By Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Burry, Tatiana Tulchinsky, Georgi M. Derluguian
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Extra resources for A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya
Third, even close friends don’t believe my stories after my trips to Chechnya, and I have stopped explaining anything, and just sit silently when I’m invited anywhere. And ﬁnally, not even my newspaper, which opposes the current party line, is eager to print my reports from Chechnya. And if they do, they sometimes cut out the toughest parts, not wanting to shock the public. There are ﬁerce arguments within the editorial staff over this issue, and it is more difﬁcult than ever for me to publish the whole truth.
Ruslan Gelayev: A former tractor driver. A ﬁeld commander of the resistance army of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. A brigadier general, and later commander of the Chechen Special Task Detachment. He is famous for entering his native village of Komsomolskoe of the Urus-Martan district, which fated it to destruction, while retreating from Grozny with his units in winter 2000 on his way to the mountains. The storming of Komsomolskoe was the second most brutal operation of the second Chechen war, after the attack on Grozny of winter 1999–2000.
I’ve heard dozens of horrible stories and seen the exhausted faces of people who have experienced torture from soldiers accomplished in the fine art of harassment. My pen simply refuses to move from all the horrible things that I have to record. And suddenly, the same thing happens to you. Now they’re yelling at you: “Stop! ” And a Federal Security Serviceman,∗ a wet-behind-the-ears senior lieutenant, with the nasty smile of his professional predecessors of 1937, whispers— to you, not to your recent interviewee—“Basayev sent you, you’re a militant .