How does a bimonthly magazine on Russian culture, history and society respond to a gruesome act of terrorism? Or to a rescue operation that sacrificed so many lives? What stories do we pursue if an event will be two months “old” when our magazine reaches subscribers? What can we say that other publications have not already said?
We faced these sorts of questions last fall, in the agonizing and angst-filled days after the hostage crisis in Moscow’s Dubrovka theater. Our answers are embodied in the lead story you find in this issue.
Our decision was not to dwell on the repurcussions of the crisis, on the secrets and lies which nourish power, or on the horrific war in Chechnya which led to this terrorist act. We decided that such stories would be either too obvious or time-sensitive. Instead, we focused on more enduring, less controversial, and thus less explored issues. We wondered how recent events have affected those who profess Islam, Russia’s second largest faith community. The significance of Islam in Russia will, alone, be news to many readers. And the stories we brought back from the mosques offer an interesting glimpse into this slice of Russian society.
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Russian Life is a 29-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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