can't answer all your questions due to  reasons beyond our control; nevertheless we will try to be objective and sincere."


Only a month after this interview, the units of Chechen gunmen led by Shamil Basayev and Hattab attacked Dagestan. Thus, the second Chechen war broke out.


We think it will be interesting for you to read this interview today, 12 years later.

- Have there been any contacts and meetings between the Armenian and Chechen authorities in recent years as well as during war in Chechnya?


- During the 1991 events, when the power in Ichkeria passed to the All-National Congress of the Chechen People, the unofficial delegation of the Supreme Council of Armenia headed by the chairman of one of the committees has arrived in Grozny several times. I can't remember his name, I only know that he personally knew Johar Dudayev.


- Is it true that the Chechen detachments headed by commanders Shamil Basayev and Ruslan Gelayev took part in hostilities in Nagorno Karabakh?


- (No answer).


- How do you imagine the settlement of the Karabakh conflict? What do you think, how can the dilemma between the people's right for self-determination and the principle of inviolability of borders be solved in this case?


- Such dilemmas exist because of the initially false formulation of the question. We are not disposed to support the declarative-political games, which disguise the true state of affairs. The truth is that by the end of XX century the contours of the Christian-heathen union become more precise and the nucleus of this union is the Zionism. This alliance has announced a war against the Islamic world. This alliance is, actually, shamelessly occupying the Islamic lands. Karabakh (by the way, the Chechen name of Karabakh is Arts) is not only an Azerbaijani territory, it is the territory of Muslims.


- Do you see any parallels between Karabakhi and Chechen conflicts?


- In this context, the Western alliance, sometimes vaguely known as the "international community", secretly backs the occupation of Karabakh and simultaneously pushes Russia not to leave Ichkeria (as if it depends on Russia).


- How do you assess the policy of Armenian authorities, particularly on common Caucasian issues?


- The seizure and the occupation of 20% of territories of a neighboring country - is an unprecedented case even for the post-Soviet space. This is a short-sighted policy, especially in the Caucasus. There have never been such cases in the history of relations of Caucasian nations. This cumulates the indignation of the majority of Caucasian people, especially of Chechens.


- Do you feel any changes in the Armenian policy especially after the power had passed from Levon Ter-Petrosyan to Robert Kocharyan?


- This question is incorrect for a political scientist. The Armenian policy has for long time depended on separate people and parties and is dictated by those who help by supplying "Mirage" and "MiG” aircrafts. Unfortunately, Armenian politicians have made themselves and the whole Armenian people the hostage of foreign interests.


- What do you think, could Chechnya play a role of a mediator in normalizing relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey?


- Chechnya cannot be a mediator between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The mediation primarily assumes neutrality. We cannot copy "neutrality" of Western Europe. God never forgives hypocrisy. We speak for the unconditional voluntary liberation of Azerbaijani territories. And we will support the Muslim people of Azerbaijan.


- How do you see the future of relations between Armenia and Chechnya?


- Everything depends on the Armenian leadership. Will it change its political course or not? Will it give up the historical anachronism - the territorial occupation? It's a question to think about: why doesn't USA, being stronger than Armenia, physically annex anybody's territories?


- What is Armenia's place in the Caucasus?


- Armenia's place in the Caucasus and its role will depend on the policy of the Armenian state.


- Armenia is actively developing its military cooperation with Russian and describes Russia as its chief military-strategic partner. Can this have a negative impact on Armenian-Chechen relations?


- Armenia's military-strategic partner (Moscow) will have serious problems and distresses next year.  But even if Armenia turns to NATO there will be no principal difference. Both Russia and NATO will stick to anti-Islamic orientation. So, the relations between Chechnya and Armenia won't improve. One may chose any sponsors and partners, but in case of the negative political outcome Armenia cannot be shifted either to Arkhangelsk region or to the Iberian Peninsula.


- How do you estimate Iran's role in our region?


- I have an impression that Iran has chosen wrong guidelines.


- In June 1997, Ahmed Zakayev stated that Georgia was Chechnya's main strategic partner. What are the main priorities of Chechnya in relations with three South Caucasus countries today?


- The main priority of Ichkeria is the decolonization of the Caucasus.


- Is there a hostile attitude towards Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh in Chechnya?


- As I have said before, the Chechen mujahedeen cumulate their fury caused by the Armenian policy. I know that task number 2 for many Islamic military groups after the liberation of Dagestan is Karabakh.


- What relations will be between Christians and Muslims in the 21st century?


- (No answer).


- Don't you think that the fight of Karabakhi and Chechen people is somewhat similar? The two nations, have actually upheld and continue to uphold their right to live on their home land.


- (No answer).


- Will you visit Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh if you are invited to?


- (No answer).


- If the war in Nagorno Karabakh resumes, will the Chechen volunteers express desire to take part in it?


- Islamic military units will not be waiting for the resumption of the war in Nagorno Karabakh. According to some information, they are planning to launch a campaign for the restoration of Islamic territories in the South Caucasus in 2000.


- Mr. Udugov, today there are many speculations about vahabism which is being widely spread in Chechnya. Can this movement be indeed dangerous for the outer world?


- Vahabism is s political and propagandistic myth.


- The Chairman of the parliamentary group of friendship with the peoples of Caucasus of the Georgian parliament, Mamuka Areshidze, said that you are the ideological inspirer of Chechen vahabists. What can you say in this regard?


 - Mamuka is wrong!


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