THE ORDEAL:Last Witnesses of Stalin's Mass Exile
Location: MOSCOW
Nationality: RUSSIAN
Biography:   Photojournalist DMITRI BELIAKOV, born 1970, Russia, Vologda region, graduated from the Foreign languages department of Yaroslavl University and started working in 1993 as a translator-researcher for Express Newspapers UK and stringer for... read on
Public Story
THE ORDEAL:Last Witnesses of Stalin's Mass Exile

The Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s mass exiles of the North Caucasus ethnic minorities were some of his biggest crimes against humanity. They were already acknowledged by the European Parliament as an act of genocide, while the experts of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum cited the events of 1944 for a reason of placing Chechnya on their genocide watch list for its potential for genocide.

My project is reminding and retelling most famous tragedy of the Chechen and Ingush people. 
When WW II broke out, some of the Caucasians have discretely welcomed Nazis, because naively believed that Hitler would liberate them from the Soviets, who the Chechens & Ingushes opposed for decades. In return those ethnic groups, seen as non-loyal to the Soviets, have been branded by Stalin as “nations-traitors” and in punishment were exiled en mass from their homelands.

About 120.000 of the Chechens and Ingush were killed or have died of starvation and typhus through the course of deportation itself and perished during 13 years of exile to Siberia and Central Asia regions. 

Here are the portraits of the last survivors and witnesses of the deportation. Some of them were older than 100 years at the time of photo session.




KILLING TIME: Exclusively for Murderers...

By DMITRI BELIAKOV — Penal colony № 56 (Black Eagle) is a high security Russian prison exclusively for murderers, where 260 men, who altogether are responsible for 800..


By DMITRI BELIAKOV — I took photos of the 2nd war in Chechnya and all the subsequent dramatic events in the North Caucasus from 1999 to 2010.  I did not choose..

SPETSNAZ: Portraits of Secret Soldiers

By DMITRI BELIAKOV — The Russian Special Forces & Anti-Terror units (Spetsnaz) are the elite of Russia's armed forces - the country's toughest and best trained..


By DMITRI BELIAKOV — There are 124 ballerinas altogether in the Bolshoi Theater and only 21 of them bear a magic title Premiere Danseuse.  What does it take to be..

UKRAINE: Rigid Defense

By DMITRI BELIAKOV — In 2014-2015, with eastern Ukraine swept up in an armed conflict, close to a million people fled from the region… The war has transformed a..
Join us
for more access