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     of Vilnius City Board of Sąjūdis, the Lithuanian Freedom Movement
     70 years of Russia’s genocide in Chechenia

Vilnius 12 February 2014
     During 23–25 February 1944, Stalinist regime of the USSR forcibly deported the entire Chechen people (520,000) to Kazakhstan, Siberia, and Central Asia. This military operation involved about 200,000 officers and soldiers of the Red Army and the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD). As a result of the inhuman act carried out by the Stalinist regime, about 70% of the Chechens were killed. They died of hunger, cold, and diseases in the course of the operation and in exile.
     This deportation can be called the greatest state-conducted terrorist attack in the history of mankind.
11 December 1994 was the beginning day of the Russian military aggression against Chechenia, which continues up to this day.
     On 21 April 1996, Russia brutally killed the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Dzhokhar Dudayev. The following Presidents were also killed: 13 February 2004 – Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev; 8 March 2005 – Aslan Maskhadov; 17 June 2006 – Abdul-Halim Saydulaev.
     On 12 May 1997, the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria concluded the Peace Treaty, which was signed by Russian President Boris Yeltsin and President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Aslan Maskhadov.
On 17 July 1999, Russia, having violating the Treaty, started genocide in the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and continues it until the present time. Since the beginning of the war (11 December 1994), Russia killed about 250,000 Chechens, including 42,000 children, and caused damage of about 300 billion U.S. dollars. More than 300,000 Chechens became refugees. Towns and villages were devastated, the economy and infrastructure were ruined, historical cultural heritage was destroyed, land was poisoned and became unusable. The Russian army of hundred thousand men turned Chechenia into a foothold of the actions of its colonial war. It was here where the latest Russian weapons and weapons banned by international conventions were tested. Chemical weapons were also used and became the cause of epidemics of various diseases that struck Chechenia now. These Russia’s actions against the Chechen people have all the hallmarks of state terrorism and genocide.
     Russia began to fight its colonial, aggressive war in Chechenia and all over the North Caucasus 400 years ago. During all this time, the Chechen people have been struggling for its liberation and independence.
     Russian Emperor Alexander II established the Medal for the Conquest of Chechnya and Dagestan and awarded it to 147,000 soldiers, doctors, officials, and priests who participated in military operations against Chechenia and Dagestan from 1857 to 1859. After Russia’s colonial war that lasted for nearly 100 years, when only about 116,000 out of 3 million Chechens survived, Chechenia was deprived of its independence in 1859. Nevertheless, the Chechens often rebelled against their oppressors.
     Russian authorities have been telling the world that Chechenia is part of Russia’s lands. However, the inscription on the tsar’s medal reads: “For the Conquest of Chechnya and Dagestan”, so everyone should be clear that Russia conquered, warred down, occupied Chechenia.
     During Russia’s war in Chechenia, since 11 December 1994, five summer Olympics were held in the world and the fifth winter Olympics, in Sochi, is going on currently. During the Olympic Games, the Russian authorities never, not for a single moment, ceased hostilities in Chechenia.
     23 February is the day of the 70th anniversary of the barbaric and inhumane deportation of the whole Chechen people to Siberia, Kazakhstan, and Central Asia.

We believe that Russia:
- has been committing heavy crimes against the Chechen people for several centuries;
- grossly violated and continues to violate the norms and principles of international law in Chechenia;
- denies the right of the Chechen people to self-determination and national independence;
- as a result of the Caucasian War in 1785–1864 and military intervention in 1994–1999, the Chechen people was colonised by Russia.

     We request the high international organisations and heads of states of Europe to carry out a comprehensive and objective international investigation of the Chechen issue from the perspective of the principles and universally recognised norms of international law.

Chairman of the Board L. Kerosierius
Executive Secretary of the Board A. Budriunas
Member of the Board, Member of Vilnius Committee
to Support the Independence of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria S. Makauskiene

Members of the Board:
G. Adomaitis, A. Akelaitis, A. Ambrazas, A. Augulis, A. Bagdanaviciene, K. Balciunas, S. Boreika, A. Budriunas, I. Buinickaite, J. Cesnavicius, P. Dirse, S. Eidukonis, P. Gvazdauskas, R. Jakuciuniene, J. Jaramaitiene, J. Kaminskaite, A. Kaziukonis, L. Kerosierius, J. Kuoras, S. Makauskiene, A. Markuniene, H. Martinkenas, V. Masikonis, K. Milius, V. Nivinskiene, J. Parnarauskas, F. Petkus, V. Ramanauskas, P. Rutkauskas, R. Simonaitis, P. Sakalauskas, L. Tamkeviciene, L. Velickaite, K. Vidziunas, R. Vilimiene, B. Zavisa, S. Zilinskas

For information: Gedimino pr. 1, Vilnius, Sąjudis, the Republic of Lithuania
Phone: A. Budriunas: +370 673 95837; L. Kerosierius: +370 5 231 8111
P. Rutkauskas: +370 699 37691; email: vilnius@sajudis.com http://www.sajudis.com

Please watch the CHRONICLES DO NOT KILL and 70 years of genocide of Chechenia: http://www.sajudis.com

                                              Contact persons:

Gedimino ave. 1,  LT- 01103, Vilnius,  Lithunia.                    
Tel.:  + 370  673 95 837,     +370 5 2318111,  +370 699 37691

e-mail: vilnius@sajudis.com