A House with a Basement. My Family History of Chechnya

Milana Mazaeva

The invasion of Ukraine isn’t Vladimir Putin’s first full-scale war. 25 years ago, he was the most vocal proponent of sending the Russian military to Chechnya, a republic in the North Caucusus, purportedly in order to fight terrorism. Soon after that, Putin was elected president. Thus the events in Chechnya proved to be a key factor for contemporary Russian history—not for the first time, and not for the last. Before, there was a violent colonization of Chechnya, mass deportations ordered by Stalin, and the war for independence; after, there would be killings of activists and journalists and mass violations of human rights under the pretext of maintaining “stability” needed by the Kremlin.

Milana Mazaeva was born in Grozny, Chechen Republic, in the early 1980s. Her family history resonates with crimes against humanity inflicted by the colonial administration on North Caucasus. Her grandparents were deported during Stalin's time, her parents were affected by both wars in the region, and she herself witnessed  Chechnya's dramatic transformation from a Soviet republic of diverse nationalities to a region destroyed by the Russian army, where Sharia law was established. A highly personal account of the tumultuous events of the last 80 years in Chechnya, this book presents a unique perspective towards the history of a small republic which, over and over again, seems to define the fate of the very country that tries to subdue it: Russia.

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GENRE

Non-fiction, feminist writing

STATUS

Full text to be delivered in Summer 2024

SAMPLES

Sample translation to be available in June 2024

RIGHTS

Rights available for all languages

AUTHOR

Milana Mazaeva is a New York Times reporter with experience covering politics, human rights and current affairs in Chechnya and more broadly Russia. Born in Chechnya, Mazaeva lived through both Chechen wars and has worked for the biggest Russian independent news outlets, such as TV Rain and the BBC Russian Service, and as a freelance writer and fixer for foreign journalists in Chechnya. Since 2022, Mazaeva has been working at the New York Times. She was a part of the editorial team that, in 2023, won a Pulitzer Prize and an Emmy for its investigation into the war in Ukraine.

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GENRE

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STATUS

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SAMPLES

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RIGHTS

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AUTHOR

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