I Am a Chechen journalist and Director of Radio Free Europe’s North Caucasus Service. AMA
My name is Aslan Doukaev. An ethnic Chechen, I survived the siege of Grozny during the first Chechen war in 1994, but lost many members of my family. Before the war, I was a professor of English at the University of Grozny. I left Chechnya in 1997 after the fighting had temporarily subsided and immigrated to the Netherlands, where I worked as a freelance journalist covering the conflict in my homeland for a variety of English language publications. In 2002, I was appointed as head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s newly-formed North Caucasus Service.
Since Friday, when the two suspects in the Boston marathon attacks were identified as Chechens, there has been a sudden upwelling of interest in Chechnya and the North Caucasus. Unfortunately, some of this interest has played off of misinformation and stereotypes. I hope to provide a better-informed picture of the region.
EDIT: Thank you so much for your questions and interest in Chechnya. I hope I answered at least some of them. I wish you all the best. Peace.