Voices from Russia

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Chechen Soldiers in Aleppo “Ease Interaction with Locals”



Russia sent Chechen soldiers to Aleppo as part of the military police battalion tasked with restoring law and order in the Syrian city. The battalion went to Aleppo in late December after the Syrian Arab Army liberated the city from militant occupation, providing security to humanitarian aid workers and Russian sappers who are helping Syrians to rebuild their lives. Now, it has the task of maintaining law and order on the streets of a city devastated by a drawn-out conflict. R A Kadyrov, the Head of the Chechen Republic, stated that around 400 Chechen soldiers are taking part in the policing and law enforcement operation as well as helping with the reconstruction efforts in Aleppo. On 23 January, Kadyrov wrote on his Instagram page that a Chechen Gosduma deputy and a Chechen mufti visited Syria and met with Chechens serving in the military there. He said:

The soldiers were proud to have the honour of serving in Aleppo as part of a peacekeeping force that protects civilians from terrorists.

RT’s Mariya Finoshina, who recently returned from Aleppo, said locals appreciated patrols in the streets, as people are afraid of looters who took to plundering devastated houses at the same time as residents started returning to their homes. Those trying to reclaim their belongings in the abandoned neighbourhoods or wishing to stay view the Russians as their protectors. Finoshina believed:

Many of the Chechens are Sunni Muslims, so their part in the mission is logical. You don’t want to see a total stranger patrolling the streets of your home town. Therefore, sending Chechens was a logical decision because they aren’t only Muslims, they’re Sunnis. Aleppo is a conservative city… and the Chechens are familiar with the religious and cultural traditions of the people on the ground.

Aki Rizk, a Middle East expert, told us:

 The participation of Chechens could really make the Russian military police mission more successful. It’s a very good step; it’d lessen tension. The people of Chechnya and Aleppo have much in common, both in a cultural and religious sense. The anti-terrorist mood amongst the [Aleppo] population also contributes to the mission’s success. The Syrian people are sick and tired of terrorist groups and they’ll cooperate with anyone who stands against these groups.

30 January 2017



Saturday, 1 August 2015

1 August 2015. This is Russia, Too… Eid al-Fitr in Chechnya

00 cheche boy grozny. 010815


A Chechen boy performs an Eid al-Fitr prayer to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Chechen capital of Grozny.


Friday, 10 April 2015

10 April 2015. S I Umkhanov… “Miserere”… “Have Mercy on Me”

00 Sharip Umkhanov. Chechen. Russia. 10.04.15



S I Umkhanov is a rising youngish star in the Russian music world. He’s an ethnic Chechen, who went to Moscow to work in construction. He entered a singing contest, and the rest is history.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Kadyrov Blasts Europe Over Double Standards on Terrorism

President Ramzan Kadyrov


Chechen President R A Kadyrov said that elements who wanted to stir up anti-Islamic sentiment, to distract people from other problems, might’ve set up the unprecedented public response to the Charlie Hebdo shootings in France. Ramzan Akhmatovich shared his insights through his long-time medium of choice… Instagram. In an extensive post, Kadyrov said that he welcomed the “wholehearted” denunciations of terrorism by world leaders, as well as the millions of people taking part in demonstrations in Paris. He also condemned the killing of innocents by terrorists and said that he considered that the fight against terrorism was the most important task in his life. At the same time, Kadyrov posed a question. Did the denunciations aim only to slam terrorism in France, or were they targeting evil all over the world? He wrote:

Why didn’t the presidents, kings, and prime ministers lead protest marches against the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Afghans, Syrians, Egyptians, Libyans, Yemenis, and Iraqis? Why did they remain silent when terrorists exploded a bomb in the Chechen government HQ or when they blew up a Grozny stadium, killing Chechen President A A Kadyrov [R A Kadyrov’s father] and his aides? Why didn’t they react to the terakt on the school in Beslan and the hostage situation at Moscow’s Dubrovka Theater? Why did thy keep silent when in December 2014 terrorists captured the House of Press and a school in Grozny, killing and injuring over 50 people? It’s impossible to secure Paris, London, Madrid, and other European capitals if society fails to condemn those who raise and sponsor terrorism all over the world, masking it as support for national liberation movements.

Kadyrov suspected that some powerful forces prepared the whole scenario to incite anti-Islamic fervour in Europe or to distract public attention from some brewing global problem. A practising Muslim believer, Kadyrov also pointed up that he and his allies wouldn’t allow anyone to insult the Prophet, even if this would cost them their lives. He wrote, apparently addressing Western political leaders:

If we’re silent, this doesn’t mean that we can’t get millions of people onto the streets all over the world to protest against those who connive at insults to Muslim religious feelings. Is this what you want? The media allowed themselves to get involved in the scandal, so, they should apologise to Muslims to end the controversy. Peace and stability are more important for all peoples than the right of a handful of journalists to disrespect the Prophet.

12 January 2015




The Westerns are tossing around a grenade with the pin pulled out and they’re giggling manically. The murders are wrong… but it’s also wrong to insult a major world religion repeatedly… especially, when one knows that it could lead to random violence. I’m not advising a craven cowardice… I’m simply asking people to be pragmatic and attend to reality. How would the Western “leadership” react if others came into their living rooms and attacked their hedonism, moneygrubbing greed, and neoliberal rapaciousness (at least, neoliberal evils are real and manifest, not puffed-up like so-called Muslim “terrorism” is)? Why, they’d react in a MORE violent fashion that some Muslims are reacting! After all, we’re talking about demented toddlers who dropped two nuclear bombs AFTER Japan made clear calls for peace talks. Russia is right… we should have laws protecting religions from slander. After the Bulgariya sinking, Russians held THREE memorial services… one in the Orthodox cathedral, one in the Islamic mosque, and one civil secular ceremony on the docks. Now, that’s how we should do it! Ramzan Akhmatovich is right… certain parties are using a random act of violence to advance their agenda… and it’s NOT the Muslims…


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