Oleg Orlov's speech at the anti-war rally on 15 March: "Twenty years in a state of war"

posted 21 Mar 2014, 03:20 by Rights in Russia   [ updated 21 Mar 2014, 03:36 ]
17 March 2014

Source: HRO.org (info
Today we say, ‘No to war!’

But let’s remember that for 20 years now our country has practically never ceased being in a state of war.

Let’s remember how and why the First and then the Second Chechen wars began.

Let’s remember that those wars began under the slogans of restoring the constitutional order, disarming unlawful military groups, protecting the Russian population.

Friends, does this remind us of anything? Isn't it true that the slogans are very similar to those of today used to justify the military invasion of a brother country – Ukraine?

But in fact, of course, the Chechen wars were started for a quite different purpose: to enable a group of people that had landed in the Kremlin to hold on to power in Russia. The war was used as 'political technology', as a means to mobilise the population to support the authorities. For a non-democratic regime there is no better means than war to suppress the opposition, take control of the mass media, brain wash a significant part of the population, and raise a wave of pseudo-patriotism. 

Yeltsin didn’t manage to do this trick, but Putin at the beginning of the 21st century played this card with panache. Putin is a man of war and depends on people whom war helped stay in power. It was precisely the war in the North Caucasus that made it possible to hold on to power in the Kremlin. It was precisely the continuation of the armed conflict that was used to put an end to democracy and move towards a police state, to abolish the elections of governors, and to infinitely widen the powers of the security services.

But what did we get as a result of these internal bloody wars?

We have ended up with people from the security services in many of the key positions of state. People who have been trained in a school of complete arbitrariness, who have complete impunity for crimes, for abductions, for torture, for the organization of death squads and secret prisons, for the murder of peaceful civilians.

And in addition we have been given the totalitarian regime of Kamzan Kadyrov in Chechnya. A regime under which people are afraid to complain if their son has been abducted, if their business has been taken from them, if they themselves have been forced in a police station to beat a relative who had allowed himself to wear a long beard.

But perhaps as a result of these wars Russians were successfully protected? Perhaps now Russians have started to return to Chechnya? Of course we all know the answers to these questions. The answer is 'no'. And of course it was Russians who were killed in the cellars of Grozny from Russian bombs and shells. 

Perhaps the constitutional order has been reestablished? Yes, the constitution now is being observed in Chechnya to the letter. But it is a very particular constitution, consisting of one article: ‘Ramzan said it should be so!’

My colleagues and I are convinced that the wars in the North Caucasus were started for the sole purpose of enabling those in the Kremlin maintain their power over Russia.

And the current special-operation in Ukraine is being conducted for the same purpose. Behind all the official slogans there is one cynical purpose: extending the authority of the current regime over Russia for many, many years.

If the Kremlin intends really to protect Russians in the neighbouring country, then who does it act in such a demonstratively barbarous, clumsy and provocative way?!

Precisely because there is in fact another purpose: to provoke a conflict that will make it easy to completely stamp out the last remains of democracy in Russia. The outcome of the present conflict could be the restoration of a totalitarian regime, not just in one specific part of our country, but throughout the whole territory of Russia.

We must not permit this to happen.

No to war!