Talk:Samashki massacre

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Reliable source?[edit]

Although I dislike what happened in this event, I believe it behooves us to make certain the article meets Wikipedia policies. I'm concerned that the article violates WP:NPOV and question the reliablility of sources such as I'm tagging the article accordingly. Dreadstar 18:41, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

It's Memorial (society) and Sergei Kovalev not "sources such as". I'm concerned you have no idea of what are you talking at all<rem uncivil accusation> --HanzoHattori 18:58, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

That's correct, and exactly why I have asked for other opinions on the source. Dreadstar 19:01, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
What other opinions? Okay, Kovalev's collegues spent time in the Soviet psikhushkas so they're obviously all crazy. Memorial are a bunch of subversives who constantly criticise the government, which makes them extremists according to the new Russian laws. Totally unreliable. No one died in Samashki, the used syringes everywhere were left by the Red Cross staff and human rights activists who were high on drugs so they imagined everything. Happy now? GO AWAY. --HanzoHattori 19:19, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
What other opinions? Read my comment below. Dreadstar 19:55, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
While you may be abosolutely correct and the sources and article are perfectly fine, I am just a bit beyond WP:AGF with you, considering your contentious editing history. This is why I've asked for a 3O on this issue. Dreadstar 19:16, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
WP:3O here, in response to request for a third party. Let me first state the the event certainly seems to be deplorable. That said, I think the article does seem to have WP:NPOV issues. It should be possible to state the facts of the event without using words like rampage, which even if true, could probably be reworded to betray fewer viewpoint issues. Also, with regard to:

"The destruction of the majority of homes happened as a result of premeditated arson by Internal Troops and other MVD forces."

A citation would be great here. It's a strong claim, and deserves to be verified.
HTH. Any commments/thoughts, let me know. bfigura 20:30, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
P.S. Dreadstar, is there a specific point in dispute (i.e., a question of a source's validity)? What exactly are you looking for a third opinion on? bfigura 20:43, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I think you hit it right on the head, Bfigura. I also think the event was deplorable and should be denounced in the strongest possible terms..but we need to abide by Wikipedia policy. You've identified the exact phrases I would like to see attributed or changed, the first one being in the lead section that says:
"This "cleansing operation" rampage by the MVD forces.
I don't doubt that it was a 'rampage' and 'cleansing operation', and since this is in the lead section, it needs to be solidly sourced and attributed. The source,, is foreign to me, and I don't know how much bias it carries, or how reliable it is. But essentially, I agree with your comment "It should be possible to state the facts of the event without using words like rampage, which even if true, could probably be reworded to betray fewer viewpoint issues." That's the key issue here. If the comment is to remain, then it should probably be properly attributed, such as this example:
"According to a report by the Memorial Human Rights organization, this "cleansing operation" rampage by the MVD forces..."
Thanks so much for weighing in on this troubling subject matter. Dreadstar 21:04, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Not "" but Memorial (society). This is Wikipedia. Hello. --HanzoHattori 21:13, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, hello. WP:CIV, please, this is Wikipedia. Dreadstar 21:16, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Now that the link to Memorial (society) has been provided, I do trust that source. So my objection is withdrawn. However I would like to see the comments so attributed. I'll withdraw the NPOV tag as well. HH, if you look at the citation, it is clearly '". Dreadstar 21:38, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

It was provided in the article since the beginning, and here 2 hours ago already (guess what: by It's Memorial (society) and Sergei Kovalev not "sources such as" I meant it's Memorial (society) and Sergei Kovalev not "sources such as"). --HanzoHattori 21:49, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

WP:NO U. --HanzoHattori 22:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Regardless of who's correct, please, let's all be polite. Civility costs nothing, and only improves wikipedia. bfigura 22:04, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

You're so right. I'm almost embarassed to have allowed myself to be drawn into that level of communications. Opinion withdrawn. Dreadstar 22:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Memorial attributed statement[edit]

Rampage is bad, mkay. How about mass murder? --HanzoHattori 21:26, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Since it is now attributed, it should reflect what the source says. Dreadstar 21:43, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the article looks better now as well. As long as the sources are properly attributed (like they are now, "According to the xxy report" etc.), I don't see any real issues. bfigura 21:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

"Rampage" is my description, but not uncommon:

  • In April 1995, Spetsnaz troops (many on drugs) reportedly went on a rampage in Samashki killing well over 100 villagers.[1]
  • When the first survivors managed to trickle out, they told blood-curdling stories of drunken, doped-up soldiers on rampage, killing old men, women, and children.[2]
  • The rampage lasted several hours.[3]
  • The rampage, Mr Shabad said, continued after the town had fallen, with troops even blowing up a school they had stayed in.[4]
  • This unusually blunt condemnation of the Russian assault on the village west of Grozny - as an "indiscriminate attack against civilians and a flagrant violation of humanitarian law" - adds weight to earlier claims of Russian human rights monitors and fleeing villagers of a bloody Russian rampage.[5]
  • The assault on Bamut, launched last week with an abortive attempt to storm rebel positions in fortified bunkers, follows what one member of the Russian parliament, human rights monitors and Chechen villagers described as a drunken, drugged rampage by Russian troops through the town of Samashki, some 20 miles to the north.[6]
  • Villagers describe a rampage of looting, murder and mutilation by Russian soldiers who took their town.[7]
  • Baisayev, a former journalist for a Chechen newspaper, was in Samashki in April 1995 when Russian paramilitary police went on a rampage, throwing grenades into cellars filled with women and children and firing flame throwers at civilians in the street.[8]

Etc.--HanzoHattori 22:03, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

True enough. But in any event, there are words that convey the same meaning in a manner that's less likely to attract NPOV complaints. It's not a matter of attempting to diminish human suffering, just to have a more professional encyclopedia. See WP:NPOV#Fairness_of_tone bfigura 22:09, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


Some of the destruction in the village could well have occurred during street fighting — the destruction of homes from direct hits by tank fire and grenade launchers (see photograph), metal gates and fences pounded with shell fragments, and bullet traces on the walls of houses and on fallen gates. This damage and destruction, however, affected few houses and was concentrated in several sectors of the village. (Destruction in the main part of the village bore the marks of premeditated arson.) This corresponds to soldiers’ and OMON testimony that only a few houses were destroyed or damaged during fighting, and that only a part of the storming groups met resistance in the village.8 Indeed, this is why the majority of villagers who, during the operation were near houses located in areas where there was no fighting, maintained that no military activities at all took place in the village.[9]

Why the hell everyone calls me "HTH"? --HanzoHattori 20:57, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Hmm... I didn't intend to. HTH is english net slang for "Hope this helps". bfigura 21:06, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
One Custerwest called me "HTH" constantly. --HanzoHattori 21:08, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Apologies for any confusion then. Regarding the issue Dreadstar raised: part of the issue (at least to me) seems to be the trustworthiness of the source. It's not that I don't think the source isn't credible, it's that I don't know. Perhaps the best way would be to actually cite the original sources documented on Memorial's website, rather than the report itself. bfigura 21:21, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
They conducted the investigation (been there, interviewd survivors, did the photos and videos, etc). HRW quotes them. US Congress listened to them. THIS is the original source. --HanzoHattori 21:29, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

POV tag[edit]

I would like to provide third opinion you were asking about. This massacre is a well known incident. It seems to be properly described and justified by sources in this article. Honestly, I do not see any reason for POV tag.Biophys 21:24, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

I do not know what you mean, but I have never edited this article.Biophys 01:08, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
I've retracted my objection in view of this. Dreadstar 01:26, 16 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I just wanted to tell that "Samashki massacre" article is not POV in my personal opinion, and I am not acting on someones behalf. I am familiar enough with this subject to have an opinion.Biophys 02:03, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

I was looking on Kulikov and found this as the first[edit]

The Danish Institute for International Studies, DIIS, has the pleasure of inviting you to a seminar with Anatoly S. Kulikov, Member of the Duma and former Russian Minister of the Interior, who will be speaking on

Countering Terrorism: The Russian and the International Dimension[10]

No comment, I guess. --HanzoHattori 08:49, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

And the next was Kulikov speaking, on going Stalin:

The March 7 issue of the newspaper Segodnya contained an interview with the former Russian minister of internal affairs, retired General Anatoly Kulikov, who is currently chairman of the subcommittee of the State Duma for legislation in the sphere of the struggle with transnational crime and terrorism. During the course of the interview, Kulikov presented his plan for the pacification of Chechnya. (...) Kulikov urges that Kvashnin's unworkable plan be jettisoned. In its place, he recommends: "Use the experience of the struggle with the national underground in Western Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltics from 1944-1951.

And going further:

Although Kovalyov continues to insist that hundreds of civilians were killed in Samashki, Col.-Gen. Anatoliy Kulikov once again asserted that even Chechen fighters dismiss Kovalyov as a "political prostitute," NTV reported on 23 April.[11]

Why this guy has no article? He's a huge celebrity, going around the world, giving speeches about "countering terrorism"... --HanzoHattori 08:59, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

NPOV tag again[edit]

I noticed User:Paukrus added an NPOV tag to this page without indicating what he or she is disputing about this article. So I removed the tag, it shouldn't be replaced without explanation here. --Ace of Swords 23:05, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Btw, Paukrus, the obvious source is the Observer Mission (of Human Rights and Public Organizations in the Conflict Zone in Chechnya). Don't spam-tag without thinking - especially since the source is indicated IN THE TEXT ITSELF ("the Memorial compiled the incomplete list" etc.). --HanzoHattori 22:58, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Goltz says there were only local fighters all the time[edit]

"While I have the greatest respect for Memorial and its efforts to meticulously research and publish its findings, its publication on Samashki is not perfect. There are errors of time and person and place. Without elaborating, suffice it to say that while Memorial accepts that the Russian command used the presence of outlander Chechen fighters from Shamil Basayev's Abkhazia Battalion attacking an armored train and sabotaging repair of tracks as the excuse to encircle and then attack the town, in fact all those fighters were local. I know because I was with them taking pictures. Memorial was not. They were not nameless Mujaheeds-they were Hussein and Ussam and Seylah and Sultan and Ali."[12] -- (talk) 10:35, 15 April 2008 (UTC) Grey Fox (talk) 23:48, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

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