Akhmed Zakaev

Akhmed Zakaev

Akhmed Zakaev is the Prime Minister in Exile of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (CRI). He was born in 1959 into a family deported by Stalin’s regime, along with the rest of the Chechen population, in 1944. Zakaev graduated from acting and choreography schools in Voronezh and Moscow and became an actor, specializing in Shakespearean roles. In 1994 he became Minister of Culture in the independent Chechen government of Djohar Dudaev, and during the First Russo-Chechen War was commander of the Western Group for the Defence of Ichkeria.

Zakaev played a leading role in negotiations which led to the signing of a Russo-Chechen peace treaty at the Kremlin in 1997, which Russia later violatd. He opposed the rise of radical Islam in Chechnya, alleging a link between Islamist extremism and Russia’s covert global pro-terrorist policy.

In 2002 Russia accused him, by then in exile, of involvement in a series of crimes, including the hostage-taking at a Moscow theatre in 2002 and the murky Beslan school siege of 2004, both of which ended in catastrophic loss of life. In 2003, a British court declared the accusations groundless and politically motivated.



 Akhmed Zakaev

Subjugate or Exterminate!
A Memoir of Russia’s Wars Against Chechnya

Translated by Arch Tait

ISBN: 978-1680530889 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1680530759 (Hardback)
Both 512 pages

Paperback: £28.95, inc. postage Hardback: £ 45.95, inc. postage.

Buy from    AMAZON    |   Waterstones


This book is one of the most reliable and comprehensive sources available on the bloody 300-year conflict between Russia and the Republic of Chechnya. Mr Zakaev was a central figure in the most recent chapter of this struggle. As such, he is uniquely positioned to explain Russia’s inherent failure to understand the viewpoints of its numerous national minorities – something which will ultimately result in the downfall of the Russian empire.
Vladimir Bukovsky, Dissident, Senior Fellow of the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C.

Zakaev’s description of the Chechens’ recent past aims above all to be truthful, neither hiding inconvenient facts nor exaggerating achievements. This is at once a personal history and a wider reckoning. It is sober, reflective and often critical – which includes self-criticism too. It is bleak at times, and frequently moving, especially in its tributes to friends and loved ones swallowed up by the conflict. But it is also told with energy and humour, taking the reader briskly from one vividly evoked scene to another (here one can perhaps see signs of Zakaev’s background in theatre).
Tony Wood, Author of Chechnya: the Case for Independence.

A careful study of the text sheds a good deal of light on the character of Zakaev himself, his bravery, common sense, humanity and intelligence — a Hamlet who became a man of action because he realised there was (and is) something very rotten in the state of Russia.
Martin Dewhirst, Salisbury Review



Back to HOME