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One Soldier's War by Arkady Babchenko
With One Soldier's War, Arkady Babchenko tells of his experiences during both of Russian's Chechen wars, first as a conscript and then as a volunteer. Recruits in the Russian army are indoctrinated by a system of bloody beatings to prepare them for the brutality of battle. Corruption also runs rife through the military, where extortion forces the soldiers to sell their gear and ammunition on the black market, often to the rebels they're fighting. Mothers whose sons have disappeared come to Chechnya to search the battlefields for their corpses, where their own deaths often come at the hands of both the Russian army and the Chechen rebels. When Babchenko returned to Moscow after his tour of duty, he had to write about his experiences to save himself from letting it drive him to drink. One Soldier's War has received positive reviews with The Independent saying, "This is an exceptional book, and an important one. Babchenko has transcended reportage, and succeeded in turning his terrible war experiences into art."