Leo Tolstoy on Russia and Chechnya (1902)

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“What happened was what always happens when a state possessing great military strength enters into relations with primitive, small peoples living their independent lives. Either on the pretext of self-defence, even though any attacks are always provoked by the offences of the strong neighbour, or on the pretext of bringing civilization to a wild people, even though this wild people lives incomparably better and more peacefully than its civilizers…the servants of large military states commit all sorts of villainy against small nations, insisting that it is impossible to deal with them in any other way.”

Thanks to Mark Brady at Liberty & Power for the link to this interesting Case for Chechnya from the New Left Review. Notes Mark: “I have long thought that the cause of Chechnyan independence has received short shrift in the West, not least because Putin has been able to play the ‘Terror’ card. And, of course, the U.S. has its own bloody history of resisting secession and would even now surely find it more than a mite embarrassing to champion Chechnyan independence.”

8:59 am on March 16, 2005