On February 23, Chechnya observed the Day of National Revival. This day has been marked for the last four years, in memory of Stalin’s deportation of the Chechens and Ingush in 1944. In Grozny, a military parade was held in which some two thousand National Guardsmen swore loyalty to the people and president of Chechnya. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov told the meeting that thousands of Chechens died during the deportations, but the Chechen people survived. The army, Maskhadov continued, is needed today to that ensure such tragedies do not recur. All of Chechnya’s leaders were present at the parade, as well as many guests from the North Caucasus and other states formerly part of the USSR. In neighboring Ingushetia, a day of mourning was observed in all the local mosques. (RTR, February 23)
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