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A Dirty War: A Russian Reporter in Chechnya Paperback – 21 Jun 2001

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Press; First Edition First Printing edition (21 Jun. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860468977
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860468971
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 2.8 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

A Dirty War is the harrowing account of Russia's invasion and subsequent decimation of Chechnya--a place with a mixed population, many of whom were themselves Russians. Politkovskaya's reports from the war zone were printed in Novayagazeta, one the few Moscow papers that dared to defy government propaganda. Journalists were denied visas if they were suspected to deliver "anti-Russian coverage" and the dangers of being a free-thinking Russian were tragically illustrated by the murder of the paper's editor, Igor Domnikov, by an unknown assailant armed with a hammer. In a confused and horribly entangled situation, one thing is certain: for people and groups on both sides, the war has been extremely profitable. Black market profiteering has reached obscene and nonsensical proportions. Young, barely trained soldiers, fed on rotten food and with no guarantees of any kind of social security should they return home injured, trade guns and ammunition to those who will certainly sell them on to be turned on their comrades. Kidnapping gangs extort huge ransoms from their victims' families while staying above the law by buying favour with the Russian authorities. But from this chaotic mess, Polikovskaya manages to draw episodes and scenes which manage both to elucidate and humanise the complexity of the war and its many casualties. Refusing to simplistically apportion blame to one side or the other, she shows instead how the corrupt, unwieldy and utterly dispassionate Russian system has allows anarchy and violence to ravage its people. --Rebecca Johnson

Review

"If you haven't done so yet, read Politkovskaya's books: A Dirty War and Putin's Russia" (Independent)

"Read this book to discover the true nature of the Russian state under Putin, a state where corruption, torture and murder are franchised out to his friends and the friends of his friends... Its assault on the Russian state is electrifying" (Observer)

"Politkovskaya chronicles the deathly thud of the Russian war machine and the anguished cries of those crushed in its tread...[She] was awarded Amnesty's prestigious Global award for human-rights journalism. Maybe there is yet hope that the truth will out" (Guardian)

"One of the most respected and feared journalists in the world...Despite death threats, she defied state intimidation with dispatches that investigated the true nature of the Russian occupation and documented atrocities against the Chechen people" (Daily Telegraph)

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Format: Paperback
This book is an eye-opener to the attrocities committed by the Russian 'democratic' state against innocent Chechens and also in the lack of humanity shown towards its own soldiers. Much of Politkovskaya's work is centred on original newspaper reports that she collated whilst in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and in Moscow. The book's layout is splendid and the short chapters on different aspects of the second Russo-Chechen conflcit keep you engrossed. The book certainly gives an important insight into all aspects of war, the political, social, economic and perhaps most importantly: the Human. Politkovskaya's work is testament to the bravery of the journalists, human rights groups, and surgeons who have tried to help the innocent civilians of Chechnya. This book has helped me enormously in my Master's dissertation on Chechnya and i would recommend it to academic and layman alike. The price is reasonable and unlike the many other books on the Chechen conflict this provides more than just a narrative, it strikes an overwhelmingly emotional chord. A must read!!
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Format: Paperback
The book gives insight into the attrocities carried out in Chechnya by the Russian armed forces and also by some of the Chechen rebels. It is a must read for anyone who think that we live in a peaceful modern world, and that attrocitites carried out by great nations like Russia do not happen. It should serve as a serious reminder to the fact that Russia still denies foreign powers insight to their "internal affairs", and that the discrimination of Muslim minorities througout Central Asia is very much alive.
Especially nowadays, as Russia seeks to ally with the USA against Muslim aggressors, this book carries much weight.
As somebody noted: "If Tony Blair seeks to eliminate terrorism in Northern Ireland, he does not bomb Dublin to bits and pieces. So why does Putin obliterate Grozny in his fight against terrorists, killing tens and tens of thousands in his path?" That is certainly worth a thought.
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By Dr. R. Brandon TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 23 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anna Politkovskaya was very brave to publish the articles on the Second Chechen War from July 1999 to January 2001 which are now gathered into a book. The widespread violence of Federal troops against the civilian population and the equally mindless violence and gangsterism of the Chechen rebels is reported in harrowing detail. The demoralised state of Russian conscripts and the thuggery of Internal Security Service forces are revealed and it is clearly demonstrated that their actions are generating new rebels, not working towards a permanent peace. The reader will have to look elsewhere for a background into the history and causes of the First and Second Chechen wars, and contrary to newspaper reviews the book does not seek to portray the war as an aggressive adventure by the Putin government. The three star rating reflects the fact that the unremitting horrors described in chapter after chapter makes for very difficult reading, despite the excellence of the content and translation. An very good background read for those who are deeply concerned with the detailed prosecution of the war.
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This book shows the evils of Putin and if it was not for Anna and my friend John Crowfoot the translator, we would not be aware of these terrible atrocities.
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Brilliant translation and account of total devastation. Reading it with little knowledge on the Chechnya war, I left educated and impassioned and wanting to know a lot more.
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