Chechen Archive: coming to terms with war crimes

The Chechen archive is a basis for coming to terms with war crimes and for combating impunity.

Eine tschetschenische Frau trauert um die Opfer des Krieges Eine tschetschenische Frau trauert um die Opfer des Krieges

What is the Chechen archive?

Since May 2016 an archive with data from the two Chechen wars has been available online at With the support of PeaceWomen Across the Globe, Reporters Without Borders and Echo of War, the STP systematically worked through 1,270 video sequences.

In addition to the documentation of human rights violations, war crimes and testimony, the Chechen Archive contains unique reports on historical, social and political events. It aims to preserve the collective memories and the truth about the events of the wars in Chechnya between 1994 and 2006. As for almost two decades following that, no public or legal account has been given of these events.

The archive contributes to the fight against impunity as a publicly accessible database by serving as a basis for the legal and historical processing of war crimes. The documents can be viewed by researchers, lawyers, journalists and non-governmental organizations, as well as by the Chechen and Russian population, who have only limited access to independent information on the Chechen wars. The sensitive videos themselves are only shown on request and after careful examination.


The Chechen Archive was founded by the internationally renowned human rights activist Zainap Gashaeva. Since the beginning of the first Chechen War in 1994, her organization “Echo of War” has collected hundreds of hours of uncut film material. When the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” began in 1999, these valuable videos were hidden as the risks to the material and its owner were too great. Since 2003 the film material has been taken out of the country and handed over to the Society for Threatened Peoples.

The Chechen Archive Association, founded jointly by the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), PeaceWomen Across the Globe and Reporters Without Borders Switzerland, has restored, analyzed and digitized these videos, thereby creating a comprehensive archive that bears disturbing testimony to these wars. The archive is managed by the Society for Threatened Peoples.



Contact at the STP:

Christoph Wiedmer, Co-Manager

Tel.: +41 (0) 31 939 00 01

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