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Are Chechnya and Ingushetia independent states?

Monday, September 15
President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin have recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and some experts think that Russia has thus made a fatal mistake. They believe that Georgia may be the first to recognize the independence of Chechnya and Ingushetia in retaliation, a move which would inevitably encourage other ethnic enclaves in Russia to seek their independence.

New facts concerning this issue were made public recently by the leader of the Chechen community in Georgia, Khizri Aldamov, who revealed that in March 1992 the first President of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, while living in exile in the Chechen capital Grozny with representatives of his legally elected Supreme Council, recognized the independence of Chechnya and Ingushetia during a Supreme Council session. Former member of the Gamsakhurdia administration Temur Koridze has confirmed this in an interview with a Versia newspaper correspondent. He says there are documents to prove it and also video material and newspaper articles. Koridze also added that the post-Rose Revolution administration in 2005 confirmed the legitimacy of this Supreme Council of Georgia which was elected on October 28, 1990, saying it remained legitimate until 1995.

Journalists have carried out research at the Ministries of Justice and Internal Affairs but have been told there are no documents there confirming any of this. But although controversial, the recognition of Chechnya and Ingushetia did take place and it will be interesting to see how the current administration will conduct itself over this very crucial issue.