A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

[BRIEF NOTE] Politovskaya again

Yesterday’s post about Putin’s bad joke about rape reminded me of a passage from Anna Politovskaya‘s A Dirty War (London: Harvill Press, 2001; trans. John Crowfoot), in which Politovskaya interviewed two men, Yura a lieutenant, and Volodya a corporal, stationed in Chechnya as part of the OMON riot police.

Volodya felt deeply offended; Yura saw himself as a hero in some American action film. He described revolting scenes, watching to see how his listeners reacted. The FSB distributed videos among the soldiers in the North Caucasus, he said, and they watched them every evening to “get in the mood”.

“What do they show?”

“How they kill and rape. Don’t you know how they raped Shamil Basayev’s brother, Shirvani, in Nazran? A whole gang of them. Well, I saw it.” Yura is very pleased with the nauseating effect this has.

“Not bad.” Yura is satisfied. It doesn’t take long to realise he is mentally unbalanced. All that’s lacking is a formal confirmation (107).

Politovskaya, incidentally, was killed earlier this month in her apartment building. One juournalist suggests that she was killed because of the threat that she posed to Chechnya’s president Ramzan Kadyrov, allegedly implicated in sexual and other atrocities against his subject population.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 22, 2006 at 8:47 pm

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