By Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Burry, Tatiana Tulchinsky, Georgi M. Derluguian
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Additional info for A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya
He even donned a business suit and mused about Internet ventures. However, Basayev’s incompetence in the civilian job soon became embarrassingly obvious. Basayev quit the Chechen government in utter frustration and reverted to his warrior image and lifestyle. Basayev’s move into the self-proclaimed opposition attracted many former ﬁghters to him, especially the young men who during the war had become, in effect, professional warriors. They insisted that the struggle with Russia was not yet over and refused to demobilize.
But this trail got bombed too. September 1999. We are lying on withered autumn grass. To be more precise, we want to lie on it, but for most of us all that’s left is the dusty Chechen ground. There are too many of us—hundreds, and there are not enough amenities for everyone. We are the people caught in the bombing. We didn’t do anything wrong; we were just walking toward Ingushetia along the former highway, which is now all torn up by armored vehicles. Grozny is behind us. We run as a herd from the war and its battles.
Then he asks Vakha, “Show me your folder, please. ” The bodies, who have been silenced by the tough guy, are eager to clutch at straws again, to enjoy an unexpected gift of momentary happiness, the last for some. “Go ahead, show us . . ” “We’ll all get these folders . . ” “The Russians will run out of them . ” “Putin will wonder, why are all the Chechens running around with folders during the war? They should be carrying automatic weapons . ” “And he’ll give out folders to the Feds∗ too. All of Chechnya will be carrying folders .