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RFE/RL's Aslan Doukaev Remembers The 1994 Siege Of Grozny

Chechen fighters head out of Grozny to fight Russian federal forces in December 1994.
One of our RFE/RL colleagues, Aslan Doukaev, the director of the North Caucasus Service, is featured on the BBC World Service's excellent "Witness" program.

Doukaev is speaking about his first-hand experiences as a university teacher during the terrifying, "apocalyptic" siege of Grozny in December 1994, during the first Chechen war.

"The most dangerous thing for us -- for civilians -- was, first, mortar fire and second, sniper fire. The Russians had marksmen on various buildings, and it was really tough at the time, so we had to hide, we had to run. And, of course, the mortar fire is quite indiscriminate. but you get used to that in several days, unfortunately," Doukaev remembers.

"What is very difficult to get used to is the bombs -- the sound. It's terrifying, it's deafening, and it really affects your psychology. It really is terrifying."

Check out the full program here.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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