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Women in Russia's North Caucasus and the Weight of Patriarchal Traditions

This week, Russia’s North Caucasus made global headlines when an anti-Israeli riot broke out in Dagestan.

Another recent story from this region that has been widely discussed in Russian media is that of Marina Yandieva, 28, from the republic of Ingushetia, who fled her home after years of domestic violence. To help her escape, Magomed Alamov, a Chechen lawyer working with the human rights organization SK SOS, gave her a ride to the nearest town at the group’s request, without even knowing her story. After the family learned of their daughter’s disappearance, Alamov was taken hostage and threatened with death if Marina did not return home.

Yandieva’s story is not unique. Human rights activists regularly report on women who flee from domestic violence but who are hindered by the police, who take their families’ side and help return them to their families, no matter what region of Russia they have fled to. According to activists, many of these women disappear forever after being returned to their native regions, where honor killings are still committed.

In this episode, we examine women’s rights in the North Caucasus, a conservative, predominantly Muslim part of Russia. We asked Marina Yandieva to tell her story. We then speak with a representative of SK SOS and a playwright from Dagestan about the problems, discrimination and challenges faced by young women in the North Caucasus today.

Editors' note: This episode touches upon themes including domestic violence, depression, suicide, and honor killings.

Russia on the Record is a podcast where Moscow Times journalists, independent experts and ordinary Russians reflect, analyze and explain what’s going on in Russia right now. You can listen to us on the following platforms:

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