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On war crimes in the Chechen mountains

Zelim Khan

Zelim Khan is a security guard at the entrance of a short hiking trail leading to an impressive waterfall near the village of Nkihaloy in the Argun valley of Chechnya. The holes in the rock on the right are caves, where many people from Nikhaloy sought shelter during the daily bombing attacks by Russian planes on their village during the second Chechen war in the early 2000s. When Russian soldiers found out about it, they shot everyone in the caves with machine guns, no matter if men, children or elderly. “They just killed everyone, no one was left”, said Zelim Khan. He is from another village nearby and remembers that tragedy, as everybody back then was talking about it in horror. He himself lost a lot of friends and family members during the war. But he is happy that “now everything is quiet and stable”. Nevertheless, the fact, that a waterfall in the mountains drawing a few dozen tourists a day would need armed security is quite peculiar, as is the massive security presence in the entire Chechen Republic.

Beitrag abgelegt unter: Faces of the East Russland