Do you remember this famous passage from the Hadji Murat novel by Lev Tolstoy, where he writes about the attitude of Chechens towards Russians?
Let me give some quotes from it:
“Returning to his village, Sado found his house destroyed: the roof collapsed, and the door and pillars of the gallery were burned, and the inside was polluted …
… The old grandfather was sitting by the wall of the collapsed house and, whittling a stick, stared blankly in front of him. He has just returned from his bee house. Two stacks of hay that lay there were burned; the apricot and cherry trees planted and groomed by the old man were broken and burned, and, most importantly, all the beehives with bees were burned …
… The fountain was polluted, apparently on purpose, so that water could not be taken from it. The mosque was also polluted, and the Mulla with the Mutalims cleaned it.”
I quote the passage not in full, there is still a description of human casualties and the perception of the whole horror of the Russian massacre in the mountain village on the side of the Chechen population. I would like to remind you that the Hadji Murat novel is the story of an Avar field commander, which describes the events of the middle of ХІХ century, when the Russian empire waged war in the Caucasus. This is a ruthless characteristic of Russian colonial policy, which is based on documented facts.
Like it or not, but parallels with the modern Russian-Ukrainian war arise. Here I deliberately do not touch on the description of the human victims of this war – from one side or the other. This is a separate tragic theme. I would like to say a few words about the financial and economic losses that have fallen on the shoulders of Ukrainians. According to media reports, the methodology for their calculation is now being developed by competent Ukrainian and foreign specialists. Documentary evidence of the destruction and damage of the facilities of the economic complex of Ukraine is accumulated in the executive authorities for presentation to international courts, that in the future will be created by the public and lawyers of Europe and the world.
In the meantime, the question arises on a purely emotional level: what for? What is the reason for the Russian military to do this? What is the passion for destroying everything they can get their hands on? Thousands of Ukrainian schools, hundreds of Ukrainian hospitals, countless energy facilities (a special invented goal of the military strategy of the Russian commander Surovikin – General Armageddon, as he is called), heat and gas supply lines, water supply and sewerage, bridges and highways, train stations and railway junctions, plants and factories, residential buildings, cultural facilities, parks and squares, agricultural complexes. All that is the foundation of normal human life. It can be said in short – everything that they saw around, Russians destroyed. They fired, blew up, burned out, broke and crushed by tanks, mined for the future, trying to inflict maximum damage.
Unfortunately, there are soldiers of different religions and denominations in the Russian army, which did not prevent them from destroying with a cold heart temples and other places of worship that, in theory, should be inviolable for believers. It seems that the Orthodox cannot destroy churches; it is not proper for a Muslim to shoot down mosques. But, nevertheless, they destroy. I don’t know if there are Buddhist Stupas in Ukraine, but I think there would be Buddhists in the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation for whom blowing up these sacred objects is not hard.
Trying to understand the reasons for such stupid unmotivated anger and hatred for the fruits of other people’s labor, I involuntarily start to compare the behavior of Russian soldiers with the behavior of vandals who destroyed ancient Roman cities when there was nothing to rob. At the basis of such behavior, I see a desire to harm people who dare to live more freely, more prosperous and more organized than a Russian soldier lives at home. “Ah, so you don’t want to be like us? Do you consider yourselves better? Smarter than us! Well, then we will show you, then get it!”
Whoever wins this war, it will not be possible to return everything back, to restore it in its previous form. “Who and when will rebuild all this?” sounds in my head when watching another video with horrifying destruction. If Russia turns out to be the winner, I think, it will have neither the desire nor the money to rebuild Ukraine – and no one will remove the sanctions for a long time, and why it should restore the conquered territory, if in its own outback there are the collapse and poverty from stupidity and mismanagement. And in the event of Ukraine’s victory, even with solidary support from friends and allies, it will take years to restore the lost economic potential. But I still hope for Ukraine. There, it seems to me, hard-working and managing people will not put up with devastation.
Recently, I came across a documentary military video that told about an entertaining event. In one of the front-line cities of Donbass, Chechen soldiers fighting on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine make their way into a mosque damaged by fragments of artillery shells. They came to Jummah Namaz. It can be seen that the Muslim temple was built recently, construction work had not yet been completed by the beginning of the war, but it had already acquired the required traits of solemnity and goodness. It can be seen that this is not just a building, it is the house of Allah. And although the floor underfoot is strewn with broken glass from double-glazed windows, and the frames that have flown out of the window openings lean against the wall, this is not an obstacle for the Chechen guys from the Armed Forces of Ukraine. With detached and concentrated faces, they read namaz and listen to the khutba of the Imam-Tatar, completely relying on the mercy of the Lord of the worlds.
The thought is flashing through my mind, “And this, too, Ukrainians will have to rebuild! Ukrainian Muslims will have to rebuild mosques in Kharkiv, Mariupol, and Severodonetsk. The industriousness of Ukrainians is often laughed at, but they have no contradictions in this direction with the Muslim peoples – they also value labor, accumulated property, home and family. And zealous owners, like Muslims, enjoy authority and respect. Ukrainians of any religion do not understand the Russian thirst for the destruction of the fruits of human efforts. Therefore, I think many Ukrainians will agree with another quote of Tolstoy, which I consider appropriate to give here. And let me not be accused of russophobia.
“Nobody spoke about hatred for Russians. The feeling experienced by all Chechens, young and old, was stronger than hatred. It was not hatred, but the non-recognition of these Russian dogs as people and such disgust and bewilderment at the absurd cruelty of these creatures that the desire to exterminate them, like the desire to exterminate rats, poisonous spiders and wolves, was the same natural feeling as the feeling of self-preservation!”