What’s the Matter with Chechnya?


Audio / I interview experts about the gay purges in Chechnya.



All eyes turned to Chechnya in early April 2017, after the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta exposed the kidnapping, unlawful detention, and torture of more than 100 gay men by the Chechen authorities. How did these purges start? What is missing from the prevailing media narrative? And how has Russia’s relationship with the republic affected what is going on there now?


In the second episode of Expert Opinions, I sit down with Columbia University’s Harriman Institute alumna Rachel Denber, deputy director of Europe and Central Asia Division at Human Rights Watch, to discuss some of the misconceptions about the purges. I then speak to journalist Thomas de Waal, a senior fellow at Carnegie Europe, about his 1996 book “Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus,” co-authored with Carlotta Gall.


Listen on Eurasianet.