The North Caucasus is well known for its Olympic champion wrestlers. However, a move towards the more brutal ‘mixed martial arts’ is leading some to question why such a violent sport is being allowed and even encouraged, whether or not it is compatible with local traditions, and if it is engendering violence.
After enduring two bloody wars and under the extreme authoritarian rule of Ramzan Kadyrov, many in the Kremlin and beyond believe that Chechnya has been pacified. However, after 300 years of resistance, few in Chechnya doubt that the struggle against Russia will continue.
A conflict in a Siberian penal colony between a Russian ‘thief-in-law’ and Chechen and Daghestani inmates is threatening to spiral out of control. The feud has already began to spread to other prisons in Russia, and attempts to mediate a truce between the warring factions have so far proven fruitless.
A public council to socialise the families of slain militants and local security forces has been created in Ingushetia. The organisation will provide psychological and practical support, including help in finding employment.
The twenty-third of February 2017 marks 73 years since the mass deportation of Chechens and Ingush from their homelands to Central Asia. Stalin’s Soviet Union ordered the deportation in the winter of 1944, following which, the Chechen–Ingush Oblast was fully abolished. Every year, Chechens ask why it had to happen. The question has remained unanswered.
After a video emerged of a ritual where worshipers had knives stuck into their heads, Chechen Head Ramzan Kadyrov publicly condemned Chechen followers of Iraqi Sheikh Mohammad al Kasnazani.
On 5 February 2000, Russian soldiers summarily executed dozens of civilians in the Chechen village of Aldy. Survivors of the massacre have no hope of finding justice, with the authorities doing everything in their power to whitewash this and other tragedies.
Cases of child abuse are on the rise in Chechnya. Children are the victims of unprovoked aggression and violence from adults. Psychologists explain this is a society-wide post-war syndrome.
Since the beginning of the Second Chechen war, the Chechen authorities, with assistance of the Russian special services, have pressured the relatives of militants. At first glance, the approach has worked. However, the ongoing, albeit sporadic attacks on police, suggest that the nature of this success has been illusory.
The return and hasty burial of the remains of Chechen fighters killed during the Second Chechen War did not bring solace to their loved ones, giving rise to questions about the fate of thousands who disappeared without a trace in the North Caucasus.