Magazine March 23, 2020, Issue

The Example Of Oyub Titiev

Oyub Titiev during his trial in Chechnya, Russia, 2019 (Tanya Lokshina / Human Rights Watch)
On a brave soul from Chechnya

Chechnya is the worst place in Russia, “a nearly totalitarian enclave,” as Tanya Lokshina says. She works for Human Rights Watch in Moscow. Oyub Titiev says that Chechnya is “a testing ground for repression and terror.” Techniques perfected there can be applied elsewhere in the country.

Titiev works for the Memorial organization, about which I will say more in a moment.

Chechnya, or the Chechen Republic, is in the North Caucasus, with Georgia on its southern border. Since 2007, it has been ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov, a classic brute. He may be seen as Vladimir Putin’s viceroy in Chechnya. Kadyrov is a

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