By Thomas Goltz
Chechnya Diary is a narrative approximately "the tale" of the conflict in Chechnya, the "rogue republic" that tried to secede from the Russian Federation on the time of the cave in of the Soviet Union in 1991. particularly, it's the tale of the Samashki bloodbath, a logo of the Russian brutality that used to be hired to overwhelm Chechen resistance.
Thomas Goltz is a member of the specific journalistic cadre of compulsive, danger-addicted voyeurs who court docket loss of life to get the tale. but additionally to delivering a travel during the convoluted Soviet after which post-Soviet nationalities coverage that ended in the massacre in Chechnya, Chechnya Diary is a part of a bigger exploration of the position (and impression) of the media in clash components. And at its middle, Chechnya Diary is the tale of Hussein, the chief of the neighborhood resistance within the small city that bears the brunt of the bloodbath because it is drawn into war.
This is a deeply own ebook, a primary individual narrative that reads like an experience yet addresses higher theoretical matters starting from the historical past of ethnic/nationalities within the USSR and the Russian Federation to journalistic accountability in difficulty zones. Chechnya Diary is a crossover paintings that provides either the old context and a ground-level view of a posh and brutal struggle.
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Additional info for Chechnya Diary: A War Correspondent’s Story of Surviving the War in Chechnya
Because ammunition was so scarce, he would load each shell individually, and never used automatic fire. Still, by moving the gun around, he gave the impression that he had more men and equipment than he did, and once even forced a firefight between two Russian columns, each of which thought that the other was the enemy, as we hid in thorn-bush thickets between the potato fields. Those were the days. In the evening, I did what everyone else around me did: sat around Alkhazur’s living room drinking endless cups of tea and chain-smoking cigarettes before wandering back through the blackened, muddy streets to Hussein’s place to sleep.
As the primary contact point for Diaspora and traveling Chechens, the center attracted a weird mix of second- and third-generation “Chechen Turks” from Anatolian villages who had suddenly rediscovered their identity but spoke no Chechen or Russian, fourth- and fifth-generation “Chechen Arabs” from Jordan and Syria who were actually closer to Chechenness than their “Turkish” cousins, and finally, a truly motley crew of real Russian Chechens who needed or wanted help and assistance to return home via the underground railroad to fight the good fight.
In practice, however, the policy of polyethnic promotion left a lot to be desired. While most of the hundred-odd ethnic entities in the USSR enjoyed the accoutrements of self-government, they all lacked the substance of sovereignty. Most may have had something resembling a parliament, but all real decisions were made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in the Kremlin in Moscow. That all changed in the wake of the abortive putsch against Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev of August 19, 1991.
Chechnya Diary: A War Correspondent’s Story of Surviving the War in Chechnya by Thomas Goltz