There is a different story. It’s called Zinky Boys, about the war in Afghanistan. And one of the officers who was there was telling stories about tortures that they did to people there. For example, they were cutting people’s ears to take home as a souvenir, or how they raped women there. And I wrote everything, everything he told me. But later, when he was in Moscow, he gave me a call, and he said, “Why did you write that? Now I have problems with the KGB. Now my father, who is in the military, doesn’t want to know me.” So I discovered a new way to deal with it. I created a different chapter, with all the names who took part in the interviews, so that you couldn’t tell who told what story.
It’s life. It’s unpredictable, and I have to be flexible and see how it goes in every situation. I spoke to my colleague, Anna Politkovskaya, who wrote different stories about different people, real people. And she said, “Well, I spoke to this person, but later I found out he was killed. I spoke to that person, and he was killed as well.” We talked about how it’s important that we protect the people that we talk to— that it’s our responsibility.