Okay – misleading headline! Sorry folks, I did this deliberately to draw you in. In my favored tabloid style. My ultimate model for this being the New York Post.
The actual headline is this: “Kadyrov Communicated that 200 Chechens from among the ranks of ISIS have been liquidated”.
If I had desired to be even more sensationalist and dishonest then I am, then I could have substituted the word “Russians” for “Chechens”. And made the headline sound like Kadyrov was celebrating the killing of Russians. And it would have been technically correct, since the Chechens in question, who left Chechnya to fight in the ranks of ISIS in Syria, ARE citizens of the Russian Federation. Hence, they literally are “Russians”.
In Russian itself, the distinction is clear: An ethnic Russian, a person with Russian parents and genes, is a русский. Whereas any citizen of the Russian Federation, regardless of ethnicity, is a россиянин. Clear as mud, no? Actually, the situation in America is very similar. If you walk up to a random American citizen and ask them their “nationality”, they might say, “Well, I’m a quarter Italian on my mother’s side, and half Cajun French on my father’s side and (…)” (etc.) A few might actually say, “Well, I’m just an American.” They don’t usually say (in my experience), “I am an American citizen.” That sounds kind of stilted.
The Western media does not make this distinction. They translate both words русский and россиянин as “Russian”. This could be a good thing, or a bad thing. On the one hand, the Russian Federation is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-national society, yet all are citizens of the same Federation, everybody should be treated equally, and nobody should be singled out because of their ethnicity. On the other hand, it is journalistically dishonest the way Western media does this. When they write about “Russian terrorists” (when in fact they are talking about Chechens), they are employing a loophole in the language itself, to give a false or misleading impression. (Not that there aren’t ethnic Russians or other Slavs who are also fighting in the ranks of ISIS – there are, actually.)
For the purposes of accuracy, I would propose that English-language articles at least make the vocabulary distinction between русский and россиянин — translate the former word as “Russian”, and the latter as “citizen of the Russian Federation”. And then, as relevancy requires, point out whether the person in question is a Chechen, Ukrainian, or ethnic Russian, etc.
But I Digress….
So, anyhow, these past few days, Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, has been meeting with representatives of the Syrian “Opposition” (the “Moderate Opposition”, I assume?) whom he invited to the Chechen capital of Grozny. This is all part of the “peace process” now engaged in earnest. In speaking to Syrian parliamentarians, clergy, and others, Kadyrov stressed that the Syrian people must unite to bring peace to their country, without accepting pressure from “the outside”, i.e., the U.S. and Europe who, in Kadyrov’s words, only seek to inflame the conflict.
Grozny is actually the perfect place for the Syrian delegates to see how a wartorn land can be reborn from this (left) to this (right), once people decide to stop killing each other.
Returning to the main story, this is what Kadyrov had to say; his comments were made during a meeting with international members of the Syria Peace Committee:
According to Kadyrov, something like 500 citizens of Chechnya have gone off to join ISIS. Of which, 200 have been liquidated so far. Another 47 have been rehabilitated. Leaving, if my math is correct, 253 Chechens who need to be either captured, killed, or rehabilitated.
According to Kadyrov, the 47 youths in question had been tricked into joining ISIS. They have since repented, after de-programming sessions with local Muslim clergy: “If our clergy had not conducted such determined ideological work, then it would not have been just Chechens, but also representatives of other Caucasian peoples, fighting on the side of the terrorists – there would have been a lot more of them, there would have been thousands of them.”
Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russian Federation, Vladimir Kolokoltsev, estimates that there are around 1,800 citizens of the Russian Federation, altogether, fighting within the ranks of ISIS. Of which 477 have been identified by name; and criminal cases have been opened against these people. A higher estimate, coming from Andrei Novikov, leader of the Anti-Terrorist Center of the Russian-led Commonwealth of Independent States, is that as many as 5,000 citizens of the Russian Federation could be fighting within the ranks of ISIS. These fighters espouse the goal of forming a Salafist “Caliphate” with a broad swath of territory which includes a goodly chunk of what is now under the jursidiction of the Russian Federation. Not to mention all of what is today Iraq and Syria.
As Kadyrov pointed out to the delegates of the “Peace” conference:
“Today the Western countries, Europe, and certain other Arab countries who finance the terrorists, are not interested in seeing Syria back on its feet. (These countries) have their own interests.”