Leader of National Front of Latvia Aivars Garda :
Moskow theater Siege a heroic act
When four months passed after the well-known events in Moscow, when the
Chechen sabotage unit of Shaheeds «Riyadus Salihiin» captured the building
of the theater in Moscow (on Dubrovka), the Leader of National Front of
Latvia Aivars Garda expressed his opinion concerning these events in his
interview to DDD newspaper.
How do you regard the events of October 23-26, 2002, in Moscow?
I think the group of Chechens who seized the theater in Moscow was not a
group of terrorists, but they were heroes of the Chechen nation. Those who
call heroes terrorists are actual terrorists. These people were carrying
out an important combat mission right in the heart of the enemy soil – in
Moscow. It must be said that those wonderful Chechen girls and brave young
men managed to do it successfully.
Let’s imagine the times when the Germans were blockading Leningrad, when
they were approaching Moscow, or when they were fighting near Kursk. If
back then Russians seized some theater in Berlin, took hostages and
demanded that Hitler stops the war and withdraws from Moscow, then for
such actions they would have been awarded with the titles of Heroes of the
Certainly, Hitler would have called them «terrorists» or «scumbags», but
then he could have been asked why he invaded the Russian territories, why
he allegedly was burning Russian villages to ashes and killing peaceful
civilians. This is the way the Chechens respond to the atrocities that
Russia is committing in Chechnya any way they can and deem necessary.
The war between Russia and Chechnya by its scale and by forces can be
compared to a war between an elephant and a mosquito. If the elephant
(Russia) invades the mosquito’s territory (Chechnya), tramples it down
with its huge legs and demands that the mosquito uses elephant’s tactics
against these elephants, then the mosquito has the right to defend itself
any way it can. The mosquito cannot be reproached for thrusting its sting
into the elephant’s eye that started watering and the elephant started
screaming from pain and yelling that it’s a violation of rules of warfare.
When Napoleon was starting his brilliant career as a military leader, he
was using non-traditional methods of warfare for that time. Austrian
officers and generals were horrified that Napoleon was not using the
common rules: he suddenly attacks the enemy without aligning his troops in
an appropriate formation and involves less forces than the enemy has – and
still manages to win the battle.
But later on, when the French army stepped into Russia and reached Moscow,
it was Napoleon’s turn to get outraged when the Russians were not fighting
according to the rules. He was enraged that Moscow did not hand him the
key to the city and that Russians just left instead and set the city on
fire. It drove Napoleon especially wild when Russian guerillas were not
fighting according to the rules – when they were attacking and
disappearing all of a sudden.
And no one has the right to accuse Chechens of defending their Homeland
and fighting for their freedom any way they can. Therefore National Front
of Latvia is on their side.
Of course we feel sorry for this many people who died. And still, you must
realize that it was the fault of the Kremlin, and not the Chechens. The
conditions that the Chechens laid down were specific and peaceful:
stop the war in Chechnya!»
These conditions are totally legitimate and appropriate. If the Russian
leadership had any compassion for their citizens, however unpleasant it
could have been, it should have started negotiations with President
Maskhadov on withdrawing the troops of the Russian invaders from Chechnya
and on stopping the war. But it is not Maskhadov’s fault that Russians are
fighting in Chechnya.
But instead, Russian leadership showed especial mercilessness and killed
their fellow citizens without even sparing the lives of children in the
theater that the Chechens seized. The reaction of the government lady, the
President of Latvia, as well as of other leaders including UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan, was miserable. After declaring the freedom fighters as
terrorists, the so-called «international community» showed the Chechens
how it really is.
Those who understand why we disagree with the position of our president
and why we are supporting the Chechens, let them imagine if Latvians were
Chechens. Let them imagine that in Latvia Russians would be killing our
women, children, husbands, brothers, and fathers. In order to demand that
this bloodshed stops and to get the people liberated from the invaders,
about a dozen of brave and self-sacrificing Latvian women and a couple of
dozens of men are heading for Moscow and seize a theater with hostages.
Would we call them terrorists and not heroes, because they gave their
lives for their Homeland and for their people to attain peace and freedom
in their country?
National Front of Latvia and all normal Latvians would have called these
women and men heroes deserving the Warrior’s Medal of Lacplesis. If it
depended on me, I would have awarded them with the Tri-Star Order of
On Russian TV we saw how Russian relatives of the hostages were plainly
begging the government and the president not to storm that theater. But
the government did not listen, it did not give a darn about their people.
Later on the government was cynically bragging that the actually
disgraceful operation was conducted «brilliantly». Now the Russians are
not ensured against the warfare on the enemy soil, which the Chechens will
continue, and Russia will have to blame it all on itself.
Almost all of the hostages in the Moscow theater were Russian citizens.
They were voting for the legislation that is acting in Russia now, - for
the Duma and for the president, which means that they are responsible and
they share the guilt for the atrocities that Russians are committing
against the Chechen people. It means that the hostages were not absolutely
peaceful civilians. In order to become innocent before the Chechen State,
the citizens of Russia must take the power into their own hands and punish
their criminal leaders, while striving to return independence to Chechnya.
By shedding its own blood, the Chechen people proved that they deserve
It is not the Chechens who are bandits, but it’s the Russians and their
leaders, who order them to fight, as well as those who fulfill these
orders voluntarily and gladly. Once in a while they show Russian Orthodox
priests on TV, who bless the Russians to go to the war in Chechnya. It is
hard to imagine anything more amoral and blasphemous towards Christ. If
the Orthodox Church has gone down this low, then what can you expect from
the Russian leadership? Russians can see that they are being blessed to
commit crimes against humanity, - actual genocide of another nation. It is
horrifying! For the sake of the truth I must admit that it already makes
me glad that more and more people from Russian intelligentsia as well as
ordinary people believe that the government should agree with the terms of
the Chechen heroes.
Right now many people say that a referendum should be conducted in
Chechnya. But in the conditions of the invasion a referendum would be
illegal. It is an axiom. Russia must withdraw its troops and give
independence to Chechnya, and then the Chechens will be able to decide
what to do and how to do it. But we can still see that the Russians are
trying to split the Chechen nation in order to win. They have been doing
the same thing to the Latvian people as well, and they are still doing it.
These cunning tricks, which are finding support in the so-called civilized
but actually degraded Western world, are only making the situation more
Department of Cooperation and
Mass Media, Kavkaz-Center