Karimov’s Report to Putin

by Laurence on 6/30/2005

Here’s what the President of Uzbekistan told the President of Russia about Andijan on June 28th in Moscow:

ISLAM KARIMOV: In the night of 12-13 May at 12:30 a.m., someone clearly gave a command. There was an attack on a patrol service, not just a service but a battalion. Around 200 automatic weapons and other weapons were seized there. Then there was an attack on a military division, a motorcycle infantry brigade, where weapons were also seized. Then the trained and armed people attacked a prison and freed over 600 criminals. Around 400 of them were armed with weapons that were captured.

Now you can imagine how this quite powerful terrorist group acted on the streets of Andijan, captured hostages, treated them mercilessly, and shot many of them. It is clear that these testimonies will also be confirmed.

Then administrative buildings were captured. Essentially, not just gunmen, but snipers were stationed on the roofs. One of them is in custody. He says that he was trained in Afghanistan and took part in other troop operations.

All these events were planned beforehand. When I came to Andijan early in the morning, at 7 a.m., we immediately found a way of contacting the rebels sitting in the complex of city administration buildings. We started talks. I would like to take this opportunity in your presence to say once more than from 8 a.m. and over the course of nine hours – while talks were proceeding – there was not a single shot. The surname of the person with whom we held talks was Barbiev. Currently he and his accomplices are hiding in Kyrgyzstan. He had advisors, among whom there was a division of duties. When this is discussed in court tomorrow, it is clear that many people may think about how it was possible to categorically state something for which there were no grounds at all.

Incidentally, the information attack deployed against Uzbekistan began long before the completion of this “operation”. We have sufficient information that most journalists – primarily western journalists – arrived in Andijan on 10 May, settled in hotels, so they could look over the areas and take photographs of everything in order to send these new flashes to the centres from which they were distributed and so on.

It is clear that this operation had one goal. Essentially, what happened in Bishkek on 24 March this year – the street fighting, the beating and pillaging, the looting and so on – all this was supposed to take place in an even worse form in Andijan. As soon as this started, there would have been wide-scale looting, and neighbouring villages and towns in the Fergana Valley would have immediately been set on fire.

And you know well what the Fergana Valley is. It is the meeting place of three republics. The Fergana Valley as a geographical concept does not just include three Oblasts of Uzbekistan, where around 9 million people live, but also the Leninabad Oblast of Tajikistan and three Oblasts of Kyrgyzstan: The Jalal-Abad, Osh and Batken Oblasts. Essentially, this enclave was supposed to be united and play a decisive role in the far-ranging plans of the separatists who organised the entire operation.

I must stress the following. Today we are certain of one thing, that the operation was so well planned that parallel to this terrorist aggression another operation was prepared from the territory of a neighbouring country. Imagine, so many people were involved, so many weapons were seized, that naturally these organisers knew that blood would be shed. The rebels seized over 300 automatic weapons, they seized a large number of weapons, attacked a jail, and shot people on the streets. Who did they capture? They captured prosecutors, policemen and everyone who was evidently on their list.

Naturally, there had to be bloodshed. Naturally, everyone understood that some innocent people would be victims.

And the parallel operation was absolutely foolproof. Any court, any international commission from many countries you know would have intentionally put primary emphasis on this: however the Uzbekistan motivated its actions in the war against extremists, say, peaceful citizens were the victims.  And for this reason alone the government and leadership of Uzbekistan must answer for this.

This is a ready revolution, food for the information attacks which continue to this day, although in my opinion their resources are running out. This revolution was already prepared. Naturally, above all the U.S. Congress, the European Parliament and NATO would have been the first to make condemnations and pass appropriate resolutions. Naturally, the angry democrats and angry society of Europe and the United States would have demanded for the government and leadership of Uzbekistan to answer for the innocent victims.

I repeat, there was the obligatory formula: whatever guided the actions of the government of Uzbekistan, peaceful citizens still died. And this is the result.

Where do the fantastic ideas come from that 700, 800, 1,000 people were killed? I think that they come from everyone responsible for the “operation”, for realising this scenario, which was in any case a losing scenario for Uzbekistan and its leaders.

This is everything I wanted to inform you about. And I stress once more that the court and only the court will give a final decision on everything that is happening. Our people are sufficiently qualified. I think that in several months there will be an open trial, and anyone who wants to can be present there, including U.S. congressmen, and all the human rights activists who so impudently and without any grounds talk about the tragedy that took place in Uzbekistan.

I repeat, yes, a tragedy did take place. I believe that what happened is above all the pain of the Uzbek people, the pain of our people. If you like, it is the pain of all the people who feels sympathy for us. It is pain which is difficult to bear. Only those who saw it with their own eyes understand this…

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