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State

Capital

Chechnya*

Grozny

Ichkeria

Currency unit

Russ. Rouble

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Borders

Caucasus

Georgia

Genocide

Lawless

Russia

Tatar

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History

A small Muslim republic in the Caucasus, nominally part of Russia, inhabited by Caucasian speakers. It was conquered by the Tsars and never voluntarily part of Russia. In Soviet times the territory was part of the Republic of Chechen-Ingushetia. In 1944 Stalin deported the people (along with the Ingush) to Kazakhstan where many died. In 1953, the survivors came back but 200,000 had died. Undoubtedly this event affected everything that has followed.

In November 1991 they declared independence, encouraged by Yeltsin's promise to all nationalities of "as much sovereignty as they could handle" . Many Russians believe the area is a center of organized crime. Their leader was former Soviet air force General Dzhokar Dudayev. A horrific war broke out when the Russian army attacked in December 1994 and January 1995. It could lead to general war in the Caucasus, including: Dagestan (numerous nationalities); North Ossetia; Georgia; Armenia. Chechens themselves are related to the Ingush who inhabit a smaller federated Republic on their borders. (It has been suggested that the Chechens are in fact the Mountain people, while the Ingush are the Plains people, of the same linguistic family.) The Ingush have not, so far, tried to declare independence, possibly because their land is far more difficult to defend against Russian invaders.

In late 1999 the Russian army attacked the republic in an attempt to bring the secession to an end. This followed terrorist actions in Moskva, including explosions in apartment blocks (which may or may not have been caused by Chechens). In some ways it looks like an old fashioned colonial war. Many civilians have been killed and there has been huge destruction of towns and cities. It seems likely to be similar to Afghanistan. However, as Russia is an ally against Osama bin Laden, they are allowed to do what they want without international criticism.

After the war against Georgia this attitude may change.

It's over and Putin wonGuardian article

Languages

Caucasian langs.

Chechen

 

Russian

Georgian

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Politics

Military regime after suspect election.

Dudayev believed to have been killed by Russian attack on his base (targetting his mobile phone).

New elections early 1997 produced a government that was thought might negotiate with Russians. But the war broke out again in 1999. The Russian government does not recognise Chechen independence. The European Union does not seem very interested.

2003 presidential elections elected Moskva's man, Ramzan Kadyrov, after the assassination of previous leaders, (whether by agents of Moskva or or by other Chechens is often obscure). Few thought the election was fair or free.

The present ruler has been accused of horrific crimes against his opponents, both in Chechnya and in Russia itself. He owes his power almost entirely to his personal militia.

Interesting reading

Tony Wood - Chechnya the case for independence



Guardian

Review by Nicolas Rea

 History

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Economics

Oil, refineries and main Russian pipeline.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

Green/Ecology

War pollution everywhere.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

Human Rights

Non-existent as all power is arbitrary. Unspeakable horrors - torture, imprisonment without trial by Russians and their local proxy rulers.

Journalists murdered both inside the country and in Russia.

Climate effects

Last revised 6/10/08


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