Milana Bakhaeva in 2008
|Born||30 December 1979|
Orekhovo, Chechen-Ingush ASSR, Soviet Union
|Pen name||Milana Terloeva|
|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 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, 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.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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.She also befriended the late journalist Anna Politkovskaya. 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.
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.
During the inter-ethnic strife in Chechnya and the two separatist First and Second Chechen Wars, hundreds of thousands of Chechen refugees have left their homes and left the republic for elsewhere in Russia and abroad.
Lidia Muhtarovna Yusupova is the Coordinator of the law office of the Moscow-based human rights organization Memorial. Formerly, Yusupova was the director of the Grozny office of Memorial. Currently, Yusupova is completing a two-year law fellowship in Moscow.
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria was an unrecognized secessionist government of the Chechen Republic.
In Chechnya, mass graves containing hundreds of corpses have been uncovered since the beginning of the Chechen wars in 1994. As of June 2008, there were 57 registered locations of mass graves in Chechnya. According to Amnesty International, thousands may be buried in unmarked graves including up to 5,000 civilians who disappeared since the beginning of the Second Chechen War in 1999. In 2008, the largest mass grave found to date was uncovered in Grozny, containing some 800 bodies from the First Chechen War in 1995. Russia's general policy to the Chechen mass graves is to not exhume them.
In June 2000, the North Caucasian Chechen separatist-led Islamic insurgents added suicide bombing to their tactics in their struggle against Russia. Since then, there have been dozens of suicide attacks within and outside the republic of Chechnya, resulting in thousands of casualties among Russian security personnel and civilians. The profiles of the suicide bombers have varied, as have the circumstances surrounding the bombings.
Natalya Khusainovna Estemirova was a Russian human rights activist and board member of the Russian human rights organization Memorial. Estemirova was abducted by unknown persons on 15 July 2009 around 8:30 a.m. from her home in Grozny, Chechnya, as she was working on "extremely sensitive" cases of human rights abuses in Chechnya. Two witnesses reported they saw Estemirova being pushed into a car shouting that she was being abducted. Her remains were found with bullet wounds in the head and chest area at 4:30 p.m. in woodland 100 metres (330 ft) away from the federal road "Kavkaz" near the village of Gazi-Yurt, Ingushetia.
Yelena Vasiliyevna Masyuk is a Russian television journalist known for her coverage of the First and Second Chechen Wars.
Polina Zherebtsova is a documentarian, poet and author of the diaries Ant in a Glass Jar, covering her childhood, adolescence and youth that witnessed three Chechen wars.
Anne Nivat is an award-winning French journalist and war correspondent who has covered conflicts in Chechnya, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She is known for interviews and character portraits in print of civilians, especially women, and their experiences of war.
The Search is a 2014 French drama film written, directed, produced and co-edited by Michel Hazanavicius and co-produced by Thomas Langmann. The film is a reiteration of the Oscar-winning post-Holocaust drama also called The Search, directed by Fred Zinnemann, in which a compassionate westerner helps a lost child find what is left of his family amidst the chaotic flood of post-war civilian refugees. In the 1948 film, the backdrop is post-war Berlin; The Search (2014) takes place in the "front lines of the Russian invasion of Chechnya" during the first year of the Second Chechen War (1999-2009). In both cases, international aid workers help the families reunite. The Search was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Ant in a Glass Jar: Chechen Diaries 1994–2004 (Russian: "Муравей в стеклянной банке. Чеченские дневники 1994–2004" is a 2014 documentary book that is an author's diary about the years spent in Chechnya from 1994 until 2004. It was written by Polina Zherebtsova, while she was 9–19 years old.
The Disappearance of Ali Astamirov concerns a Chechen journalist who was working for Agence France Presse in Ingushetia, Russia, bordering Chechnya, when he was kidnapped at gunpoint by a group of three, uniformed, masked men on 4 July 2003, just outside Nazran. This was during the Second Chechen War.
Mairbek Vatchagaev is a Chechen historian and political analyst on the North Caucasus. Mairbek Vatchagaev was a senior ranking official in the Chechen government of Aslan Maskhadov.
Etudes Sans Frontières International is the international federation of existing chapters and members that adhere to the values, objectives, methods, statute and internal rules of the Etudes Sans Frontières movement (ESF), in order to be able to carry the name Etudes Sans Frontières. The federation is registered in Paris as a non-profit organization, which relies on international volunteers to help develop its programs.
Zelimkhan Khoussainovich Bakaev is a Chechen singer. He disappeared in Chechnya on 8 August 2017, while on a brief visit to the region to attend his sister's wedding. He is widely believed to have been abducted, tortured, and murdered by the Chechen authorities as part of their systematic persecution of homosexual men.