Analysis of the Russian-Chechen conflict from a military perspective

The Russian-Chechen conflict burst out on September 6th, 1991, when the Chechen Republic proclaimed its independence from the Russian Federation. This action of the Chechens was not recognized by the authorities in Moscow, as it violated the provisions of the Russian Federation’s Constitution. Chechen leader Dudaev took a number of political and social decisions that were not well received by Russia. He dissolved the Chechen Parliament and banned any opposition to its authority. In addition, a series of persecutions began against Russians living in Chechnya. Dudaev created paramilitary groups and hired mercenaries devoted only to him. The Moscow government refused to recognize Dudaev’s regime. The leaders of Chechnya refused to sign the Russian Federation Treaty, which displeased the Russians. Under these conditions, in December 1994, the Russian Army entered Chechnya to oust Dudaev. A bloody war followed, culminating in the fight between the Russians and Chechens for the capital of Chechnya, Groznya, but also with guerrilla actions carried out by Chechen paramilitary groups in the mountainous and hard-to-reach areas of their country. A peace treaty was finally signed in May 1997. Nevertheless, this proved to be short-lived, as tensions between Russia and Chechnya flared up again in August 1999, when armed groups of Chechens attacked villages in the Republic of Dagestan. Under these conditions, Vladimir Putin threatened with a new military intervention in Chechnya, which materialized in September 1999. Heavy fighting took place, ending with the Russian troops occupying the main cities in Chechnya. In spite of this, the Chechens did not surrender. They briefly seized some cities and committed numerous terrorist attacks during 2000. The forceful intervention of the Russian security forces and the elimination of the paramilitary groups’ leaders led to the gradual de-escalation of the conflict. In 2009, the Russian leader Medvedev declared that in Chechnya “life has normalized to some extent” (Chechnya profile – Timeline 2018).

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