Women Peace Builders In Chechnya Face Religious Traditions And The Pandemic

The reconstructed war-torn Republic of Chechnya, in the North Caucasus mountainous region, borders Russia, Georgia, and the Russian republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia. Amidst a pandemic, self-isolation is not a new phenomena for the 1.2 million Chechens who isolated themselves in basements for long stretches to survive the 1995-1999 wars with Russia.

The pandemic was another case of “when tomorrow was cancelled” for psychologist Inna Airapetyan. A native of Chechnya’s capital city, Grozny, she remembers how wars destroyed her once modern, multi-ethnic capital city, leaving the streets covered with corpses.

The Chechen’s strong sense of nationhood and indepdence, after the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, split the Chechen-Ingush Republic into two republics of Ingushetia and Chechnya. After the first Chechen war with Russia, Chechnya gained

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