Representatives of the diverse peoples of the Caucasus, together with Ukrainian and Western experts have discussed in the Ukrainian capital the prospects for the current Russian empire to disintegrate after being defeated by Ukraine and the establishment of independent states. 

“Pseudo-democratic Russia is the old Russian empire. We have to develop jointly a plan for its dissolution … [gaining] independence for Chechnya-Ichkeria directly depends on a Ukrainian victory over Russia and the support of the West,” said Akhmed Zakayev, Prime Minister in exile of Chechnya at a panel discussion organized by the Ukrainian Institute of Caucasus in Kyiv last week.

“Ukraine is the advance guard for the free world. Firstly, we should support the Chechen people in their struggles against Russia,” Oleksii Goncharenko, Member of the Ukrainian Parliament and co-founder of the Institute of Caucasus underlined during his address. He reminded the audience that Ukraine had been the only UN member-state so far to recognize the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as an independent country through the vote of the Verkhovna Rada on Oct. 18, 2022.

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“The Caucasus is the key to the disintegration of the Russian Federation. The majority of Western countries are afraid that recognition of an independent Ichkeria will ignite conflict between Chechens and the other people of Caucasus. These fears are groundless,” according to the opinion expressed by Dmytro Korchynsky, another co-founder of the Institute of the Caucasus, who is known as a Ukrainian ultra-nationalist.

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Speakers at the panel discussion in the Institute of Caucasus © Institute of Caucasus

“The Chechen people should raise the awareness among Western politicians about the genuine history, culture and aspirations of the Caucasian people,” suggested Robert Tyler, senior policy advisor of UK “New Direction” foundation for European Reform, and Luke Coffey, senior fellow of US based Hudson Institute in their speeches.

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“The West should hear not just about the mafia state of Kadyrov but also about independent Ichkeria as it is seen by the Chechen people,” Tyler said.

“The Caucasian people should use any opportunity to speak with Western politicians and tell them their own version of history, not the Russian version,” Coffey emphasized.

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