40 Life of Chechen Ladies

Life of Chechen Ladies

Posted on April 30, 2012 by team

A photographer Diana Markosyan working in a Moscow agency in 2010 asked to be sent to Chechnya. Diana grew in Russia but studied in the USA, in 2010 she was only 20 years old but she was interested in the notorious region.

The agency refused to send her there and she decided to go by herself. Grozny became her aim and later – her home.

Many colleagues of Diana didn’t want to go to Chechnya but she returned there after the first trip. In November 2011 she came there to stay. According to Diana it’s dangerous and risky to work and live in Chechnya, girls are often kidnapped.

In her project Diana Markosyan tried to show life of girls living in Chechnya. “Coming here for a week is pretty much different from staying here forever”. Let’s see how it feels to be a Chechen girl.

After the USSR collapse Chechnya went through Islamization processes. Locals had to wear the clothes corresponding the religious canons, early age and polygamic marriages became more frequent, men started to treat women in a more conservative way. The leader of the Chechen Republic proclaimed in public that women belonged to their husbands.

Apart from the religious restrictions life of Chechen women is complicated by social conditions. The rate of unemployment is rather high in the Republic. Many young ladies becoming mothers have to live with parents.

Diana had to change her ways – people didn’t trust her and didn’t want to show how they lived. Even a seemingly innocent photo of a smoking woman might cause seriously bad consequences for the smoker.

Diana had to spend weeks with “models” before she could take a single photo. Those women she included into her project became a reflection of processes happening in Chechnya.


Khedi Konchieva, 15, is dating her boyfriend in Serzhen-Yurt village. The meeting has to happen in a public place and the young people have to sit at a decent distance from each other. Any form of an intimate contact is strictly forbidden and those girls who have sex before they get married risk to be killed by their own relatives.

Seda Makhagieva, 15, is putting on a hijab before leaving the house. Seda says it’s her duty as of a Muslim.

The couple is dancing at the party in Shali, 30 km from Grozny.

Farida Mukhaeva, 13, is dancing at the wedding of her friend. According to the tradition a Chechen bride has to stand modestly during the ceremony somewhere in the corner and the groom doesn’t have to appear in public much.

Guests are dancing at the wedding, some guy is dancing with a gun…

Nine-graders in Serzhen-Yurt village. As opposed to previous generations half of them are wearing hijabs.

Girls are reading the Koran in a religious school, madrasah, in Serzhen-Yurt village.

A football team of disabled players who suffered antipersonnel mines are training in a gym near Grozny. More than 3000 accidents caused by mines have happened in Chechnya starting from 1994.

Girls are coming back home after the morning prayer in Serzhen-Yurt village. They have been wearing hijabs for 2 years already despite disapprobation of their families.


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40 Responses to “Life of Chechen Ladies”

  1. ayaa says:

    They cant even control the so-called believers. And still the extremists want to convert ‘non-believers’ over to their religion.

  2. (r)evolutionist says:

    Sounds like good ol’ religion has taken these people back to the 1400s. Maybe evolution has lost to devolution. The downward spiral (to oblivion) continues. If this is the future for humanity, include me out.

    • Nergol says:

      “They believe different things than I do! They wear weird clothes and have traditions I don’t understand! This makes them scary and inferior!”

      • Snatch22 says:

        Clothes and traditions don’t mean crap, but arranging marriages for you sixteen year old, treating your wife as property rather than a person, honor killings and forcing non believers to convert or die, and dudes dancing with dudes when there are women to dance with, makes them something!

      • Xycun says:

        according to your way of analyzing things,anyone who has a different way of thinking is inferior than u,if anyone of u think that Islam make oppressing women,think again and look around u women in USA or Russia r so cheap and used as a commercial marchandise,Muslim woman have more dignity than yours!

        • Bredan says:

          ‘Muslim women have more dignity than yours!’ You insult those people and their cultures you dislike but become outraged when others are more honest about their opinions. Typical hyprocracy from the Muslim world. You dislike much of what you see in non-Muslim societies and think its your right to say so but when others say the same about yours its a reason for Jihad. People and cultures are different we all have the right to disagree and find things disgusting about each other. Deal with it!

      • Bredan says:

        Are you talking about ignorant western & russian bigots or Muslim ones? I can’t tell the difference? Apart from when you are a sexist chauvinist pig in the West/Russi you get rightfully condemned (unless you are a fascist or fundamentalist) but in the Muslim world its ignorance and Islamophobia? If Non-Muslims (Western and Non-Western) criticize their own conservatism, sexism and fundamentalism why shouldn’t they do the same for those within the Islamic world? Don’t assume those who have a problem with traditionalism are always bigots! But those that wish to silence and demonize anyone who disagree with their wonderful (i.e superior) culture are!

  3. Moola the Slave Girl says:

    People get the kind of government they deserve when they act cowardly and let others think for them- freedom is never cheap, never free!

    • PF says:

      Sorry, but that’s a complete nonsense. Chechen people have paid more than enough fighting for their freedom, no one could call them “cowards” but they were completely crushed by Russia. It’s easy to talk that people get what they deserve when you’re safe and don’t know what it is like to see your family and friends being tortured and killed.

  4. Dan says:

    Poor girls :(

  5. Fred Johnson says:

    Only an idiot shoots guns in the air. I wonder how many people die over there because of this? Plenty die here because of it, and it doesn’t even happen that much.

    • vla says:

      Why idiot ? He shoots in the air,its safest. it was common thing in my country(serbia) too, until last 10 years. its seems crazy ,I know, but its part of folklore. from medieval times serbs on weddings shoots in apple with bow and arrows to show archery skills, in last few centuries with guns. apple is on the house roof so nobody can be hurt. I know you think how that is barbaric ,but its just part of culture.

      • D says:

        I watched a good documentary about bride kidnapping on youtube recently. It’s a BBC production, “Stolen Brides”. More like stolen lives.

        • D says:

          I didn’t reply to you Fred, it just looks that way. :) And I agree with you about shooting guns in the air. Firecrackers seem like a better alternative.

  6. Otis R. Needleman says:

    What a terrible, backward place. Typical of Islamic countries.

  7. citydog says:

    Excellent photos and a very interesting topic. Thanks for posting this.

  8. Satan the stoned says:

    Hijab can be so hot. I’m turning into exremist right now!!

  9. lostonline030 says:

    sheesh, is this english russia or the Fox News boards?

  10. yojimbo says:

    I have a friend that I met in the US Air Force she is a 2nd generation American her grandparents came from Chechnya to get away from the Soviets but they stayed fairly strict Muslims when she was 18 she joined the Air Force in order to live how she wanted.Imagine that joining the military with all it rules and regulations to get away from a strict Islamic lifestyle.

    • moo says:

      Umm Chechen’s were considered Soviets like all other people that made up the USSR.

    • Xycun says:

      Maybe this girl u met gave up her principles,it’s not because she want to escape from strict Islamic lifestyle as u said,she maybe got into dirty American lifestyle!

  11. skopeil says:

    I love this one..nothing bad for me…

  12. skopeil says:

    sometimes people just simply create a story about the Muslim without living with them…just my opinion…i think they just same like us….they have bad and good people…

    • vorontsevich (f/k/a ayaa) says:

      It is usually the bad people that make the headlines, and are largely responsible for the ‘stereotyping’.

  13. Anton says:

    well at least they are not blowing sh** up.

  14. dede says:

    soon russians gils will look the same, ‘cuz they will be *strognly* advised so by the *state* religion : http://www.islamnews.ru/news-28752.html

  15. vorontsevich (f/k/a ayaa) says:

    And you really think that the Cossacks will stand by and let them. Some of their camps especially in the regions in proximity of Muslims, are devoted entirely to stop the ‘Islamic menace’.

  16. Judeo-Christian and Muslim religions are scourges of this world, they divide more than they were supposed to unite.

    When’s the last time you heard of wars fought in the name of the Buddha?

  17. akshay says:

    Budiestsem and Hinduism are the most peaceful religion in this world. They have never invades any one or caused any wars, Sri Lanka was not a religious conflict, It was a conflict about Human Rights. Get your Facts Right. Chinese minister once said that India Invaded China without sending one single soldier,, ”They sent Buddha” :)

  18. AAdam says:

    Amazing culture. I want to inshaa ALLAH get married to a pious Muslim woman from Chechnya. :-)
    Grimlinman at Gmail dot com

    Thank you


    Amazing culture. I want to inshaa ALLAH get married to a pious Muslim woman from Chechnya.
    plz contact me

  20. abutahir says:


    • Abdul Latheef says:

      All the world against muslims and islam, but islam day by day spreading across the world. It means islam is a real religion. But some branded muslims creating problems in the entire world. real islam does not allowed terrorism. Most of the other religion belivers no idea about islamd or Holy Quaran and blindly criticise muslims and islam. Now a days number islamic sites are available in the website and just browse to learn about islam. Chchens are real islamist don’t bother criticism.

  21. imran kashmiri says:

    It is good to be a chechen, pious and god fearing. Than a western prostitute, filth and dick fearing

  22. Hasan Stan says:

    Want you all to watch this…
    for all your prejudices

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