Publication: Prism Volume: 1 Issue: 1

Dudayev’s Wife Says Chechens “No Longer Love the Sun”

The following article is an excerpt of an article written by the wife of Chechen President Dzhkokhar Dudayev. It was made available to "Prism" by the Chechen Information Office in Vilnius, Lithuania.

"At the beginning of the Russian bombing attacks, Chechebn children ran out to look at how the rockets flew and the bombs exploded, Chechen fighters attempted to shoot down the planes with their automatics, and even old men ran out of their houses to look with their eyes shaded at the Russian "hawks." But now people have stopped loving the sun, because precisely on sunny days, the jets fly and bomb, and only when they leave came the people come out of the basements in which they now live. Hospitals are overflowing with disfigured and dying people, there is not enough medicene, and humanitarian assistance only reaches the Russian forces. Night settles in, there is no light, only candles in the darkness. There is no electricity, no water, and o gas; all of these have been destroyed by the attacks of Russian aviation.

"The civilian population suffers most of all. The planes bomb the homes of peaceful people; the warriors do not sit at home. They fight. … And funerals become an ever more frequent event now in one village, now in another. And around each cemetery are dozens of new graves. They are visible from afar because of the dark disturbed earth. Not long ago two cars moving toward a cemetery were attacked by rockets. The fliers were simply ‘playing" as in a computer game with two defenseless mice. Families in the villages are large, in one there may be fice, in another seven children. Every village collects money for the funerals. No one leaves the villages; in each home there are 20 to 30 adults and children, many of them refugees from Grozny or other burned out villages, all sleeping on the floor. The hosts hope that the war will not come to them and destroy their animals, their only possession. … Every night women pray to the streams–the survival of a pagan faith–those living around them hear their prayers and their tears. All Chechny is praying that the war will end soon. They are praying and they believe; they believe in victory!

"The present generation remembers and the stories pass from mouth to mouth how the sainted elders predicted war with Russia 50 years ago and forsaw terrible misfortunes. "Those alive will envy the dead." … The old men, women and children believe and pray that the long-awaited day of freedom will come; the young men are all fighting for it. "Victory or death" is the password in the mountains."