Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chienne de Guerre

My reading of books about the wars in Chechnya has shifted slightly to books about the people of Chechnya and their struggles. To that end I read Chienne de Guerre: A Woman Reporter Behind the Lines of the War in Chechnya by Anne Nivat.

Chienne de Guerre, originally written in French, tells the story of French female reporter traveling through war torn Chechnya during the early part of the second war (late 1999 to late 2000). Nivat was able to remain undetected for almost a year, crossing the border with Ingushetia numerous times, by posing as a Chechen civilian. The book details her encounters with many Chechen civilians and some Russian soldiers. Nivat shows journalism at its best - she describes the most salient parts of her meetings and although she went to great (dangerous) lengths to do her reporting she doesn't dwell on her own heroics one bit. Fortuitously she is located in Alkhan-Kala when a large body of Chechen fighters passes through after their breakout from Grozny. She even walks in on Khassan Baiev (the famous Chechen surgeon and author) amputating Shamil Basayev's leg! When Nivat is eventually rounded up and kicked out of Chechnya her treatment by the Russians is surprisingly gentle. The epilogue briefly describes two return visits, one officially with Russian soldiers and the other incognito in which she interviews Aslan Maskhadov. The books is definitely worth checking out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting, on my amazon wish list....