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ChechnyaLife in a War-Torn Society$
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Valery Tishkov

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520238879

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520238879.001.0001

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The Myth and Reality of the “great Victory”

The Myth and Reality of the “great Victory”

(p.180) Twelve The Myth and Reality of the “great Victory”

Valery Tishkov

University of California Press

This chapter analyzes postwar Chechen society. Certain aspects of this period are self-evident, including the devastated infrastructure, a thorough economic collapse, a mass exodus from the republic, and the disintegration of civil institutions, leading to the proliferation of high-level criminal activities such as hostage-taking. The difficulty of getting back to normal essentially consists of the fact that the war did not truly end for Chechnya in August 1996, but lived on in the minds and actions of armed veterans, politicians, and various intellectuals. It was revived daily in the propaganda about the great victory that had asserted Chechen superiority over the rest of the world. Chechens had cultivated the image of an enemy (Russia and the Russians), and the resumption of fighting was encouraged by outsiders who supported complete secession from the Russian Federation. The circles supporting Chechnya's continued fighting after 1996 were in fact wider and more influential than those that had been dominant during the war.

Keywords:   great victory, postwar Chechen society, hostage-taking, Chechnya, Chechen superiority

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