Chechnya: The Inside Story
by Mairbek Vatchagaev

About the bookAbout the authorOrder

Mairbek Vatchagaev is a Chechen historian and political analyst on the North Caucasus and was a senior ranking official in the Chechen government of Aslan Maskhadov.

Born in Chechnya, he studied history at the State University of Chechnya, the Research Institute of Chechnya, and the Institute of the Russian History. He defended his doctoral thesis in the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow in 1995.

After receiving his doctoral degree, Vatchagaev returned to Chechnya and was placed in charge of the information department of the armed forces of Ichkeria. He worked closely with Aslan Maskhadov, and actively campaigned for him in 1996 before the elections. Together with Turpal Ali Atgeriev, Vatchagaev significantly assisted Maskhadov’s advance to power.

During the period 1988–99, Vatchagaev was a press secretary and first adviser to President Maskhadov. At the same time, he was in charge of leading the investigation center functioning under the presidential administration of Ichkeria. In the summer of 1999, he was appointed as the general representative of the Republic of Ichkeria in the Russian Federation.

On October 21, 1999, the Russian police detained him and he spent 9 months in the Butyrsk prison in Moscow. Amnesty International declared him to be a political prisoner and he was released in the summer of 2000. Vatchagaev continued to function as the press secretary of President Maskhadov until 2002.

Vatchagaev has been studying the history of the North Caucasus and political processes in the region, as well as the history of Islam in Russia since 2002. He has published numerous articles on the history of Chechnya and politics in the North Caucasus and Russia.

He has extensively contributed to the Jamestown publication Eurasia Daily Monitor about developments in the North Caucasus.

Mairbek Vatchagaev is the author of five books on the history and religion of the North Caucasus, including Chechnya in the 19th Century Caucasian Wars.

He is also the co-editor-in-chief of the Caucasus Survey (London, UK), and he co-edits an online magazine Prometheus (Paris, France). Vatchagaev serves as the Président de l'Association d'études caucasiennes (Paris, France).

Chechnya: The Inside Story
Chechnya: The Inside Story
Mairbek Vatchagaev, the former press secretary and first adviser to Chechen President Maskhadov, chronicles the dramatic events that took place in Chechnya during the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Chechen war for independence.
Books by Mairbek Vatchagaev
Mairbek Vatchagaev
Mairbek Vatchagaev