Chechnya: A Difficult Cornerstone in Russian Security (2023)

Chechnya: A Difficult Cornerstone in Russian Security (1)

A map of Chechnya and the surrounding region.

Chechnya is a predominantly Muslim region nestled among many turbulent republics in the Caucasian Mountains. Though the deep ethnic, tribal, and religious divisions of the territory make it difficult to develop and rule, Russian and Soviet leaders have long coveted Chechnya for its access to the Caspian Sea and to the Transcaucasus.

Chechnya has traditionally vigorously resisted Russian rule ever since the 18th century, when the Russian Imperial Army began the first of its many campaigns to conquer the Northern Caucasus. Today, it is impossible to understand modern Chechnya without first understanding its violent and complex history.

Chechnya at a Glance

Chechnya has one of the largest absolute majorities of any titular ethnic Chechnya: A Difficult Cornerstone in Russian Security (2)group in the region. In Russia’s other republics, ethnic groups tend to be minorities within their populations, but in Chechnya, ethnic Chechens make up 93% of the population (the next largest group, ethnic Russians, comprise only 1.9%). Chechnya’s homogeneity has contributed significantly to its strong independent identity and historical desire for autonomy.

Today, Chechnya is one of several semi-autonomous republics within Russia. The status of “republic” means that Chechnya, unlike other constituent components of Russia, can choose its own official language and may have its own constitution to better guarantee certain ethnic, religious, or linguistic rights. While still politically subordinate to the Russian Federation, republics generally have a strong national identity separate from Russia and a populace that desires greater autonomy.

Chechnya is comparable in size to the American state of Connecticut, but with only a third of the population (estimated at 1.3 million according to the 2010 Census). About two thirds of all Chechens live in rural areas and most still practice subsistence farming and herding, as their ancestors did. Many villages are isolated from each other by the rough terrain, which has encouraged a strong sense of tribalism. The terrain has also discouraged major economic development, including the development of large cities, by limiting transport and communication.

Chechnya: A Difficult Cornerstone in Russian Security (3)

A detail of a map showing the ecoregion of the Northern (Greater) and Southern (Lesser) Caucasus. The Northern Caucasus form a nearly impassable wall between Russia and the geopolitical powers to the South.

The capital, Grozny (meaning “fearsome” or “awesome”), is settled on the Sunzha river— Chechnya’s main source of irrigation—between the mountainous south and the lowland north. Although the capital is home to about a quarter million residents, all other cities in Chechnya have fewer than 50,000 people.

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The Chechen lowlands enjoy fertile soil, ample rainfall, and a long growing season. Agriculture is now a major component of Chechnya’s growing commercial economy: Chechens produce grapes, grains, and vegetables, and raise cattle, goats, and sheep.

However, the local economy is dominated by oil and gas, and particularly by a small and prosperous oilfield located in the Chechen lowlands. The highlands also offer considerable economic potential in hydroelectric power (particularly along the Terek and Argun Rivers). The area has potential for tourism as well: Chechnya’s beautiful mountains and many geothermic springs may soon begin to draw skiers and other visitors.

Chechnya’s Military Importance to Russia

The main value of Chechnya to Russia, however, is not economic. The rugged highlands provide one of Russia’s few naturally defensible mountainous borders. They separate Russia and the Middle East, with which Russia has many historical rivalries, having fought several bloody wars with Turkey (the Ottomans) and Persia (Iran).

Russia has had two concerns historically when it comes to Chechnya’s geopolitical importance: leaving itself open to invasion from their Middle Eastern enemies, and Chechnya’s influence over neighboring Muslim republics. In the former case, Chechnya serves as Russia’s first line of defense, and losing it would render Russia vulnerable to attack. In the latter case, if Chechnya were to declare independence, its actions may influence the neighboring heavily-Muslim republics—Dagestan to its east and Igushetia to its west—to follow suit.

Dagestan and Ingushetia are strategic to much of the Transcaucasusian transport infrastructure. The Caspian Sea Coastal Road in Dagestan is used to cross the mountain region and access oil-rich Baku, Azerbaijan. The Georgian Military Highway, which crosses between Georgia and Russia at a point called the Roki Tunnel, lies less than two miles from the western border of Ingushetia and leads to the Georgian capital of Tblisi. Thus, the loss of Chechnya, it is feared, could open a strategic door to Russia’s historical rivals and other potential enemies.

Origins and Pre-Soviet History

Archeological evidence, including cave paintings and artifacts, suggests that the Chechens have continuously inhabited the region surrounding the Argun River for over 8,000 years. Until the 15th century, Chechens were semi-nomadic and occupied the highlands, living mostly in caves, until a global cooling phase known as the “little ice age” caused shortened growing seasons and drove them into the more fertile lowlands.

This migration coincided with Chechnya’s rise to strategic importance. Russia, Turkey, and Persia all began to vie for control of the Caucasus as part of their wider geopolitical competition. Chechens converted to Sunni Islam during this time, in part, in hopes that the Ottomans would protect them from Russian invasion and influence.

The Islam of Chechnya, thus, has typically been a particularly political form of Islam. Several efforts have been made to unite the Chechens with other Muslim converts into a Transcaucasian Islamic state.

Although Chechnya was officially incorporated into Russia as a result of the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813, the movement to found an independent state continued both before and after. This resistance was led by Muslim rebels such asHadji Murat(immortalized in the eponymous novel by Leo Tolstoy), Imam Shamil, and Sheik Mansur Ushurma, all of whom characterized these wars as religious struggles. Rebellions were common well past the 19th century and often coincided with Russian wars or revolutions, which the Chechen leaders typically saw as windows of opportunity in their struggle.

Chechnya under the Soviets

With the Revolution of 1917, rebel leaders in the Caucasus worked quickly to achieve an independent state. The result was the The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus and it immediately had to defend itself against first the tsarist White Army and then the Soviet Red Army. The Mountainous Republic was recognized by the Ottomans and the Germans, but despite this diplomatic victory, it fell in 1921, after several years of bloody war, and became the Mountain ASSR within the USSR.

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Chechnya: A Difficult Cornerstone in Russian Security (4)

A detail of a map showing the topography of Chechnya and its distinct highland and lowland regions. The city of Grozny and the major rivers have been highlighted. For the full map, which shows all transport routes and Chechnya’s many other rivers,click here.

In the late 1920s, heavily agricultural Chechnya was active in the wide-spread resistance to Soviet collectivization efforts. One rebellion in 1929 resulted in another provisional, semi-autonomous government being established by rebels. As many as 30,000 Chechens may have been killed in purges and other government actions to suppress the rebellion and enforce collectivation. Chechens were also heavily targeted in the purges of 1936-1937.

In the late 1930s, Chechnya was coupled with Ingushetia, its smaller neighbor to the West, to form the Republic of Chechnya-Ingushetia. Ingushetia had voluntarily joined the Russian empire in 1810 and thus was seen as a more secure area that could help temper Chechnya’s restiveness.

Despite these attempts, another major Chechen uprising began in 1940, shortly after the start of WWII. With the assistance of German paratroopers, the resistance lasted through most of the war.. The Germans agreed to help Chechnya in hopes of taking Grozny and its oilfields and moving south to still more oil-rich Baku in Azerbaijan. Grozny itself had, by this time, also been partially industrialized by the Soviets with factories for farm machinery and fertilizer – two industries easily converted to producing military hardware and munitions.

The Germans never succeeded in taking any of these targets and eventually launched a bombing offensive in late 1942 to simply destroy as much infrastructure as possible and remove Chechnya from Soviet hands. By 1943, a Soviet offensive began pushing the Nazis back into Eastern Europe.

In 1944, as the war was drawing to a close, Joseph Stalin forced most of the Chechnya-Ingushetia republic’s population – over 500,000 people— to relocate to Central Asia. A third of the Chechen population died during the transportation and in the first year of resettlement.

The official reason for deportation was that Chechens and Ingush had collaborated with the Nazis and thus the entire population was to be collectively punished. In fact, while collaboration had occurred, it had not been universal; some 40,000 members of the local population had fought for the Soviets. Those soldiers from the Caucasus drafted into the Nazi army were mostly Soviet POWs captured and forced to fight in Western Europe. Hitler did not send them back to the Caucasus to fight as he feared they would likely return to the Soviet forces or, more likely, fight only for the independence of their own homeland.

Chechnya: A Difficult Cornerstone in Russian Security (5)

Map of existing and proposed oil pipelines in the Caucasus and surrounding area. Novorossiysk, the westernmost pipeline point shown inside Russia, exports oil via tankers. Chechnya is shown in red.

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Stalin also likely saw deportation as a final solution to break the Chechens’ connection with the land and their ability to fight for it. Additionally, several historians have pointed out that Stalin, in anticipation of a future war with Turkey, sought to move all Turkic peoples, as well as old Turkish allies (which included the Chechens) to somewhere they would not be able to assist Turkey or there they might rebel again in a time of instability.

In 1957, during “de-Stalinization” under Nikita Khrushchev, the Chechens and Ingush were permitted to return to their homelands. Upon arrival, many discovered that ethnic Russians had taken their land, and territorial disputes persisted for decades. Russification policies towards the Chechens also continued, meaning that this “thaw” represented a very small and bittersweet victory and did little to secure their loyalty to Moscow’s rule.

Chechnya after the Fall of the USSR

In 1991, after the failed Communist coup attempt and as constituent republics were declaring independence from the USSR, a militant, unofficial opposition group called the All-National Congress of the Chechen People took power in Chechnya. They stormed the Supreme Soviet, took over major television and radio stations, and declared the communist government of Chechnya-Ingushetia dissolved.

Quickly thereafter, a referendum placed Dzhokar Dudayev, a former Soviet paratrooper and a representative of the Congress, in the post of Chechen president. Declaring Chechnya independent was one of his first acts in office.

Russian president Boris Yeltsin argued that Chechnya had not been an independent entity within the Soviet Union and thus did not have the right under the constitution to secede. He also feared that if Chechnya succeeded, many other parts of Russia might follow suit as regionalism and local leaders grew in strength.

In 1944, Yeltsin launched an air attack on Chechnya “to restore constitutional order.” What was to be a 48-hour mission turned into a two-year invasion in which the Chechens, though severely outnumbered, managed to prevent Russia from gaining control. After both sides endured massive casualties, and after a long ceasefire, a peace treaty was signed in 1997 and Russia agreed to withdraw its troops.

Elections were held soon after, bringing Aslan Maskhadov to power. Maskhadov attempted to maintain as much independence as possible while pressing Moscow for reconstruction money. However, most of Chechnya’s economy had been devastated, many of the federal funds were misappropriated, and much of the population had been internally displaced to refugee camps or overcrowded villages. Crime and corruption spiraled out of control. Extremism and terrorism became more common

In 1999, a series of violent acts outside of Chechnya were blamed on Chechen militants: a bomb explosion in an apartment building in neighboring Dagestan, a bomb explosion in a Russian railway station in neighboring Stavropol Krai, an apartment bombing in Moscow, and several ambushes along the Chechen borders.

Newly appointed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sent Russian military forces back into Chechnya in what he said was a response to these acts of terror after blaming them, in large part, on Maskhadov and his government. The Russian military was much more resolute in this second invasion, shelling rebel groups, towns, mosques, and even hospitals in an attempt to crush the separatist movement. After Grozny was seized and Maskhadov assassinated, newly appointed Russian president Vladimir Putin was able to reassert direct rule of Chechnya in May 2000.

Chechnya Today

Chechnya’s current leader, Ramzan Kadyrov began consolidating power at the start of the Second Chechen War, when he left the separatist movement to support the Russians, gaining the support Vladimir Putin and Russia’s security services. Of the few rebel forces left after the war, Ramzan Kadyrov has either brought them under his control by passing elements of sharia law, one of their main demands for Chechnya, or by using his own security forces to arrest and, according to many human rights organizations, kidnap, torture, and extrajudicially execute anyone who might oppose him. The media in Chechnya is under tight state control.

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Kadyrov supporters, however, point to his regime as an unprecedented era of political stability in a region that has been in turmoil for more than 200 years. Kadyrov has also secured billions of dollars in federal funding from the Russian government. While most social, transport, and economic infrastructure was leveled over the course of the two wars, Grozny is now almost entirely rebuilt with new schools, parks, hospitals, and business parks. The airport in Grozny and the railway connection between the Caucasus and Russia were restored by 2005. Roads in Chechnya have been aggressively rebuilt.

The Russian government has also improved the economy in Chechnya by encouraging Russian companies, both private and state-owned, to invest there. The first sector of the economy to be rebuilt after the war was the petroleum industry, an effort headed by state-owned Rosneft. Today, oil is the largest part of Chechnya’s economy. While Chechnya’s production of 1.5 million annual metrics tons of oil is far less than the 4 million it produced before the war, new exploration efforts are currently underway.

In addition, Lukoil, a privately-held Russian oil company is currently building an industrial park outside of Grozny. Tourism infrastructure, such as a new, multi-billion dollar all-season ski resort called Veduchi, funded by Chechen billionaire and businessman Ruslan Baysarov, was opened in 2012.

With this construction boom and political stability, unemployment rates have improved, falling from 80% to a high, but more manageable rate of 30%.

Rights organizations, however, point to the political price paid for stability and encourage governments and international organizations to press Russia for greater democracy in Chechnya. Kadryrov has openly called democracy a “western lie” and has publically argued that democracy cannot work in such an unstable place as Chechnya.

Although it is relatively stable today, Chechnya still suffers from some rebel activity and volatility. The government displaced by the Second Chechen War continues to unofficially operate, although it has changed its name to the “Caucasus Emirate.” This government is now headed by Doka Umarov, an Islamist militant who has been blamed for several terrorist attacks in Russia and who has publically called for his followers to use “maximum force” against Russia’s 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Internationally, two ethnic Chechen immigrants prompted a city-wide manhunt after allegedly setting off bombs at the Boston marathon in March 2013. While the two had not grown up in Chechnya, it later surfaced that they may have been radicalized, in part, while visiting neighboring Dagestan.

Despite the difficulties in retaining the region, Russia continues to see the Northern Caucasus as integral to Russian security. Russia also sees Chechnya as a key to retaining the Northern Caucasus, despite the massive cost and difficulty in doing so. It is also feared that an independent Caucasus would be even more unstable and militant than one under Russian control.

While Chechnya can be considered today relatively stable, the bloodshed in the region has not altogether stopped and its geopolitics will continue to be a fascinating, if tragic, subject to study for many years to come.


Why are Chechens feared? ›

Fear and negative stereotypes of Chechens stem largely from the history of the Russian conquest of Chechnya and Dagestan, when Russia conquered the Chechen territory in 1859 and merged it with the Russian Empire.

Why is Chechnya so important to Russia? ›

The North Caucasus, a mountainous region that includes Chechnya, spans or lies close to important trade and communication routes between Russia and the Middle East, control of which have been fought over by various powers for millennia.

Why are Chechen soldiers helping Ukraine? ›

Today there are several Chechen armed volunteer formations fighting on the side of Ukraine Some of these groups started operations during the Donbas war in 2014. Most fighters see fighting in Ukraine as a way of continuing the fight against Russia, getting them closer to their ultimate goal of Chechen Independence.

Who were the 6 Russian soldiers killed by Chechen militants? ›

The sixth (Alexey Polagaev) was killed by Edilsultanov himself. One of the Russian soldiers, identified as Alexey Lipatov, fled the site, but was shot. The others killed were named as Senior lieutenant Vasily Tashkin, Vladimir Kaufman, Boris Erdneyev, Alexey Polagaev, and Alexey Paranin.

What did Chechens do to captured Russians? ›

1996 execution

Previously, Russian prisoners of war had been killed near Komsomolskoye on 12 April 1996 at the end of the First Chechen War, when four captured Russian soldiers were executed by the Chechen rebels.

What war crimes did the Chechens commit? ›

First Chechen War

The crimes included the use of prohibited cluster bombs in the 1995 Shali cluster bomb attack, which targeted a market, a gas station and a hospital, and the April 1995 Samashki massacre, in which it is estimated that up to 300 civilians died during the attack.

Is Chechnya safe for Americans? ›

Travel to the North Caucasus (including Chechnya and Mt. Elbrus) is prohibited for U.S. government employees and strongly discouraged for U.S. citizens.

What is Chechnya known for? ›

Chechnya is well known for being mountainous, but it is in fact split between the more flat areas north of the Terek, and the highlands south of the Terek. Borders: Internal: Dagestan (NE)

Did Russia win the war in Chechnya? ›

Russia heavily bombed Chechnya during its 1994-96 war there. Russia lost that war and signed a peace treaty, agreeing to leave Chechnya and giving the territory autonomy, though not formal independence.

How many Chechens killed in Ukraine? ›

Chechen leader Kadyrov said 23 of his fighters were killed and 58 others wounded in artillery shelling by Ukraine.

What religion are Chechens? ›

Chechnya is predominantly Muslim. Most of the population follows either the Shafi'i or the Hanafi, schools of jurisprudence, fiqh. The Shafi'i school of jurisprudence has a long tradition among the Chechens, and thus it remains the most practiced.

What are Chechen special forces? ›

'Kadyrov's followers') and Akhmat special forces unit after Akhmad Kadyrov, is a paramilitary organization in Chechnya, Russia, that serves as the protection of the Head of the Chechen Republic.

Who is the feared leader of the Chechen Republic? ›

Kadyrov has been frequently accused of involvement in the kidnapping, assassination, and torture of human rights activists, critics, and their relatives, within both Chechnya and other regions of the Russian Federation, as well as abroad, through the political use of police and military forces.

How many troops did Russia lose in the Chechen war? ›

The official Russian estimate of Russian military deaths was 5,732, but according to other estimates, the number of Russian military deaths was as high as 14,000.

How many total Russians lost in the Chechen Wars? ›

If available the list included name, year and place of birth, rank and military unit, place, date and cause of death. For the period from 1994 to 2003, estimates ranged from 50,000 to 250,000 civilians and 10,000 to 50,000 Russian servicemen killed.

Why did Stalin target the Chechens? ›

Some of the stated reasons were allegedly to "defuse ethnic tensions", to "stabilize the political situation" or to punish people for their "act against the Soviet authority". According to the 1939 census, 407,690 Chechens and 92,074 Ingush were registered in the Soviet Union.

Did Chechens fight in ww2? ›

Although the Germans were able to undertake covert operations in Chechnya—such as the sabotage of Grozny oil fields—attempts at a German–Chechen alliance floundered. That the Chechens actually were allied to the Germans is highly questionable and usually dismissed as false. They did have contact with the Germans.

Do Chechens know Russian? ›

Russian is the language of wider communication, while Chechen is spoken mostly among Chechens. In urban areas, such as the capital of Grozny, Chechens are still Russian-dominant bilinguals with an imperfect knowledge of Chechen, even though it is taught in schools and used in electronic and print media.

Did Chechens have slaves? ›

At the beginning of the 21st century Chechens and Ingush kept Russian captives as slaves or in slave-like conditions in the mountains of the northern Caucasus.

What are the 11 war crimes? ›

Crimes against humanity
  • murder.
  • extermination.
  • enslavement.
  • deportation.
  • mass systematic rape and sexual enslavement in a time of war.
  • other inhumane acts.
  • persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any other crime against humanity.

Why did the Chechens lose? ›

The Russian military was not prepared for a large-scale concentrated attacks and began relying on its heavy munitions unaware that they would not be able to be resupplied. As the Russian military situation became hopeless, peace negotiations were finalized, and all Federal Russian troops withdrew from Chechnya.

Are Chechen people nice? ›

Most Chechen people you meet are as kind, honest, and hospitable. Chechen culture ensures that guests are treated as highly sacred and hospitality is one of their proudest features.

Are there Chechens in America? ›

The first Chechen settlers arrived in the U.S. in the 1950s and 1960s. They are a small minority group with a population numbering only several hundred, as of 2013. Exact statistics are difficult to obtain because Chechens are categorized as Russians in asylee reports.

Do Chechens speak English? ›

Chechen and Russian are the two main languages spoken in Chechnya. Remember that the political situation is very tense — a foreigner speaking Chechen may attract unwanted attention from the authorities. English on the other hand is spoken by almost nobody, even in the capital.

What language does Chechnya speak? ›


Can US citizens go to Crimea? ›

Crimea is under the de facto control of the Russian Federation. Any visit will require a Russian visa, and most visitors will reach the area via Russia. To the Ukrainian government, entering Crimea on a Russian visa is illegal entry to Ukrainian territory.

What is the religion of Russia? ›

The Russian Orthodox Church has been the dominant religious institution for almost a millennium and continues to be the most popular religion in Russia.

How many tanks did Russia lose in Chechnya? ›

A high-ranking Russian General Staff officer said "On January 2nd, we lost contact with our forward units." According to Maskhadov, some 400 Russian tanks and APCs were destroyed.

What is Grozny like now? ›

Grozny is known for its modern architecture and as a spa town and although nearly all the town was destroyed or seriously damaged during the Chechen Wars, it has since been entirely rebuilt.

Is Chechnya independent or part of Russia? ›

On 27 October 1991, Dudayev was elected president of the Chechen Republic. Dudayev, in his new position as president, issued a unilateral declaration of independence on 1 November 1991.

Who is the Chechen leader in Ukraine? ›

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, says one day he plans to set up his own private military company in the style of the Wagner mercenary group.

Does Crimea want to be part of Russia? ›

According to the Gallup's survey performed on April 21–27, 82.8% of Crimean people consider the referendum results reflecting most Crimeans' views, and 73.9% of Crimeans say Crimea's becoming part of Russia will make life better for themselves and their families, while 5.5% disagree.

What do Chechen people eat? ›

The basis of Chechen cuisine is: meat, leeks, cheese, pumpkin and corn. The main components of Chechen dishes include spicy seasonings, onion, wild garlic, pepper and thyme. Chechen cuisine is known for having rich dishes, and is also typically simple to prepare and easily digestible.

What will be the largest religion in 2050? ›

Over the next four decades, Christians will remain the largest religious group, but Islam will grow faster than any other major religion. If current trends continue, by 2050 … The number of Muslims will nearly equal the number of Christians around the world.

How do Chechens marry? ›

The bride was married in her father's home, without the groom present. The groom married in his walnut orchard, also without his bride at his side. Vows, in Chechnya, are offered to God, the imam and the witnesses, not to the future spouses, who are never to be seen together at their wedding.

Which country belongs to Chechen army? ›

Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Chechen National Army
Active1991–2007 2022–present
CountryChechen Republic of Ichkeria
RoleLand warfare
6 more rows

How many men are in a Chechen battalion? ›

The two battalions (each about 600-900 strong) were the only ethnic Chechen units in the structure of the Russian Ministry of Defence and outside the control of the Chechen government, which was increasingly dominated by the Chechen militia leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

What is the Chechen Battalion of Ukraine? ›

The Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion is one of several Chechen Armed Formations on the side of Ukraine.
Dzhokhar Dudayev Battalion
AllegianceChechen Republic of Ichkeria Ministry of Defense
BranchUkrainian Ground Forces
10 more rows

Who was the famous Chechen warrior? ›

Shamil Salmanovich Basayev (Chechen: Салман ВоӀ Шамиль; Russian: Шамиль Салманович Басаев; 14 January 1965 – 10 July 2006), also known by his kunya "Abu Idris", was a politician and senior military commander in the Chechen independence movement.

How was the Chechen leader killed? ›

September 24, 2008 - Chechen clan leader and former Duma deputy Ruslan Yamadayev shot dead near the Kremlin in Moscow.

Who is the commander of Chechen in Russia? ›

Presidents and Heads of the Chechen Republic
No.Name (birth–death)Term of office
Left office
Sergey Abramov (1972–) acting30 August 2004
2Alu Alkhanov (1957–)15 February 2007
3Ramzan Kadyrov (1976–)Incumbent
1 more row

What city was most destroyed in the Chechen war? ›

The 1999–2000 battle of Grozny was the siege and assault of the Chechen capital Grozny by Russian forces, lasting from late 1999 to early 2000. The siege and fighting left the capital devastated. In 2003, the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.

How bad was the Chechen war? ›

The first Chechen War (1994-96) was something of a disaster. The erstwhile Soviet Army had been sharply downsized and divided between the various splinter Republics of the CIS. Large numbers of Russian formations were then returning from Eastern Europe. They had no cantonments and quartering facilities to return to.

Are there Chechen soldiers in Ukraine? ›

Today there are several Chechen armed volunteer formations fighting on the side of Ukraine Some of these groups started operations during the Donbas war in 2014. Most fighters see fighting in Ukraine as a way of continuing the fight against Russia, getting them closer to their ultimate goal of Chechen Independence.

When did Russia overtake Chechnya? ›

There was vast destruction of the Chechen capital in the Battle of Grozny. The Russian military established control over Chechnya in late April 2000, ending the major combat phase of the war, with insurgency and hostilities continuing for several years. The end of this conflict was proclaimed in 2017.

How brutal were the Chechen Wars? ›

As many as 250,000 civilians were killed in the combined Chechen wars, along with many thousands more combatants on both sides. Reports of rape, arson, torture, and other crimes by Russian soldiers were widespread — and cast as a wholly necessary evil by those forces.

What is Chechen Special Forces? ›

'Kadyrov's followers') and Akhmat special forces unit after Akhmad Kadyrov, is a paramilitary organization in Chechnya, Russia, that serves as the protection of the Head of the Chechen Republic.

How many Russian soldiers died in Chechnya? ›

Independent estimates

For the period from 1994 to 2003, estimates ranged from 50,000 to 250,000 civilians and 10,000 to 50,000 Russian servicemen killed.

Do Chechens speak Russian? ›

Chechen (Нохчийн мотт / Noxçiyn mott) is the main language spoken in Chechnya. Virtually all Chechens are also able to speak Russian, so learning Chechen is not necessary to communicate.

What kind of language is Chechen? ›

Chechen (UK: /ˈtʃɛtʃɛn/, US: /tʃəˈtʃɛn/) (Нохчийн мотт, Noxçiyn mott, [ˈnɔxt͡ʃĩː muɔt]) is a Northeast Caucasian language spoken by approximately 1.7 million people, mostly in the Chechen Republic and by members of the Chechen diaspora throughout Russia and the rest of Europe, Jordan, Austria, Turkey, Azerbaijan, ...

What were Russian slaves called? ›

Slavery remained a legally recognized institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter the Great abolished slavery and converted the slaves into serfs. This was relevant more to household slaves because Russian agricultural slaves were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679.


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