Greetings from Grozny

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Introduction. The film introduced the conflict escalation between Russia and Chechnya during the Second Chechen war in May 2002. The conflict between the two nations centered on independence and conquest. Culture marks the different perspectives of each nation about the war. The Chechens viewed the war as a political game, where they act as puns (Greetings from Grozny, 2002). Russians, on the other hand, viewed the war as a security operation, because they want to justify their occupations of Chechnya. Why do they want Chechnya? To fully understand the conflict, one must examine the cultural divisions among the Russians and Chechens, because it influenced the motives and tactics used during the war (Ho-Won Jeong, 2008). Importantly, the conflict between Russia and Chechnya created a rift which resulted in deadly consequences in those countries.

History. In the North Caucasus, Chechens endured centuries of conquests by Russian, which they contended through resistance. In 1834, the Russians began their conquests of the North Caucasus and completed them in 1859 (“BBC News Timeline”, 2011). Chechens attempted to separate from Russia by establishing an autonomous region in 1922. This region later became the Chechen- Inguish Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1934 (2011). Then Stalin deported Chechens from Chechnya in 1944, because he believed the Chechens collaborated with the Germans (“Chechen Terrorism”). Stalin’s accusation epitomizes Gultung’s definition of cultural violence, as he justified deporting the Chechens with the accusation (Galtung, 1999). The deportations exemplify Burton’s definition of structural violence, a deprivation of needs caused by policies and institutions (Burton, 1997). As a result, the Chechens lost t...

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