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By Katherine S. Layton

Chechens: tradition and Society is an ethnography that elaborates the lived reports of Chechens, focusing totally on relationships and socio-cultural norms in the context of the present clash within the Chechen Republic.

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Extra resources for Chechens: Culture and Society

Sample text

Thus, safe options for men in Chechnya today are quite limited. Others, however, view Kadyrov’s rule as a necessary alternative to the religious extremism found in the insurgency leadership today. That leadership, under Doku Umarov, does not represent the beliefs, values, and goals of many Chechens. Thus, many view the prospects of the current insurgency coming to power in Chechnya with strong apprehension, for a variety of reasons that include their potential to undermine both Chechen tradition and personal freedom.

They don’t need us, the people—we can go—but they cannot let the land go because of this gold. According to this logic, from Russia’s perspective, the Chechen people are irrelevant, the real value is in the land. The land has significant value and must be retained at all costs. The Chechens who live on this land, however, are expendable. “The Problem Is Impure Chechens” Apparently, there are impure or unclean Chechens walking among the collective, and they cause many problems for Chechens through their un-Chechen behavior, and especially by not remaining loyal to the Chechen nation.

Still other Chechens maintain a profound dislike and disdain toward rebel fighters, and the Dudayev or even Maskhadov faithfuls. They call these fighters and followers: Criminals, who did not allow peaceful Chechens to leave the republic during the bombing, stopped people on the road at roadblocks and demanded money from them. Those people brought the war to the Chechen people, caused destruction on our lives. For this, they claim, Dudayev, Maskhadov, and resistance fighters in general, are traitors.

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