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Witness

Chechen Syndrome

Russian soldiers face a tough time coming home after serving in Chechnya.

Last updated: 14 Jun 2009 11:51
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Filmmaker: Nick Sturdee

Valera Voronov plays his guitar in his cramped living room and sings: "Boys won't forget their time at war, as it was their first love."

Back home after six tours of duty in Chechnya, Valera writes songs about war and likes watching videos from his time spent fighting there. He has joined a veteran's association for companionship and since being sacked from his job, he is finding it hard to get by.

Other men need the consistent routine from their army days and continue to train as patriotic guardians of the Russian cause. It’s certain that they are not being heralded as heroes by the civilian population they return to.

They seem to be suffering 'Chechen Syndrome', a form of post traumatic stress disorder which affects thousands of former Russian veterans.

Filmmaker Nick Sturdee has spent many years living in Russia and covering the Chechen conflict. He followed some ordinary soldiers returning home with invisible yet debilitating wounds from their time fighting in Chechnya.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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