Karamahi: and brother went to his brother

This article was written in autumn 1999, after his return, a group of representatives of the "Memorial" from the war zone in Dagestan. During the two-week trip, among other things, we interviewed refugees from the villages of the Kadar zone, twice visited the village Karamahi, acquainted with the submitted materials Dagestani authorities about the events in the area, talked with the military. Meetings and discussions with the residents of the villages were not like the "organized" by the authorities — although some of our interviewees stated the only "official truth", but most were ordinary people caught in the languid incidents that with all my heart were in charge of the catastrophic events in their own villages. Uniformly collected information evolved into the picture — a coherent, albeit complicated.

Just this complexity and it was a major difference from most of the media coverage of those weeks. Most of the journalists certainly took the "federal" side. In general, place and time of the incident was given to the foundation — in Dagestan in August-September 1999, the Russian military, for the first time, for sure, since 1945 having felt intercessors own people behave accordingly … however, for by certain exceptions. Specifically, such an "exception" was Karamahinsky enclave, otherwise known as the Kadar zone: here the "siloviki" behaved like a foreign land. On the reverse side of this war, then do not write a lot: Russian media just chose only "one side of the coin," even now — with all my heart and voluntarily.

But the reason for writing the present paper, the publication of the other series, the number of stay in minority — because of the last incident of such texts have more chance to be accepted as truth. In the 37th issue of "Novaya Gazeta" for 1999 was published a story written by Alexander Gorshkov officer who participated in the "clean-up" of the village Karamahi. In this story, it was just about the "horrors of war", but in-1's, the inhabitants of the village Stavan as a single mass opposes the federal forces, and second, 2, ruthlessness last eclipsed "cleansing" of the first Chechen war. In Karamahi we beheld another — but more on that in the article …

This response article we wrote and sent to the editor, but it has not been posted — now it does not matter why. Started collapse events: and the Caucasus — in October the federal troops entered Chechnya — and in Russia as a whole — the political process, for whom the war was a major public relations tool. What happened in Dagestan were quickly removed in the past.

And now, the publication of this article seems entirely appropriate. And as the action of August and September 1999 in the village of Karamahi — A part of our overall 'continuing past ", in which up to now have not understood. And since, in spite of all the changes, the style of Russian power in almost everything remains the same: at first did not notice the problem of later — do not ignore the complexity, and ultimately the use of force. All this, of course, is beautiful — at first seems to be no problems later — they are but ordinary, after all, the same way a conventional fixed. Curtain. Understanding the problems, discussion, decision making — all this seems to be missing. Now — as a public place that almost collapsed. Then, in the late 1990s — as the Russian society itself, voluntarily turned away from difficult issues.

A. Ch

The group of men in civilian clothes, sitting in the square at the dilapidated buildings of the former police station, a man came up and began to read excitedly about something. Frowning people got up, took the gun and went swiftly from the square up the street. There, on the forested slopes of the mountains surrounding the village, still hiding some of those who are called Wahhabis, 1st just beheld near the caves. Now militias were to capture or destroy their own countryman. Soon the top of gunfire rang out.

The scene we watched on September 20 [1999] in the village Karamahi. The first time one of us [A.Cherkasov] was there when there was a "sweep", the second time we came to the village when it was already part of the "tipped" and controlled by local militias.

At the entrance to the village on the side of the highway was a longish column of trucks, trailers, cars. She walked along piles something very disgruntled men — this Karamahi inhabitants and Chabanmakhi who fled their villages, expected permission to return to their destroyed homes. Then — a police post, serpentine, zigzag road in the valley, a few burnt APCs on the sidelines, and in the end, reveals views of the village Karamahi. Here, we check-in is the Dagestani police detachment. Military uniform leave the Kadar zone, handing control of the villages of Dagestan Interior Ministry. Immediately scurrying and local residents — those who by hook or by crook managed to overcome the cordons on the road and get to the village. After learning that one of us [Kovalyov] — Deputy of the State Duma, they immediately began to complain about — say, at the moment, when the fighting was over, and most of the inhabitants of the reverse is not allowed, there is looting the remaining houses and even debris. The police — and visitors, and the, Dagestan — pull out all the houses that survived.

In Karamahi policemen were practically no — fear of entrenched on the slopes of the nearby mountains of the snipers, they tend not to roam the rural streets. Militia groups from neighboring villages Avar (live in the Kadar zone, in the main, Dargin) any Karamahi nor Chabanmakhi were not admitted. To maintain order in the Karamahi allowed to return part of the first battles fleeing local residents, which the Interior Ministry has distributed carbines. But many of the militia were armed with machine guns, and we did not ask where they got them. The reaction to the news of the militia of the detected somewhere near their countrymen-Wahhab we outlined at the beginning of the article.


Karamahi village was terribly destroyed — almost no intact homes, most of the buildings converted into ruins. But even now it was clear that this was a strong, rich and hard-working village. It is widely stretched in a small mountain valley. Benign spacious house surrounded by a huge estate. Visible and the source of wealth — in the village and around the whole earth, treatable, busy, in the main, and gardens. Grown cabbage, potatoes, other vegetables villagers themselves were taken to sell not only in Dagestan, and far beyond. To do this, almost every family had its own cargo trailer which, in addition, be allowed to the same additional income due to distant transportation.

Village streets are paved, held dioxide and water. Most of the houses are heated by gas fired steam heating in the winter. Now gas lines torn and mangled blast, riddled with shrapnel.

"Where is the treasure? No differently from both the Wahhabis!" — Is specifically stated in almost every newspaper and magazine articles. It is they, the Wahhabis (depending on sympathy creator, or tricky trying to bribe the villagers, or, on the contrary, taking care of their welfare) provided funds for the purchase of trailers, gasify and asphalted village. Such claims have caused confusion last occupants Karamahi and Chabanmakhi with whom we discussed. Trucks, including trailers, they got to the rise of the Wahhabis in their villages, and with them — but on their
own, their heavy and long hard-earned money.

What's all the same for the beautification of the village, then there is more difficult. As we can see, the emergence in the village of aspiring power of fundamentalist religious community had so only indirectly related. Street paving, gas supply, water supply improvement karamahintsy associated with the name of the head of administration and villages Karamahi Chabanmakhi Ahmed Atayev. In any case, particularly when it was carried out a significant part of the work. Of course, he was a puppet of Makhachkala authorities and tried to stand up to those who are (true or not — we will not go into a discussion on the subject) is called Wahhabis. Based on the traditional conflictological scheme, in similar cases, to reduce the base of support for opposition groups, the authorities are encouraged to draw attention to the social sector — and that was manufactured. Administration of Karamahi allocated funds for improvement, but it did not help. June 21, 1996 who was riding in the car Atayev was killed in an ambush. Failed to find the killers. Arrested several members of the Wahhabi community, which were later acquitted by the Supreme Tribunal of Dagestan for lack of evidence.

Now the former prosperity has remained in the past. It is clear that the restoration of the village will leave long years, and winter [of 1999-2000] is about to begin. Specifically for this karamahintsy chabanmahintsy and we are states impose strict count of his fellow villagers, the Wahhabis, "We do it states that they should at least have tempered their intransigence of the authorities. Warned that the village is not going to end well. So no, they did not want to listen to us, have started an armed confrontation. At any cost want to assert their "proper authorities." And now sat there. Because blocked. "


There are other claims — first, the imposition of the majority, their own ideas about how to live — often by force.

"Why, if I want to celebrate the marriage, I can not do it because it was always we made? Why did they forbade us to celebrate Happy holiday, for example, New Year, the first of May, March 8? "

Wahhabism — a branch of Islam that seeks to cleanse it from the multi-strata and deformations, does not recognize the separation of temporal and spiritual power. In those regions of Dagestan, where Wahhabism developed for many years (for example, in CE), it was still peaceful coexistence can be classic and Wahhabi communities, their dialogue and even reconciliation. But Karamahi Wahhabis came outside and only recently, as a closed and brutal sect. They gradually at first, and later — all the more determined to have taken power in the village in his hands, after all — drove the police, and began to organize a righteous life on my own. Resisted innovations only active minority karamahintsev. Much of the same villagers, accustomed to obey even how fads Russian authorities initially took the "reform" as insignificant, but in the end themselves suddenly awakened in the criteria for Shariah rule, where virtually all of them to comply with customs (and not only the first of May and March 8) were outlawed.

A separate issue — the activity of the sharia court. This tribunal, composed of residents and Karamahi Chabanmakhi, introduced the practice of extensive application in relation to his fellow villagers corporal punishment. Ordinary sentence — 40 strokes of the cane. A list of offenses for which the punishment could follow a similar, was quite large. In most cases — the drunkenness, or violation of public policy. But it could be another "crime." For example, in June of this year, was punished by caning inmate Karamahi who dared to participate in an organized administration of Makhachkala action against Wahhabism. In general, the court and punished for serious crimes. During the reign of the Wahhabis in Karamahi was one murder in this case made him a member of the Wahhabi community. In a domestic quarrel he shot from the machine's own neighbor. Sharia tribunal sentenced the killer to pay a fine and expulsion from the village. They say that the prisoner had gone to Chechnya. According to the views of all our interlocutors, the tribunal was biased, resulting in a very Myagenko sentence handed down.

"Why does it have expressed their dissatisfaction karamahintsy only at the moment?" — We asked. "And where did you get this? We protested, some of us have even staged a demonstration in Makhachkala. Urge authorities to restore order in our villages. But we did not listen. Authorities then it is not profitable to contact the Wahhabis. And journalists who come to our village They surrounded the special attention and did not allow them to even talk to us "- these were about the answers.

Wahhabi community itself was closed to the outside world, that is, for the majority of the population of villages. Now the villagers could not affect the relations of the modern Wahhabi authorities with the district, Dagestan and other controls — and had no disk imaging on these relationships.

In general, the main surprise for us was a catastrophic split in the middle of the inhabitants of the village. Not enough that virtually everyone with whom we discussed in the village and beyond, with varying degrees of disapproval expressed about their own countrymen-Wahhabis. In the end, it was worth the wait, and in the criteria for the defeat of the fundamentalists. But many people directly and without judgment but know when the inhabitants of the village indicated vahhbitov feds. One of our interlocutor confessed that he pointed to the staff of the Interior Ministry's own uncle.

Specifically, as the fleeing inhabitants of the villages was carried out filtering. In the Kadar zone detention of alleged "Wahhabi" orders not taken indiscriminately (and therefore mass) character, as was the case during the "clean-up" during the last war in Chechnya. The refugees were in charge of us that by checking all of the guys on the roads leading out of Karamahi and Chabanmakhi, police checks their documents with some lists, and in the absence of documents demonstrating someone invisible, the seating inside the armored personnel carrier at the viewing slots, either dark glass machine. As a result, the number of detainees was not great — in the middle of September, there were about 80 people, including those taken specifically from the villages.


When the assault began Karamahi and Chabanmakhi, the absolute majority of them living in the five thousand inhabitants managed to leave them. Maybe the approval officer on whose story refers Gorshkov, that "before the battle came out less than five hundred civilians" corresponds to reality. But for the subsequent — "most people understand that they have nowhere to go, and chose to go to the mountains or to die defending their homes," — obviously far from reality. Indeed, the inhabitants of the villages were not warned about the beginning of the future of military operations — not rural Wahhabi top, intensively preparing for the defense, neither Republican nor federal authorities. About the beginning of the operation of early in the morning on August 28 [1999] they notified the volley "Castle," hit the field in rural districts Kadar, and machine-gun fire, which was met outside the village of internal forces. Right behind it during the morning and the first half of the day or there was a massive final inhabitants. Check out the inhabitants of no one — neither defending nor attacking — not impeded. It claimed all of our interlocutors. Most of the people leaving the country on th
eir own cars on the highway. Neither here nor there on the highway for the first day or fights not lupila artillery and aviation. "If we knew that the artillery will not belabor the whole day, we would have taken even that-nibudt of property, cattle were loaded into trucks. And so it was left. Now even dress for the winter there is nothing "- that is the main and, of course, a fair claim the majority of refugees to the feds. The village remained, except for "Wahhabi" families hiding in shelters, only a few.

So, for example, the ancestors of our driver (who lived in Makhachkala, but was a native of Karamahi), retired, did not want to leave his old age his own house: they could not believe that the fights are so long-term and cruel. During his first visit to the village the driver failed to find out anything about their fate. But by the time our second trip to the village, he beamed with joy ancestors alive! Their house was destroyed, his mother collapsed wall has broken ribs, but they survived the shelling, "cleansing", and is now in Makhachkala.


Families Wahhabis had a harder time. In the middle of the ladies and kids were killed. Is it only from the shooting — we do not know. But we do know that, at least, some of them survived. How to come out one group of these families, there are a lot of witnesses.

One day, when the "sweep" of the villages came to an end through Karamahi strshnaya procession proceeded. Ahead of the APC, which the men carried the body's own dead comrade, persecuted group of several 10-s ladies and kids. According to witnesses, they were obviously in shock — on the faces of them did not affect rovnenky account nor any feelings. APC back dragged on the ground with ropes tied to it by the feet three male bodies. On this day, the soldiers found one of the shelters in which four militants were hiding and the family members of the village defense. The soldiers fired ladies and children. In the ensuing firefight then killed one Russian soldier and three militants. Ladies and kids escorted for interrogation for the next day they were released. We tried to talk to these ladies in Makhachkala, but they, unfortunately, have turned aside from the meeting.

So the world, as if when stripping destroyed all life, far away from reality. While the merciless execution (similar to the one described in the article Gorshkova) certainly were. And perhaps there were many such cases. In any case, we have recorded one case of torture and murder the next.

The local militia led us to a concrete pillar in the square. On the pole appeared bloody streaks, next to the ground — a large pool of dried blood. According to the militiamen, confirmed later by other residents of the village, for day or two before our arrival, the soldiers of internal troops captured in one of the houses of the sleeping man, whom they found a grenade. Some of karamahintsev who were in the village, was recognized in him a member of the local Wahhabi community. Soldiers of the arrested were taking part in the "clean-up" staff Makhachkala riot police. Riot police immediately began questioning — they motivate, where militants are hiding. The delayed or did not know or would not answer. He was tied to a pole, shot first one and then the other leg, cut ear, eventually destroyed. The militia, with all his own dislike of the Wahhabis were shocked repossession — extrajudicial, ruthless, publicly.

In general, the militia karamahintsy very disapproved of various special squad MIA — Riot police, of SWAT, Special Forces. For all this they always clarified that a similar relationship does not apply to military personnel and DoD Interior Ministry. Here's another example of the "arts" such riot. We were told about the burning of homes that occurred the other day of our arrival — not just told, and showed more smoldering fires.

According karamahintsev, the village came a detachment of some special forces. Militias for something again forced to do "mop up" one of the streets, where there were still whole or only partly curled home. Later, they were ordered to leave the area of the village, and there came commandos. "And then we litsezreem as smoke rises from the 1st house, later came on another third. This house is not Wahhabis. Set fire to the house of our militiamen. Rob Well, what is then set on fire!?" At the same time, and burned miraculously preserved Wahhabi madrasas, as it had intended to settle in the winter, several families left homeless.


Such a sad result of the "restore constitutional order" in the villages and Karamahi Chabanmakhi.

Do I have to use military force there? We believe that the government not only can, and should, in certain cases, to use force to protect the rights and freedoms of their own people. But for some reason the power we have very often used when it's too late to indulge in anything, except bombs and shells, and instead of a police operation carried out troop. And in this case, the government has not fulfilled its obligation — to stop the illegal activity groups, imposing its will on other citizens. The bodies of state power — both federal and Dagestani — preferred long time, "ignore" what happened in the Kadar zone. And later came in handy tanks, aircraft, Special Forces and "cleansing."

October 1999


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