The report of Mr. Kudusov E.A. - Executive secretary - coordinator of CRP (Confederation of Repressed Peoples) on the Congress of representatives of the repressed peoples held on April 26-27, 2001 in Magas
We gathered here because of the extraordinary circumstances the essence of which you already know. That is why I won't focus your attention on this. In my report I would like to share with you my experience that was acquired during the work of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples starting from its foundation in 1990. This experience is unique like the establishment of the Confederation itself.
Almost eight years passed from the moment when the activity of the Confederation was suspended. During this period many its active members left the political scene. The others are going to do it. That is why our precious experience could fall into oblivion and the new generation would be doomed to make the same old mistakes. In order to avoid this I beg you to consider some of the conclusions that I made, figuratively speaking, from afar, in other words, after the lapse of several years. It's a common knowledge that "the great could be seen from afar". At this, I must admit that our experience had both positive and negative moments. Below, I will state both aspects, in order to make it plain what you should do and what you should avoid in your future practice.
Well, let's start from the foundation of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples. Its appearance wasn't unexpected. It had been ripening since 50th - 60th, with the first dissidents among ethnic minorities who raised their voices of protest against Stalin-Beria's repressions. As you know, they were Crimean Tatars supported by Russian intellectuals - human rights advocates. Then everything went like a snow ball: all repressed peoples supported the fight for the restoration of their rights. With the lapse of time the idea became nation-wide, and the authorities had to return some peoples back to their native land. These were people deported from Caucasus. However, the communists decided stopping on this. It became their fatal mistake, because they underestimated the power of passion of the rest repressed peoples. The most active non-Caucasian repressed peoples were Crimean Tatars and Volga Germans. They showed such organization and involvement that shook the basis of the communist regime, spilling the problems of violation of the rights of people out of "the iron curtain". The whole world, that was before completely unaware of the cruelties of the Soviet communists, started talking about the Soviet repressed peoples. Even the agony of Andropov's government that tried to apply Stalin's methods of "tighten the screw" couldn't stop the passionate rise of the repressed peoples. Gorbachev's liberalization that followed after Andropov's regime as though opened the locks. Now not only twice "offended" people, but also the formerly returned Caucasian ethnic groups demanded the full restoration of their rights. There was even a kind of competition between the repressed peoples - who could success in obtaining more of their lost rights and positions from the embarrassed authorities.
In autumn 1990 in such political situation an initiative group was established in Moscow headed by earlier nobody known Karachais that took the lead with their proposals of establishment of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples. The idea itself was already flying in the air and everybody waited it's realization from Crimean Tatars. However, Karachais forestalled them, and naturally headed the Confederation. One should give Karachais and their leader Ismail Aliev due, the organization of this big matter was performed skillfully and competently. That is why at the founding Congress held in Moscow the representatives of the repressed people unanimously elected very Aliev the Chairman (President) of the Panel of the Confederation. Nobody minded the fact that no one knew Ismail Aliev as a human rights advocate or politician. The revolution always brought forward the people unknown to broad masses before. It is a peculiarity of the revolutions.
Only later, in a few years one had to admit that this appointment was a mistake. And the thing wasn't in Aliev's personal mental or organizational merits or imperfections. In this very respect Aliev could leave in the dust many claimants. The talented scientist, profound thinking and widely erudite person, nevertheless he lacked the main necessary quality that must possess the head of the Confederation - he wasn't the national leader in his native land, consequently he couldn't become the national authority for other peoples. This is undoubtedly a must when you decide becoming the leader of all the repressed peoples. The lack of political experience of the President of the Confederation from the very first days reduced the role of this seemingly promising international non-governmental organization. Later on dealing with authorities Aliev understood it when he tried achieving the passing of the by-laws on restoration of the repressed peoples. The authorities just started ignoring him, because he had no support of people (Karachais). When the thing came to the particular people the authorities preferred dealing not with the President of the Confederation, but with the national leader of this or that people. The thing was that many national leaders had more authority than the head of the Confederation, and conducted the policy independent from the Confederation. This fact also gradually undermined the CRP's position.
Thus, the fate of the Confederation was predetermined from the very beginning. However, in 1992 the decision was made to correct this mistake, and the President of the Confederation was elected Heinrich Grout - the leader of Russian Germans. However, Grout gave up politics in two months, abdicating his responsibilities and delegating them to his deputy that had no authority at all. Deprived of the head the Confederation collapsed.
Here we have just one another vivid example of the role of the personality in the history. In our case it turned out to be negative.
However, our activity also had the positive aspects. I would like to tell you about them. After reporting on the positive experience I am going to give the specific recommendations concerning the present respected meeting in order that the revived Confederation (in fact it is the aim of our gathering) finally could carry the issue of restoration of the rights of the repressed peoples to its logical completion taking into consideration the experience of the passed years.
Well, I continue. According to the Charter of the Confederation every national organization, a member of this Confederation delegated two its representatives to the Panel. The first months of Confederation's existence showed that in order to make the work of restoration of the rights fruitful and successful there is need in the permanent presence of the working group of the Panel in Moscow, because the destinies of our peoples were decided right here in Moscow. That is why, we - the representatives of the non-governmental organizations had to inter-relate closely with the officials of the state bodies and the deputies. The destiny of the whole peoples often depended on the effectiveness of these contacts. We usually had to do the work instead of these officials in order to make the process faster. You see, only we were interested in this process. In addition to all the difficulties the majority of the members of the Panel weren't Moscow residents. That is why they lived in Moscow, one should say, without any rights spending lots of money for daily living needs. However, to the regional organizations' credit be it said, in the first years they covered the expenses of the working group of the Panel quite regularly. That is why the work had good progress, though not with the speed desired. You see, after the Law on Restoration of the Rights of the Repressed People was passed (on April 26, 1991) there was need in passing of the by-laws on every single repressed people.
Here we had a genius and bold idea - establishment of the Department on the Issues of the Repressed Peoples on the base of the working group of the Panel within some state establishment in order to get integrated into the state system and turn into the interested officials. One should say, it was an unprecedented act and we did it! We got embedded in the Committee on Nationalities headed at that time by professor Tishkov. We became the functionaries. It happened in June - July 1992.
Since that time we did much quicker. After preparing the documents on restoration of the rights of every particular people we immediately brought them to the Supreme Soviet that was located in the White House, because we had the right to enter it. That is why within just one year we did the work that hadn't done anybody neither before us, nor after us. In particular, we managed to complete two Acts of the Supreme Soviet of Russian Federation "On Restoration of the Rights of Russian Koreans" (# 4721-1 of April 1, 1993) and "On Restoration of the Rights of Russian Finns" (# 5291-1 of June 29, 1993) ratified by R.I. Khasbulatov. Unfortunately, the shooting of the White House broke off the process of restoration of the rights of all repressed peoples that was already proceeding on the conveyor, because we already prepared all the necessary documents concerning these peoples. It was the Parliament that had to decide it. However, untimely it was fist shot then driven away. So, we quickly switched to the Decrees of the President of Russian Federation that could substitute the acts of the Parliament. However, again we only managed to push through the decree "On the measures of the restoration of the rights of Kalmyk people and the state support of its revival and development" (# 2290 of December 25, 1993) ratified by Boris Yeltsin.
Then followed the Chechen events and the Confederation of the Repressed Peoples reacted on these events quite definitely - openly condemned it. Kremlin didn't like it very much. However, as the leaders of the Panel of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples at the same time were the functionaries of the Department of the Ministry of Nationalities this department was quickly closed. One year later the Ministry on Nationalities was abolish as well. Since that time the matter of restoration of the rights of the repressed peoples didn't forward by a single step. Though, eight years have passed since the last Decree.
Let's get to the conclusions:
1. The authorities of Russian Federation are not interested in the restoration of the rights of the repressed peoples.
2. The evidence of the first conclusion could serve the corresponding negative reaction of the authorities on the calling of a meeting having its goal to revive the Congress of the Confederation of the repressed peoples. Recognizing the danger for one's interests the authorities make steps towards defamation of our Congress that suppose to gather the representatives and the leaders of the national organizations having the authority among their peoples, that is, who are able to rise the whole their peoples. This very fact, in particular, explains the urgent preparation of so called alternative Congress headed by Mr. Bugaev who always awkwardly pretends to be the supporter of the interests of the repressed peoples and who could unite around him exceptionally the would-be careerists of the national movements.
3. In spite of the counteraction of the authorities the Confederation of Repressed Peoples by all means must revive. Considering the experience of the former years, this time it has to be headed by the person who has an incontestable authority among the repressed peoples. There are only two national leaders of this kind: Mustafa Jemilev and Rulslan Aushev. However, taking into consideration that the Confederation of Repressed Peoples is strictly Russian organization, and Mustafa Jemilev is already a foreigner, the President of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples, leaving no alternative, could be and must be Ruslan Aushev. The position of the Vice-President also, leaving no alternative, must be given to Mustafa Jemilev, because Crimean Tatars of Russia have no other national leader. The authority of Mr. Jemilev is internationally recognized. Very recently it was acknowledged by the international award named after Fridtjof Nansen that was given only to fifty persons.
As far as the third person of the Panel of the Confederation - executive secretary - coordinator of the Confederation of the Repressed Peoples concerns - I would recommend to this position Rasul Jappuev. This is my personal opinion and I give it to the consideration of the Panel of the Confederation of Repressed Peoples.
Unfortunately, my health state didn't allow me to take part personally in this Congress of the representatives of repressed peoples, that is why I asked the third person to read my report to the delegates.
E. Kudusov, the Chairman of Board of the expatriates' community of Crimean Tatars, the former executive secretary-coordinator of CRP.
Published in "Materials of the Congress of Representatives of Repressed Peoples"
(Magas, April 26-27, 2001) Magas, 2001.
The Congress of Repressed Peoples in Magas was broken by the efforts of Russian authorities. The delegates experiences an unprecedented pressure up to the arrests and illegal detentions. Aushev, the initiator of the Congress "was recommended" to stop both financing, as well as any support of the confederators. These actions of the authorities prevented the revival of the Confederation of the Repressed Peoples.