Who was tried: Budanov or Russian Army?

To condemn Budanov means to spit into the face of Russian Army, while to justify him means to offend Chechens.

Russian Army colonel Yury Budanov accused of murdering Chechen girl Elza Kungaeva has been acknowledged irresponsible and will be sent to compulsory medical treatment. Medical experts concluded colonel Budanov only partly realized the real danger of what he committed in March 2000. The commander of 160th Tank Regiment suspected the dweller of Tangi-Chu settlement of participation as a sniper in battle activities against Russian forces. Having captured the girl, the colonel interrogated her, then smothered her and ordered the solders to bury her body. Moreover, Budanov ordered to fire at the settlement and even slaughtered an officer who refused to carry out his order.

In the trial which will be recommenced Monday, conclusions of the already third medical examination are planned to be made publish. The examination was carried out according to the recommendation of the Main Military Prosecutor Office of Russia, which supports the accusation. The two first medical examinations gave discrepant results: according to the first one, Yury Budanov was acknowledged irresponsible.

Though, the second examination carried out according to the court demand, concluded the colonel had been in the state of temporary insanity while committing his deed. The court doubted some conclusions of the examination and appointed one more examination in Serbsky Institute of Forensic Medicine. The last moment, the examination conclusions were recalled by the health minister, as if because of some technical defects in its registration.
So, who is Budanov: a hero or a killer? Today’s decision cannot answer to this question.

Why did the authority which at first appointed Budanov to be responsible for everything, suddenly change its mind? It is probably because of the Nord-Ost wind? To condemn Budanov means to spit into the face of Russian Amry, while to justify him means to offend Chechens. That is a dilemma.

Dmitry Litvinovich

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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Author`s name Olga Savka