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“Chechnya has won, Russia has won”. The losers are undoubtedly the many Chechens who chose to go into exile as a matter of honor. Those who stayed have returned to a normal life: their basic needs are satisfied after decades of food shortage. However, this “normal” demands important compromises and entails very often, submissiveness, discretion and silence.

For those who want a job, a house and a humdrum life, there’s no other way. Into a slump that seems comforting, authorities have everything under control and granting favors as they please. The physical violence so prevalent in the post-conflict years, the kidnappings and the summary executions also seems to have decreased. Nowadays, the Chechens are living in such a frightening atmosphere that physical violence is no longer necessary. The violence has become psychological: a brainwashing starts on the youngest.

Davide Monteleone’s work about the Chechens’ identity have proved to be finally a study about the compromise, the one forced consented, by the country citizens to get a “normal” life. This observation reminds what Yermolov had written to the tsar Nicolas I during the Caucasian campaign: “The Chechens are a combative people, difficult to conquer, easier to buy.”

“Thank you Ramzan, thank you Russia” For everything, “Spasibo”.

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