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Chechnya's Hidden War

In February, correspondent Anna Badkhen traveled to Chechnya for FRONTLINE/World and the Center for Investigative Reporting to report on the still-simmering separatist insurgency and brutal government crackdown that continue to plague the republic. Badkhen journeyed to Grozny via a 43-hour train ride from Moscow, forced to hide her identity as a journalist in order to report on the tortures and disappearances happening deep inside Chechnya.

Badkhen is a veteran correspondent of the Chechnyan conflict. She covered the war there beginning in 2001, and has interviewed Chechnya's controversial pro-Kremlin President Ramzan Kadyrov. On this visit, she was struck by how much the catastrophically bombed Chechen capital had been rebuilt.

But Badkhen suggests that progress has come at a terrible price. In this iWitness interview, she shares exclusive footage and recounts heartbreaking accounts gathered from Chechens who say their loved ones have been abducted and in some cases killed by Kadyrov's feared militia.

Badkhen's reporting trip was made possible in part by a grant from CIR's Dick Goldensohn Fund.

Additional reading:
Dispatch: On the Train to Chechnya
Read Anna Badkhen's reporter's journal from the Moscow-to-Grozny train ride at the CIR website.

Boston Globe: "From Chechnya, A cautionary tale"
Anna Badkhen writes an Op-Ed for the Boston Globe about the parallels between the enduring Chechen insurgency and the situation in Iraq.

The National: "Casualties of the post-war era"
Anna Badkhen writes in The National, an English language newspaper in Abu Dhabi, about the kidnappings and extra-judicial killings still ravaging Chechnya in spite of the republic's meteoric reconstruction.


Montréal, Québec, Can.
Very valuable reportings.