Chechnya

Chechnya

Overview
The Chechen Republic commonly referred to as Chechnya (ˈ; , Chechnya; , Noxçiyçö), also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria (Land of Minerals|links=yes), is a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (a republic
Republics of Russia
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 federal subjects , 21 of which are republics. The republics represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity. The indigenous ethnic group of a republic that gives it its name is referred to as the "titular nationality"...

). It is located in the southeastern part of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of the republic is the city of Grozny
Grozny
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

. Population:

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

 in 1991, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR
Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
The Chechen–Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, or Chechen–Ingush ASSR ;) was an autonomous republic within the Russian SFSR...

 was split into two: the Republic of Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic.
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Timeline

1994   First Chechen War: Russian President Boris Yeltsin orders Russian troops into Chechnya.

1996   First Chechnya War: Russian President Boris Yeltsin meets with Chechnyan rebels for the first time and negotiates a cease-fire.

2002   Moscow Theatre Siege begins: Chechen terrorists seize the House of Culture theater in Moscow and take approximately 700 theater-goers hostage.

2002   Moscow Theatre Siege: Approximately 50 Chechen terrorists and 150 hostages die when Russian Spetsnaz storm a theater building in Moscow, which had been occupied by the terrorists during a musical performance three days before.

2002   Two truck bombs kill 72 and wound 200 at the pro-Moscow headquarters of the Chechen government in Grozny, Chechnya.

2004   Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov is killed in a land mine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny, Chechnya.

 
Encyclopedia
The Chechen Republic commonly referred to as Chechnya (ˈ; , Chechnya; , Noxçiyçö), also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria (Land of Minerals|links=yes), is a federal subject
Federal subjects of Russia
Russia is a federation which, since March 1, 2008, consists of 83 federal subjects . In 1993, when the Constitution was adopted, there were 89 federal subjects listed...

 of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (a republic
Republics of Russia
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 federal subjects , 21 of which are republics. The republics represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity. The indigenous ethnic group of a republic that gives it its name is referred to as the "titular nationality"...

). It is located in the southeastern part of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital
Capital City
Capital City was a television show produced by Euston Films which focused on the lives of investment bankers in London living and working on the corporate trading floor for the fictional international bank Shane-Longman....

 of the republic is the city of Grozny
Grozny
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

. Population:

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union
Dissolution of the Soviet Union
The dissolution of the Soviet Union was the disintegration of the federal political structures and central government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , resulting in the independence of all fifteen republics of the Soviet Union between March 11, 1990 and December 25, 1991...

 in 1991, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR
Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
The Chechen–Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, or Chechen–Ingush ASSR ;) was an autonomous republic within the Russian SFSR...

 was split into two: the Republic of Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic. The latter proclaimed the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession...

, which sought independence. Following the First Chechen War
First Chechen War
The First Chechen War, also known as the War in Chechnya, was a conflict between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, fought from December 1994 to August 1996...

 with Russia, Chechnya gained de facto independence as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Russian federal control was restored during the Second Chechen War
Second Chechen War
The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus, was launched by the Russian Federation starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade ....

. Since then there has been a systematic reconstruction and rebuilding process, though sporadic fighting continues in the mountains and southern regions of the republic.

In 2006, the former President Alu Alkhanov
Alu Alkhanov
Alu Dadashevich Alkhanov is a Russian politician, the former president of Russia's Chechen Republic.Alkhanov is a career police officer who fought within the ranks of the Russian army during the First Chechen War. He was elected president on August 30, 2004, under controversial circumstances...

 proposed changing the official name of the republic to Noxçiyn (or Nokhchiin) which is a transcription
Transcription (linguistics)
Transcription in the linguistic sense is the systematic representation of language in written form. The source can either be utterances or preexisting text in another writing system, although some linguists only consider the former as transcription.Transcription should not be confused with...

 of the name in the Chechen language
Chechen language
The Chechen language is spoken by more than 1.5 million people, mostly in Chechnya and by Chechen people elsewhere. It is a member of the Northeast Caucasian languages.-Classification:...

.

Prehistory


The oldest settlement found in the region goes back to 125,000 BCE. In these mountain cave settlements, people lived who used tools, mastered fire, and used animal skin for warmth and other purposes. Traces of human settlement that date back to 40,000 BCE were found near Lake Kezanoi. Cave paintings, artifacts and other archaeological evidence indicate that there has been continuous habitation for some 8,000 years.

Early history


In classical times, the northern slopes of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 mountains were inhabited by the Circassians on the west and the Avars
Caucasian Avars
Avars or Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan, in which they are the predominant group. The Caucasian Avar language belongs to the Northeast Caucasian language family ....

 on the east. In between them, the Zygians occupied Zyx
ZYX
was a short-lived Japanese pop group made up of five Hello! Project Kids members led by Mari Yaguchi of Morning Musume. Yaguchi acted as a mentor and the group released two singles. ZYX is important in that it is the first unit that Hello! Project Kids officially joined with the second being Aa!...

, the areas of north Ossetia
Ossetia
Ossetia Ossetic: Ир, Ирыстон Ir, Iryston; Russian: Осетия, Osetiya; Georgian: ოსეთი, Oset'i) is an ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians. The Ossetian language is part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European...

, the Balkar, the Ingush
Ingush
Ingush may refer to:* The Ingush language* The Ingush people, an ethnic group of the North Caucasus...

 and the Chechen republics today. Chechnya is a region in the Northern Caucasus which has been in almost constant battle against foreign rule since the 15th century. Eventually the Chechens converted to Sunni Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, largely encouraged by the motive of receiving help from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 against Russian encroachment. The Russian Terek Cossack Host
Terek Cossack Host
The Terek Cossack Host was a Cossack host created in 1577 from free Cossacks who resettled from the Volga to the Terek River. In 1792 it was included in the Caucasus Line Cossack Host and separated from it again in 1860, with the capital of Vladikavkaz...

 was secretly established in Chechnya in 1577 by free Cossacks resettled from the Volga to the Terek River.

Caucasian Wars


In 1783, Russia and the eastern Georgian kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti
Kartl-Kakheti
The Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti was created in 1762 by the unification of two eastern Georgian kingdoms, which had existed independently since the disintegration of the united Georgian Kingdom in the 15th century....

 (which was devastated by Turkish and Persian invasions) signed the Treaty of Georgievsk
Treaty of Georgievsk
The Treaty of Georgievsk was a bilateral treaty concluded between the Russian Empire and the east Georgian kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti on July 24, 1783. The treaty established Georgia as a protectorate of Russia, which guaranteed Georgia's territorial integrity and the continuation of its reigning...

, according to which Kartl-Kakheti received protection from Russia. In order to secure communications with Georgia and other regions of the Transcaucasia, the Russian Empire began spreading its influence into the Caucasus mountains. The current resistance to Russian rule has its roots in the late 18th century (1785–1791), a period when Russia expanded into territories formerly under the dominion of Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and Persia (see also the Russo-Turkish Wars and Russo-Persian War (1804–1813)), under Mansur Ushurma—a Chechen Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi
Naqshbandi is one of the major Sufi spiritual orders of Sufi Islam. It is considered to be a "Potent" order.The Naqshbandi order is over 1,300 years old, and is active today...

 (Sufi) Sheikh—with wavering support from other North Caucasian tribes. Mansur hoped to establish a Transcaucasus Islamic state under shari'a law, but was unable to fully achieve this because in the course of the war he was wounded and captured, and for unknown reasons, died. Its banner was again picked up by the Avar
Caucasian Avars
Avars or Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan, in which they are the predominant group. The Caucasian Avar language belongs to the Northeast Caucasian language family ....

 Imam Shamil
Imam Shamil
Imam Shamil also spelled Shamyl, Schamil, Schamyl or Shameel was an Avar political and religious leader of the Muslim tribes of the Northern Caucasus...

, who fought against the Russians from 1834 until 1859.

Soviet rule


Chechen rebellion would characteristically flare up whenever the Russian state faced a period of internal uncertainty. Rebellions occurred during the Russo-Turkish War
Russo-Turkish War, 1877–1878
The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 was a conflict between the Ottoman Empire and the Eastern Orthodox coalition led by the Russian Empire and composed of numerous Balkan...

, the Russian Revolution of 1905
Russian Revolution of 1905
The 1905 Russian Revolution was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies...

, the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

, the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 (see Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus
Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus
The Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus was a short-lived state situated in the Northern Caucasus...

), and Collectivization. Under Soviet rule, Chechnya was combined with Ingushetia
Ingushetia
The Republic of Ingushetia is a federal subject of Russia , located in the North Caucasus region with its capital at Magas. In terms of area, the republic is the smallest of Russia's federal subjects except for the two federal cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg...

 to form the autonomous republic of Chechen-Ingushetia
Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
The Chechen–Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, or Chechen–Ingush ASSR ;) was an autonomous republic within the Russian SFSR...

 in the late 1930s.

The Chechens again rose up against Soviet rule during the 1940s, resulting in the deportation
Population transfer in the Soviet Union
Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers," deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite...

 of the entire ethnic Chechen and Ingush populations
Operation Lentil (Caucasus)
Operation Lentil was the Soviet expulsion of the whole of the native Chechen and Ingush populations of the North Caucasus to Siberia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan during World War II....

 to the Kazakh SSR (later Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

) and Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 in 1944 near the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 and others argued this was punishment to the Chechens for providing assistance to the German forces. Although the German front never made it to the border of Chechnya, an active guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 movement threatened to undermine the Soviet defenses of the Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

 (noted writer Valentin Pikul
Valentin Pikul
Valentin Savvich Pikul was a popular and prolific Soviet historical novelist of Ukrainian-Russian heritage. He lived and worked in Riga....

 claims that while the city of Grozny was preparing for a siege in 1942, all of the air bombers stationed on the Caucasian front had to be re-directed towards quelling the Chechen insurrection instead of fighting Germans at the siege of Stalingrad
Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in southwestern Russia. The battle took place between 23 August 1942 and 2 February 1943...

). Chechen-Ingushetia was abolished and the Chechens were allowed to return to their "own ethnic land" after 1956 during de-Stalinization
De-Stalinization
De-Stalinization refers to the process of eliminating the cult of personality, Stalinist political system and the Gulag labour-camp system created by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. Stalin was succeeded by a collective leadership after his death in March 1953...

 under Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

.

The Russification
Russification
Russification is an adoption of the Russian language or some other Russian attributes by non-Russian communities...

 policies towards Chechens continued after 1956, with Russian language
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

 proficiency required in many aspects of life and for advancement in the Soviet system.

Recent events


On November 26, 1990 the Supreme Council of Chechen-Ingush ASSR adopted the "Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Chechen-Ingush Republic". This declaration was part of the reorganization of the Soviet Union. This new treaty would have been signed August 22, 1991 which would have transformed 15 republic states into more than 80. The August Coup (August 19-21, 1991) led to the abandonment of this reorganization.
With the impending dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, an independence movement, initially known as the Chechen National Congress, was formed and led by ex-Soviet Air Force
Soviet Air Force
The Soviet Air Force, officially known in Russian as Военно-воздушные силы or Voenno-Vozdushnye Sily and often abbreviated VVS was the official designation of one of the air forces of the Soviet Union. The other was the Soviet Air Defence Forces...

 general and new Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev that rallied for the recognition of Chechnya as a separate nation. This movement was ultimately opposed by Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

's Russian Federation
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, which first argued that Chechnya had not been an independent entity within the Soviet Union—as the Baltic, Central Asian, and other Caucasian States had—but was part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 and hence did not have a right under the Soviet constitution to secede; second, that other republics of Russia
Republics of Russia
The Russian Federation is divided into 83 federal subjects , 21 of which are republics. The republics represent areas of non-Russian ethnicity. The indigenous ethnic group of a republic that gives it its name is referred to as the "titular nationality"...

, such as Tatarstan
Tatarstan
The Republic of Tatarstan is a federal subject of Russia located in the Volga Federal District. Its capital is the city of Kazan, which is one of Russia's largest and most prosperous cities. The republic borders with Kirov, Ulyanovsk, Samara, and Orenburg Oblasts, and with the Mari El, Udmurt,...

, would consider seceding from the Russian Federation if Chechnya were granted that right; and third, that Chechnya was a major hub in the oil infrastructure of the Federation and hence its secession would hurt the country's economy and energy access.

In the ensuing decade, the territory was locked in an ongoing struggle between various factions, usually fighting unconventionally and forgoing the position held by the several successive Russian governments through the current administration. Various demographic factors including religious ones have continued to keep the area in a near constant state of war.

First Chechen War


The First Chechen War occurred in a two year period lasting from 1994 to 1996, when Russian forces attempted to regain control over Chechnya, which had already established independence since November 1991 (generally falling in line with other entities seceding from the USSR, except that Checheno-Ingushetia had previously been a division within Russia). Despite overwhelming manpower, weaponry and air support
Air Support
Air Support is a 1992 computer game for the Amiga and Atari ST. It is a top-down strategy game, with a first-person mode available for special missions. The game takes place during a retrofuturistic 21st century where all wars are fought in virtual reality. The game was given mostly positive...

, the Russian forces were unable to establish effective permanent control over the mountainous area due to many successful Chechen
Chechen people
Chechens constitute the largest native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus region. They refer to themselves as Noxçi . Also known as Sadiks , Gargareans, Malkhs...

 guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 raids. The Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis
Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis
The Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis took place from 14 June to 19 June 1995, when a group of 80 to 200 Chechen terrorists led by Shamil Basayev attacked the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk , some north of the border with the Russian republic of Chechnya...

 in 1995 shocked the Russian public and discredited Chechen guerrillas. Widespread demoralization
Morale
Morale, also known as esprit de corps when discussing the morale of a group, is an intangible term used to describe the capacity of people to maintain belief in an institution or a goal, or even in oneself and others...

 of the Russian forces in the area and a successful offensive on Grozny by Chechen resistance forces led by Aslan Maskhadov
Aslan Maskhadov
Aslan Aliyevich Maskhadov was a leader of the Chechen separatist movement and the third President of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.He was credited by many with the Chechen victory in the First Chechen War, which allowed for the...

 prompted Russian President Boris Yeltsin
Boris Yeltsin
Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin was the first President of the Russian Federation, serving from 1991 to 1999.Originally a supporter of Mikhail Gorbachev, Yeltsin emerged under the perestroika reforms as one of Gorbachev's most powerful political opponents. On 29 May 1990 he was elected the chairman of...

 to declare a ceasefire in 1996 and sign a peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 a year later.

Inter-war period


After the war, parliamentary and presidential elections took place in January 1997 in Chechnya and brought to power new President Aslan Maskhadov, chief of staff and prime minister in the Chechen coalition government, for a five-year term. Maskhadov sought to maintain Chechen sovereignty while pressing Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 to help rebuild the republic, whose formal economy and infrastructure were virtually destroyed. Russia continued to send money for the rehabilitation of the republic; it also provided pensions and funds for schools and hospitals. Most of these funds were taken by Chechen authorities and divided between favoured warlords. Nearly half a million people (40% of Chechnya's prewar population) had been internally displaced and lived in refugee camps or overcrowded villages. There was an economic downturn. Two Russian brigades were permanently stationed in Chechnya.

In lieu of the devastated economic structure, kidnapping emerged as the principal source of income countrywide, procuring over $200 million during the three year independence of the chaotic fledgling state, although victims were rarely killed. In 1998, 176 people were kidnapped, 90 of whom were released, according to official accounts. President Maskhadov started a major campaign against hostage-takers, and on October 25, 1998, Shadid Bargishev, Chechnya's top anti-kidnapping official, was killed in a remote-controlled car bombing. Bargishev's colleagues then insisted they would not be intimidated by the attack and would go ahead with their offensive. Political violence and religious extremism, blamed on "Wahhabism
Wahhabism
Wahhabism is a religious movement or a branch of Islam. It was developed by an 18th century Muslim theologian from Najd, Saudi Arabia. Ibn Abdul Al-Wahhab advocated purging Islam of what he considered to be impurities and innovations...

", was rife. In 1998, Grozny authorities declared a state of emergency
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

. Tensions led to open clashes between the Chechen National Guard and Islamist militants, such as the July 1998 confrontation in Gudermes.

Second Chechen War


In August 1999, the Islamic International Brigade
Islamic International Brigade
The Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade was the name of an international unit of Islamist mujahideen founded in 1998....

 (IIPB) began an unsuccessful incursion into the neighbouring Russian republic of Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

 in favor of the Shura of Dagestan who sought independence from Russia. (see Dagestan War
Dagestan War
The invasion of Dagestan, also known as the War in Dagestan and Dagestan War, began on August 7, 1999, when the Chechnya-based Islamic International Brigade , an Islamist militia led by warlords Shamil Basayev and Ibn al-Khattab, invaded the neighbouring Russian republic of Dagestan in support of...

). In September, a series of apartment bombings
Russian apartment bombings
The Russian apartment bombings were a series of explosions that hit four apartment blocks in the Russian cities of Buynaksk, Moscow, and Volgodonsk in September 1999, killing 293 people and injuring 651. The explosions occurred in Buynaksk on 4 September, Moscow on 9 and 13 September, and...

 that killed three hundred Russian civilians took place in several Russian cities, including Moscow, which were blamed on the Chechen
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession...

 separatists. However, many journalists as well as a famous Russian dissident Litvinenko
Alexander Litvinenko
Alexander Valterovich Litvinenko was an officer who served in the Soviet KGB and its Russian successor, the Federal Security Service ....

, later poisoned through the use of a highly radioactive material in London, point a finger at the Russian Secret Service for blowing up the houses to initiate a new military campaign against Chechnya. A famous Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya
Anna Politkovskaya
Anna Stepanovna Politkovskaya was a Russian journalist, author, and human rights activist known for her opposition to the Chechen conflict and then-President of Russia Vladimir Putin...

 and Head of the Defense Council of Russian Duma (Parliament) were also killed after making similar claims. In response, after a prolonged air campaign of retaliatory strikes against the Ichkerian regime, a ground offensive began in October 1999 which marked the beginning of the Second Chechen War. Much better organized and planned than the first Chechen War, the military actions by the Russian Federal forces enabled them to re-establish control over most regions. The Russian forces used brutal force, killing sixty Chechen civilians during a mop-up operation in Aldy, Chechnya on February 5, 2000. After the re-capture of Grozny
Grozny
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

 in February 2000, the Ichkerian regime fell apart. However, Chechen rebel forces continued to conduct terrorist attacks, seizing a theater in Moscow
Moscow theater hostage crisis
The Moscow theater hostage crisis, also known as the 2002 Nord-Ost siege, was the seizure of the crowded Dubrovka Theater on 23 October 2002 by some 40 to 50 armed Chechens who claimed allegiance to the Islamist militant separatist movement in Chechnya. They took 850 hostages and demanded the...

 in October 2002. Russian forces refused to negotiate and gassed the entire building, killing one hundred thirty of the nine hundred Russian hostages as well as all of the terrorists. Russia has severely disabled the Chechen rebel movement, although violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus
North Caucasus
The North Caucasus is the northern part of the Caucasus region between the Black and Caspian Seas and within European Russia. The term is also used as a synonym for the North Caucasus economic region of Russia....

. Russia was also successful in installing a pro-Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 Chechen regime, and the most prominent separatist leaders were killed, including former president Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev
Shamil Salmanovich Basayev was a Chechen militant Islamist and a leader of the Chechen rebel movement.Starting as a field commander in the Transcaucasus, Basayev led guerrilla campaigns against the Russian troops for years, as well as launching mass-hostage takings of civilians, with his goal...

. In April 2009, Russia ended its counter-terrorism operation and pulled out the bulk of its army. Three months later, leader of the separatist government, Akhmed Zakayev, called for a halt to armed resistance against the Chechen police force starting on August 1, 2009.

Geography


Situated in the eastern part of the North Caucasus
North Caucasus
The North Caucasus is the northern part of the Caucasus region between the Black and Caspian Seas and within European Russia. The term is also used as a synonym for the North Caucasus economic region of Russia....

, partially in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

, Chechnya is surrounded on nearly all sides by Russian Federal territory. In the west, it borders North Ossetia
Ossetia
Ossetia Ossetic: Ир, Ирыстон Ir, Iryston; Russian: Осетия, Osetiya; Georgian: ოსეთი, Oset'i) is an ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians. The Ossetian language is part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European...

 and Ingushetia
Ingushetia
The Republic of Ingushetia is a federal subject of Russia , located in the North Caucasus region with its capital at Magas. In terms of area, the republic is the smallest of Russia's federal subjects except for the two federal cities, Moscow and Saint Petersburg...

, in the north, Stavropol Krai
Stavropol Krai
Stavropol Krai is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Stavropol. Population: -Geography:Stavropol Krai encompasses the central part of the Fore-Caucasus and most of the northern slopes of Caucasus Major...

, in the east, Dagestan
Dagestan
The Republic of Dagestan is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region. Its capital and the largest city is Makhachkala, located at the center of Dagestan on the Caspian Sea...

, and to the south, Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

. Its capital is Grozny.
  • Area: 15300 kilometres (9,507 mi)
  • Borders:
    • Internal:
      • Republic of Dagestan (NE)
      • Republic of Ingushetia (W)
      • Republic of North Ossetia-Alania (W)
      • Stavropol Krai
        Stavropol Krai
        Stavropol Krai is a federal subject of Russia . Its administrative center is the city of Stavropol. Population: -Geography:Stavropol Krai encompasses the central part of the Fore-Caucasus and most of the northern slopes of Caucasus Major...

         (NW)
    • Foreign:
      • Georgia
        Georgia (country)
        Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

         (S)


Rivers:
  • Terek
  • Sunzha
    Sunzha River
    The Sunzha is a river in North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya, Russia, a right tributary of Terek River. It is 278 km long. The Sunzha rises on the Northern slope of the Caucasus Major. Its major tributaries are the Assa River and Argun River. With a turbidity of 3,800 g/m³, it carries 12,2...

  • Argun
    Argun River (Caucasus)
    The Argun River flows through the northern Caucasus, Georgia, and the Chechen Republic of Russia. It is an affluent of the Sunzha and lies within the river basin of the Terek...


Cities and towns with over 20,000 people

  • Grozny
    Grozny
    Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596; up from 210,720 recorded in the 2002 Census. but still only about two-thirds of 399,688 recorded in the 1989...

     (capital)
  • Shali
  • Urus-Martan
    Urus-Martan
    Urus-Martan is a town and the administrative center of Urus-Martanovsky District of the Chechen Republic, Russia, located on the Martan River. The town is located in the central part of the republic, to the southwest of the capital Grozny. Population:...

  • Gudermes
    Gudermes
    Gudermes is a town in the Chechen Republic, Russia, located on the Sunzha River east of Grozny. Population: 32,000 .Gudermes had a rural locality status until 1941. Later, it became a railroad junction between Rostov-on-Don, Baku, Astrakhan, and Mozdok. Gudermes is home for oil extraction...

  • Argun

Politics


Since 1990, the Chechen Republic has had many legal, military, and civil conflicts involving separatist movements and pro-Russian authorities. Today, Chechnya is a relatively stable federal republic
Federal republic
A federal republic is a federation of states with a republican form of government. A federation is the central government. The states in a federation also maintain the federation...

, although there is still some separatist movement activity. Its regional constitution entered into effect on April 2, 2003 after an all-Chechen referendum was held on March 23, 2003. The independent observers alleged that the officially reported voter turnout seemed to be much higher than the reality. Some Chechens were controlled by regional teip
Teip
Teip is a Chechen and Ingush tribal organization or clan, self-identified through descent from a common ancestor and geographic location. There are about 130-233 teips...

s, or clans, despite the existence of pro- and anti-Russian political structures.

Regional government


The former separatist religious leader (mufti) Akhmad Kadyrov
Akhmad Kadyrov
Hajji Akhmad Abdulkhamidovich Kadyrov , also spelled Akhmat, was the Chief Mufti of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in the 1990s during and after the First Chechen War...

, looked upon as a traitor by many separatists, was elected president with 83% of the vote in an internationally monitored election on October 5, 2003. Incidents of ballot stuffing
Ballot stuffing
Ballot stuffing is the illegal act of one person submitting multiple ballots during a vote in which only one ballot per person is permitted. The name originates from the earliest days of this practice in which people literally did stuff more than one ballot in a ballot box at the same time...

 and voter intimidation by Russian soldiers and the exclusion of separatist parties from the polls were subsequently reported by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe is the world's largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. Its mandate includes issues such as arms control, human rights, freedom of the press and fair elections...

 (OSCE) monitors. On May 9, 2004, Kadyrov was assassinated in Grozny football stadium by a landmine
Land mine
A land mine is usually a weight-triggered explosive device which is intended to damage a target—either human or inanimate—by means of a blast and/or fragment impact....

 explosion that was planted beneath a VIP stage and detonated during a parade, and Sergey Abramov was appointed to the position of acting prime minister after the incident. However, since 2005 Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov is the President of Chechnya and a former Chechen rebel.Ramzan is a son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, assassinated in May 2004. In February 2007 Kadyrov replaced Alu Alkhanov as President, shortly after he had turned 30, which is the minimum age for the post...

 (son of Akhmad Kadyrov) has been caretaker prime minister, and in 2007 was appointed a new president. Many allege he is the wealthiest and most powerful man in the republic, with control over a large private militia referred to as the Kadyrovtsy
Kadyrovtsy
Kadyrovtsy also Kadyrovites, is a term used by the population of Chechnya, as well as members of the groups themselves, for former members of the paramilitary units of the former pro-Moscow President of the Chechen Republic Akhmad Kadyrov, headed by his son and the current President Ramzan...

. The militia, which began as his father's security force, has been accused of killings and kidnappings by human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

.

In 2009, the American organization Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

 included Chechnya in the "Worst of the Worst" list of most repressive societies in the world, together with Burma, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

's Tibet
Tibet Autonomous Region
The Tibet Autonomous Region , Tibet or Xizang for short, also called the Xizang Autonomous Region is a province-level autonomous region of the People's Republic of China , created in 1965....

 and others.

Separatist government


In addition to the Russian regional government, there was a separatist Ichkeria government that was not recognized by any state (although members have been given political asylum in European and Arab countries, as well as the United States).

Ichkeria is/was a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization , formed in 11 February 1991, in The Hague, is an international organization of political organisations and governments representing self-proclaimed "indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognised or occupied territories". The organization...

. Former president of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Zviad Gamsakhurdia
Zviad Gamsakhurdia was a dissident, scientist and writer, who became the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era...

, deposed in a military coup of 1991 and a participant of the Georgian Civil War
Georgian Civil War
The Georgian Civil War consisted of inter-ethnic and intranational conflicts in the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia , as well as the violent military coup d'etat of December 21, 1991 - January 6, 1992 against the first democratically elected President of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia and his...

, recognised the independence of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in 1993. This recognition is no longer in effect. Diplomatic relations with Ichkeria were also established by the partially recognized Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was founded in 1996 when the Taliban began their rule of Afghanistan and ended with their fall from power in 2001...

 under the Taliban government on January 16, 2000. This recognition ceased with the fall of the Taliban in 2001. However, despite Taliban recognition, there were no friendly relations between the Taliban and Ichkeria- Maskhadov rejected their recognition, stating that the Taliban were illegitimate. Ichkeria also received vocal support from the Baltic countries, a group of Ukrainian nationalists and Poland; Estonia once voted to recognize, but the act never was followed through due to pressure applied by both Russia and the EU.

The president of this government was Aslan Maskhadov, the Foreign Minister was Ilyas Akhmadov
Ilyas Akhmadov
Ilyas Khamzatovich Akhmadov served as the foreign minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. He currently resides in the United States, where he was granted political asylum.-Biography:...

, who was the spokesman for Maskhadov. Aslan Maskhadov had been elected in an internationally monitored election in 1997 for 4 years, which took place after signing a peace agreement with Russia. In 2001 he issued a decree prolonging his office for one additional year; he was unable to participate in the 2003 presidential election, since separatist parties were barred by the Russian government, and Maskhadov faced accusations of terrorist offences in Russia. Maskhadov left Grozny and moved to the separatist-controlled areas of the south at the onset of the Second Chechen War
Second Chechen War
The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus, was launched by the Russian Federation starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade ....

. Maskhadov was unable to influence a number of warlords who retain effective control over Chechen territory, and his power was diminished as a result. Russian forces killed Maskhadov on March 8, 2005, and the assassination of Maskhadov was widely criticized since it left no legitimate Chechen separatist leader to conduct peace talks with. Akhmed Zakayev
Akhmed Zakayev
Akhmed Khalidovich Zakayev is the former Deputy Prime Minister and the current Prime Minister of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria , which is unrecognised by other countries...

, Deputy Prime Minister and a Foreign Minister under Maskhadov, was appointed shortly after the 1997 election and is currently living under asylum in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. He and others chose Abdul Khalim Saidullayev, a relatively unknown Islamic judge who was previously the host of an Islamic program on Chechen television, to replace Maskhadov following his death. On June 17, 2006, it was reported that Russian special forces killed Abdul Khalim Saidullayev in a raid in a Chechen town Argun. The successor of Saidullayev became Doku Umarov
Doku Umarov
Doku Khamatovich Umarov is a major Chechen Islamist rebel militant in Russia. He is responsible for numerous terror attacks on civilians, earning himself the nickname "Russia's Osama Bin Laden"....

. On October 31, 2007 Umarov abolished the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession...

 and its presidency and in its place proclaimed the Caucasian Emirate with himself as its Emir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

. This change of status has been rejected by many Chechen politicians and military leaders who continue to support the existence of the republic.

Human rights


In 2006 Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 reported that pro-Moscow Chechen forces under the command, in effect, of President Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov is the President of Chechnya and a former Chechen rebel.Ramzan is a son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, assassinated in May 2004. In February 2007 Kadyrov replaced Alu Alkhanov as President, shortly after he had turned 30, which is the minimum age for the post...

, as well as federal police personnel, used torture to get information about separatist forces. "If you are detained in Chechnya, you face a real and immediate risk of torture. And there is little chance that your torturer will be held accountable," said Holly Cartner, Director Europe and Central Asia division of HRW.

Human rights groups criticized the conduct of the 2005 parliamentary elections as unfairly influenced by the central Russian government and military.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre reports that after hundreds of thousands fled their homes following inter-ethnic and separatist conflicts in Chechnya in 1994 and 1999, more than 150,000 people still remain displaced in Russia today.

On 1 September 1997, Criminal Code reportedly being implemented in the Chechen Republic-Ichkeriya, Article 148 punishes "anal sexual intercourse between a man and a woman or a man and a man"). For first- and second-time offenders, the punishment is caning. A third conviction leads to the death penalty, which can be carried out in a number of ways including stoning or beheading.

On February 1, 2009, the New York Times released extensive evidence to support allegations of consistent torture and executions under the Kadyrov government. The accusations were sparked by the assassination in Austria of a former Chechen rebel who had gained access to Kadyrov's inner circle, 27-year old Umar Israilov.

On July 1, 2009, Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

 released a detailed report covering the human rights violations committed by the Russian Federation against Chechnyan citizens. Among the most prominent features was that those abused had no method of redress against assaults, ranging from kidnapping to torture, while those responsible were never held accountable. This led to the conclusion that Chechnya was being ruled without law, being run into further devastating destabilization.

On March 10, 2011, Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch
Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

 reported that since Chechenization, the government has pushed for enforced Islamic dress code and other traditions which violently repress women. The president Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov is the President of Chechnya and a former Chechen rebel.Ramzan is a son of former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, assassinated in May 2004. In February 2007 Kadyrov replaced Alu Alkhanov as President, shortly after he had turned 30, which is the minimum age for the post...

 is quoted as saying "I have the right to criticize my wife. She doesn’t [have the right to criticize me]. With us [in Chechen society], a wife is a housewife. A woman should know her place. A woman should give her love to us [men]... She would be [man’s] property. And the man is the owner. Here, if a woman does not behave properly, her husband, father, and brother are responsible. According to our tradition, if a woman fools around, her family members kill her... That’s how it happens, a brother kills his sister or a husband kills his wife... As a president, I cannot allow for them to kill. So, let women not wear shorts...". He has also openly defended honour killings on several occasions. All this is occurring despite being illegal under Russian law and international laws.

Demographics


According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the population of the republic is 1,269,095, up from 1,103,686 recorded in the 2002 Census
Russian Census (2002)
Russian Census of 2002 was the first census of the Russian Federation carried out on October 9 through October 16, 2002. It was carried out by the Russian Federal Service of State Statistics .-Resident population:...

. As of the 2002 Census, Chechens
Chechen people
Chechens constitute the largest native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus region. They refer to themselves as Noxçi . Also known as Sadiks , Gargareans, Malkhs...

 at 1,031,647 make up 93.5% of the republic's population. Other groups include Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 (40,645, or 3.7%), Kumyks
Kumyks
Kumyks are a Turkic people occupying the Kumyk plateau in north Dagestan and south Terek, and the lands bordering the Caspian Sea. They comprise 14% of the population of the Russian republic of Dagestan. They speak the Kumyk language...

 (8,883, or 0.8%), Ingush
Ingush
Ingush may refer to:* The Ingush language* The Ingush people, an ethnic group of the North Caucasus...

 (2,914 or 0.3%) and a host of smaller groups, each accounting for less than 0.5% of the total population. Birth rate was 25.41 in 2004. (25.7 in Achkhoi Martan, 19.8 in Groznyy, 17.5 in Kurchaloi, 28.3 in Urus Martan and 11.1 in Vedeno). According to the Chechen State Statistical Committee, Chechnya's population had grown to 1.205 million in January 2006.

At the end of the Soviet era, ethnic Russians (including Cossacks) comprised about 23% of the population (269,000 in 1989).

According to some Russian sources, from 1991 to 1994 tens of thousands of people of non-Chechen ethnicity (mostly Russians, Ukrainians and Armenians) left the republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 amidst reports of violence and discrimination against the non-Chechen population, as well widespread lawlessness and ethnic cleansing under the government of Dzhokhar Dudayev, which is called by there source "ethnic cleansing".

However, regarding this exodus, there is an alternative view. According to the Russian economists Boris Lvin and Andrei Iliaronov,


The Chechen authorities are regularly accused of crimes against the population, especially the Russian-speaking people. However, before the current war the emigration of the Russian-speaking population from Chechnya was no more intense than that from Kalmykia, Tuva and Sakha-Yakutia. In Grozny itself there remained a 200,000 strong Russian-speaking population which did not hasten to leave it.


The languages used in the Republic are Chechen
Chechen language
The Chechen language is spoken by more than 1.5 million people, mostly in Chechnya and by Chechen people elsewhere. It is a member of the Northeast Caucasian languages.-Classification:...

 and Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

. Chechen belongs to the Vaynakh or North-central Caucasian language family, which also includes Ingush
Ingush language
Ingush is a language spoken by about 413,000 people , known as the Ingush, across a region covering Ingushetia, Chechnya, Kazakhstan and Russia. In Ingush, the language is called ГІалгІай Ğalğaj .-Classification:...

 and Batsb. Some scholars place it in a wider Iberian-Caucasian super-family.

Chechnya has one of the youngest populations in the generally ageing Russian Federation; in the early 1990s, it was among the few regions experiencing natural population growth. Since 2002, Chechnya has experienced a classic post-conflict baby-boom. Chechen demographers in 2008 termed highly implausible the reported overall population growth as infant mortality in Chechnya was said to be 60 percent higher than the Russian average in 2007 and to have risen by 3.9 percent compared with 2006. Many experts have expressed doubts about the increase from 1.1 million in the 1990 to an estimated nearly 1.3 million in 2010 following two devastating wars that displaced hundreds of thousands people and virtually eliminated the large ethnic Russian minority in the republic. According to Russian demographer Dmitry Bogoyavlensky, the 2002 census results were clearly manipulated in the North Caucasus: an estimated 800,000 to 1 million non-existent people were added to the actual population of the region. Another Russian demographer, Anatoly Vishnevsky, pointed out that according to the 2002 census, some age groups, like those born in 1950, appeared to be larger in 2002 than in 1989. With the 2002 census, Moscow wanted to show there were not too many casualties and that the refugees had returned to Chechnya, while the local authorities wanted to receive more funds and thus needed a higher population to justify their demands. Also, in the multiethnic republics of North Caucasus normally unlike in other parts of Russia, government positions are distributed among the ethnicities according to their ratio in the general population. So ethnicities are zealously guarding their numbers in order not to be outnumbered by others and thereby left with less representation in the government and the local economy. Some 40 percent of newborns had some kind of genetic defect.
  • Population: 1,103,686 (2002) (numbers are disputed);
    • Urban: 373,177 (33.8%)
    • Rural: 730,509 (66.2%)
    • Male: 532,724 (48.3%)
    • Female: 570,962 (51.7%)
  • Average age: 22.7 years
    • Urban: 22.8 years
    • Rural: 22.7 years
    • Male: 21.6 years
    • Female: 23.9 years
  • Number of households: 195,304 (with 1,069,600 people)
    • Urban: 65,741 (with 365,577 people)
    • Rural: 129,563 (with 704,023 people)
  • Vital statistics
Source: Russian Federal State Statistics Service

Births Deaths Birth rate Death rate
2003 27,774 7,194 24.9 6.5
2004 28,496 6,347 25.2 5.6
2005 28,652 5,857 24.9 5.1
2006 27,989 5,889 23.9 5.0
2007 32,449 5,630 27.1 4.7
2008 35,897 5,447 29.3 4.5

  • Ethnic groups (in the territory of modern Chechnya)

1926 census 1939 census 1989 census 2002 census
Chechens
Chechen people
Chechens constitute the largest native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus region. They refer to themselves as Noxçi . Also known as Sadiks , Gargareans, Malkhs...

293,298 (67.3%) 360,889 (58.0%) 715,306 (66.0%) 1,031,647 (93.5%)
Russians
Russians
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

103,271 (23.7%) 213,354 (34.3%) 269,130 (24.8%) 40,645 (3.7%)
Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

11,474 (2.6%) 8,614 (1.4%) 11,884 (1.1%) 829 (0.1%)
Ingushes
Ingush people
The Ingush are a native ethnic group of the North Caucasus, mostly inhabiting the Russian republic of Ingushetia. They refer to themselves as Ghalghai . The Ingush are predominantly Sunni Muslims and speak the Ingush language...

798 (0.2%) 4,338 (0.7%) 25,136 (2.3%) 2,914 (0.3%)
Avars
Caucasian Avars
Avars or Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan, in which they are the predominant group. The Caucasian Avar language belongs to the Northeast Caucasian language family ....

830 (0.2%) 2,906 (0.5%) 6,035 (0.6%) 4,133 (0.4%)
Kumyks
Kumyks
Kumyks are a Turkic people occupying the Kumyk plateau in north Dagestan and south Terek, and the lands bordering the Caspian Sea. They comprise 14% of the population of the Russian republic of Dagestan. They speak the Kumyk language...

2,217 (0.5%) 3,575 (0,6%) 9,591 (0.9%) 8,883 (0.8%)
Nogays 162 (0.1%) 1,302 (0.2%) 6,885 (0.6%) 3,572 (0.3%)
Armenians
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

5,978 (1.4%) 8,396 (1.3%) 14,666 (1.4%) 424 (0.1%)
Others 18,042 (4.1%) 18,646 (3.0%) 25,800 (2.4%) 10,639 (1.0%)

Religion


Islam is the traditional Religion in Chechnya. 94% of the Chechens are Sunni Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, the country having converted to Islam between the 16th and the 19th centuries. Most of the population follows either the Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

, Hanafi
Hanafi
The Hanafi school is one of the four Madhhab in jurisprudence within Sunni Islam. The Hanafi madhhab is named after the Persian scholar Abu Hanifa an-Nu‘man ibn Thābit , a Tabi‘i whose legal views were preserved primarily by his two most important disciples, Abu Yusuf and Muhammad al-Shaybani...

, or Maliki
Maliki
The ' madhhab is one of the schools of Fiqh or religious law within Sunni Islam. It is the second-largest of the four schools, followed by approximately 25% of Muslims, mostly in North Africa, West Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and in some parts of Saudi Arabia...

schools of jurisprudence, fiqh
Fiqh
Fiqh is Islamic jurisprudence. Fiqh is an expansion of the code of conduct expounded in the Quran, often supplemented by tradition and implemented by the rulings and interpretations of Islamic jurists....

. The Shafi'i school of jurisprudence has a long tradition among the Chechens, and thus it remains the most practiced.

The once-strong Russian minority in Chechnya, mostly Terek Cossacks, are predominately Russian Orthodox, although presently only one church exists in Grozny. The Armenian
Armenians
Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

 community, which used to number around 15,000 in Grozny alone, has dwindled to a few families.

Economy


During the war, the Chechen economy fell apart. Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

, if reliably calculable, would be only a fraction of the prewar level. Problems with the Chechen economy had an effect on the federal Russian economy—a number of financial crimes during the 1990s were committed using Chechen financial organizations. Chechnya has the highest ratio within Russian Federation of financial operations made in U.S. dollar
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

 to operations in Russian ruble
Russian ruble
The ruble or rouble is the currency of the Russian Federation and the two partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Formerly, the ruble was also the currency of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union prior to their breakups. Belarus and Transnistria also use currencies with...

s. There are many counterfeit
Counterfeit
To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

 U.S. dollars printed there. In 1994, the separatists planned to introduce a new currency, but that did not happen due to Russian troops re-taking Chechnya in the Second Chechen War
Second Chechen War
The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus, was launched by the Russian Federation starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade ....

. As an effect of the war, approximately 80% of the economic potential of Chechnya was destroyed. Much of the money spent by the Russian federal government to rebuild Chechnya has been wasted. According to the Russian government, over $2 billion was spent on the reconstruction of the Chechen economy since 2000. However, according to the Russian central economic control agency (Schyotnaya Palata), not more than $350 million was spent as intended. The economic situation in Chechnya has improved considerably since 2000. According to the New York Times, major efforts to rebuild Grozny have been made, and improvements in the political situation have led some officials to consider setting up a tourism industry, though there are claims that construction workers are being irregularly paid and that poor people have been displaced. See the main article Grozny.

Further reading

  • Khassan Baiev. The Oath: A Surgeon Under Fire. ISBN 0-8027-1404-8
  • Vyacheslav Mironov. Ya byl na etoy voyne. (I was in this war) Biblion – Russkaya Kniga, 2001. Partial translation available online
  • Vyacheslav Mironov. Assault on Grozny Downtown
  • Vyacheslav Mironov. I was in that war.
  • Matthew Evangelista, The Chechen Wars: Will Russia Go the Way of the Soviet Union?. ISBN 0-8157-2499-3.
  • Roy Conrad. Grozny. A few days...
  • Olga Oliker, Russia's Chechen Wars 1994–2000: Lessons from Urban Combat. ISBN 0-8330-2998-3. (A strategic and tactical analysis of the Chechen Wars.)
  • Charlotta Gall & Thomas de Waal. Chechnya: A Small Victorious War. ISBN 0-330-35075-7
  • Paul J., Ph. D. Murphy. The Wolves of Islam: Russia and the Faces of Chechen Terror. ISBN 1-57488-830-7
  • Anatol Lieven. Chechnya : Tombstone of Russian Power ISBN 0-300-07881-1
  • John B Dunlop. Russia Confronts Chechnya: Roots of a Separatist Conflict ISBN 0-521-63619-1
  • Paul Khlebnikov. Razgovor s varvarom (Interview with a barbarian). ISBN 5-89935-057-1.
  • Marie Benningsen-Broxup. The North Caucasus Barrier: The Russian Advance Towards the Muslim World. ISBN 1-85065-069-1
  • Anna Politkovskaya. A Small Corner of Hell: Dispatches from Chechnya ISBN 0-226-67432-0
  • Chris Bird. "To Catch a Tartar: Notes from the Caucasus" [ISBN 0-7195-6506-5]
  • Carlotta Gall, Thomas de Waal, Chechnya: Calamity in the Caucasus [ISBN 0-8147-3132-5]
  • Yvonne Bornstein and Mark Ribowsky, "Eleven Days of Hell: My True Story Of Kidnapping, Terror, Torture And Historic FBI & KGB Rescue" AuthorHouse, 2004. ISBN 1-4184-9302-3.
  • Ali Khan, The Chechen Terror: The Play within the Play
  • Hunter Hammer and Heaven, Journeys to Three World's Gone Mad, by Robert Young Pelton (ISBN 1-58574-416-6)
  • Arkady Babchenko "One Soldier's War In Chechnya" Portobello, London ISBN 978-1-84627-039-0
  • Asne Seirstad. The Angel of Grozny. ISBN 1-84408-395-4
  • Scott Anderson. The Man Who Tried to Save the World. ISBN 0-385-48666-9
  • Chechnya: The Case For Independence by Tony Wood Book review in The Independent
    The Independent
    The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

    , 2007

External links


Official site of the Republic of Chechnya