Two Russian authors and their British colleague produce a book different from any other on Chechnya. This is not an account of the wars themselves or of how the Russians got themselves into them or of the awful toll they have taken on their victims. Rather, it is a study of how the wars have affected Russia, especially its military, its Muslim population, its other territories in the North Caucasus, and its international relations. All this is measured in careful, balanced, nuanced, and analytically objective terms, and the book, in its original Russian, was badly needed by a Russian public burdened with simple and highly biased notions of the war. This updated version in English will convey to a larger audience the complex ramifications of these wars and create a heightened sense of the stakes as Russia, after Beslan, enters a new and more tragic phase of its struggle in Chechnya.
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