Dzhokhar Dudayev

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Dzhokhar Dudayev
Djokhar Doudaiev.jpg
Dudayev in September 1991
1st President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
In office
9 November 1991 21 April 1996
Vice President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev
Succeeded by Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev
Personal details
Dzhokhar Musayevich Dudayev

15 February 1944 [1]
Yalkhori, Chechen-Ingush ASSR
Died21 April 1996(1996-04-21) (aged 52)
Political party CPSU (1968), NCChP (1990)
Spouse(s) Alla Dudaeva
ProfessionMilitary aviator
Signature Signature of Dzhokhar Dudayev.png
Military service
AllegianceFlag of the Soviet Union.svg  Soviet Union
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg Republic of Ichkeria
Service/branch Soviet Air Force
Armed forces of Ichkeria
Years of service1962–1990
Rank Major General
Commands 326th Heavy Bomber Aviation Division (1987–1991)
All (supreme commander, 1991–1996)
Battles/wars Soviet–Afghan War
First Chechen War

Dzhokhar Musayevich Dudayev (Chechen : Dudin Musa-khant Dƶoxar, Дудин Муса-кӀант Джохар; [2] Russian : Джоха́р Муса́евич Дуда́ев; Loudspeaker.svg US pronunciation  ; 15 February 1944 – 21 April 1996) was a Soviet Air Force general and Chechen leader, the first President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, a breakaway region in the North Caucasus, from 1991 to his death 1996.

Chechen is a Northeast Caucasian language spoken by more than 1.4 million people, mostly in the Chechen Republic and by members of the Chechen diaspora throughout Russia, Jordan, Central Asia, and Georgia.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although, nowadays, nearly three decades after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia, the rise of state-specific varieties of this language tends to be strongly denied in Russia, in line with the Russian World ideology.

Chechen Republic of Ichkeria former country

The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was an unrecognized secessionist government of the Chechen Republic.


Early life and military career

Memorial plaque in Tartu Dzhokhar Dudayev tablet at Barclay hotel in Tartu-edit.JPG
Memorial plaque in Tartu

Dudayev was born in Yalkhoroy in the abolished Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (ASSR), just days before the forced deportation of his family together with the entire Chechen and Ingush population on the orders of Joseph Stalin. His family was of the Yalhoroy Teip. He was the thirteenth youngest child of veterinarian Musa and Rabiat Dudayev. He spent the first 13 years of his life in internal exile in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. His family was only able to return to Chechnya in 1957. [3] Following the 1957 repatriation of the Chechens and Ingush, he studied at evening school in Checheno-Ingushetia and qualified as an electrician. In 1962, after two years studying electronics in Vladikavkaz, he entered the Tambov Higher Military Aviation School for Pilots from which he graduated in 1966. Dudayev joined the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1968 and in 1971–1974 studied at the prestigious Gagarin Air Force Academy. He married Alla, a Russian poet and the daughter of a Soviet officer with whom he had three children (a daughter and two sons). [3]

Yalkhoroy was a selo in what now is the Chechen Republic, Russia. It was abandoned in 1944 due to the deportation of the Chechen people.

Ingush people ethnic group

The Ingush are a Northeast Caucasian native ethnic group of the North Caucasus, mostly inhabiting their native Ingushetia, a federal republic of Russian Federation. The Ingush are predominantly Sunni Muslims and speak the Ingush language, a Northeast Caucasian language that is closely related to Chechen; the two form a dialect continuum. The Ingush and Chechen peoples are collectively known as the Nakh peoples, although the genetics of Ingush and the Chechen indicate a split about 13,000-17,000 Ybp.

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Soviet revolutionary and politician of Georgian ethnicity. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

In 1962, Dudayev began serving in the Soviet Air Force where he rose to the rank of Major-General, becoming their first Chechen general. Dudayev served in a strategic bombing unit of the Soviet Air Force in Siberia and Ukraine. He participated in the Soviet–Afghan War against the Mujahideen, for which he was awarded the Order of the Red Star and the Order of the Red Banner. [4] Reportedly from 1986–87 Dudayev had participated in bombing raids in western Afghanistan. Many of his military and political opponents who questioned his Muslim faith often made reference to his actions against the Mujahideen forces. [5] [6] For example, Sergei Stepashin asserted Dudayev participated in carpet bombing (a statement probably motivated by spite). [7] [8] These allegations were denied by Dudayev himself. [9] Dudayev rose steadily in the Air Force, assuming command of the 326th Heavy Bomber Aviation Division of the Soviet Long Range Aviation at Tartu, Estonia, in 1987 gaining the rank of Major-General. From 1987 through March 1990 he commanded nuclear-armed long-range strategic bombers during his post there. [7] [10]

Strategic bombing military attacks by air aimed at destroying a countrys ability to make war and will to fight

Strategic bombing is a military strategy used in total war with the goal of defeating the enemy by destroying its morale or its economic ability to produce and transport materiel to the theatres of military operations, or both. It is a systematically organized and executed attack from the air which can utilize strategic bombers, long- or medium-range missiles, or nuclear-armed fighter-bomber aircraft to attack targets deemed vital to the enemy's war-making capability.

Siberia Geographical region in Russia

Siberia is an extensive geographical region spanning much of Eurasia and North Asia. Siberia has historically been a part of modern Russia since the 17th century.

Soviet–Afghan War War between the Soviet Union and Afghan insurgents, 1979-89

The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government, mostly in the rural countryside. The mujahideen groups were backed primarily by the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees, mostly to Pakistan and Iran.

He was also commander of the garrison of Tartu. He learned Estonian and showed great tolerance for Estonian nationalism when in autumn 1990 he ignored the orders (as commander of the garrison of Tartu) to shut down the Estonian television and parliament. [3] [7] In 1990, his air division was withdrawn from Estonia and Dudayev resigned from the Soviet military.

Estonian language Finno-Ugric language spoken in Estonia

The Estonian language is the official language of Estonia, spoken natively by about 1.1 million people: 922,000 people in Estonia and 160,000 outside Estonia. It is a Southern Finnic language and is the second most spoken language among all the Finnic languages.

Estonian nationalism

Estonian nationalism refers to the ideological movement for attaining and maintaining identity, unity and autonomy on behalf of a population deemed by some of its members to constitute an Estonian cultural unit of population with a separate homeland, shared ancestral myths and memories, a public culture, common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members.

Division (military) large military unit or formation

A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 8,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength.

There is a memorial plaque made of granite attached to the house on 8 Ülikooli street, Tartu, Estonia in which Dudaev used to work. [11] The house now hosts Hotel Barclay, and the former cabinet of Dudayev has been converted into Dudaev's Room. [12]

Tartu City in Tartu County, Estonia

Tartu is the second largest city of Estonia, after Estonia's political and financial capital Tallinn.

Chechen politics

In May 1990, Dudayev returned to Grozny, the Chechen capital, to devote himself to local politics. He was elected head of the Executive Committee of the unofficial opposition All-National Congress of the Chechen People (NCChP), which advocated sovereignty for Chechnya as a separate republic of the Soviet Union (the Chechen-Ingush ASSR had the status of an autonomous republic of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic).

Grozny City in Chechnya, Russia

Grozny is the capital city of Chechnya, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 271,573; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census, but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989 Census. It was previously known as Groznaya.

All-National Congress of the Chechen People

The All-National Congress of the Chechen People (NCChP) of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria came to power on 1 November 1991 under president Dzhokhar Dudayev, a former commander of the Soviet air force base in Tartu, Estonia. Since its formation, the organization advocated sovereignty for Chechnya as a separate republic within the Soviet Union. During the period of Soviet breakup, it switched this to explicit support for the separation of "Ichkeria" from Russia.

Sovereignty concept that a state or governing body has the right and power to govern itself without outside interference

Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.

In August 1991, Doku Zavgayev, the Communist leader of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR, did not publicly condemn the Soviet coup attempt of 1991 against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Following the failure of the coup d'état, the Soviet Union began to disintegrate rapidly as the constituent republics took moves to leave the beleaguered Soviet Union. Taking advantage of the Soviet Union's implosion, Dudayev and his supporters acted against the Zavgayev administration. On 6 September 1991, the militants of the NCChP invaded a session of the local Supreme Soviet, effectively dissolving the government of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. Grozny television station and other key government buildings were also taken over.[ citation needed ]

President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria

After a controversial referendum in October 1991 confirmed Dudayev in his new position as president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, he unilaterally declared the republic's sovereignty and its independence from Soviet Union. In November 1991, the then Russian President Boris Yeltsin dispatched troops to Grozny, but they were withdrawn when Dudaev's forces prevented them from leaving the airport. Russia refused to recognize the republic's independence, but hesitated to use further force against the separatists. From this point the Chechen-Ingush Republic had become a de facto independent state.[ citation needed ]

Initially, Dudayev's government held diplomatic relations with Georgia where he received much moral support from the first Georgian President Zviad Gamsakhurdia. When Gamsakhurdia was overthrown in late 1991, he was given asylum in Chechnya and attended Dudayev's inauguration as President. While he resided in Grozny he also helped to organise the first "All-Caucasian Conference" which was attended by independentist groups from across the region. Ichkeria never received diplomatic recognition from any internationally recognised state other than Georgia in 1991.[ citation needed ]

The Chechen-Ingush Republic split in two in June 1992, amidst the increasing Ossetian-Ingush conflict. After Chechnya had announced its initial declaration of sovereignty in 1991, its former entity Ingushetia opted to join the Russian Federation as a federal subject (Republic of Ingushetia). The remaining rump state of Ichkeria (Chechnya) declared full independence in 1993. That same year the Russian language stopped being taught in Chechen schools and it was also announced that the Chechen language would start to be written using the Latin alphabet (with some additional special Chechen characters) rather than Cyrillic in use since the 1930s. The state also began to print its own money and stamps. One of Dudayev's first decrees gave every man the right to bear arms.[ citation needed ]

Dudayev's inexperienced and poorly-guided economic policies soon began to undermine Chechnya's economy and, Russian observers claimed, transformed the region into a criminal paradise. The non-Chechen population of Ichkeria left the republic due to criminal elements and faced with indifferent government. [13] In 1993, the Chechen parliament attempted to organize a referendum on public confidence in Dudayev on the grounds that he had failed to consolidate Chechnya's independence. He retaliated by dissolving parliament and other organs of power. Beginning in early summer of 1994, armed Chechen opposition groups with Russian military and financial backing tried repeatedly but without success to depose Dudaev by force.[ citation needed ]

First Chechen War

On 1 December 1994, the Russians began bombing Grozny airport and destroyed the Chechen Air Force (former Soviet training aircraft took away by the republic in 1991). In response Ichkeria declared war on Russia and mobilised its armed forces. On 11 December 1994, five days after Dudayev and Minister of Defense Pavel Grachev of Russia had agreed to avoid the further use of force, Russian troops invaded Chechnya. It was mistakenly reported that one of Dudayev's two sons was killed in action early in the war; both of them are alive as of 2009. [14]

Before the fall of Grozny, Dudayev abandoned the presidential palace, moved south with his forces and continued leading the war throughout 1995, reportedly from a missile silo close to the historic Chechen capital of Vedeno. He continued to insist that his forces would prevail after the conventional warfare had finished, and the Chechen guerrilla fighters continued to operate across the entire country picking off Russian units and demoralising their soldiers.

Death and legacy

On 21 April 1996, while using a satellite phone, Dudayev was killed by two laser-guided missiles, after his location was detected by a Russian reconnaissance aircraft, which intercepted his phone call. [15] At the time Dudaev was reportedly talking to a liberal deputy of the Duma in Moscow, supposedly Konstantin Borovoy. [16] Additional aircraft were dispatched (a Su-24MR and a Su-25) to locate Dudayev and fire a guided missile. Exact details of this operation were never released by the Russian government. Russian reconnaissance planes in the area had been monitoring satellite communications for quite some time trying to match Dudayev's voice signature to the existing samples of his speech. It was claimed Dudayev was killed by a combination of a rocket attack and a booby trap. He was 52 years old. [17]

The death of Dudayev was announced on the interrupted television broadcast by Shamil Basayev, the Chechen guerrilla commander. [18] Dudayev was succeeded by his Vice-President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (as acting President) and then, after the 1997 popular elections, by his wartime Chief of Staff, Aslan Maskhadov.

Dzhokhar Dudayev was survived by his wife, Alla, and their sons, Degi and Avlur.

Places named in honor of Dudayev

House number in Dzhokhar Dudaev avenue in Riga, Latvia. Dzohara Dudajeva gatve.jpg
House number in Dzhokhar Dudaev avenue in Riga, Latvia.

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  1. Конец мятежного генерала Джохара Дудаева | KM.RU
  2. The name's spelling in modern Chechen ranges between Джохар , ДжовхӀар , Джовхар and Жовхар .
  3. 1 2 3 Biography of Dzokhar Dudaev, Kavkazy Uzel, 25 June 2007
  4. James Hughes, Chechnya: from nationalism to jihad p. 22
  5. Christopher Marsh, Nikolas K. Gvosdev, Civil Society and the Search for Justice in Russia, p 148
  6. John B. Dunlop, Russia Confronts Chechnya: Roots of a Separatist Conflict, p. 110
  7. 1 2 3 John B. Dunlop, Russia Confronts Chechnya: Roots of a Separatist Conflict, p 111
  8. Shireen T. Hunter (2004). Islam in Russia: The Politics of Identity and security (illustrated ed.). M.E. Sharpe. p. 150. ISBN   0-7656-1283-6.
  9. Interview with Alla Dudaeva, 2006 Archived 7 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine .
  10. Valeriĭ Aleksandrovich Tishkov (2004). Chechnya: Life in a War-Torn Society (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. p. 77. ISBN   0-520-23888-5 . Retrieved 12 June 2011.
  11. Džohhar Dudajevi mälestustahvel
  12. Postimees , 8 May 1996: "Nimeline tänav ja orden Dzhohhar Dudajevile" Archived 27 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  13. Refugees and Diaspora Chechnya Advocacy Network
  14. Семья Джохара Дудаева нашлась в Литве (Kommersant, 25 May 2006)
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 January 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  16. Robert Young Pelton (2 March 2012). "Kill the messenger". Foreign Policy. Archived from the original on 16 August 2012.
  17. 'Dual attack' killed president, BBC News, 21 April 1999
  18. Chechen leader confirmed dead; Supporter says freedom fight unaffected CNN, 24 April 1996
  19. ვაკე-საბურთალოს რაიონი
  20. "Vāc parakstus Dudajeva gatves pārdēvēšanai". Apollo. 1925-10-15. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  21. "Paraksties par Džohara Dudajeva gatves nosaukuma saglabāšanu". Kristaps Skutelis. 2009-11-23. Archived from the original on 28 November 2009. Retrieved 2012-12-30.
  22. Warsaw's Dudaev move irks Moscow BBC News, 21 March 2005
  23. Archived 24 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  24. 1 2 Chechen fighter transfers struggle against Kremlin to Ukraine, Chechen fighter transfers struggle against Kremlin to Ukraine], Kyiv Post (27 May 2014)
  25. Головатий М. 200 вулиць Івано-Франківська. — Івано-Франківськ: Лілея-НВ, 2010. — С. 144—145
  26. Як у Хмельницькому Джохара Дудаєва вшановували at (ukrainian)
Political offices
Preceded by
Declaration of Republic
President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Coat of Arms of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg

Succeeded by
Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev