Russische Föderation: Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Forgive me for this war.” Lyudmila often said these words in Chechnya. Once she heard: “And you forgive us too.” Only then did she realize that she had done what she could.

— Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Lyudmila Pavlichenko was born in 1949, in the Rostov Region. Since 1996, she has been actively involved in the activities of the NGO Union of Women of the Don (SZD). She also participated in the projects Women's Rights, Public Social Reception Offices, Dagestan - the Peacekeeping Center, and others. Since 1998, she has been a coordinator of the international organization Kavkazsky Forum (Caucasian Forum), and she has organized a lot of humanitarian projects in Chechnya and the whole of the Caucasian region trying to promote peace and reconciliation.

Summer 1995. Chechnya. Heat, burning sun, stale hot air. Two tents with 43 women on a hunger strike. They are Chechens and Dagestanians. Among them there is one Russian woman - Lyudmila Pavlichenko. They are all protesting against the Russian-Chechen war. The participants of the hunger strike are suffering from high blood pressure and general weakness. From time to time, some of them are taken to the hospital. Lyudmila has not given up yet. Her friend from Dagestan is sitting next to her and is trying to persuade the women to stop starving because, according to the Koran, one can only starve in the name of Allah, not in pursuit of political goals. Russian, Dagestanian, and Chechen women are sitting shoulder to shoulder holding each other's hands like sisters. During these few days, Lyudmila has learned a lot about the way of life, mentality, and customs of the Chechen people. She has become acquainted with a Chechen poet, who is on hunger strike too, despite the fact that he goes around on crutches (he stepped on a land mine while herding a cow). He reads his poems in the Chechen language to her, and Lyudmila translates them into Russian. The poems bring them together. It is the first time that she sees the common prayer - which leaves her spellbound. She watches men dancing in the circle with an air of detachment. During her hunger strike, she has not stayed in bed in her tent, but continues to give consultations and looks after the children. Speaking to many Russian journalists, she tries to tell the truth about the war in Chechnya, but her interviews never appear in the media uncensored.

Kavkazsky Forum Soyuz Zhenshchin Dona (Union of Women of the Don)