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© 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc.

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1 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc.

2 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Chechnya is a small Muslim entity within the political borders of Russia (technically the Russian Federation). It lies about a thousand miles south of the Russian capital, Moscow, and just north of the Caucasus Mountains.

3 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Chechens want independence, but Moscow refuses to grant it. In part, the Russian government is afraid of abandoning a troubled borderland full of heavily armed, anti- Russian Islamic militants.

4 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The area that today constitutes Chechnya has been ruled by Russia, or the Soviet Union, since the early 1800s, with only occasional interruptions.

5 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. One such interruption came when the Chechens—exploiting turmoil in the Soviet Union following the 1917 Communist Revolution—declared an independent Islamic state.

6 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. But Chechen independence did not last long. On Soviet leader Joseph Stalin’s orders, Soviet forces invaded Chechen territory, burning down homes and disarming the population.

7 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. In 1944, as World War II neared its end, Stalin committed his greatest crime against the Chechen people: he deported them to Siberia. About a quarter of the 400,000-strong population died on the journey or in exile.

8 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. New Soviet leader Nikita Kruschev allowed the Chechens to go back to Chechnya in But the damage had been done. Most Chechens returned home, harboring an intense hatred for the Soviet Union.

9 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Nevertheless, relations between Chechnya and Moscow remained relatively peaceful until 1989, when the Berlin Wall came down and Communism collapsed throughout Eastern Europe.

10 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The Soviet Union disbanded in 1991, and the Chechens renewed their push for independence. They refused to sign any agreement making Chechnya part of the Russian Federation.

11 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. In December 1994, Russian president Boris Yeltsin ordered troops into Chechnya, officially to restore order but in practice to put down the independence movement.

12 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. After a disastrous start to the campaign, the Russians gained the upper hand.

13 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. But then, in June 1995, Chechen commander Shamil Basayev led a group of volunteers into the Russian town of Budyonnovsk. There, they held hundreds of civilians hostage in a nearby hospital. Dozens were killed.

14 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The raid on Budyonnovsk led to a cease-fire, which Chechen fighters used to rearm. Then, in July 1996, they recaptured the Chechen capital, Grozny, from Russian forces.

15 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Soon after Grozny was lost, Russian national security advisor Alexander Lebed (top left) struck a deal with Chechen commander Aslan Maskhadov (top right). The treaty signed by Maskhadov and Yeltsin (below) gave Chechnya independence in all but name.

16 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. But things fell apart in Chechnya. With Maskhadov as president, lawlessness and Islamic extremism rose to new heights. During the summer of 1999, Islamic militants under the command of Shamil Basayev (pictured left) twice mounted raids into neighboring Dagestan.

17 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Russian president Boris Yeltsin and his prime minister, Vladimir Putin, prepared to send troops back into Chechnya. Popular support for a second war rose sharply during the summer of 1999, when Chechen militants were blamed for bombing apartment buildings in Moscow.

18 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The Russian military went back into Chechnya during the fall of 1999, ostensibly to root out terrorists. Relying extensively on aerial bombing, the Russians operated with very little regard for the lives of Chechen civilians.

19 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. By 2000, much of the Chechen military leadership had been killed, and Grozny lay in ruins.

20 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. A low-intensity war followed, with dozens on both sides dying every month. Human rights reports documenting illegal detentions and executions carried out by Russian troops prompted widespread international condemnation.

21 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. But the 9/11 attacks on the United States recast the Chechen war in terms favorable to Moscow. World leaders now regarded Chechen violence less as a nationalist struggle than as al-Qa‘ida-inspired terrorism.

22 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. A series of spectacular terrorist strikes, reportedly masterminded by Shamil Basayev, bolstered Moscow’s contention that Russian troops were not fighting a war but carrying out a counter-terrorist cleanup operation.

23 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The worst attack occurred on September 1, 2004, when 35 militants answering to Shamil Basayev stormed a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan. A botched rescue attempt left more than 330 people dead.

24 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The carnage extinguished whatever international sympathy there had been for the Chechen cause, effectively giving Moscow a free hand in Chechnya.

25 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. After Beslan, Moscow continued Chechenization, the process of transferring power from the federal government to sympathetic Chechen officials opposed to Chechen independence.

26 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. The most powerful of these officials is Chechen prime minister, Ramzan Kadyrov. He controls the Kadyrovtsi, a brutal counter-terrorist force known for its indiscriminate and vicious violence.

27 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Working with Kadyrov’s forces, Russian forces have assassinated several Chechen leaders, including former president Aslan Maskhadov (2005) and military-commander- turned-terrorist-mastermind Shamil Basayev (2006).

28 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Meanwhile, Islamic militancy—historically not a feature of Chechen religious practice—has steadily risen, as Chechen fighters have increasingly attached their nationalist struggle to the global jihad.

29 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. As a result, Chechen civilians—most of whom still live in appalling conditions— often have to make a tough choice: join one of the radical Islamic militias, or support Kadyrov’s army of thugs.

30 © 2007 ProQuest-CSA LLC. All rights reserved. © 2007 Getty Images, Inc. Meanwhile, Kadyrov presents a tricky problem for Moscow. If he gets too powerful, there is a chance he could turn on his strongest backers, the Russian government, thereby instigating a third war.


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