2004 Photo Contest, Daily Life, 1st prize

Stanley Greene

Agence Vu

01 January, 1995

A corpse lies in the snow in Minutka Square in Grozny. The severity of the Russian bombardment made it dangerous to venture out to retrieve the dead. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Chechnya proclaimed itself independent of Russia. In December 1994 Russian troops entered Chechnya to quash the independence movement. It is estimated that up to 100,000 people, many of them civilians, died in the ensuing 20-month war. Food and water supplies stopped within days of the Russian attack. Men and women searched for sustenance among the exploding shells, while the severity of the bombardment sometimes made it dangerous to venture out to retrieve the dead. Under Russian President Boris Yeltsin, a formal peace treaty was signed in July 1997, though the issue of independence wasn't settled. In 1999, under the new prime minister Vladimir Putin, Russian forces re-deployed in Chechnya. Open conflict, as well as suicide bombings in Chechnya and in Moscow, continued into 2003.

About the photographer

Stanley Greene

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