One Soldier's War

Author: Arkady Babchenko

Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic

ISBN: 1555848354

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 420

View: 8512

A visceral and unflinching memoir of a young Russian soldier’s experience in the Chechen wars. In 1995, Arkady Babchenko was an eighteen-year-old law student in Moscow when he was drafted into the Russian army and sent to Chechnya. It was the beginning of a torturous journey from naïve conscript to hardened soldier that took Babchenko from the front lines of the first Chechen War in 1995 to the second in 1999. He fought in major cities and tiny hamlets, from the bombed-out streets of Grozny to anonymous mountain villages. Babchenko takes the raw and mundane realities of war the constant cold, hunger, exhaustion, filth, and terror and twists it into compelling, haunting, and eerily elegant prose. Acclaimed by reviewers around the world, this is a devastating first-person account of war that brilliantly captures the fear, drudgery, chaos, and brutality of modern combat. An excerpt of One Soldier’s War was hailed by Tibor Fisher in The Guardian as “right up there with Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Michael Herr’s Dispatches.” Mark Bowden, bestselling author of Black Hawk Down, hailed it as “hypnotic and terrifying” and the book won Russia’s inaugural Debut Prize, which recognizes authors who write despite, not because of, their life circumstances. “If you haven’t yet learned that war is hell, this memoir by a young Russian recruit in his country’s battle with the breakaway republic of Chechnya, should easily convince you.” —Publishers Weekly

One Soldier's War in Chechnya

Author: Arkadiĭ Babchenko

Publisher: N.A


Category: Chechni︠a︡ (Russia)

Page: 405

View: 991

A vivid, autobiographical account of what life was like for a young soldier in Russia's Chechen wars, Arkady Babchenko provides an unsparing, unsentimental, blackly comic and brutally beautiful account of active duty.

A Dirty War

Author: Anna Politkovskaya

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1407018280

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 7624

The Chechen War was supposed to be over in 1996 after the first Yeltsin campaign, but in the summer of 1999, the new Putin government decided, in their own words, to 'do the job properly'. Before all the bodies of those who had died in the first campaign had been located or identified, many more thousands would be slaughtered in another round of fighting. The first account to be written by a Russian woman, A Dirty War is an edgy and intense study of a conflict that shows no sign of being resolved. Exasperated by the Russian government's attempt to manipulate media coverage of the war, journalist Anna Politkovskaya undertook to go to Chechnya, to make regular reports and keep events in the public eye. In a series of despatches from July 1999 to January 2001 she vividly describes the atrocities and abuses of war, whether it be the corruption endemic in post-Communist Russia, in particular the government and the military, or the spurious arguments and abominable behaviour of the Chechen authorities. In these courageous reports, Politkovskaya excoriates male stupidity and brutality on both sides of the conflict and interviews the civilians whose homes and communities have been laid waste, leaving them nowhere to live, and nothing and no one to believe in.


Author: Valery Tishkov

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520238885

Category: History

Page: 284

View: 3021

Sample Text

The War in Chechnya

Author: Stasys Knezys,Romanas Sedlickas

Publisher: TAMU Press


Category: History

Page: 359

View: 7152

The recent war in Chechnya, despite all the media coverage, remains a confusing tangle for many people. The war was the result of many conflicting political, economic, judicial, and military issues that had been fermenting for decades. Only the most fundamental goals became clearly visible: for Moscow, the preservation of its territorial integrity; for Chechens, the struggle for national independence. In this carefully researched and extensively documented study, Stasys Knezys and Romanas Sedlickas examine the Chechnyan war from a military viewpoint. As they evenhandedly depict the strengths and weaknesses of both the Russians and Chechens, the authors consider how and why Russia, with one of the world’s largest armies, failed to subdue the Chechens, and how the Chechens fought among themselves, yet also fought off the Russian Goliath. One reason the Chechens had the success they did was the expansion of the relationship of “politics and war” to the triangle of “politics, war, and terrorism.” Knezys and Sedlickas examine this question: “Is military terrorism . . . a new tactical element, ensuring the success of a small country’s resistance to a powerful army?” The War in Chechnya does not answer all the questions raised by this war, but it presents comprehensive, objective, impartial information about the military strategy and nature and conduct of operations on both sides to allow the reader to begin to answer some of those questions. Military analysts and historians, political scientists, and Eastern European scholars will find The War in Chechnya an illuminating analysis of the military operations there and a valuable source of information for further studies.

The Sky Wept Fire

Author: Mikail Eldin

Publisher: Portobello Books

ISBN: 1846273927

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 304

View: 8093

On the eve of the first Chechen war in the 1990s, Mikail Eldin was a young and nave arts journalist. By the end of the second war, he had become a battle-hardened war reporter and mountain partisan who had endured torture and imprisonment in a concentration camp. His compelling memoir traces the unfolding of the conflict from day one, with vivid scenes right from the heart of the war. The Sky Wept Fire presents a unique glimpse into the lives of the Chechen resistance, providing testimony of great historical value. Yet it is not merely the story of the battle for Chechnya: this is the story of the battle within the heart, the struggle to conquer fear, hold on to faith and preserve one's humanity. Eldin was fated to witness key events in Chechnya's history: from the first day of the attack on Grozny, and the full-scale Russian invasion that followed it, to the siege of Grozny five years later that razed the city to the ground and has been compared to the destruction of Dresden. Resurrecting these memories with extraordinary lyricism, Eldin observes the sights, the sounds and smells of war. Having fled Grozny alongside the droves of refugees, he joins the defending army - yet he always considers his role as that of journalist and witness. Shortly after joining the Chechen resistance, Eldin is captured in the mountains. He undergoes barbaric torture as his captors attempt to break his will. They fail to make him talk, and he is eventually transferred to a concentration camp. There a new struggle awaits him: the battle to overcome his own suicidal thoughts and ensuing insanity.

Russia's Chechen Wars 1994-2000

Author: Olga Oliker

Publisher: Rand Corporation

ISBN: 0833032488

Category: History

Page: 121

View: 770

An examination of the difficulties faced by the Russian military in planningand carrying out urban operations in Chechnya.Russian and rebel military forces fought to control the Chechen city ofGrozny in the winters of 1994-1995 and 1999-2000, as well as clashing insmaller towns and villages. The author examines both Russian and rebeltactics and operations in those battles, focusing on how and why thecombatants' approaches changed over time. The study concludes that whilethe Russian military was able to significantly improve its ability to carryout a number of key tasks in the five-year interval between the wars, otherimportant missions--particularly in the urban realm--were ignored, largelyin the belief that the urban mission could be avoided. This consciousdecision not to prepare for a most stressful battlefield met withdevastating results, a lesson the United States would be well served tostudy.

Chienne de Guerre

Author: Anne Nivat

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN: 0786745576

Category: History

Page: 288

View: 7943

Two years ago, when she was thirty years old, Anne Nivat decided to see first-hand what war was all about. Russia had just launched its second brutal campaign against Chechnya. And though the Russians strictly forbade Westerners from covering the war, the aspiring French journalist decided she would go. There are two very real dangers in Chechnya: being arrested by the Russians and being kidnapped by the Chechens. Nivat strapped her satellite phone to her belly, disguised herself in the garb of a Chechen peasant, and sneaked across the border. She found a young guide, Islam, to lead her illegally through the war zone. For six months they followed the war, travelling with underground rebels and sleeping with Chechen families or in abandoned buildings. Anne trembled through air raids; walked through abandoned killing fields; and helped in the halls of bloody hospitals. She interviewed rebel leaders, government officials, young widows, and angry fighters, and she reported everything back to France. Her reports in Lib'ration led to antiwar demonstrations outside the Russian embassy in Paris. Anne's words move. They are not florid, but terse, cool, dramatic. More than just a war correspondent's report, Chienne de Guerre is a moving story of struggle and self-discovery -- the adventures of one young woman who repeatedly tests her own physical and psychological limits in the extremely dangerous and stressful environment of war.

Russian Civil-Military Relations and the Origins of the Second Chechen War

Author: Sz&ászdi, Lajos F.

Publisher: University Press of America

ISBN: 9780761841784

Category: Political Science

Page: 390

View: 6146

This book has relevance for those interested in understanding Russia's course in international relations under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. This book will inform the reader and is especially relevant in light of the events of 2008 in the Caucasus and the war in Georgia, in particular. The author explains the ideology of Neo-Eurasianism, which in turn inspires the policy-thinking of the Kremlin. Also studied is Putin's origins in the KGB, from the previous posts of Secretary of the Security Council and Director of the FSB, and his rise to power in the crucial year of 1999, when he became Russian Prime Minister. The author highlights the continuing trend of appointing high-ranking officers of the Russian intelligence community to senior positions in the government, studying this in the context of Russian civil-military-intelligence relations. The author reached the conclusion, back in 2003, that the members of Russian intelligence hold the reins of power above the civilian and military elements of the Russian government. The author returns to the Kosovo Crisis of 1999, discussing also the motives that led the Kremlin and Putin to invaded Chechnya for a second time in a decade. Parallels can be drawn to the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia and the roots of the Neo-Eurasianist ideology that is behind the two invasions are examined. This book will help the reader understand Russia's current and future distribution of power in the Caucasus, the Balkans and the world at large, Moscow's search for a multipolar world, and its opposition to U.S. hegemony.

Towers of Stone

Author: Wojciech Jagielski

Publisher: Seven Stories Press

ISBN: 1609800397

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 5953

In Towers of Stone, award-winning Polish reporter Wojciech Jagielski brings into focus the tragedy of Chechnya, its inhabitants, and the war being waged there by a handful of desperate warriors against a powerful and much more numerous army. Jagielski's narrative is told through the lens of two men: Shamil Basaev, a hero to some, a dangerous warlord to others; and Aslan Maskhadov, a calculating and sober politician, who is viewed as a providential savior by some of his compatriots and a cowardly opportunist by the rest. Caught up in a war to which they owe everything and without which they could not live, the two fighters face enemy forces—and one another—in protean conflicts that prove hard to quell. Viewing the two men’s personal story as a microcosm of the conflict threatening to devour a land and its peoples, Jagielski distills the bitter history of the region with forceful clarity.