The Chechen Conflict in a Historical Perspective Part III

By | October 22, 2021

This war was launched as an anti-terror campaign in which a key motive was the desire to overcome crime and terrorism that undoubtedly spread from Chechnya. Nevertheless, the decision to go to a new war must also be understood in the light of the desire for revenge and the desire to restore territorial control. Like the war in 1994, the decision also had a lot to do with the internal game of power in Russia. The newly installed (not elected!) Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was to show that he was capable of restoring order in a chaotic Russia.

According to LAWSCHOOLSINUSA, the conflict between Chechnya and Russia has developed in a very brutal direction. This development is reflected in the fact that since 1991, five of the eight leaders of Chechnya have been killed either during hostilities or as a result of targeted terrorist attacks. The first Chechen president, Dudayev, was killed in a Russian rocket attack in 1996. His successor, Yandarbiev, was killed by Russian secret agents in Qatar in 2003; Aslan Maskhadov was assassinated in unclear circumstances in 2005. His successor Saidullaev was killed during a clash with Russian soldiers a few months later, while pro-Russian Akhmat Khadji-Kadyrov was blown up during a memorial service in central Grozny in May 2004. .

9: Chechnya and globalization

The Russians kept reassuring that the situation was returning to normal after Russian forces recaptured Grozny in February 2000. Nevertheless, relations between Chechnya and Russia remained a swamp of violence . In many ways, it was easy to interpret the conflict as a pure repetition of history, where the parallels were striking. At the same time, the conflict has developed in new directions.

First, the Russian government is increasingly focusing on letting pro-Russian Chechens defeat the armed resistance in the republic. This development is often described as a “Chechenization” of the conflict. This Russian policy has apparently brought – seen through Moscow’s eyes – some positive results, i.a. a general stabilization of the situation in the republic and reconstruction. Formally, it is now Russian laws – not sharia law – that apply in the area.

However, Chechnya means that certain Islamic expressions are tolerated. The price for this development has been that the conflict has become a pure civil war where Chechens stand against Chechens. Russia has de facto given power in the republic to a group of former rebels – led by a new Kadyrov – who rule the region on behalf of Moscow, but over whom Moscow has limited control.

In addition, it has led to Moscow’s opponents throughout the region choosing to redefine the conflict. They now portray it as a conflict between believing Muslims and Russian infidels. In this way, the conflict has – especially after al-Qaeda’s attacks on New York and Washington on September 11, 2001 – been increasingly portrayed as part of a conflict between the civilized West and Islamic fundamentalists. These seem to have gained a stronger foothold not only in Chechnya but throughout the region. As a result, the geographical scope of the conflict – originally limited to Chechnya – has expanded to include large parts of the North Caucasus. The goal is no longer just an independent Chechnya, but an Islamic state throughout the North Caucasus.

The changed goals may have made it more difficult to find a solution to this conflict. It is no longer just a regional conflict between Chechen separatists and central authorities in Moscow, a conflict that was only about Chechnya’s independence from Moscow. It has also developed into a Chechen civil war and at the same time become part of the global conflict between international Islamist networks and Western and pro-Western states, and attempts at solutions do not go in the direction of negotiation and reconciliation. Rather, it seems that the annihilation of the enemy is the only solution among the parties.



Sharial law: religious laws (parts of which are only oral) that are based on traditional commandments and prohibitions in the Qur’an and on the interpretation and interpretation of these by scribes. Sharia law should be a guide for the individual Muslim. The punitive methods in some areas seem to be very strict – at least seen with modern, western eyes: stoning, whipping, cutting hands …

Muslim main directions

Sunni Islam and Shia Islam are the two major faiths in Islam. Sunni Muslims make up the largest group – about 80-90 percent of all Muslims. Much is the same for the two directions, but they also differ in some contexts:

In recent years, a number of smaller, radical directions within the two main directions have come into focus. Some of them are:

  • Salafists – strong believers and strictly practicing Sunni Muslims who try to live as the first generations of Muslims did, before Islam absorbed foreign elements and became more “diluted”. Some (jihadist-holy war) Salafists want armed struggle against unbelievers or corrupt states.
  • Sufists – followers of Sufism, which is a common term for Islamic mysticism and is used by both Shia and Sunni Muslim groups. A majority of Sunni Muslims consider Sufism to be part of Sunni Islam. Sufists generally place greater emphasis on the inner spiritual aspect of religiosity than on the observance of religious rules.
  • Wahhabites – followers of Wahhabism, a radical Islamic movement within Sunni Islam and movement founded in the 18th century by Mohammed Abd al-Wahhab. State ideology in Saudi Arabia.

The Chechen Conflict 2