Davide Monteleone

Published on 19/05/15

© Dav­ide Monteleone


[…] “Chechnya has won, Rus­sia has won”. Per­haps the losers are the many Chechens who chose to go into exile as a mat­ter of hon­our. Those who stayed have returned to a nor­mal life and can sat­isfy their basic needs after sev­eral dec­ades of hard­ship. Such a “nor­mal” life, how­ever, requires them to make major com­prom­ises and often hold their tongues.

There is no altern­at­ive for those who want to work, have a home and carry on with their lives. In this state of reas­sur­ing stag­na­tion, the author­it­ies con­trol everything, dis­trib­ut­ing favours as they please. The phys­ical viol­ence so pre­val­ent in the post-conflict years, the kid­nap­pings and the sum­mary exe­cu­tions also seem to have decreased. The Chechens are so frightened that these acts of viol­ence are almost no longer neces­sary. The viol­ence is now psy­cho­lo­gical, a form of brain­wash­ing that starts with the young.

Dav­ide Monteleone’s study on iden­tity gradu­ally became the story of a com­prom­ise, one that all the inhab­it­ants of this repub­lic are forced to make with the author­it­ies in return for a bet­ter life.

As he was told by a friend in the moun­tains around Itum-Kali who quoted a let­ter from Yer­mo­lov to Tsar Nic­olas I dur­ing the Cau­casus cam­paign: “The Chechens are a com­bat­ive people, dif­fi­cult to con­quer, easier to buy.”

Thank you Ramzan, thank you Rus­sia” for everything. “Spasibo”.

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