Chechnya lies on the north inclines of the Caucasus Mountains. It is about the size of Connecticut ( 5,000 square stat mis or 13,000 square kilometres ) and has a population less than Maine ( one million ) . The Chechens call themselves and name their state Nokhchi Mokhk.
The Chechens have been chiefly herders and husbandmans. Harmonizing to the 1989 nose count, 70 % of all Chechens still lived in rural countries. The Caucasus Region, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, is a alone hamlets between Europe and Asia. Some of the earliest homo remains have been found at that place, dating from 100s of 1000s of old ages ago. The secret of Fe devising was discovered in the Caucasus 3,000 old ages ago and so distribute to the remainder of the universe ( Rodrigue ) . Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe, rises in the distance. Almost 30 million people who speak 40 different linguistic communications live in the Caucasian hills, vales and fields. A assortment of antediluvian and modern imperiums has sought to suppress this land.
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Most occupants in the North Caucasus follow a broad Islamic religion brought into the mountains in the fourteenth century with the occupying ground forcess of the Mongols. These Caucasus Muslims tend to follow Sufism, a moral and poetic faith infused with local traditions of household and community values.
Chechnya ‘s abundant natural resources supplied stuffs to the country ‘s concrete and asphalt workss, wood Millss, and brick mills. Local farms supplied flourmills, food-processing workss, and dairies. Residents maintained a dynamic array of schools, day cares, infirmaries, libraries, museums, and community centres. Chechens traveled widely throughout the Warsaw Pact states and were considered an educated, multilingual, and widely distributed people. Then, with the prostration of the Communist Party in 1991, every bit good as the political and economic crisis this brought approximately, the Caucasus went into an economic diminution, along with many other parts throughout the Soviet Union ( Wood ) .
At times Chechnya ‘s birth rate has raised 20-30 per centum. Some physicians say that Chechens have the highest birth rate in Russia. Even during bombardment, adult females got pregnant ; likely to do up for the loss of population ( Kline ) . Unfortunately, because of post-traumatic emphasis and environmental pollution, Chechnya is bring forthing a high per centum of kids with birth defects. One kid in 10 is born with some sort of anomalousness that requires intervention ( Kline ) .
Having lived in their North Caucasus fatherland for several thousand old ages, Chechens speak a distinguishable Caucasic linguistic communication, non-Slavic, non-Turkic, non-Persian, closely related to the linguistic communication of the adjacent Ingush. It is portion of the little household of Nakh-Daghestanian or Northeast Caucasic linguistic communications spoken by about 950,000 people in Chechnya. It was originally written with a version of the Arabic alphabet. Between 1923 and 1937, it was written with the Latin alphabet. The Cyrillic alphabet was adopted in 1938, and a new version of the Latin alphabet was adopted in 1992 ( Kline ) .
Lamb and mouton are basics of the Chechen diet. Like all Muslims, Chechens do non eat porc or porc merchandises. Tomatos, ruddy or green Piper nigrums, or aubergines are frequently stuffed with a land lamb mixture and baked. Milk merchandises, such as butter and cheese, are besides an of import portion of the diet. Fruits, fresh in summer and dried in winter, are the most common sweet. Traditionally, Chechen work forces and adult females dined individually. The work forces ate together in the dining room as the adult females cooked and served the nutrient. Then the adult females and kids ate in the kitchen. Larger, more traditional households, where many coevalss are dining together, frequently observe this segregation today. However, younger, more modern households tend to eat together instead than individually.
Chechen work forces recognize one another with handshakings. Womans are expected to act modestly in the company of work forces, maintaining their eyes lowered. When a adult male enters the room, adult females stand in regard. At most societal assemblages, work forces and adult females gather individually. Children remain with the adult females most of the clip. Segregation by gender is non purely observed in the workplace, although there is a inclination for work forces and adult females to pass most of their clip in the company of their ain gender.
In Chechnya, amusement centres around the household and the place and most people entertain at place. There are few coffeehouses, eating houses, or theatres [ they have all been devastated by a war that will non stop ] . Guests are treated to lucubrate and drawn-out repasts, and are expected to entertain their hosts in their ain places at a ulterior day of the month. Some socialization besides takes topographic point at work or school. Often, people will ask for the households of friends and coworkers to their places. Young people, who may wish to acquire out of the household environment from clip to clip, may acquire together in groups and travel for walks, particularly in the early eventides. Most Chechen places have telecastings, wirelesss, and stereos, and watching telecasting and listening to music are popular interests.
In modern society, a kid ‘s first twenty-four hours of school, which begins in the first class at the age of seven, is viewed as an of import measure toward greater adulthood. Most immature people spend some clip in high school, and many travel on to university, enabling them to bask some old ages of comparative freedom before presuming grownup functions. Even today, many immature work forces are married by age 20, and many misss marry at age 17 or 18. Most immature twosomes have kids shortly after matrimony. Even in modern Chechen society, the birth of a male child is viewed as an particularly of import juncture. Family and friends hold jubilations welcoming the new boy while the celebrations environing the birth of a girl are much more modest.
Chechens express great pride in their civilization and in the late ninetiess began to print aggregations of Chechen memoirs and folklore. Traditional music is really percussive and energetic, with membranophones and the squeeze box as the chief instruments. European and North American classical and stone music are available in Chechnya, but Chechen music is still really popular, even among immature people ( Kline ) .
Chechen towns and metropoliss have a big figure of little houses, set behind walls with their ain little courtyards and some people keep some little farm animal, such as poulets. Many towns, metropoliss, and rural countries were destroyed during the 1994-96 war, and 1000s of people were forced to fly their places.
Chechen work forces and adult females wear Western-style vesture, although some work forces, peculiarly those in rural parts, continue to have on the traditional tall leather boots and baggy pants. Women normally wear skirts or frocks that fall below the articulatio genus, and seldom frock in pants or short skirts. Womans in the metropoliss wear jewellery and usage cosmetics. Chechen work forces and adult females wear head coverings. Older adult females frequently wear wool headscarves, normally in Grey or black. The caput covering of younger adult females was, for a piece, strictly symbolic normally dwelling of a silk scarf, folded and wrapped around the caput to resemble a thick headband. Now, thanks to a quasi-official “ virtue run ” that has no legal footing, local governments prohibit adult females from working in the populace sector if they do non have on headscarves. Education governments likewise require female pupils to have on headscarves in schools and universities. Gradually, throughout 2009 and 2010, the governments broadened their enforcement of this de facto “ headscarf regulation ” to other public topographic points, including amusement locales, film, and even out-of-door countries. Though such steps do non hold any footing in the written Torahs applicable in the Chechen Republic, they are purely enforced. They are besides publically supported by the leader of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, who was appointed straight by the Kremlin ( Lokshina ) .
Dating is non normally portion of Chechen societal life. Marriages are sometimes arranged by households, as each household is seeking to get married into another household of at least equal, if non superior, wealth and societal standing. Many immature people choose whom they will get married, although they may inquire for parental blessing. Chechen parents exert considerable force per unit area on their kids to get married other Chechens. This is peculiarly true for adult females, as married adult females are considered to belong to the civilization of their hubbies.
Across Chechnya and neighbouring Ingushetia, a centuries-old tradition of bride-abduction still occurs. Violent bride abductions are staged about every hebdomad in the mountain-ringed, southern Russian democracies known as the North Caucasus ; during the spring nuptials season, it can go on every twenty-four hours. Young adult females are snatched from coach Michigans, on their manner place from school and sometimes out of their ain paces ( Tishkov ) .
Most Chechen adult females know the list of abduction regulations by bosom: If she did non get away before forenoon, there would be no opportunity of avoiding the forced matrimony. If an single Chechen adult female spends a dark in a adult male ‘s house, she is considered his married woman. If he touches her before matrimony, she is thought to be tainted. There are no difficult statistics on how many adult females are seized each twelvemonth in Chechnya and Ingushetia, but human-rights organisations say it is in the 1000s. Locals estimate that about half of all matrimonies begin with abductions.
Of all the Chechen traditions, the regulations regulating wooing and matrimony are the strictest. Physical contact between an single twosome is out. “ Dates ” usually consist of two people run intoing in a public topographic point for a conversation. A adult male must maintain a distance of at least 3 pess from his female comrade.
Polygyny was traditionally practiced among Chechens. Harmonizing to Islamic limitations, a adult male can hold no more than four married womans and he must supply every bit for each. During the old ages of Soviet power, this pattern was outlawed and it stopped. However, since the autumn of Soviet power and the rise in Islamic tradition, involvement in the pattern has grown. Although polygyny is non widely practiced, some Chechen work forces take a 2nd married woman. A 2nd married woman is non merely a agency of conveying more kids into the household, but besides of exposing prestigiousness and wealth.
The traditional function of adult females is to keep the family and raise kids. In earlier times, few adult females attended school or pursued callings. Chechen society remains quite traditional, puting a high value on a adult female ‘s domestic responsibilities.
Many rural households still live in big household units. The extra labour provided by many household members helps increase the economic public assistance of the whole household. In urban countries, few households live in the traditional, extended household groups. Married couples seldom unrecorded with the married woman ‘s household. The youngest married woman in the family is considered the lowest individual in the household hierarchy. Therefore, she normally does the majority of the work and unpleasant undertakings. Many households continue to utilize doweries and bride monetary values to negociate the matrimony of their kids, although these were declared illegal under Soviet jurisprudence.
Chechen civilization revolves foremost around the tightly knit, patriarchal households, followed by trueness to the local kin. Chechens, in peculiar, are proud of the part ‘s non-Russian individuality. Family disputes, offenses and most societal issues are settled by spiritual leaders and kin seniors, non province governments. Blood feuds and vigilance man justness are common. Rituals environing decease are by and large spiritual, although deceases are ever registered with local governments. The household of the deceased by and large holds a big banquet for grievers ( Smith ) .
Traditionally, Chechens were sheep husbandmans, with work forces populating a semi mobile life attach toing the herds through mountain grazing lands. In the 20th century, chances for instruction and urban employment grew, and many people chose to go forth agriculture, obtain higher instruction, and work in the towns or metropoliss. Oil refinement has been an of import portion of the Chechen economic system, pulling many workers.
The most pressing societal jobs in Chechnya today are effects of the 1994-96 and 1999 war with Russia. Many people spent about two old ages as refugees in neighbouring districts, returning to disrupted lives and destroyed places in their native part. Education was disrupted and chances for a normal societal life and secure life environment were delayed for immature people of the late ninetiess. Many young persons were exposed to and involved in great force. Many were orphaned, and some were severely injured.
Politicss and power in Chechnya is complicated. Conflict has raged intermittently since the mid-18th century. Reports of contending between czarist Russian forces and Muslim folks in the part day of the month back every bit early as 1722. By mid-century, Russian military personnels had occupied much of the area.A At the same clip, Sheikh Mansur, a Muslim churchman, unified the Chechen folks and declared holy war on the tsar and his ground forces, presenting a flooring licking to Russian forces in 1785. Mansur is still seen as a mystical figure and an inspiration to coevalss of Chechen separationists. Following Mansur ‘s triumph, the tsar dispatched more military personnels with an oculus toward annexing the part. During renewed force, Chechnya ‘s 2nd great military leader emerged – another Muslim sanctum adult male, Imam Shamil ( Stone ) .
Shamil would take decennaries of opposition utilizing emerging guerrilla techniques to queer Russian attempts. As the Muslim combatants continued to defy, Russian forces poured into the part, finally capturing Shamil in 1859. The tsar moved rapidly to squelch any other rebellion, officially annexing the district that same twelvemonth and coercing 1000s of Shamil ‘s protagonists to fly to other countries, including the Ottoman Empire. During this combat in the 1850s, Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy served with tsarist military personnels in Chechnya. After witnessing the devastation of a Chechen small town and the barbarous repression of its citizens, Tolstoy described the occupants ‘ reaction:
The feeling which all Chechens felt, both immature and old, was stronger than hatred. It was… such a repugnance, disgust and obfuscation at the senseless inhuman treatment of these existences, that the desire to destruct them, like a desire to destruct rats, toxicant spiders and wolves, was every bit natural as the inherent aptitude for self-preservation.
Despite this historic choler and bitterness, Chechnya remained reasonably stable after it was granted a semi-autonomous position within Russia. The comparative composure would last for another 50 old ages until the Bolshevik revolution. When that rebellion occurred in 1917, the Chechens once more used the pandemonium within Russia to try to make an independent North Caucasic province. Its combatants took on both the rebellious Red Russians and the counter-revolutionary White Russians.
However, as the Soviets took full control in Moscow, they exerted more power in the Caucasus, forcibly repressing the opposition in the early thirtiess. When the Russians once more offered the Chechens a nominally independent democracy in 1936 in a command to stop the force, the Chechens joined with neighbouring Ingushetia in 1934 to organize a joint democracy that was subsequently named the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
Less than a decennary subsequently, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, who had ordered legion purgings of the Communist party, the military and other cultural groups, decided the Chechens could non be trusted in such a polar part. Accusing the Chechens of being pro-Nazi, Stalin deported about all of them – more than 500,000 work forces, adult females and kids – to Kazakhstan. He besides deported the full population of neighbouring Ingushetia. Stalin ‘s exile orders were carried out on Feb. 23, 1944, a day of the month that remains a standard in Chechen history ( Lyons ) .
The Chechens stayed in Kazakhstan for more than ten old ages, isolated from the local Kazakhs and resentful of the Soviets. Following Stalin ‘s decease in 1953, the Soviets eased their limitations on the Chechens and Ingush and about all had begun to return to their fatherland by 1957. Although studies vary widely, experts estimate some 200,000 Chechens died during the expatriate ( Gokay ) . Although the Chechens were allowed to return and their limited democracy was restored, the Soviets continued to restrict their ability to pattern Islam, and many of the part ‘s mosques were non rebuilt until good into the 1970s ( Nekrich ) . Ingushetia would subsequently divide from Chechnya to organize its ain independent democracy. When Chechnya declared itself independent of Russia after the prostration of the Soviet Union, the Ingush objected, preferring to maintain their ties with Moscow.
Richard Clogg, professor of modern Balkan history at the University of London, wrote in a 1995 article for the Times of London that Russia ‘s moves to restrict Islam ‘s spiritual influence in the part merely strengthened the Chechens ‘ beliefs. He wrote, “ Far from stultifying the influence of Islam, as the Soviet governments hoped, such policies merely drove faith even further belowground, and the influence of the Sufi tarikats, or spiritual brotherhoods, if anything, increased ” ( Henkin ) .
The part one time once more experienced an uneasy composure during the 1970s and 80s, but as the Soviet Union began to unknot, Chechnya one time once more made a move towards independency. Like anterior efforts, the independency motion would devolve into a guerilla war between the Russian ground forces and hawkish separationists aimed at stoping more than 150 old ages of Russian regulation.
During the 2nd Chechen war, terrorist act was transformed from an occasional maneuver, normally aiming specific Russian functionaries into a strategic arm of pick. Like panic everyplace, Chechen panic was progressively employed against civilians, and carried out by civilians ( Henkin ) . One illustration of this was adult females suicide bombers, who were responsible for at least 220 deceases in 17 recorded incidents. Another, more lurid illustration would be the school in Beslan. There were 317 sureties killed [ including 186 kids ][ 2 ].
Terrorism in a state of affairs such as the one between Russia and Chechnya is frequently viewed as one of the lone staying options for success. The Chechens, unable to negociate the coveted alteration through political agencies, have deemed it necessary to fall back to steps that are more drastic in order to do their demands known. Obviously, the terminal end for them is to coerce Russia into allowing Chechnya ‘s full independency in return for an terminal to the force.
Prior to her slaying on October 10, 2006, the Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya, assessed Chechnya like this:
Merely a lunatic could envy the Chechens who live in Russia now. In old ages gone by, their state of affairs was awkward, but since the Nord-Ost besieging [ 2002 ] , the machinery of racially based province requital has been in overdrive. Racial onslaughts and purgings supervised by constabularies have become platitude. In a individual minute people ‘s lives are ruined, they lose their place, their occupations, any kind of societal support, and for merely one ground: they are Chechens ( Politkovskaya ) .