Russian Republic of Chechnya (TFC) – The speaker for the Chechnyan Parliament, Dukuvakha Abdurakhamanov, has announced Chechnya’s willingness to send an undisclosed amount of high-tech weapons and ammunition to Mexico. His announcement comes in response to the continued urging of Congress to send undisclosed amounts of high-tech weaponry to the US sponsored Neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine. Putin’s Russia has already begun to downplay the remark and put as much distance between itself and the allegation as possible. As usual, it is not what political leaders are saying in front of microphones that is important. Other global events happening concurrently among parties which are politically involved with the Ukraine Crisis paint a disturbing picture.
Dukuvakha is making the same kind of threat as a playground bully. If the US sends weapons, Chechnya will send weapons. He says that the US supplying weapons to Ukraine would be interpreted as a signal to send “the most modern weapons to Mexico.” It would also resume discussions of the legal status of “US-annexed territories that now house California, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and a part of Wyoming,” says Dukuvakha.
Dukuvakha is referring to the purchase of large parts of Mexico made at the end of the Mexican-American War under the Hidalgo Treaty of 1848. “We reserve the right to conduct conferences in Russia, Mexico, and the US to raise the question of breaking away the above mentioned states from the US and [discuss] supplying weapons to resistance fighters there,” says Dukuvakha in his statement.
Vladamir Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said in a statement last week that Chechnya cannot legally sell weapons abroad. “I don’t know what this announcement was about, but such actions would violate Russian law,” Peskov said with little expansion or detail. This is an underwhelmingly luke warm response to something with the seismic potential of threatening the border stability of the US Empire for the first time in over a century. Peskov’s passive response could either be a sign that Chechnya is writing a check it can’t cash or that Russia isn’t prepared to seriously address the issue.
Chechnya selling Russian military hardware to Mexico to launch an invasion of the US sounds as ridiculous as it does scary. The threat is similar to the Mayor of Cheyenne, Wyoming threatening to sell weapons to Venezuela if Canada sells weapons to North Dakota. He is speaking with more authority than he actually has. Neither Mexico nor Chechnya is anywhere near a global contender, militarily or economically, even with Russia’s assistance. Each has little to no stability, either. Besides, the US has already been selling billions of dollars worth of weapons to Mexico.
Over the past 12 months, Mexico has spent $1.15 billion on acquiring military equpiment, most of which is being sold to them by the US. Admiral William Gortney says the acquisitions have increased more than 100 fold in comparison to previous years. More than 50 black hawk helicopters equipped with 7.62 mm machine guns, 3000 humvees, and 4 King Air 250ER surveillance aircraft have been bought by Mexico. In 2011, Mexico’s central bank purchased $4.5 billion of gold bullions. It certainly seems like Mexico is preparing for something big.
In a previous article I noted how the recently published executive review of military hardware being used by police forces under the 1033 program of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) casually noted a gigantic discrepency in DOD spending. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) is responsible for tracking where the DOD spends its money. Its official figure of military hardware aquired by US police is $5.1 billion since 1990. However, the executive review states that $18 billion has been spent just since 2009!
The NDAA allows US military hardware to be sold to just about anyone in the world who is willing to pay for it. Neither the DOD or the DLA has a clearly defined balance sheet showing who paid for what and when. Homeland Security silently purchased 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition in 2013. Obscene amounts of money are being spent on vast amounts of weaponry, and there is no clear way to determine who bought them and where they ended up. Is Mexico planning to use weapons from the US and Chechnya against the US? Would the US really sell weapons to enemies planning to use them against its own citizens? Judging from its open-minded approach to funding terrorist organizations in the past, I would not be surprised. It is important to remember that the CIA taught Osama Bin Laden how to fly a plane and gave Al Quada billions in “aid.”
Chechnya is a very, very young nation-state. After decades of being torn apart by the aftermath of World War II, suffering genocide, poverty, and cultural desolation, it became a part of the Russian Republic in 1993, following the break up of the Soviet Union. A plan to divide the regions of Eastern Europe from 15 territories into 80 was drafted by Chechnya’s first president, Dzhokhjar Dudayev and then squashed by former Russian President, Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin argued that Chechnya’s oil infrastructure was vital to the Russian energy market and allowing Chechnya independence would “harm the Russian economy.”
In 1994, the First Chechen War began. It ended when Chechnya’s democratically elected first president was assassinated by two laser-guided missiles fired from a Russian fighter jet, targeting a remote location in West Chechnya. It has been established that the US and Russia collaborated in planning the attack. The missiles knew where to strike because the National Security Agency (NSA) was spying on Dudayev’s satellite phone communications. Just another example of the American military industrial complex tearing asunder any hopes of stability for a small and fragile foreign country.
Following this assassination, Russia essentially turned its back on Chechnya politically and financially, despite it being part of the Russian Republic. In an essay published in 2008 by Tamara Elbuzdukayeva, a Chechen scholar, she explores the financial history of Chechnya. The history of Chechnya from 1996 to now is discovered to be plagued by the same bastardized conventions as all modern society: Financial corruption, civil war, and oil. Elbuzdukayeva describes Chechnya’s progression through the 1990s and into the new millenium with startling clarity,
“The material losses incurred by the military operations carried out during the Russian–Chechen war are simply incalculable. Of the existing 428 Chechen villages, 380 were exposed to bombardment, 70% of the housing was destroyed…All of the republic’s industry and agriculture was wiped out. In the second Chechen war, oil production infrastructure was not spared, and air and railway links were disrupted. The republic and its people were literally robbed. More than 90% of the working population was left with no regular employment. The republic’s most educated, productive, and skilled citizens – precisely that sector of the population that represents the potential and hope for the future – have left Chechnya. During a decade plagued with troubles, an entire generation of young people (150–200,000 people) has grown up in Chechnya without proper access to education. Many of them became involved in the armed conflict and do not know how to do anything other than fight.”
In 2001, Russia made a deal with Chechnya and completely took over the Chechen economy. Russia provided a $14 billion stimulus fund that built hundreds of schools, hospitals, roads and businesses. 69,000 jobs were created and Moscow began to revamp the Chechen oil industry. Elbuzdukayeva explains, “The petroleum and oil refinery complex of the Chechen Republic are its greatest assets, and there is currently a struggle over their control. There has emerged a gross discrepancy between the interests of the Russian Government, the republic’s leadership and the interests of the oil companies themselves. The contradictions inherent in the systemic interests of each of these groups are a key determining factor in the situation in the republic today.”
Chechnya is sandwiched between the southern most tip of Russia, Western Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and one of the richest oil and natural gas depositories in the world, the Capsian Sea. The Caspian holds nearly 25% of all the world’s oil, with an estimated $4 trillion supply of 285 billion barrels. Along with the oil comes enormous deposits of natural gas, as well. In addition to the Chechnyan president being assassinated in 1996, the Trans-Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) Shareholders’ Agreement was signed the same year. This began the development and expansion of what is now a 1000 mile pipeline running from Kazakhastan to Russia, the largest, privately owned oil investment in Russia. The CPC is privately financed by 11 different shareholders. These shareholders are comprised of 6 different multinational oil companies represented by 3 different governments, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhastan and the Sultanate of Oman.
Since the economic takeover of Chechnya by Russia in 2001, oil production has skyrocketed from less than 50 billion barrels a day to nearly 800 billion as of 2011. Chevron released a report in 2011 outlining a $5.4 billion expansion project for the CPC. Chevron holds the primary production contract with the CPC. The US and Russia have different plans for how the expansion of the CPC should continue, however.
Russia wants the pipeline to go straight through Chechnya, crossing over the Black Sea, ironically, and into Novorossisk in Russia. The US wants the pipeline to bypass Chechnya and connect with its already established pipelines in Syria and Iraq. It is easy to see how Putin might echo the sentiment of Yeltsin in regards to the US’ version of the CPC “hurting the Russian economy.”
Perhaps the CPC is the true motive behind the current crisis in Ukraine? Russia could be looking to aggresively expand its controlled territory in Eastern Europe to stifle western influence over its oil ventures. Ukraine is directly north of Turkey. The two countries are separated by the Black Sea. On the southeastern shore of the Black Sea lies Chechnya. Russia wants to expand the CPC directly across the Black Sea and through Chechnya. If Russia controls Ukraine, there will be a clear dividing line between Russian oil and US oil.
The US-backed Poroshenko regime in Ukraine saw a major loss last month in Debaltseve. An estimated 3500 of Poroshenko’s soldiers were killed at a strategic command post. Immediately following this defeat, the US pledged $17 billion in “support” to Ukraine through the World Bank’s International Monetary Fund (IMF). In reality, US legislation passed at the end of last year outlines the specific plan to install a complete totalitarian regime in Ukraine. Privatization of media, public utilities, energy sectors and aggressive centralization of the financial system are what that $17 billion is going to be used for in Ukraine. The US passed this bill in conjunction with a bill that sanctioned every aspect of Russia’s economic and political systems. The US accuses Russia of being a nuclear threat while simultaneously proposing to take itself out of the UN’s nuclear arms treaty. I know this because I read the bills, unlike Congress.
A gaggle of oligarchs, including billionaire hedge fund leader George Soros, are collaborating to own Ukraine outright. Scheming has already begun on how to attract foreign investors in order to rebuild Ukraine in the image of its corporatist shareholders. Like a red Solo cup, Ukraine is being designed to be used and thrown away by billionaires drunk on their own power.
Before the US led the insurrection of yet another democratically elected leader, Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine was trying to remove its economic dependence on the EU and establish a financial relationship with Russia. Ukraine was granted its independence from the Soviet Union at the same time as Chechnya. In the years since, it has seen similar devastation and poverty. Until recent years, it has gone largely ignored by foreign interests. From its independence in 1991 to 1999, its GDP dropped 60% and the country saw 5-digit inflation rates. Much like in Chechnya, civil war ensued and has gone on virtually uninterrupted since.
Hopefully Chechnya’s claims are just political posturing from a struggling nation hoping to win economic favor with a neighboring superpower. In any case, this is yet another disturbing global development centered around a literal Black Sea of oil.