'THE CHECHEN BLUES OF THE WALKING BY NIGHT'. CHECHEN WAR IN ALEKSANDR PROKHANOV'S PROSE
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The conflict in Chechnya is one of the most serious problems of contemporary Russia. It has become a subject of political debate and has been reflected in culture, especially in literature. One of the most important literary diagnoses of the conflict has been attempted in 'Chechenskii blyuz' (Chechen Blues) and 'Idushchie v nochi' (Night Walkers), two novels by writer and publicist Aleksandr Prokhanov, a leading representative of the nationalist-patriotic trend. Showing two stages of the conflict, namely, the wars of 1994-1996 and of 1999-2001, the author presents a nationalist vision which promotes a conspiracy theory of history. He sharply juxtaposes ordinary Russian soldiers, fighting heroically for Fatherland, with corrupt military and political leaders, who collude with oligarchs and the Chechen terrorists. Despite his imperialist stance, Prokhanov acknowledges the separatists' heroism and determination, and yet, he denies Chechnya the right to independence and sovereignty. Though not of high literary merit, the novels provide an important contribution to the discussion of the Caucasus conflict and an interesting example of contemporary political prose.
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