By Mark Galeotti
Featuring specifically drawn full-color mapping and drawing upon quite a lot of resources, this succinct account explains the origins, historical past and results of Russia's wars in Chechnya, thereby laying off new gentle at the background - and customers - of that stricken region.
Mark Galeotti, knowledgeable at the clash, lines the development of the wars, from the preliminary Russian boost via to city battles corresponding to Grozny, and the lengthy guerrilla battle dependent within the mountainous areas that's universal to either wars. He assesses how the wars have torn aside the material of Chechen society and their influence on Russia itself, the place they've got inspired presidential elections and widened the gulf among the army and the remainder of society. those have been savage conflicts which mixed at diversified instances the features of an imperial battle, a civil struggle and a terrorist crusade. the wealthy culture of banditry in Chechnya, exemplified via the disproportionately huge numbers of Chechens within the Spetsnaz exact forces, gave the clash its specific personality, as did the regular shift from the preliminary nationalism to being encouraged by means of a much broader Islamic jihad.
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Additional resources for Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994–2009
Nevertheless, the Russian offensive ground on, with Kulikov asserting that no more than 3,000 fighters still supported Dudayev, a figure that remained suspiciously constant throughout the war. On 13 June, the Russians claimed – and the Chechens admitted – that they had taken Shatoy and the nearby town of Nozhay-Yurt. Moscow began to believe that the end of the war was close. However, the Russians’ notion that this was a conflict whose progress could be charted by map was flawed. Although the rebels only controlled a small portion of southern Chechnya, the Russians had neither the numerical nor the moral strength to be said to control the rest.
Some became virtual local dictators and bandit chieftains, such as Arbi Barayev. A police officer who then became Yandarbiyev’s bodyguard, Barayev set up his own unit during the war, calling it the Special Purpose Islamic Regiment. Even then, though, he became notorious for his bloodthirstiness and his kidnap operations. After the war, although he and his ‘regiment’ were formally inducted into the ChRI Interior Ministry, he set himself up near Urus-Martan and turned to protection racketeering and kidnap for ransom.
After all, there were also rising forces in Moscow looking to reassert control over Chechnya. Khattab and Basayev wanted a war: Vladimir Putin would give them one. was a relatively little-known administrator and former spy from St Petersburg called Vladimir Putin. A career officer in the Soviet KGB, in 1990 Putin returned to Russia from East Germany and from 1991 began working within the local administration. He acquired a reputation as a tough, discreet and efficient fixer, working for the mayor before being called to Moscow to work at first in the presidential administration; he became head of the FSB in 1998 and then acting prime minister on 9 August 1999.