Chechnya’s Black Widows: What Drives Them?

History & Russia’s Female Suicide Bombers

 

Suicide bombings are nothing new – it is a tactic that been in use since the early 1980s – but it has typically been a man’s game. Until recently, that is. There is no place where female suicide bombers have blossomed more than in the Caucasus region of Russia: Chechnya and Dagestan. The practice of suicide bombings did not originate here but seems to be thriving in the Caucasus.

Most articles that mention the women almost always refer to them as ‘Black Widows.’ It is easy to label their actions as born from grief and anger. It is understandable as years of violence have taken their toll on countless families in the form of physical casualties and mental scarring. To call these women who choose to kill themselves and others grieving widows only tells part of the story.  The history of Chechen-Russian relations, the impact of Islam on the region, and the culture itself all play a role in this complicated story. Knowing some of this history may well explain their motives…

Read the rest of the post here: https://medium.com/the-bridge/2d67b1f0d1c6

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