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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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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 23 July 2021

The Culture of Hostage-Taking

The Culture of Hostage-Taking

Chapter:
(p.107) Eight The Culture of Hostage-Taking
Source:
Chechnya
Author(s):

Valery Tishkov

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520238879.003.0008

This chapter highlights the culture of hostage-taking in Chechnya. The lucrative business of holding hostages for ransom developed among Chechens during the first war, and after the peace agreement, escalated into a full-fledged crisis by 1999. Submitting the subject of hostage-taking to social and cultural analysis has proved difficult, for a number of reasons. First, it was necessary to sweep aside certain popular myths that had been generated around this theme during the Chechen war. Second, the perpetrators of such deeds were not accessible for direct interviews. Third, their victims were often far from ideal sources of accurate information, owing to the intense physical and psychological traumas they had suffered. Finally, the people who liberated the hostages were so biased, both politically and personally, that they were also not very helpful in illuminating the character of the phenomenon.

Keywords:   hostage-taking, Chechnya, cultural analysis, psychological trauma, war

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