Sword or Samovar


The Deadliest Village in Russia

At journey's end, reaching the heart of the North Caucasus's Islamist insurgency -- and getting arrested.


Dangerous Graft

As the journey nears its end, a look at how samovar politics, mixed with rampant corruption, have helped turn Dagestan into the most deadly of Russia's North Caucasus republics.

Musa Sadulayev

The Islamic Republic of Chechnya

Why is the Kremlin-imposed leader of this republic sounding so much like the militants he's meant to be cracking down on?


A Fear of Three Letters

Traveling through Ingushetia, a republic where people are more frightened of Russia's shadowy security forces than the Islamist militants.

Tom Parfitt

The Secret History of Beslan

From the outside, the violence in the Caucasus looks like a religious war or an independence struggle. In this installment from a monthlong travel diary, our correspondent finds that in North Ossetia, ethnic tension adds a deadly twist.

Tom Parfitt

Islamists on Trial

On a monthlong trip through Russia's bloody southern republics, our correspondent visits a nearly deserted courtroom looking for hints as to why the violence here has taken on a new level of viciousness.

STR/AFP/Getty Images

Blood Relations

The families of suspected Islamist guerrillas in the North Caucasus have always faced harassment from Russian security forces. Now a shadowy vigilante group has started targeting them as well.


Sword or Samovar

The first installment from a monthlong journey through Russia's killing zone.

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