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War photographer in Chechnya

Eric Bouvet, war photographer – Chechnya, may 1995

Interview excerpt from The Guardian

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“It was unbearable. Two crazy weeks and the most unbelievable story I ever did. I was with a Russian special commando. They were torturing, killing and raping. I saw them do it, and I couldn’t stop them. Someone of a normal constitution can’t accept that. I was working on the edge.

This is the morning after a night that left four men dead and 10 wounded. It was heavy fighting, and I was very afraid. I discovered a dead Chechen four metres from me when I got up in the night. You see movies, you read books, you can imagine anything. But when you are in front of something, it’s not like the movies. We started out as 60 and came back 30 – one in two people injured or killed. I was lucky.

As soon as it was light, I took pictures. This is the first thing I saw. The guy with the bandage on his head has lost his friends. He has fought all night long. I don’t feel pity, but at the same time they took me with them and did everything to protect me. Without them, I couldn’t have done the story. I was the only witness. It’s very complicated.”

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Russian soldiers Chechnya war chechen rebels fighters terrorists North Caucasus 1

Russian soldiers Chechnya war chechen rebels fighters terrorists North Caucasus

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Chechen men from village rounded up in famous "filtration camps"

 Chechen men from a village rounded up for the infamous “filtration camps”

Chechen hostages, such as this one, are taken, interrogated under torture and then executed by Russian special forces of infiltration and intelligence. Source: worldpressphoto.org

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For two weeks, Eric Bouvet accompanied Russian special forces of infiltration and intelligence on their mission. Using night-glasses to see in the dark, they occupied strategic positions behind enemy. Source: worldpressphoto.org

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Russian soldiers eating Chechnya war chechen rebels fighters terrorists North Caucasus

Chechen civilians victims Russian soldiers Chechnya war chechen rebels fighters terrorists North Caucasus wars

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For more on the filtration camps go here“Torture and atrocities”(testimonies from French editor Sophie Shihab, Russian journalist Andrei Babitski and Emma Gilligan’s book “Terror in Chechnya”)

Also read “The thirst of blood” Russian soldiers in Chechnya

Babitsky’s talks about his detainment at the filtration camp in video below

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