Lightstalking in Chechnya

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Lightstalking in Chechnya

Postby lightstalker » Wed Aug 16, 2006 5:31 am

Its very hot here.I was in a town called Shali which is south of Grozny yesterday and it was 48 degress celcius.Im staying in Nazran.A town full of drunk drivers.Already seen two Volga vs Tractor smashes..
After spending an hour pissing around with some heavily armed federal troops, they decided to let my convoy in.However they did follow us simply because they had nothing to do other than to sit on the check point all day.

Some parts of Grozny still look like swiss chesse.The amount of Incendiary fuel air bombs during the war has totally fucked the infilstructure.But there are housing blocks going up around the city which.However,the matarials used are cheap and no doubt,given10 years everything to fall to bits.
Today im going into Ingushetia to photograph some IDPs that have not moved back to Chechnya.
Im going back into Chechnya on to photograph locals around Grozny.

Anyhow..Im afraid i cant post any images because the internet connection here is slow.
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Postby el3so » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:16 am

22 views and no replies?

Here's hoping you can capture what you're aiming for on photo lightstalker. I take it IDPs are refugees. No longer in the news, still real.
Is that big oil refinery that kept getting mentioned in reports still standing?

Will leave the 'have fun' out, but can't help add 'stay safe'
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Postby Mikethehack » Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:51 am

I disagree with el3so.
I say have fun because there is nowhere in the world that badly needs to have fun more than Chechnya, so spread the joy.
Oh and watch out for bad guys, unexploded people and beautiful women that want your passport and will probably try to kill you after you marry them. Chechnya is dangerous.
Last edited by Mikethehack on Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Foulplay » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:30 am

What's the gay scene like, G?

;o)
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Postby NUNYABIZNACK » Wed Aug 16, 2006 9:46 am

cool lightstalker....howd you get in....did you go the official Russian Route? Just curious?

Glad to knoow you made it and that you are safe and I hope you stay that way. My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you.
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Postby Moosehead » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:24 am

Enjoy your journey, I am looking forward to the photos.
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Postby Stiv » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:50 am

Here's hoping you can capture what you're aiming for on photo lightstalker.


When he has the deposit slip in his hand he will have captured it;-)

I think a hot dry Grozny would beat a cold muddy one no?

Looking forward to seeing what you're able to show.

Best,
Stiv

Ps I think your post title should have been something like "In the belly of the beast" Ooops my bad wasn't that just used recently?
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Postby lightstalker » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:41 pm

Foulplay wrote:What's the gay scene like, G?

;o)


There is no such thing as gay here.Gays dont officially exist.Chechnyahas been a catagory 5 ( very serious problems) for years.Now its a cat 4 according to the UN.( serious problems)
The guys I was dealing with yesterday were FSB troops.7 foot gorrillas with AKs,sniper rifles and bullet belts.One of insisted on carrying a SAW.
They didnt restrict me.They just got in the shot quite often which was annoying.
Ingushetia is bandit country too.Foreigers are walking cash machines so kidnapping is prevalent here.Anyone considering a trip here should get a guard.The more the better,and AKs,plenty of AKs.
Still bloody hot here.Im sweating like a rapist,and wearing a damn vest all the time makes things worse.Still,Id rather be baking hot than dead in a ditch with a hole in my chest,Which can quite easily happen here.

There are very few organisations helping the Chechen and Ingush IDPs.
Many of the NGOs working here have been kicked out.Travelling is restricted.Evan the UN must travel with a military convoy.Hopefully on friday I wont have the troops following me.

Dawn,getting in to this place is fuckin hard.Ill send you some info when i get back.Another 3 weeks or so.
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Postby Renard » Wed Aug 16, 2006 12:46 pm

Awesome stuff, Lightstalker. Looking forward to the images. Stay safe in the meantime.
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Postby Foulplay » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:11 pm

I was joking.

Went over your head. Nevermind.

Go get 'em, Ace.
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Postby marie-angelique » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:36 pm

Great stuff, lightstalker, thanks for posting.

Have fun and stay safe :)
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Postby RYP » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:38 pm

Shali is where I was surrounded the second time. I would love to see what happened to the people I met there.

Any fighting going on? If you want to meet the rebels most of them live in Turkey now.... Shali was where I met Maskhadov and was his refuge. Any rebels are going to be in the mountains. or towns like Vedeno.

Keep me posted on your trip
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Postby Penta » Wed Aug 16, 2006 1:41 pm

el3so: IDPs=internally displaced persons/people
Shes never interfered with me. I have no complaints about her.
Same here.
Mega ditto.
I met her once and I found her to be a nice lady. Not kookey in any way.
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Postby abdulhalim » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:02 pm

Have you seen the Chechen video from Dodge Billingsly visit?
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Postby NUNYABIZNACK » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:07 pm

yeah light ....I would love to hear your story and how you got in....so definitely keep me in the loop if you dont mind......

I have seen Dodge Billingsley's videos of Chechnya and I think he is quite a fantastic guy as well. I have ordered several videos frorm him which are quite pricey but definitely worth the money for anyone wanting to go into areas in which he has been and has researched. Chechnya is not his only adventure, but he did get a great interview with Shamil Basayev in one of his videos and that MUST have been quite a moment for him.
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