On Sept. 11, terrorism was brought to the forefront, and recent events in Chechnya brought this topic to light once again. Students at last Friday’s Teach-In addressed the problems facing Chechnya.
There are several narratives available about the nature of the problems within Chechnya, professor Vladislav Zubok said.
“There’s the narrative of decolonization and the weakness of the empire. There’s the question of terrorism, which is the means of the underdog to fight against the superpower-in this case, Russia. And there’s the failure of independency for Chechnya,” said Zubok.
Due to the long range of this conflict, it is unclear whether the problem will be resolved and what the resolution will be.
“I don’t know what to do about the situation. It cannot be easily resolved and I’m afraid that it will not be resolved because of all of the bloodshed. It’s unclear for how long this bloodshed will continue,” Zubok said.
Tom Mosher questioned Zubok about Putin’s intentions with the current war.
“I’m wondering if, in your opinion, Putin might use this war to centralize power within Russia. The media shows the state taking over control, especially with the election of governors. The trends are all there,” Mosher noted.
“It’s definitely all collected. What Putin says and does is what he thinks. He said recently, ‘We showed our weaknesses and lost, it’s time to be strong.’ Everybody was expecting something grand but instead he said lets abolish local elections for governors,” Zubok replied.
In order to solve this problem, Dottie Cartwright wanted to know what type of government would work within Chechnya.
“We know from the history of de-colonization that charismatic leaders that lead reconstruction acts are able to gain the support of the people. That’s no longer the case in Chechnya. Dudaev [the former Chechen leader] is dead. [The Russians] could have negotiated with him; now they have Baseab,” Zubok stated.
Next Friday’s Teach-In will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 8; Ryan Zastowney will discuss the American Indian Movement.
Erin Schlesing can be reached at email@example.com.