The Khaibakh massacre was a mass execution of the Chechen civilian population of the aul (village) Khaibakh, in the mountainous part of Chechnya, by Soviet forces under a NKVD Colonel Mikhail Maksimovich Gvishiani during the Chechen deportation of 1944.
The massacre took place on February 27, 1944 during Operation Lentil (the Soviet mass deportation of Chechens to prison camps in Kazakhstan). Russian apologists claim that it was impossible to convoy Chechen deportees to the railway stations in the plains due to a snowstorm, which is why according to them over 700 villagers, including "non-transportable" elderly, women and children, were locked in a stable fortified with dry hay and burned alive; those who broke from burning stable were shot.
One of the witnesses assigned to the military unit, interpreter Ziautdin Malsagov, recalls that NKVD commander Gvishiani called the two newborn children in the stable "bandits" before ordering to burn the 704 people alive. Both Malssagov and other officeer- Gromov, who tried to stop execution, were arrested.
After the incident, Gvishiani reported in telegramm to Beria, that he was "forced to kill up to 700 chechens due to fulfill order in the time ". He was reportedly congratulated for his success and good work by Lavrenty Beria.
Two weeks later, on the 8th of March 1944 Gveshiani was awarded with Order of Suworov, 2nd rank (орден Суворова 2 степени).
Even village was known before, and even here was drawing by russian artist since 1888, the aul of Khaibach was rediscovered, through archaeological finds in Ukraine years later.
World War II archaeologists found the remains of the North Caucasian scouts who died during one of the operations behind the enemy (German) lines in Ukraine. Letters addressed to their relatives were found in their water-resistant pockets which were addressed to aul Khaibach.
Stepan Kashurko, one of the archaeologists, accompanied by a former Soviet general, decided to inform the families that the bodies of their relatives were found, and then they learned that the settlement no longer existed.
Gvishiani had close ties to the top of USSR and Russia Communist party nomenclature - his son German was married to daughter of Head of Ministers of USSR - A. Kosygin, but adopted daughter Laura was wife of J. Primakov. He left military service and peacefully lived in Tbilisi up to end of his days in 1966.
Territory of village Khaibakh after WW2 untill 1957 was included in Georgia.
More than 40,000 Chechens were conscripted and fighting in the Red Army that time, (50 were awarded with highest award- Hero of USSR), while their families were deported).
Sources: wikipedia.org, news.lv
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