Boutros Boutros-Ghali, General Secretary March 5, 1996
United Nations Organization
Esteemed Mr. General Secretary,
I appeal to you at the moment when Russian air force and artillery are destroying a Chechen town of Sernovodsk, and whenhundreds of its inhabitants - children, women, and old people - perish in the cellars of their homes.
The insane war carried out by Russia against Chechnya under the false pretext of establishing the constitutional order hasalready taken many thousands of civilian lives. It destroyed the capital city of Groznyi, Samashki, and dozens of other townsand villages. Not even World War II brought so total a destruction. Only in the course of recent weeks the war swept off theface of the earth the towns of Pervomaisk, Novogroznenskii, and many villages. These towns, even if poor or rundown, werehomes to people, who lived according to their own custom, and who are now being ruthlessly destroyed only for being theChechens and desiring not to live under the diktat of Russia. The atrocity of the events on the Chechen soil can be compared tothe actions of the Hitlerite goons in Belarus and to the Stalin's deportation of the Chechen people over half a century ago.
The tragedy unfolds according to a frightening plan. Army formations surround a town or a village under the pretext of fighterspresence there. Only a small fraction of inhabitants manages to escape from the encirclement. Medical help, humanitarian aidand reporters are not allowed in the area. Sweeping bombardment and artillery attack begin, among other means by theweapons of the GRAD type banished from use against civilian targets. When nothing is left of the town, an army unit carries out"cleansing": all men, from 14-15 year-old teenagers to the elderly, are taken in an unknown direction. Many of them vanishwithout a trace, while some are put in the "filtration camps", to be subjected to beatings and torture. Cases of arbitraryexecutions are also known.
I know that Djokhar Dudaev, President of Chechnya, addressed you several times. I do not at all approve of the tone or styleof his addresses, but in essence he is right. A genocide of the Chechen people is being carried out, and the responsibility for itrests with the President of Russia.
I call on you to prevent the final solution of the Chechen question. I call on you to use fully your good offices and authority topreserve life of the Chechen people not yet destroyed by bombs, shells, starvation, and cold, or in the filtration camps in thecourse of fourteen months of war.
With respect and hope,
translated by Tatiana Yankelevich
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