By Sebastian Smith
Publish yr note: First released in 1998
Ancient visitors known as the Caucasus the mountain of languages. Greeks, Persians, Romans, Goths, Arabs, Mongols and Turks have all undergone the zone; poets and artists were encouraged via its rugged attractiveness and but its historical past is a sad one - for hundreds of years it's been ravaged by way of nearly non-stop warfare. each 50 years, it sort of feels, Russia makes an attempt to take keep watch over of this highly strategic a part of the realm - sandwiched because it is among Iran, Turkey and Russia and crossed through the most invaluable oil pipelines on the earth.
The newest clash to brush around the region begun whilst Vladimir Putin invaded Chechnya in 1999. hundreds of thousands of Russian squaddies and millions extra Chechens - either rebels and civilians - died and Chechnya's cities and towns have been bombed past acceptance. Sebastian Smith travelled to Chechnya in this interval.
A mix of travelogue, background and conflict journalism, Allah's Mountains tells the tale of the clash among this country of mountain tribes and the may well of the Russian military. A relocating instance of the way historical past may be written. Smith's account of the ancient heritage to the clash reads like a singular, yet higher, since it additionally has the intimacy and immediacy of an eyewitness account. He has given us a memorable, well-researched account of a specifically terrible struggle. - Literary assessment it is a riveting ebook, written with virtually seemless attractiveness. - foreign Affairs
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Extra info for Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya
8 The first chapter of Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union in the period immediately following World War II is not the subject of this volume. However, since the events of these years influenced subsequent developments, we shall deal with them briefly. The years 1945-47 witnessed a considerable Jewish emigration from the USSR, chiefly of those who had been Polish citizens when the eastern parts of Poland were taken over by the Soviet Union in September 1939 (in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop agreement of August 1939).
25 There were similar groups in Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev, Odessa and Lvov as well as in other cities. One Moscow group, of somewhat older Jews who met to talk and write Hebrew, included several figures who had an important impact on the continued existence of Hebrew as a living language in the Soviet Union. Among them were Zvi Pregerzon, known as A. Tsfoni; Moshe Abramzon, known as M. Hiog or Zvi Plotkin; Meir Boazov or Baazov, a leading Georgian Zionist; Aron The euphoria of 1948 21 Kricheli, formerly director of the Jewish section of the Georgian museum in Tbilisi; and Yitzhak Kogan or Kahanov.
At the Hanukka celebrations in Moscow's Choral Synagogue in December 1947, its rabbi, Shlomo Shlifer, read out a message from Chief Rabbi of Palestine Isaac Herzog declaring that the redemption of the Jewish people had begun. 43 Jewish writers such as Ilya Ehrenburg, Itzik Fefer and Leib Kvitko were writing and talking about the yishuv's struggle for national liberation without being censored. 44 If these men, acquainted as they were with the ambiguities of Soviet Jewish existence after so many years of first-hand experience in the regime's central institutions, were able to give open expression to their feelings for the yishuv and its struggle, surely the rank and file of the Jewish population could abandon restraint and give vent to their longsuppressed sentiments!
Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya by Sebastian Smith