Elena Nikitina was born in the city of Astrakhan, Russia, during the time of the Soviet Union. In 1994, she was abducted by a Chechen gang and taken to Grozny, the capital city of Chechnya. She survived the First Russian-Chechen War, eventually escaping an abandoned mountain village and walking into the middle of a Russian army encampment. She immigrated to the USA, received political asylum and became a citizen in January of 2019. She works as a real estate agent and business owner in Ohio, where she lives with her teenage daughter. Elena has written a memoir about her experiences, GIRL, TAKEN – A True Story of Abduction, Captivity and Survival, in two languages – Russian and English. Last month, Elena’s story was the lead radio documentary on the BBC World Service. Elena’s book recognized in the local news, on BBC worldwide and a talk show in London, UK.