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The Chechen Struggle: Independence Won and Lost Hardcover – November 15, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0230105348 ISBN-10: 0230105343

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (November 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230105343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230105348
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,169,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Akhmadov feels disgusted by both Ramzan Kadyrov's rule and the jihadists who hijacked the independence movement. He nurses a vision of the Chechen people one day resurrecting the idea that animated their initial revolt in 1994: the establishment of Chechnya as a secular, democratic state.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Akhmadov does not avoid…pointing out how (Chechens) contributed to their own national catastrophe. But he saves much of his bitterness for the west. The desires of the Chechens were meaningless when compared to our own security needs. Akhmadov forcefully argues that, in ignoring the legitimate desires of ordinary people, the democracies undermine the very safety they think they are securing...when historians write about the war on terror, Akhmadov will come out of it a lot better than a lot of western politicians will.”—The Guardian

“A personal and a historical account of the Chechen struggle….informative and highly readable…Recommended.”—Choice

"Ilyas Akhmadov's memoir is the first personal account by a member of the Chechen leadership of the events that led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Chechens and the transformation of Russia. He gives the best description I have seen of the fateful 1999 invasion of Dagestan that led to the Second Chechen War and he provides objective and fair minded portraits of the two most important Chechen leaders, Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev. He also shows the roots of the divisions in Chechen society and explains the background to the kidnapping for ransom that did so much to damage the reputation of the Chechens. His book needs to be read."--David Satter, Darkness at Dawn: the Rise of the Russian Criminal State

“The publication of The Chechen Struggle is an event of singular importance.  As Chechnya’s former Foreign Minister, Akhmadov ably shows that there was always a moderate alternative to Chechen extremism -- and that Russia has systematically destroyed it.  This is Akhmadov’s urgent message, and as the Chechen conflict spreads to the other republics of the North Caucasus, further emboldening Russia’s autocrats, it is one the world can no longer afford to ignore.”--Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy

About the Author

Ilyas Akhmadov was the Foreign Minister of Chechnya from 1999 to 2005, during the government of Aslan Maskhadov.  His articles appeared in The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.

Miriam Lanskoy, Ph.D. is Director of Russia and Eurasia at the National Endowment for Democracy. She has testified before Congress and has been interviewed on NPR and appeared on PBS’s The News Hour.  

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By eds on March 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The book attempts to look at the history of Chechen struggle from an objective perspective. The story line is not always in chronological order, which makes it somewhat confusing at times, and the ideas presented are often naive or quite white-and-black, brushing aside any possibilities of two-sided games or conspiracies around certain events, but at least it mentions that other explanations to such events do exist. It is also good in terms of portraying the inside situation in the young, inexperienced Chechen government after 1996, describing all the ridiculous logistical challenges it had and the lack of instruments to change or even control the situation.
Given how little is written on this war by the people who were actually in charge while it was unfolding, this is a must-read for those interested in the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V. W. House on February 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the third book I've read about Russia's wars on Chechnya. Chenchnya Diary by the investigative reporter Thomas Goltz, The Oath by surgeon Khassan Baiev, and this book. Akhmadov served in various roles in the national (Chechnyan, not Russian) government. I was curious about the people of the Caucuses. I wish I could have visited there when it was peaceful. (When would that have been? Not under Stalin; not the '90's; not since.) These books are depressing, should be bundled with at least a quart of whiskey, but each one intrigued me and gave me respect for the people and sympathy for their plight. Nationalism -- i.e., hopes for some measure of autonomous self-government -- has been swamped by radical Islamists. Hence, the West bought into Russia's label: terrorist. I have more to learn but my opinion is, Russian under Putin literally killed nationalism. Read it for yourself. You may come to a different opinion.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Emmanuil Shrayer on August 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well written story of the fight of Chechen people for independence from Russia. Sometimes you read it as a detective story about so many victims and villains. Many very vivid portraits of the heroes of the long war.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By augis on March 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The best book about what happened in this region from 1994 to 2007. I think very objective and honest.I had opportunity to follow this conflict from beginning and this is the best story eliminating so many conspiracies what flourish in this region.
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5 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Nieve on January 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Akhmadovs and Maskhadovs of this world can portray themselves as moderate politicians all they want, but they are still terrorists with a lot of blood on their hands. Chechen regime of the nineties originated in organized crime (incomparably more brutal than your typical Gambinos or Sopranos), transformed Chechnya into the hub for kidnappings and slave trade, and finally ended up as full-blown terrorists, more violent than even Al-Qaida.

This book should not be sold on Amazon, or in America for that matter, and I feel sorry for Mr. Brzezinsky, who allowed himself to be duped.
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