“Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus” by Carlotta Gall and Thomas de Waal

An account of the first Chechen war written by two journalists who were on the ground when it happened, interviewing the leaders and even spending time embedded amongst Chechen units, “Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus” is both a thorough overview and a riveting story of the first war. Although it is distinctly dated by being […]

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“Allah’s Angels: Chechen Women in War” by Paul J. Murphy

The Chechen wars (1994-6 and 1999-2009, sort of) were brutal for everyone involved. But for Chechen women, they were particularly devastating. “Allah’s Angels” documents their participation and their suffering. Getting hard data about almost any aspect of the Chechen wars can be an exercise in frustration–even things that are supposedly monitored carefully by the government, […]

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“Sankya” by Zakhar Prilepin

“People like you save yourselves by devouring Russia, and people like me–by devouring our own souls. Russia is nourished on the souls of her sons–she thrives on them. Not by the righteous ones, but by the cursed.” So says Sasha (“Sankya”) Tishin, the protagonist of “Sankya,” Zakhar Prilepin’s novel about “communofascist” Russian opposition group the […]

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“Sin” by Zakhar Prilepin

  Zakhar Prilepin represents much of what is confusing and contradictory about contemporary Russia. And on the other hand, it’s all absolutely simple. He’s a pro-Stalinist member of the anti-Putin opposition, a writer who exposes the dark side of modern Russian life while volunteering in the army of the pro-Russian Donetsk People’s Republic. Western readers […]

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