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Chechen surgeon Khasan Baiyev has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, by well-known Ossetian blogger Bella Tsarakhova. Tsarakhova says that Baiyev is worthy of the award for his many years of work in medicine, in particular, in treating children affected by the Beslan school siege.
During the 2004 terrorist attack, a school in the North Ossetian town of Beslan was taken over by a group of mainly Chechen militants, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. The Russian security services operation to retake the school resulted in the majority of the more than 330 deaths, which included over 180 children.
‘We are looking for heroes who have moved mountains and rattled the whole world, and here is a very modest man who leads an almost ascetic life, who silently gives the children a smile and brings back hope’, she explained.
The initiative was supported by other Ossetian public figures and the authorities there. The Mothers of Beslan organisation, which consists of relatives of the victims of the 2004 attack, also supported the idea. Mothers of Beslan has in the past explicitly blamed the Russian security services for the deaths, as opposed to the Chechen militants who took over the school.
‘As an example of a highly professional doctor, for whom misfortune and grief is so familiar, Dr Baiyev gives a new vector to world relations, calling for peace, compassion and creation’, Susanna Dudiyeva, the leader of Mothers of Beslan, wrote in an official statement released on social media.
Baiyev gained fame at the beginning of the Second Chechen War working in a rural clinic, where for a long time he operated on casualties on all sides, civilians, militants, and Russian soldiers.
In 2000, he operated on militant leader Shamil Basayev, who went on to mastermind the Beslan attack, amputating his leg. After this, Baiyev emigrated to the United States, before returning to Chechnya a few years later. He continues to practice medicine, treating children with congenital and acquired defects.