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A decade of war

'For ten years they did not let us breathe' Chechen civilian, 2004.

On New Year's Eve 1994, Russian forces invaded Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, igniting a fierce resistance that eventually forced troops to withdraw two years later. In 1999, the Russian army invaded Chechnya a second time, causing a conflict even deeper and more destructive than the first.

Years after promising that a second invasion would crush the bandits and bring law and order to Chechnya, the situation is clearly out of control. A series of terrorist attacks perpetrated by Chechens, from Grozny to Moscow and Beslan, have brought the crisis to the Russian people and put Chechnya on the world stage. These photographs, from the outstanding Panos archive on Chechnya, portray both sides of the war, and give a human face to all its victims.

Text by Heidi Bradner
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