S. RES. 27

To express the sense of the Senate regarding the 1944 deportation of the Chechen people to central Asia, and for other purposes.


FEBRUARY 15, 2001

Mr. HELMS (for himself and Mr. WELLSTONE) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

APRIL 3, 2001

Reported by Mr. HELMS, without amendment


To express the sense of the Senate regarding the 1944 deportation of the Chechen people to central Asia, and for other purposes.

  • Whereas for more than 200 years, the Chechen people have resisted the efforts of the Russian government to drive them from their land and to deny them their own culture;
  • Whereas beginning on February 23, 1944, nearly 500,000 Chechen civilians from the northern Caucasus were arrested en masse and forced onto trains for deportation to central Asia;
  • Whereas tens of thousands of Chechens, mainly women, children, and the elderly, died en route to central Asia;
  • Whereas mass killings and the use of poisons against the Chechen people accompanied the deportation;
  • Whereas the Chechen deportees were not given food, housing, or medical attention upon their arrival in central Asia;
  • Whereas the Soviet Union actively attempted to suppress expressions of Chechen culture, including language, architecture, literature, music, and familial relations during the exile of the Chechen people;
  • Whereas it is generally accepted that more than one-third of the Chechen population died in transit during the deportation or while living in exile in central Asia;
  • Whereas the deportation order was not repealed until 1957;
  • Whereas the Chechens who returned to Chechnya found their homes and land taken over by new residents who violently opposed the Chechen return; and
  • Whereas neither the Soviet Union, nor its successor, the Russian Federation, has ever accepted full responsibility for the brutalities inflicted upon the Chechen people: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—

(1) the United States should commemorate the 57th anniversary of the brutal deportation of the Chechen people from their native land;

(2) the current war in Chechnya should be viewed within the historical context of repeated abuses suffered by the Chechen people at the hands of the Russian state;

(3) the United States Government should make every effort to alleviate the suffering of the Chechen people; and

(4) it is in the interests of the United States, the Russian Federation, Chechnya, and the international community to find an immediate, peaceful, and political solution to the war in Chechnya.