Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Thomas de Waal Interviews, 1994-2001

Summary Information


Audio interviews by Thomas de Waal and their transcripts relating to the conflicts in Chechnia and Nagorno-Karabakh

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1855
Bib ID 12194542 View CLIO record
Creator(s) De Waal, Thomas
Title Thomas de Waal Interviews, 1994-2001
Physical Description 32.5 Gigabytes (86 digital audio files, 67 digital transcripts)
Language(s) Russian , English .

This collection is located on-site.

Interviews are only available onsite at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, via links in the container list below.

Temporary permission to provide online access for the Columbia Community to digitized material granted in April 2020.



The collection is arranged in one series, by interviewee.



The digitized content of more than 70 hours of audio cassette tape interviews conducted by Mr. Thomas de Waal with some sixty participants and policymakers during the struggle between former Soviet Republics Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, and conflict of Russia with the breakaway republic of Chechnya. The digitized interviewees include Dzhokhar Musaevich Dudaev, the first president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, in the North Caucasus, who was assassinated by Russian warplanes in April 1996; Mikhail Gorbachev; Eduard Shevardnadze, then-President of Georgia; as well as numerous military figures, human rights advocates, and others directly involved in the conflicts. The interviews are primarily in Russian, but a small number is in English or includes segments in English. 67 Russian-language interviews were fully or partially transcribed in 2017.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located on-site.

Interviews are only available onsite at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, via links in the container list below.

Temporary permission to provide online access for the Columbia Community to digitized material granted in April 2020.

Conditions Governing Use

Copying by permission from the Harriman Institute Director or Associate Director.

The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Thomas de Waal Interviews; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of Thomas De Waal.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Processed in 2016-2017

Revision Description

2017-06-14 File created.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2019-09-18 Links to DLC added. kws

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Sound recordings Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
De Waal, Thomas Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Journalists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict, 1988-1994 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Patrick Lowndes de Waal (b. 1966) is a senior associate with Carnegie Europe, specializing in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. He is based in London. A graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, he conducted these interviews while based in Moscow and reporting for the Moscow Times, the Times of London, and the Economist, specializing in Russian politics and the volatile situation in the Caucasus. He is the co-author (with Carlotta Gall) of the book Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus (NYU Press, 1997), for which the authors were awarded the James Cameron Prize for Distinguished Reporting. Mr. de Waal also authored an authoritative book on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan Through Peace and War (NYU Press, second edition 2013), which has been translated into Armenian, Azeri, Russian, and Turkish, as well as The Caucasus: An Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010). The interviews conducted on these tapes directly informed each of these publications.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only CU affiliates may view materials on-site. YOU MUST REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE PLACING REQUESTS. Email rbml@library.columbia.edu to request an appointment. You may submit a request for materials once your appointment is confirmed. Affiliates will login with their uni and password, and need to register the first time they make a request.

Series I: Interviews and Transcripts, 1994-2001

These files can only be viewed in the reading room at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library on a specially configured laptop.

Alexander Yakovlev, 8-Dec-00

Alexander Yakovlev, Gorbachev adviser

Anatoly Shabad, 19-Nov-96

Anatoly Shabad, Russian liberal parliamentarian (with questions from two different parties). Also includes part 1 of the interview with Laaneots.

Andrei Girenko, 2-Jun-00

Andrei Girenko, Soviet Communist Party official dealing with Nagorno-Karabakh

Andrei Kozyrev, 26-Jul-96

Andrei Kozyrev, Russian Foreign Minister. Interviewed in English by Sonia Mikich, Westdeutscher Rundfunk (ARD TV)

Ants Laaneots, 9-Dec-96

Ants Laaneots, Soviet Estonian military officer in Tartu

Aram Sarkisian, 4-May-00

Aram Sarkisian, Armenian Communist Party leader in 1991

Araz Azimov, Between 1994 and 2001

Araz Azimov, Azerbaijani deputy foreign minister

Arkady Volsky, 1-Jun-00

Arkady Volsky, Moscow envoy to Nagorno-Karabakh and later Chechnya

Arkady Volsky, 15-Jan-97

Arkady Volsky, Russian envoy to Chechnya and Nagorno-Karabakh

Aslan Maskhadov, 23-May-96

Aslan Maskhadov, Chechen commander, later president

Aslanbek Khasbulatov, 1-Oct-96

Aslanbek Khasbulatov, brother of former Russian parliament leader Ruslan Khasbulatov

Ayaz Mutalibov, 30-May-00

Ayaz Mutalibov, Former president of Azerbaijan

David Shakhnazarian, 2-May-00

David Shakhnazarian, Presidential aide, Armenia

Doku Zavgayev, 26-Jan-95

Doku Zavgayev, Last Soviet era leader of Chechnya

Eduard Shevardnadze, Between 1994 and 2001

Eduard Shevardnadze, President of Georgia

Elbrus Orujev, 29-Nov-00

Elbrus Orujev, Azerbaijani general, defender of Shusha

Eldar Namazov, 14-Nov-00

Eldar Namazov side a, Azerbaijani politician

Gurgen Boyajian, 26-Sep-00

Gurgen Boyajian, Armenian military commander

Heidar Aliev, and Co-Chairs, 18-May-01

Heidar Aliev, and Co-Chairs, President of Azerbaijan, Carey Cavanaugh, others

Hikmet Hadjizade, 15-Nov-00

Hikmet Hadjizade, Azerbaijani ambassador to Moscow 1992-3

Hrant Voskanian, 28-Sep-00

Hrant Voskanian, Armenian Communist Party official in 1988

Ikhvan Gerikhanov, 10-Oct-96

Ikhvan Gerikhanov, Head of Chechnya Constitutional Court

Interviews in the Russian State Duma, 1994-1995, Moscow, 1994-1995

Original tape mislabled. Contains interviews in the Russian State Duma, 1994-1995, Moscow. It contains press conferences for two Duma fractons: Partiia Rossiiskogo Edinstva I Soglasiya (The Party of the Russian Unity and Accord) and Partiia Yabloko. Side B is another press conference, unknown location. Multiple journalists from different countries and media present.

Isa Gambar, 7-Apr-00

Isa Gambar, Speaker of Azerbaijani parliament 1992

Isa Sadiqov, 6-Apr-00

Isa Sadiqov, Azerbaijani general

Jalal Aliev, 4-Nov-00

Jalal Aliev, Brother of Azerbaijani president Heidar Aliev

Kocharian 01, 21-May-01

Lechi Umkhayev, 26-Oct-96

Lechi Umkhayev, Chechen nationalist politician

Leila Yunusova, 20-Nov-00

Leila Yunusova, Azerbaijani democracy activist, then dep. defence minister

Leila Yunusova, Tajedin Mekhtiev, 28 & 31 March 2000

Leila Yunusova, Tajedin Mekhtiev, Mekhtiev = Azerbaijani defence minister in 1992

Leonid Smirnyagin, 26-Apr-96

Leonid Smirnyagin, Kremlin political analyst, 1994. First 28 minutes is Smirnyagin interviewed by a woman in Russian (Carlotta Gall?). After 29 min. it stops, and the remainder of the tape is filled by an interview in English, in which the interviewer is Tom de Waal and the interviewee is an unidentified woman (native speaker of American English), also talking about Chechnya.

Levon Ter-Petrosian, 24-May-00

Levon Ter-Petrosian, President of Armenia

Lyudmila Harutyunyan, 2-Oct-00

Lyudmila Harutyunyan, Armenian sociologist, political activist

Mikhail Gorbachev, 25-Sep-96

Muzayev & Ziyauddin Malsagov, Jan-94

Muzayev & Ziyauddin Malsagov, Head of Archive/Witness to 1944 massacre

Nagorno-Karabakh Danidia, 16-May-00

Nagorno-Karabakh Feb, Feb-00

Naira Melkumian, Arkady Gukasian, 30-Mar-01

Naira Melkumian, Arkady Gukasian, Foreign minister/ president of Nagorno-Karabakh

Pyotr Deinekin, 10-Apr-96

Pyotr Deinekin , Head of Russian airforce

Robert Kocharian 00, 25-May-00

Robert Kocharian 00, President of Armenia

Ruslan Aushev, 18-Jul-96

Ruslan Aushev , President of Ingushetia

Salambek Khajiev, 2-Oct-96

Salambek Khajiev, Pro-Moscow Chechen politician

Salambek Khajiev, 2-Oct-96

Samashki, 23-24 November 1999

Samashki, Residents of village where massacre occurred. the transcript has the interviewee names: Vakhid Derbyshev, Murshid Khasbulatov, Rustam Derbyshev. Interview conducted by a woman especially between 30th and 45 min., ( possibly Carlotta Gall?)

Scott Horton, 2-Jan-01

Scott Horton, US lawyer, human rights activist

Sergei Yushenkov, 29-Oct-96

Serzh Sargsyan, 15-Dec-00

Sumgaitsy, 15-Dec-00

Sumgaitsy side a. Armenians who fled pogrom in Sumgait -- Side b. Maria Mosia (and family but only her name is given)

Thomas de Waal Azerbajian 2, Mekhtiev 31 March 2000; Kemal Ali 4 April 2000

Thomas de Waal, February 2000, Between 1998-2000

Interviewees: Samvel Babayan, Karen Ohanjanyan, Arkady Gukasian, Shamil Basayev, Valeriy Draganov, 1998-2000. Both Nagorno-Karabakh and Chechnya. (both NK and Chechnya)

Thomas de Waal, Nagorno-Karabakh Ref, 16-May-00

Interviewees: Seiran Ohanian, Yevgeniy Primakov, Konstantin Zatulin, Konstantin Titov, 1998-2000

Usman Imayev, 20-May-96

Usman Imayev, Chechen justice minister, negotiator

Vadim Byrkin, 1-Jun-00

Vadim Byrkin, Russian journalist worked in Nagorno-Karabakh

Vartan Oskanian, 13-Dec-00

Vartan Oskanian, Foreign Minister of Armenia

Vazgen Manukian, 3-Oct-00

Vazgen Manukian, Armenian politician, defence and prime minister

Vyacheslav Mikhailov, 20-Feb-97

Vyacheslav Mikhailov, Russian nationalities minister

Vyacheslav [Mikhailov?] Cont., 5-Dec-00

Willi Weissert, 9-Oct-96

Willi Weissert, Ethnic German elder in Chechen village

Yegor Gaidar, 9-Oct-96

Yusif Agayev, 25-Nov-00

Yusif Agayev, Azerbaijani prosecutor

Zahid Abasov, 10-Nov-00

Zahid Abasov, Former Az Communist official in Nagorno-Karabakh

Zahid Neftaliev, 28-Nov-00

Zahid Neftaliev, Az military officer

Zardusht Alizade, 9-Jun-00

Zardusht Alizade, Az democracy activist

Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, 21-Oct-96

Original tape mislabeled. Contains interview with Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, 21 October 1996.

Zenon Kuchciak, 19-May-96

Zenon Kuchciak, Polish OSCE diplomat in Chechnya

Zhanna Galstian, 10-Oct-00

Zhanna Galstian, Nagorno-Karabakh Armenian activist and politician