1997 Photo Contest, Spot News, 3rd prize

James Nachtwey

Magnum Photos for Time

01 January, 1996

A woman stands dazed in the urban battleground of Grozny, Chechnya. By the second year of the war between Chechen separatists and the Russian army, Chechnya's capital had turned in a pile of rubble and the gas refinery, the heart of the economy, was in flames. Peaceful coexistence within the Russian federation proved unattainable. After sustaining heavy losses at the hands of the highly motivated Chechen rebels, President Boris Yeltsin ordered his national security chief, Alexander Lebed, to extricate Russia from the civil war, which had already claimed over 30,000 casualties. In September 1996, a cease-fire was declared and the Russian army hastily departed amidst artillery and sniper fire.

About the photographer

James Nachtwey

Photographs of the Vietnam War and the American Civil Rights movement inspired him to become a photographer. While teaching himself photography, he worked as truck driver and as ...

This image is collected in