A Dirty War by Anna Politkovskaya (review by Alice W. ’16)

A Dirty WarA Dirty War by Anna Politkovskaya
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Few people knew of Chechnya before the Boston Marathon bombing; even fewer people know of the struggles that have pervaded Chechnya’s short history, and the two Chechen Wars from 1994-6 and 1999-2000 fought on its soil. In this collection of articles, Anna Politkovskaya, an investigative journalist for the Novaya Gazeta, paints a harsh, glaring picture of the fate of the civilians, Russians and Chechens alike, who were the main victims of the early crossfire between the Russian federal forces and the Chechen fighters and later the actual targets of gross atrocities committed by both soldiers and rebels during the second war. This book may be difficult for those not particularly well-versed in international affairs, but I was able to comprehend most of the politics through both textual clues and my own inferences. Moreover, the countless inexcusable crimes and massacres chronicled in A Dirty War makes it a difficult book to go through without tearing up in grief and frustration over the injustices. Despite these obstacles, A Dirty War is a moving work of literature and anyone who does finish would agree the messages it conveys makes it well-worth the time. – Alice W. ’16

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