Russia and Chechnya.

Chechnya Independence from Russia.

The Chechens declared independence in 1991, after the Soviet Union disintegrated.

The First Chechen War with Russia broke out in 1994, but after two years of fighting, the Russian forces withdrew from the region in December 1996.

In 1999, the Russians began again and the Russian military established control over Grozny in early February 2000, and succeeded in putting Chechnya under direct control of Moscow by late April 2000.

Currently, Chechnya is now under the rule of its Russian-appointed leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a Russian national who is also a colonel general in the Russian military.

President Boris Yeltsin’s government in 1996 signed a peace treaty with Chechnya, removed all Russian troops from the territory.

Vladimir Putin assumed the role of acting Russian president on 9 Aug  1999, and by the end of that month, Russia was waging a renewed bombing campaign against Chechen rebels in an attempt to reverse the earlier humiliation.

This second Chechen war was brutal, and proved more effective. Russian forces took control of the breakaway republic after just a few months.

In March 2000, a triumphant Putin, who had by this time become president, flew to Grozny in a Russian fighter jet. He emerged from the aircraft in a full pilot suit, to commemorate the victory.

Putin installed a Kremlin-friendly leader, Akhmad Kadyrov, to strengthen his hold of the territory. Kadyrov was assassinated in 2004, but his son, Ramzan Kadyrov, now rules Chechnya.

Ramzan Kadyrov is a Russian and Chechen politician who currently serves as the Head of the Chechen Republic. He is also a colonel general in the Russian military.

In the current battle in Ukraine, Chechen forces have been sent in to fight with the Russian military.


Chechnya has had resistance to Russian rule dating back at least two centuries. More recently the Chechen rebels began agitating for independence after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

After a couple of years of increasing tension, Russia unleashed a major invasion marked by relentless airstrikes and salvos of heavy artillery. Thousands of fighters and tens of thousands of Chechen civilians were killed. The Chechen capital, Grozny, was laid to waste.

Russia waged the campaign for two years, with its powerful military trying and repeatedly failing to crush a small band of rebels. Remarkably, Russia lost, and pulled out in 1996.

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