Milana Terloeva

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Milana Bakhaeva

Milana Terloeva 140-190 for collage.jpg

Milana Bakhaeva in 2008
Born (1979-12-30) 30 December 1979 (age 38)
Orekhovo, Chechen-Ingush ASSR, Soviet Union
Pen name Milana Terloeva
Occupation Journalist, author
Period 2006–present
Genre Nonfiction
Subject First and Second Chechen Wars, Chechen society

Milana Bakhaeva (Russian : Милана Бахаева) (born 30 December 1979 in Orekhovo, Chechnya), better known by the pen name Milana Terloeva, is a Chechen journalist and author of the 2006 French bestseller Danser sur les ruines — Une jeunesse tchétchène. A refugee during the Second Chechen War, Milana was one of eight Chechen students at the University of Grozny selected to study abroad by the human rights organization Études Sans Frontières in 2003, and she graduated with a master's degree in journalism from the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris in 2006.

Russian language East Slavic language

Russian is an East Slavic language, which is official in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, as well as being widely used throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Caucasus and Central Asia. It was the de facto language of the Soviet Union until its dissolution on 25 December 1991. Although nearly three decades have passed since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russian is used in official capacity or in public life in all the post-Soviet nation-states, as well as in Israel and Mongolia.

Chechnya First-level administrative division of Russia

Chechnya, officially the Chechen Republic, is a federal subject of Russia.

A pen name is a pseudonym adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their "real" name. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise their gender, to distance an author from some or all of their previous works, to protect the author from retribution for their writings, to combine more than one author into a single author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. The author's name may be known only to the publisher or may come to be common knowledge.



Milana was born in the small village of Orekhovo, sixty kilometers west of the Chechen capital Grozny and near the border of Ingushetia, and she lived with her parents and grandmother, who had survived the forced deportations of most Chechens to Central Asia on 23 February 1944. [1] As a child growing up in the Soviet Union, the family was relatively well-off, but suffered due to the spiraling increase in crime after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. One night in January 1993, someone left a large iron case outside the family doorstep. Inside was the body of Milana's father, assassinated. [1]

Grozny City in Chechnya, Russia

Grozny is the capital city of Chechnya, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 271,573; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census, but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989 Census. It was previously known as Groznaya.

Ingushetia First-level administrative division of Russia

The Republic of Ingushetia, also referred to as simply Ingushetia, is a federal subject of the Russian Federation, located in the North Caucasus region.

Population transfer in the Soviet Union

Population transfer in the Soviet Union refers to forced transfer of various groups from the 1930s up to the 1950s ordered by Joseph Stalin and may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite directions to fill the ethnically cleansed territories.

After the beginning of the First Chechen War on 11 December 1994, Milana and her family first took refuge in their cellar, and lived without running water or electricity. As the situation in her village worsened further, her family took refuge in Grozny, which had already been ruined following the siege of the city. The family returned to Orekhovo at the end of the war in 1996, and they found that their homes had been extensively looted, and Russian soldiers living in her house had soiled everything with their excrement, including her prized ball gown, in an effort to humiliate them. [2]

First Chechen War war fought from 11 December 1994 to 31 August 1996, between Chechnya and Russia

The First Chechen War, also known as the First Chechen Сampaign, First Russian-Chechen war, or officially Armed conflict in the Chechen Republic and on bordering territories of the Russian Federation was a rebellion by the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria against the Russian Federation, fought from December 1994 to August 1996. After the initial campaign of 1994–1995, culminating in the devastating Battle of Grozny, Russian federal forces attempted to seize control of the mountainous area of Chechnya but were set back by Chechen guerrilla warfare and raids on the flatlands despite Russia's overwhelming advantages in firepower, manpower, weaponry, artillery, combat vehicles, airstrikes and air support. The resulting widespread demoralization of federal forces and the almost universal opposition of the Russian public to the conflict led Boris Yeltsin's government to declare a ceasefire with the Chechens in 1996 and sign a peace treaty a year later.

With the start of the Second Chechen War, Milana and her family sought refuge in Ingushetia along with hundreds of thousands of other refugees. She returned to Grozny six months later, and enrolled in the heavily damaged University of Grozny, studying the French language with dreams of continuing her education in Europe. She aspired to become a journalist so that she would be able to bring justice to victims of the conflict. A group of French students opposed to the new war in Chechnya started the organization Etudes Sans Frontières in March 2003 as a means for rescuing Chechen students from the war zone and providing them with a French education. (In 1997, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov appealed to Western nations to allow Chechen students into their universities, as he dreamed of liberally oriented leaders who would be capable of rebuilding a society that had been destroyed by war. The call fell on deaf ears, and at the time only madrassas from Saudi Arabia and Pakistan opened their doors to Chechens). By that September, the organization had sponsored eight Chechen students, including Milana, to study in Paris. [3]

Second Chechen War war

Second Chechen War, also known as the Second Chechen Сampaign or officially Counter-terrorist operations on territories of North Caucasian region, was an armed conflict on the territory of Chechnya and the border regions of the North Caucasus between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, also with militants of various Islamist groups, fought from August 1999 to April 2009.

Chechen State University university located in Grozny, Chechnya, Russia

Chechen State University is a university located in Grozny, Chechnya, Russia. The school is home to the North Caucasian Centre of Pedagogics. The university traces its roots back to 1938.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

As a journalism student at Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris, Milana excelled academically, graduating as the salutatorian in her graduating class in 2006. She also worked at the internationally circulated French newspapers Le Monde and Courrier International in August 2004. [4] She also befriended the late journalist Anna Politkovskaya. [5] Hachette Livre, the largest publishing house in France, contacted Milana to write about her experiences during the wars, and she wrote her autobiography, Danser sur les ruines — Une jeunesse tchétchène (Dancing on Ruins — A Chechen Youth), which describes the raids in which many of her family members were captured, her journey from Grozny to Paris, and of her experiences as a student at Sciences Po.

Salutatorian is an academic title given in the United States and Philippines to the second-highest-ranked graduate of the entire graduating class of a specific discipline. Only the valedictorian is ranked higher. This honor is traditionally based on grade point average (GPA) and number of credits taken, but consideration may also be given to other factors such as co-curricular and extracurricular activities. The title comes from the salutatorian's traditional role as the first speaker at a graduation ceremony, delivering the salutation. In a high school setting, a salutatorian may also be asked to speak about the current graduating class or to deliver an invocation or benediction. In some instances, the salutatorian may even deliver an introduction for the valedictorian. The general themes of a salutatorian speech and valediction are usually of growth, outlook towards the future, and thankfulness.

<i>Le Monde</i> French daily evening newspaper

Le Monde is a French daily afternoon newspaper founded by Hubert Beuve-Méry at the request of Charles de Gaulle on 19 December 1944, shortly after the Liberation of Paris, and published continuously since its first edition.

Courrier International is a Paris-based French weekly newspaper which translates and publishes excerpts of articles from over 900 international newspapers. It also has a Portuguese and a Japanese edition. Courrier Japon was launched on 17 November 2005 and is published by Kodansha Limited.

Despite numerous job offers in Paris, Milana decided to return to Grozny, to open up an independent newspaper, but realized that she would be unable to because of current censorship and death threats. As of 2007, she is currently working on creating a European cultural center in Chechnya, working on a second book, on Chechen women. [6]

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Natalya Estemirova Russian human rights activist

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  1. 1 2 Milana Terloeva : Danser sur les ruines. (11 September 2006)
  2. Dominique Simonnet “Milana Terloeva: En Tchétchénie, survivre c'est déjà resister” Archived 25 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine ., L’Express (7 September 2006) (in French)
  3. André and Raphaël Glucksmann, “A bridge to Chechnya”, (5 January 2007).
  4. Miliana BAKHAEVA.
  5. Archives de la catégorie: 'Tchétchénie'.
  6. Danser sur les ruines (Milana Terloeva) Archived 9 June 2012 at WebCite . Retrieved on 23 April 2013.