Second Chechen War

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Second Chechen War
Chechnya9268.jpg
Russian artillery shells target militant positions near the village of Duba-Yurt in January 2000
Date Battle phase: 26 August 1999 – May 2000[1]
Insurgency phase: June 2000 – 16 April 2009
Location Chechnya, Russia
Result
  • Russian Victory
  • Restoration of Russian Federal control
Belligerents
 Russia Republic of Ichkeria
Caucasian militants
Foreign mujahideen
Commanders and leaders
Vladimir Putin
Igor Sergeyev
Viktor Kazantsev
Gennady Troshev
Vladimir Boldyrev
Alexander Baranov
Anatoliy Serdyukov
Sergei Ivanov
Nikolai Patrushev
Valentin Korabelnikov
Anatoly Kvashnin
Yuri Baluyevsky
Akhmad Kadyrov 
Alu Alkhanov
Sulim Yamadayev
Ramzan Kadyrov
Sergei Abramov
Mukhu Aliyev
Aslan Maskhadov 
Sheikh Abdul Halim 
Dokka Umarov
Aslambek Abdulkhadziev
Ilyas Akhmadov
Turpal-Ali Atgeriyev
Akhmed Avtorkhanov 
Strength
80,000 in Chechnya in 1999, 45,000 to 70,000 federal and republican forces in Chechnya as of 2006,[2]
More in neighbouring regions.
22,000 in 1999.
(Russian estimate)[3]
Casualties and losses
3,725 soldiers,
2,600 Interior ministry troops,
1,072 Chechen police officers and 106 FSB
and GRU operatives killed (Officially confirmed)
3,400 soldiers,
Interior ministry troops and intelligence officers killed (Committee of soldiers' mothers claim)[15]
Total killed: 4,472-7,503
14,113 militants killed
(Up to the end of 2002)[16]
2,186 militants killed
(Between 2003 and 2009)[17]
Total killed: 16,299
Civilian casualties:
Estimate up to 25,000 killed and up to 5,000 "disappeared" in Chechnya (AI estimate),[18]
Estimate 50,000 killed in Chechnya (GfbV estimate),[19]
More in neighbouring regions,
More than 600 killed during attacks in Russia proper.
Total killed military/civilian: 45,771-73,802

The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus,[20] was launched by the Russian Federation starting August 26, 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade (IIPB).

On 1 October Russian troops entered Chechnya.[21][22] The campaign ended the de facto independence of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and restored Russian federal control over the territory. Although it is regarded by many as an internal conflict within the Russian Federation, the war attracted a large number of foreign fighters.

During the initial campaign, Russian military and pro-Russian Chechen paramilitary forces faced Chechen separatists in open combat, and seized the Chechen capital Grozny after a winter siege that lasted from late 1999 to the following February 2000. Russia established direct rule of Chechnya in May 2000 and after the full-scale offensive, Chechen militant resistance throughout the North Caucasus region continued to inflict heavy Russian casualties and challenge Russian political control over Chechnya for several more years. Some Chechen separatists also carried out terrorist attacks against civilians in Russia. These terrorist attacks, as well as widespread human rights violations by Russian and separatist forces, drew international condemnation.

As of 2009, Russia has severely disabled the Chechen separatist movement and large-scale fighting has ceased. Russian army and interior ministry troops no longer occupy the streets. The once leveled city of Grozny has recently undergone massive reconstruction efforts and much of the city and surrounding areas have been rebuilt at a quick pace. However sporadic violence still exists throughout the North Caucasus; occasional bombings and ambushes targeting federal troops and forces of the regional governments in the area still occur.[23][24]

On 16 April 2009, the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya was officially ended.[1] As the main bulk of the army was withdrawn, the burden of dealing with the ongoing low-level insurgency mainly fell on the shoulders of the local police force. Three months later, the exiled leader of the separatist government, Akhmed Zakayev, called for a halt to armed resistance against the Chechen police force starting on August 1, and said he hoped that "starting with this day Chechens will never shoot at each other".[25]

The exact death toll from this conflict is unknown. Unofficial estimates range from 25,000 to 50,000 dead or missing, mostly civilians in Chechnya. Russian casualties are over 5,200 (official Russian casualty figures)[26] and are about 11,000 according to the Committee of Soldiers' Mothers.[27]

Contents

Historical basis of the conflict

Russian Empire

Chechnya and the Caucasus region

Chechnya is a region in the Northern Caucasus which has constantly fought against foreign rule, including the Ottoman Turks in the 15th century. The Russian Terek Cossack Host was established in lowland Chechnya in 1577 by free Cossacks who were resettled from the Volga to the Terek River. In 1783 Russia and the Georgian kingdom of Kartl-Kakheti signed the Treaty of Georgievsk, under which Kartl-Kakheti became a Russian protectorate. To secure communications with Georgia and other regions of the Transcaucasia, the Russian Empire began spreading its influence into the Caucasus region, starting the Caucasus War in 1817. Russian forces first moved into highland Chechnya in 1830, and the conflict in the area lasted until 1859, when a 250,000 strong army under General Baryatinsky broke down the mountaineers' resistance. However, frequent uprisings in the Caucasus also occurred during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78.

Soviet Union

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Chechens established a short-lived Caucasian Imamate which included parts of Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia; there was also secular pan-Caucasian Mountainous Republic of the Northern Caucasus.[28] The Chechen states were opposed by both sides of the Russian Civil War and most of the resistance was crushed by Bolshevik troops by 1922. Then, months before the creation of the Soviet Union, the Chechen Autonomous Oblast of Russian SFSR was established. It annexed a part of territory of the former Terek Cossack Host. Chechnya and neighbouring Ingushetia formed the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1936. In 1941, during World War II, a Chechen revolt broke out, led by Khasan Israilov. Chechens were accused by Joseph Stalin of aiding Nazi forces. In February 1944 Stalin deported all the Chechens and Ingush to Kazakh and Kirghiz SSRs. Up to a quarter of these people died during the "resettlement."[29][30][31] In 1957, after the death of Stalin, Nikita Khrushchev allowed the Chechens to return and the Chechen republic was reinstated in 1958, the authority of the Soviet government gradually eroded.

The First Chechen War

A Russian helicopter downed by Chechen militants near the capital Grozny, during the First Chechen War

During the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya declared independence. In 1992, Chechen and Ingush leaders signed an agreement splitting the joint Chechen-Ingush republic in two, with Ingushetia joining the Russian Federation and Chechnya remaining independent. The debate over independence ultimately led to a small-scale civil war since 1992, in which the Russians supported the opposition forces against Dzhokhar Dudayev. Thousands of people of non-Chechen ethnicity (mostly Russians) fled the Chechen Republic and Chechnya's industrial production began failing after Russian engineers and workers fled or were expelled. The First Chechen War began in 1994, when Russian forces entered Chechnya to "restore constitutional order". Following nearly two years of brutal fighting, in which an estimated tens of thousands to more than 100,000 people died, and the 1996 Khasavyurt ceasefire agreement, the Russian troops were withdrawn from the republic.

Prelude to the Second Chechen War

Chaos in Chechnya

Following the first war, the separatist government's grip on the chaotic republic was weak, especially outside the ruined capital Grozny. The areas controlled by separatist groups grew larger and the country became increasingly lawless.[32] The war ravages and lack of economic opportunities left large numbers of heavily armed and brutalized former militants with no occupation but further violence. The authority of the government in Grozny was opposed by extremist warlords like Arbi Barayev and Salman Raduyev. Abductions and raids into other parts of the Northern Caucasus by various Chechen warlords had been steadily increasing.[33] 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.[34] It has been estimated that up to 1,300 people were kidnapped in Chechnya between 1996 and 1999,[32] and in 1998 a group of four Western hostages were executed. Political violence and religious extremism, in the form of islamist Wahhabism, was rife as well. In 1998, a state of emergency was declared by the authorities in Grozny. Tensions led to the open clashes like the July 1998 confrontation in Gudermes in which some 50 people died in the fight between Chechen National Guard and the Islamist militias.

Russian-Chechen relations 1996–1999

The 1997 election brought to power the separatist president Aslan Maskhadov. In 1998 and 1999 President Maskhadov survived several assassination attempts, blamed on the Russian intelligence services. In March 1999, General Gennady Shpigun, the Kremlin's envoy to Chechnya, was kidnapped at the airport in Grozny, and ultimately found dead in 2000 during the war.

The political tensions were fueled in part by allegedly Chechen or pro-Chechen terrorist and criminal activity in Russia, as well as border clashes.

Russian plans for the war

On 7 March 1999 interior minister Sergei Stepashin called for an invasion of Chechnya, in response to the abduction of MVD General Gennady Shpigun. However, Stepashin's plan was overridden by the prime minister Yevgeny Primakov.[35] Stepashin later said that.[36]

"The decision to invade Chechnya was made in March 1999... I was prepared for an active intervention. We were planning to be on the north side of the Terek River by August–September [of 1999] This [the war] would happen regardless to the bombings in Moscow... Putin did not discover anything new. You can ask him about this. He was the director of FSB at this time and had all information".[37][38]

According to Robert Bruce Ware, these plans should be regarded as contingency plans.[39]

Terrorist incidents and border clashes

On November 16, 1996, in Kaspiysk (Dagestan) a bomb destroyed an apartment building housing Russian border guards; 68 people died. The cause of the blast was never determined, but many in Russia blamed it on Chechen separatists.[40] Three people died on April 23, 1997, when a bomb exploded in the Russian railway station of Armavir (Krasnodar Krai), and two on May 28, 1997, when another bomb exploded in the Russian railway station of Pyatigorsk (Stavropol Krai).

On December 22, 1997, forces of Dagestani militants and Chechnya-based Arab warlord Ibn al-Khattab raided the base of the 136th Motor Rifle Brigade of the Russian Army in Buynaksk, Dagestan, inflicting severe losses on the men[41] and equipment of the unit. In late May Russia announced that it was closing the Russian-Chechnya border in an attempt to combat terrorist and criminal activity; border guards were ordered to shoot suspects on sight. On June 18, 1999, seven servicemen were killed when Russian border guard posts were attacked in Dagestan. On July 29, 1999, the Russian Interior Ministry troops destroyed a Chechen border post and captured a 800 meter-section of strategic road. On August 22, 1999, 10 Russian policemen were killed by an anti-tank mine blast in North Ossetia, and on August 9, 1999 six servicemen were kidnapped in the Ossetian capital Vladikavkaz.

Invasion of Dagestan

The Invasion of Dagestan was the trigger for the Second Chechen War. In August and September 1999, Shamil Basayev (in association with the Saudi-born Ibn al-Khattab, Commander of the Mujahedeen) led two armies of up to 2,000 Chechen, Dagestani, Arab and international mujahideen and Wahhabist militants from Chechnya into the neighboring Republic of Dagestan. This war saw the first use of aerial-delivered fuel air explosives (FAE) in populated areas, notably in the village of Tando. By mid-September 1999, the militants were routed from the villages and pushed back into Chechnya. At least several hundred militants were killed in the fighting; the Federal side reported 279 servicemen killed and approximately 900 wounded.[22]

Bombings in Russia

Before the wake of the Dagestani invasion had settled, a series of bombings took place in Russia (in Moscow and in Volgodonsk) and in the Dagestani town of Buynaksk. On September 4, 1999, 62 people died in an apartment building housing members of families of Russian soldiers. Over the next two weeks, the bombs targeted three other apartment buildings and a mall; in total nearly 300 people were killed. Khattab initially claimed responsibility for the bombings, but later denied responsibility. This was followed by an anonymous caller who said he belongs to a group called the Liberation army of Dagestan.[42] There were no other calls or acts by the Liberation Army of Dagestan.

A criminal investigation of the bombings was completed in 2002. The results of the investigation, and the court ruling that followed, concluded that they were organized by Achemez Gochiyaev, who remains at large, and ordered by Islamist warlords Ibn Al-Khattab and Abu Omar al-Saif, that were killed, because Khattab threatened that the bombings would take place if the Wahhabists in Dagestan were bombed. The Wahhabists were bombed, the retaliation bombings took place, and Khattab initially claimed responsibility. Six other suspects have been convicted by Russian courts. However, many observers, including State Duma deputies Yuri Shchekochikhin, Sergei Kovalev and Sergei Yushenkov, cast doubts on the official version and sought an independent investigation. Some others, including David Satter, Yury Felshtinsky, Vladimir Pribylovsky and Alexander Litvinenko, as well as the secessionist Chechen authorities, claimed that the 1999 bombings were a false flag attack coordinated by the FSB in order to win public support for a new full-scale war in Chechnya, which boosted Prime Minister and former FSB Director Vladimir Putin's popularity, brought the pro-war Unity Party to the State Duma and him to the presidency within a few months.[37][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51] The theories' strongest proponents have links with each other as well as with Boris Berezovsky, an exiled oil-tycoon who advocates the forcible overthrowing of the Russian Government.[52] For example, Berezovsky sponsored Litivinenko's book.[53][54][55][56][57]

Other researchers have criticized the theory, stating that it is a conspiracy theory. The researchers pointed out that the theory's proponents have provided little or no evidence to support the theory.[58][59][60][61] Gordon Bennett also points out that the decision to send troops to Chechnya was taken by Boris Yeltsin – not Vladimir Putin – with the wholehearted support of all power structures after the Invasion of Dagestan.[59]

1999–2000 Russian offensive

Air war

In late August and September 1999, Russia mounted a massive air campaign over Chechnya, with the stated aim of wiping out militants who invaded Dagestan the previous month. On August 26, 1999 Russia acknowledged bombing raids in Chechnya.[62] The Russian air strikes were reported to have forced at least 100,000 Chechens to flee their homes to the safety; the neighbouring region of Ingushetia was reported to have appealed for United Nations aid to deal with tens of thousands of refugees.[63] On October 2, 1999, Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations admitted that 78,000 people have fled the air strikes in Chechnya; most of them were heading for Ingushetia, where they were arriving at a rate of 5,000 to 6,000 a day.

As of September 22, 1999 Deputy Interior Minister Igor Zubov said that Russian troops had surrounded Chechnya and were prepared to retake the region, but the military planners were advising against a ground invasion because of the likelihood of heavy Russian casualties. By the end of September Russian forces made repeated incursions onto Chechen soil, and had captured some territory.

Land war

The Chechen conflict entered a new phase on October 1, 1999, when Russia's new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin declared the authority of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and his parliament illegitimate. At this time, Putin announced that Russian troops would initiate a land invasion but progress only as far as the Terek River, which cuts the northern third of Chechnya off from the rest of the republic. Putin's stated intention was to take control of Chechnya's northern plain and establish a cordon sanitaire against further Chechen aggression; however, later recalled that the cordon alone was "pointless and technically impossible," apparently because of Chechnya's rugged terrain. According to Russian accounts, Putin accelerated a plan for a major crackdown against Chechnya that had been drawn up months earlier.[64]

The Russian army moved with ease in the wide open spaces of northern Chechnya and on October 5, 1999, reached the Terek River. On this day, a bus filled with refugees was reportedly hit by a Russian tank shell, killing at least 11 civilians;[65] two days later, Russian Su-24 fighter bombers dropped cluster bombs on the village of [67]

On October 12, 1999, the Russian forces crossed the Terek and began a two-pronged advance on the capital Grozny to the south. Hoping to avoid the significant casualties which plagued the first Chechen War, the Russians advanced slowly and in force, making extensive use of artillery and air power in an attempt to soften Chechen defences. Many thousands of civilians fled the Russian advance, leaving Chechnya for neighbouring Russian republics. Their numbers were later estimated to reach 200,000 to 350,000, out of the approximately 800,000 residents of the Chechen Republic. The Russians appeared to be taking no chances with the Chechen population in its rear areas, setting up "filtration camps" in October in northern Chechnya for detaining suspected members of bandformirovaniya militant formations, literally: "bandit formations").

On October 15, 1999, Russian forces took control of a strategic ridge within artillery range of the Chechen capital Grozny after mounting an intense tank and artillery barrage against Chechen fighters. In response, President Maskhadov declared a gazavat (holy war) to confront the approaching Russian army. Martial law was declared in Ichkeria and reservists were called; but no martial law or state of emergency had been declared in Chechnya or Russia by the Russian government.[68] The next day, Russian forces captured strategic [69]

On October 21, 1999, a Russian short-range ballistic missile strike on the central Grozny killed more than 140 people, including many women and children, and left hundreds more wounded. A Russian spokesman said the busy market place was targeted because it was used by separatists as an arms bazaar.[70] Eight days later Russian aircraft carried out a rocket attack on a large convoy of refugees heading into Ingushetia, killing at least 25 civilians including Red Cross workers and journalists.[71] Two days later the Russian forces conducted a heavy artillery and rocket attack on Samashki. Some claimed that civilians were killed in Samashki in revenge for the heavy casualties suffered there by Russian forces during the first war.[72]

On November 12, 1999, the Russian flag was raised over Chechnya's second largest city, Gudermes, when the local Chechen commanders, the Yamadayev brothers, defected to the federal side; the Russians also entered the bombed-out former Cossack village of Achkhoy-Martan.

On November 26, 1999, Deputy Army Chief of Staff [73]

On December 1, 1999, after weeks of heavy fighting, Russian forces under Major General Vladimir Shamanov took control of citation needed]

On December 4, 1999, the commander of Russian forces in the North Caucasus, General Viktor Kazantsev, claimed that Grozny was fully blockaded by Russian troops. The Russian military's next task was the seizure of the town of Shali, 20 kilometres south-east of the capital, one of the last remaining separatist-held towns apart from Grozny. Russian troops started by capturing two bridges that link Shali to the capital, and by December 11, 1999, Russian troops had encircled Shali and were slowly forcing separatist forces out. By mid-December the Russian military was concentrating attacks in southern parts of Chechnya and preparing to launch another offensive from Dagestan.

Siege of Grozny

Meanwhile, the assault on Grozny started in early December. The battle accompanied by the struggle for the neighbouring settlements ended when the Russian army seized the city on February 2, 2000.

According to the official Russian figures, at least 368 federal troops and an unknown number of pro-Russian militiamen died in Grozny. The separatist forces too suffered heavy losses, including losing several top commanders. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev said that 1,500 separatists were killed trying to leave Grozny. The separatists said they lost at least 400 fighters in the mine field at [76]

The siege and fighting left the capital devastated like no other European city since World War II; in 2003 the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth.[77]

The Russians suffered heavy losses also as they advanced elsewhere, and from the series of Chechen counter attacks and convoy ambushes. On January 26, 2000, the Russian government announced that 1,173 servicemen had been killed in Chechnya since October[78] – a more than double rise from 544 killed reported just 19 days earlier.[79]

Battle for the mountains

Heavy fighting accompanied by a massive shelling and bombing continued through the winter of 2000 in the mountainous south of Chechnya, particularly in the areas around Argun, Vedeno and Shatoy, where the fighting involving Russian paratroopers raged since 1999.

On February 9, 2000 a Russian tactical missile hit a crowd of people who had come to the local administration building in Shali, a town previously declared as one of the "safe areas", to collect their pensions. The attack was a response to a report that a group of fighters had entered the town. The missile is estimated to have killed some 150 civilians, and was followed by an attack by combat helicopters causing further casualties.[80] Human Rights Watch has called on the Russian military to stop using FAE, known in Russia as "vacuum bombs", in Chechnya, concerned about the large number of civilian casualties caused by what it calls "the widespread and often indiscriminate bombing and shelling by Russian forces".[81] On February 18, 2000, a Russian army transport helicopter was shot down in the south, killing 15 men aboard, Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo said in a rare admission by Moscow of losses in the war.[82]

On February 29, 2000, United Army Group commander Gennady Troshev said that "the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya is over. It will take a couple of weeks longer to pick up splinter groups now." Russia's Defense Minister, Marshal of the Russian Federation Igor Sergeyev, evaluated numerical strength of the separatists at between 2,000 and 2,500 men, "scattered all over Chechnya." On the same day, a Russian VDV paratroop company from Pskov was attacked by Chechen and Arab fighters near the village of Sergiyev Posad; at least 24 Russian servicemen were killed in the incident.

In March a large group of more than 1,000 Chechen fighters led by field commander Ruslan Gelayev, pursued since their withdrawal from Grozny, entered the village of Komsomolskoye in the Chechen foothills; they held off a full-scale Russian attack on the town for over two weeks,

On April 23, 2000, a 22-vehicle convoy carrying ammunition and other supplies to the airborne unit was ambushed near [84] Soon, the Russian forces seized last populated centres of the organized resistance. (Another offensive against the remaining mountain strongholds was launched by the Russian forces in December 2000.)

Restoration of federal government

Russian President Vladimir Putin established direct rule of Chechnya in May 2000. The following month, Putin appointed Akhmad Kadyrov interim head of the pro-Moscow government. This development met with early approval in the rest of Russia, but the continued deaths of Russian troops dampened public enthusiasm. On March 23, 2003, a new Chechen constitution was passed in a referendum. The 2003 Constitution granted the Chechen Republic a significant degree of autonomy, but still tied it firmly to Russia and Moscow's rule, and went into force on April 2, 2003. The referendum was strongly supported by the Russian government but met a harsh critical response from Chechen separatists; many citizens chose to boycott the ballot. Akhmad Kadyrov was assassinated by a bomb blast in 2004. Since December 2005, his son Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the pro-Moscow militia leader known as kadyrovites, has been functioning as the Chechnya's de facto ruler. Kadyrov, whose irregular forces are accused of carrying out many of the abductions and atrocities, has become Chechnya's most powerful leader and on February 2007, with support from Putin, Ramzan Kadyrov replaced Alu Alkhanov as president.

Insurgency

Guerilla war in Chechnya

Guerrilla phase by year: 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

Although large-scale fighting within Chechnya had ceased, daily attacks continued particularly in the southern portions of Chechnya, spilling into nearby territories of the Caucasus as well, especially since the Caucasus Front was established. Typically small separatist units target Russian and pro-Russian officials, security forces, and military and police convoys and vehicles. The separatist units employ IEDs and sometimes group up for larger raids. Russian forces then retaliate with artillery and air strikes, as well as counter-insurgency operations. Most soldiers in Chechnya are now kontraktniki (contract soldiers) as opposed to the earlier conscripts. While Russia continues to maintain military presence within Chechnya, Russia's federal forces play less of a direct role in Chechnya. Pro-Kremlin Chechen forces under the command of the local strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, known as the kadyrovtsy now dominate law enforcement and security operations, with many members (including Kadyrov himself) being former Chechen separatists who have defected since 1999. Since 2004, the Kadyrovtsy were partly incorporated into two Interior Ministry units North and South (Sever and Yug). Two other units of the Chechen pro-Moscow forces, East and West (Vostok and Zapad), are commanded by Sulim Yamadayev (Vostok) and Said-Magomed Kakiyev (Zapad) and their men.[85]

On 16 April 2009 the head of the Federal Security Service of Alexander Bortnikov announced that they "cancelled the decree imposing an anti-terror operation on the territory of, effective from midnight". According to Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov the announcement means that the war is finished by their victory. Still while Chechnya has largely stabilised, there are clashes with militants in the nearby regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.[86]

Suicide attacks

Between June 2000 and September 2004 Chechen insurgents added suicide attacks to their tactics. During this period there have been 23 Chechen related suicide attacks in and outside Chechnya. The profiles of the Chechen suicide bombers have varied just as much as the circumstances surrounding the bombings, most of which targeted military or government-related targets.

Assassinations

Both sides of the war carried out multiple assassinations. The most prominent of these included the February 13, 2004, killing of exiled former separatist Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in Qatar, and the May 9, 2004, killing of pro-Russian Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov during the parade in Grozny.

Caucasus Front

While the anti-Russian local insurgencies in the North Caucasus started even before the war, in May 2005, two months after Maskahdov's death, the Chechen separatists officially announced that they had formed a Caucasus Front within the framework of "reforming the system of military-political power." Along with the Chechen, Dagestani and Ingush "sectors," the Stavropol, Kabardin-Balkar, Krasnodar, Karachai-Circassian, Ossetian and Adyghe jamaats were included in it. This, in essence, means that practically all the regions of the Russia's south are involved in the hostilities.

The Chechen separatist movement has taken on a new role as the official ideological, logistical and, probably, financial hub of the new insurgency in the North Caucasus.[87] Increasingly frequent clashes between federal forces and local militants continue in Dagestan, while sporadic fighting erupts in the other southern Russia regions, most notably in Ingushetia, but also elsewhere, notably in Nalchik on October 13, 2005.

Human rights and terrorism

Human rights and war crimes

Unbalanced scales.svg

Russian officials and Chechen separatists have regularly and repeatedly accused the opposing side of committing various war crimes including kidnapping, murder, hostage taking, looting, rape, and assorted other breaches of the laws of war. International and humanitarian organizations, including the Council of Europe and Amnesty International, have criticized both sides of the conflict for "blatant and sustained" violations of international humanitarian law.

Western European rights groups estimate there have been about 5,000 forced disappearances in Chechnya since 1999.[88]

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright noted in her March 24, 2000, speech to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights:

We cannot ignore the fact that thousands of Chechen civilians have died and more than 200,000 have been driven from their homes. Together with other delegations, we have expressed our alarm at the persistent, credible reports of human rights violations by Russian forces in Chechnya, including extrajudicial killings. There are also reports that Chechen separatists have committed abuses, including the killing of civilians and prisoners.... The war in Chechnya has greatly damaged Russia's international standing and is isolating Russia from the international community. Russia's work to repair that damage, both at home and abroad, or its choice to risk further isolating itself, is the most immediate and momentous challenge that Russia faces.[89]

According to the 2001 annual report by Amnesty International:

There were frequent reports that Russian forces indiscriminately bombed and shelled civilian areas. Chechen civilians, including medical personnel, continued to be the target of military attacks by Russian forces. Hundreds of Chechen civilians and prisoners of war were extra judicially executed. Journalists and independent monitors continued to be refused access to Chechnya. According to reports, Chechen fighters frequently threatened, and in some cases killed, members of the Russian-appointed civilian administration and executed Russian captured soldiers.[90]

In 2001 the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has placed Chechnya on its Genocide Watch List:

Chechnya was devastated, including the almost complete destruction of Grozny, the Chechen capital. Russian artillery and air indiscriminately pounded populated areas. Human rights organizations also documented several massacres of civilians by Russian units. Russian President Vladimir Putin proclaimed Chechnya pacified by Spring 2000. But peace has been elusive for Chechen civilians, victims of a continuing war of attrition. They are plagued by abuses committed by Russian forces – arbitrary arrest, extortion, torture, murder. Chechen civilians also suffer because there have been no sustained efforts to rebuild basic social services, such as public utilities or education. Chechen fighters also commit abuses against civilians, but neither on the same scale nor with the same intensity as Russian forces.[91]

The Russian government failed to pursue any accountability process for human rights abuses committed during the course of the conflict in Chechnya. Unable to secure justice domestically, hundreds of victims of abuse have filed applications with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). In March 2005 the court issued the first rulings on Chechnya, finding the Russian government guilty of violating the right to life and even if the prohibition of torture with respect to civilians who had died or forcibly disappeared at the hands of Russia's federal troops.[92] Many similar claims were ruled since against Russia.

Dozens of mass graves (created by the Russian side) containing hundreds of corpses have been uncovered since the beginning of the Chechen wars in 1994. As of June 2008, there were 57 registered locations of mass graves in Chechnya.[93] According to Amnesty International, thousands may be buried in unmarked graves including up to 5,000 civilians who disappeared since the beginning of the Second Chechen War in 1999.[94] In 2008, the largest mass grave found to date was uncovered in Grozny, containing some 800 bodies from the First Chechen War in 1995.[93] Russia's general policy to the Chechen mass graves is to not exhume them.[95]

Photos of the victims of the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis

Terrorist attacks

Between May 2002 and September 2004, the Chechen and Chechen-led militants, mostly answering to Shamil Basayev, launched a campaign of terrorism directed against civilian targets in Russia. About 200 people were killed in a series of bombings (most of them suicide attacks), most of them in the 2003 Stavropol train bombing (46), the 2004 Moscow metro bombing (40), and the 2004 Russian aircraft bombings (89).

Two large-scale hostage takings, the 2002 Moscow theater hostage crisis (850 hostages) and the 2004 Beslan school siege (about 1,200), resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. In the Moscow stand-off, FSB Spetsnaz forces stormed the buildings on the third day using a lethal chemical agent. In the Beslan hostage case, a grenade exploding inside the school triggered the storming of the school. Some 20 Beslan hostages had been executed by their captors before the storming.

Other issues

Pankisi crisis

Russian officials have accused the bordering republic of Georgia of allowing Chechen separatists to operate on Georgian territory and permitting the flow of militants and materiel across the Georgian border with Russia. In February 2002, the United States began offering assistance to Georgia in combating "criminal elements" as well as alleged Arab mujahideen activity in Pankisi Gorge as part of the War on Terrorism. Without resistance, Georgian troops have detained an Arab man and six criminals, and declared the region under control.[96] In August 2002, Georgia accused Russia of a series of secret air strikes on purported separatists havens in the Pankisi Gorge in which a Georgian civilian was reported killed.

On October 8, 2001, a UNOMIG helicopter was shot down in Georgia in Kodori Valley gorge near Abkhazia, amid fighting between Chechens and Abkhazians, killing nine including five UN observers.[97] Georgia denied having troops in the area, and the suspicion fell on the armed group headed by Chechen warlord Ruslan Gelayev, who was speculated to have been hired by the Georgian government to wage proxy war against separatist Abkhazia. On March 2, 2004, following a number of cross-border raids from Georgia into Chechnya, Ingushetia, and Dagestan, Gelayev was killed in a clash with Russian border guards while trying to get back from Dagestan into Georgia.

Unilateral ceasefire of 2005

On February 2, 2005, Chechen separatist president Aslan Maskhadov issued a call for a ceasefire lasting until at least February 22 (the day preceding the anniversary of Stalin's deportation of the Chechen population). The call was issued through a separatist website and addressed to President Putin, described as a gesture of goodwill. On March 8, 2005, Maskhadov was killed in an operation by Russian security forces in the Chechen community of Tolstoy-Yurt, northeast of Grozny.

Shortly following Maskhadov's death, the Chechen separatist council announced that Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev had assumed the leadership, a move that was quickly endorsed by Shamil Basayev (Basayev himself died in July 2006). On February 2, 2006, Sadulayev made large-scale changes in his government, ordering all its members to move into Chechen territory. Among other things, he removed First Vice-Premier Akhmed Zakayev from his post (although later Zakayev was appointed a Foreign Minister[98]). Sadulayev was killed in June 2006, after which he was succeeded as the separatist leader by the veteran terrorist commander Doku Umarov.

Amnesties

As of November 2007, there were at least seven amnesties for separatist militants, as well as federal servicemen who committed crimes, declared in Chechnya by Moscow since the start of the second war. The first one was announced in 1999 when about 400 Chechen switched sides. (However, according to Putin's advisor and aide Aslambek Aslakhanov most of them were since killed, both by their former comrades and by the Russians, who by then perceived them as a potential "fifth columnists".[99] Some of the other amnesties included one during September 2003 in connection with the adoption of the republic's new constitution, and then another between mid-2006 and January 2007. According to Ramzan Kadyrov, himself former separatist, more than 7,000 separatist fighters defected to the federal side ("returned to the peaceful life") by 2005. In 2006 more than 600 militants in Chechnya and adjacent provinces reportedly surrendered their arms in response to a six-month amnesty "for those not involved in any serious crimes".[100] In 2007, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights published a report entitled Amnestied People as Targets for Persecution in Chechnya, which documents the fate of several persons who have been amnestied and subsequently abducted, tortured and killed.

Government censorship of the media coverage

The first war, with its extensive and largely unrestricted coverage (despite deaths of many journalists), convinced the Kremlin more than any other event that it needed to control national television channels, which most Russians rely on for news, to successfully undertake any major national policy. By the time the second war began, federal authorities had designed and introduced a comprehensive system to limit the access of journalists to Chechnya and shape their coverage.[101]

The Russian government's control of all Russian television stations and its use of repressive rules, harassment, censorship, intimidation[102] and attacks on journalists almost completely deprived the Russian public of the independent information on the conflict. Practically all the local Chechen media are under total control of the pro-Moscow government, Russian journalists in Chechnya face intense harassment and obstruction[103] leading to widespread self-censorship, while foreign journalists and media outlets too are pressured into censoring their reports on the conflict.[104] In some cases Russian journalists reporting on Chechnya were jailed (Boris Stomakhin) or kidnapped by the federal forces (Andrei Babitsky), and foreign media outlets (American Broadcasting Company) banned from Russia.[105] The Russian-Chechen Friendship Society was shut down on "extremism and national hatred" charges. According to a 2007 poll only 11 percent of Russians said they were happy with media coverage of Chechnya.[106]

Effects

Civilian losses

Civilian casualty estimates vary widely. According to the pro-Moscow government, 160,000 combatants and non-combatants died or have gone missing in the two wars, including 30,000–40,000 Chechens and about 100,000 Russians;[107][108] while separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov (deceased) repeatedly claimed about 200,000 ethnic Chechens died as a consequence of the two conflicts.[109] As in the case of military losses, these claims can not be independently verified. According to a count by the Russian human rights group Memorial in 2007, up to 25,000 civilians have died or disappeared since 1999.[110] According to Amnesty International in 2007, the second war killed up to 25,000 civilians since 1999, with up to another 5,000 people missing.[111] However, the Russian-Chechen Friendship Society set their estimate of the total death toll in two wars at about 150,000 to 200,000 civilians.[112]

Environmental damage

Environmental agencies warn that the Russian republic of Chechnya, devastated by war, now faces ecological disaster. A former aide to Boris Yeltsin believes Russian bombing has rendered Chechnya an "environmental wasteland."[113] There is a special concern over widespread oil spills and pollution from sewers damaged by war (the water is polluted to a depth of 250 m[114]), and chemical and radioactive pollution, as a result of the bombardment of chemical facalities and storages during the conflict.[115] Chechnya's wildlife also sustained heavy damage during the hostilities, as animals that had once populated the Chechen forests have moved off to seek safer havens.[116] In 2004, Russian government has designated one-third of Chechnya a "zone of ecological disaster" and another 40% "a zone of extreme environmental distress".[117]

Land mines

Chechnya is the most land mine-affected region worldwide.[118] Since 1999 there have been widespread use of mines, by both sides (Russia is a party to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons but not the 1996 protocol on land mines and other devices). The most heavily mined areas of Chechnya are those in which separatists continue to put up resistance, namely the southern regions, as well as the borders of the republic.[119] No humanitarian mine clearance has taken place since the HALO Trust was evicted by Russia in December 1999. In June 2002, Olara Otunnu, the UN official, estimated that there were 500,000 land mines placed in the region. UNICEF has recorded 2,340 civilian land mine and unexploded ordnance casualties occurring in Chechnya between 1999 and the end of 2003.

Military losses

Military casualty figures from both sides are impossible to verify and are generally believed to be higher. In September 2000, the National Endowment for Democracy compiled the list of casualties officially announced in the first year of the conflict, which, although incomplete and with little factual value, provide a minimum insight in the information war. According to the figures released by the Russian Ministry of Defence on in August 2005, at least 3,450 Russian Armed Forces soldiers have been killed in action 1999–2005.[120] This death toll did not include losses of Internal Troops, the FSB, police and local paramilitaries, all of whom at least 4,720 were killed by October 2003.[112] The independent Russian and Western estimates are much higher; the Union of the Committees of Soldiers' Mothers of Russia for instance estimated about 11,000 Russian Army servicemen have been killed between 1999 and 2003. In 2007, Memorial estimated about 15,000 Russian soldiers have died in two wars, while others estimate up to 40,000.[110]

Political radicalization of the separatist movement

The Chechens had become increasingly radicalized. Former Soviet Army officers Dzhokhar Dudayev and Aslan Maskhadov have been succeeded by people who rely more on religious ideology, rather than the nationalistic feelings of the population. While Dudayev and Maskhadov were seeking from Moscow recognition of the independence of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria, other leaders spoke out more about the need to expel Russia from the territory of the whole North Caucasus, an impoverished mountain region inhabited mostly by Muslim, non-Russian ethnic groups.

In April 2006, asked whether negotiations with Russians are possible, the top separatist commander and future president Doku Umarov answered: "We offered them many times. But it turned out that we constantly press for negotiations and it's as if we are always standing with an extended hand and this is taken as a sign of our weakness. Therefore we don't plan to do this any more." In the same month, the new separatist spokesman Movladi Udugov said that attacks should be expected anywhere in Russia: "Today, we have a different task on our hands – total war, war everywhere our enemy can be reached. (...) And this means mounting attacks at any place, not just in the Caucasus but in all Russia." Reflecting growing radicalization of the Chechen-led militants, Udugov said their goal was no longer Western-style democracy and independence, but the Islamist "North Caucasian Emirate".

This trend ultimately resulted in the October 2007 declaration of Caucasus Emirate by Doku Umarov where he also urged for a global Jihad, and the [122]

The struggle has garnered support from Muslim sympathizers around the world nonetheless, and some of them have been willing to take up arms. Many commentators think it is likely that Chechen fighters have links with international Islamist separatist groups. The BBC said in an online Q&A on the conflict: "It has been known for years that Muslim volunteers have traveled to Chechnya to join the fight, reportedly after attending training camps in Afghanistan or Pakistan."[110]

Impact on the Chechen population

According to a 2006 report by Médecins Sans Frontières, "the majority of Chechens still struggle through lives burdened by fear, uncertainty and poverty." A survey conducted by MSF in September 2005 showed that 77% of the respondents were suffering from "discernible symptoms of psychological distress".[123]

As of 2008, the infant mortality rate stood at 17 per 1,000, the highest in Russia;[124] There are reports of growing a number of genetic disorders in babies and unexplained illnesses among school children.[115] One child in 10 is born with some kind of anomaly that requires treatment. Some children whose parents can afford it are sent to the neighbouring republic of Dagestan, where treatment is better; Chechnya lacks sufficient medical equipment in most of its medical facilities.[125] According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), since 1994 to 2008 about 25,000 children in Chechnya have lost one or both parents.[126] A whole generation of Chechen children is showing symptoms of psychological trauma. In 2006, Chechnya's pro-Moscow deputy health minister, said the Chechen children had become "living specimens" of what it means to grow up with the constant threat of violence and chronic poverty.[127] In 2007, the Chechen interior ministry has identified 1,000 street children involved in vagrancy; the number was increasing.[128][129]

According to official statistics, Chechnya's unemployment rate in August 2009 was 32.9%. Although the second highest among Russian regions, the unemployment rate has almost halved since 2007.[130][131] Many people remain homeless because so much of Chechnya's housing was destroyed by the Russian federal forces and many people have not yet been given compensation.[132] Not only the social (such as housing and hospitals) and economic infrastructure but also the foundations of culture and education, including most of educational and cultural institutions, were destroyed over the course of the two wars in Chechnya.[133] However ongoing reconstruction efforts have been rebuilding the region at a quick pace over the past few years, including new housing, facilities, paved roads and traffic lights, a new mosque and restoration of electricity to much of the region.[134] Governmental, social and commercial life remain hobbled by bribery, kidnapping, extortion and other criminal activity; reports by the Russian government estimate that the organized crime sector is twice the Russian average and the government is widely perceived to be corrupt and unresponsive.[135]

Hundreds of thousands of Chechens were displaced by the conflict, including 300,000 at the height of the conflict in 2000.[110] Most of them were displaced internally in Chechnya and in neighbouring republic of Ingushetia, but thousands of refugees also went into exile, as of 2008 most of them residing in the European Union countries.

Impact on the Russian population

The start of the war bolstered the domestic popularity of Vladimir Putin as the campaign was started one month after he had become Russian prime minister. However, the war eventually became less popular; according to a March 2007 poll 70% of Russians believe there should be negotiations with the separatists, and only 16% believe the military campaign should continue.[106] The conflict greatly contributed to the deep changes in the Russian politics and society.[136]

Since the Chechen conflict began in 1994, cases of young veterans returning embittered and traumatized to their home towns have been reported all across Russia. Psychiatrists, law-enforcement officials and journalists have started calling the condition of psychologically scarred soldiers "Chechen syndrome" (CS), drawing a parallel with the post-traumatic stress disorders suffered by Soviet soldiers who fought in Afghanistan. According to Yuri Alexandrovsky, deputy director of the Moscow Serbsky Institute in 2003, at least 70% of the estimated 1.5 million Chechnya veterans suffered CS.[137] Many of the veterans came back alcoholic, unemployable and antisocial.[136] Thousands were also physically disabled for life and left with very limited help from the government.[138]

According to the 2007 study by Memorial and [139]

The wars in Chechnya, and the associated Caucasian terrorism in Russia, were a major factor in the growth of intolerance, xenophobia and racist violence in Russia, directed in a great part against the people from Caucasus.[136] The Russian authorities were unlikely to label random attacks on people of non-Russian ethnicity as racist, preferring calling it "hooliganism". The number of murders officially classified as racist more than doubled in Russia between 2003 and 2004. The violence included an acts of terrorism such as the 2006 Moscow market bombing which killed 13 people.[142][143] In 2007, 18-year old Artur Ryno claimed responsibility for 37 racially-motivated murders in the course of one year, saying that "since school [he] hated people from the Caucasus."[144] On June 5, 2007, an anti-Chechen riot involving hundreds of people took place in the town of Stavropol in southern Russia. Rioters demanded the eviction of ethnic Chechens following the murder of two young Russians who locals believed were killed by Chechens. The event revived memories of a recent clash between Chechens and local Russians in Kondopoga over an unpaid bill, when two Russians were killed.[145] The Caucasians also face ethnic-related violence in the ranks of Russian Army.[146]

Status

In 2005 there were about 60,000 Russian troops in Chechnya, but that number has since decreased significantly. Tony Wood, a journalist and author who has written extensively about Chechnya, estimated there were about 8,000 pro-Moscow security forces remaining in the region as of 2007

Most of the more prominent past Chechen separatist leaders have died or have been killed, including former president Aslan Maskhadov and leading warlord and terrorist attack mastermind Shamil Basayev. Meanwhile, the fortunes of the Chechen independence movement sagged, plagued by the internal disunity between Chechen moderates and Islamist radicals and the changing global political climate after September 11, 2001, as well as the general war weariness of the Chechen population. Large-scale fighting has been replaced by guerrilla warfare and bombings targeting federal troops and forces of the regional government, with the violence often spilling over into adjacent regions. Since 2005, the insurgency has largely shifted out of Chechnya proper and into the nearby Russian territories, such as Ingushetia and Dagestan; the Russian government, for its part, has focused on the stabilization of the North Caucasus.

Throughout the years Russian officials have often announced that the war is over. In April 2002 President Vladimir Putin's declared that the war in Chechnya was over.[148] The Russian government maintains the conflict officially ended in April 2002,[148][149] and since then has continued largely as a peacekeeping operation. In a July 10, 2006, interview with the BBC, Sergei Ivanov, Russia's then-prime minister and former minister of defense, said that "the war is over," and that "the military campaign lasted only 2 years,"[150] Ramzan Kadyrov, the current president of the Chechnya, has also stated the war is over.[151] Others believe the war ended in 2003 with the passage of a Moscow-backed constitutional referendum and the election of pro-Moscow president Akhmad Kadyrov, while some consider the conflict on-going.[152] Some independent observers, including Álvaro Gil-Robles, the human rights envoy for the Council of Europe, and Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, have said that the war has largely concluded as of 2006.[153][154]

The separatists, however, deny that the war is over, and guerrilla warfare continues throughout the entire North Caucasus. Colonel Sulim Yamadayev, Chechnya's second most powerful loyalist warlord after Kadyrov, also denies that the war is over. In March 2007, Yamadayev claimed there were well over 1,000 separatists and foreign Islamic militants entrenched in the mountains of Chechnya alone: "The war is not over, the war is far from being over. What we are facing now is basically a classic partisan war and my prognosis is that it will last two, three, maybe even five more years."[155] According to the Central Intelligence Agency factbook, Russia has severely disabled the Chechen separatist movement, although sporadic violence still occurs throughout the North Caucasus.[156] The overall security situation in Chechnya remains exceedingly difficult to accurately report due to the near monopoly the Russian government has on media covering the issue.[157] In May 2007 Amnesty International refuted claims by the government that the conflict has ended, stating "while large-scale military operations have been reduced, the conflict continues."[158] The strength of the separatists has for many years been unknown. Although Russia has killed a lot of separatists throughout the war, many young fighters have joined the separatists.[159]

An estimation, based on the war reports, shows that in the past three years Federal casualties are higher than the amount of coalition casualties of the War in Afghanistan (2001–present).[160][161][162] With the abolition of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and the proclamation of the Caucasus Emirate by the president of the separatist movement Dokka Umarov, the conflict in Chechnya and the rest of the North Caucasus is often referred to as the "War in the North Caucasus". The Russian government has given no new name to the conflict while most international observers still refer to it as a continuation of the Second Chechen War.[163]

Dmitry Medvedev meets with Alexander Bortnikov on 27 March 2009 to discuss the ending of counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya.

In late April, 2008, the Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe, Thomas Hammarberg, visited Russia's Caucasian republics. After wrapping up the week long visit, he said he observed a number of positive developments in Chechnya, and that there was "obvious progress". He also noted that the judicial system in Chechnya was functioning properly. According to Hammarberg, missing people and the identification of missing bodies were still the two biggest human rights issues in the region, and he expressed his wish that further efforts be done to clarify the issue. President Putin responded to his comments, saying that the visit was of "great significance", and that Russia will take into account what the council had to say.[164][165][166]

Counter-insurgency operations have been conducted by Russian army in Chechnya since 1999. President of Chechnya, and former separatist, Ramzan Kadyrov declared this phase to end in March 2009.[167] On 27 March 2009, President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev met with Alexander Bortnikov, the Director of the Federal Security Service to discuss the official ending of counter-terrorism operations in Chechnya. Medvedev directed the [169]

On 16 April 2009 the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya was officially ended.[1]

People of the Second Chechen War

Russian political leaders and commanders

President of Russia
(in chronological order) Boris Yeltsin (died 2007), Vladimir Putin (Prime Minister from 2008)
Chiefs of the FSB, the GRU, and the General Staff of the Armed Forces
Nikolai PatrushevValentin KorabelnikovAnatoly Kvashnin, Yuri Baluyevsky
Commander of the Joint Group of Forces in the North Caucasus
(in chronological order) Vladimir Moltenskoy, Sergey Makarov, Valery Baranov (maimed 2004), Yakov Nedobitko
Commander of the North Caucasus Military District
(in chronological order) Viktor Kazantsev, Gennady Troshev, Vladimir Boldyrev, Alexander Baranov
Defence Minister of the Russian Federation
(in chronological order) Igor Sergeyev, Sergei Ivanov, Anatoliy Serdyukov
Interior Minister of Russia
(in chronological order) Vladimir Rushailo, Boris Gryzlov, Rashid Nurgaliyev
Military commandant of Chechnya
Yevgeniy Abrashin, Ivan Babichev, Grigory Fomenko, Leonid Krivonos
President of the Chechen Republic
(in chronological order) Akhmad Kadyrov (assassinated 2004), Alu Alkhanov, Ramzan Kadyrov
Pro-Russian Chechen commanders and politicians
Salman Abuyev (assassinated 2001), Artur Akhmadov, Ruslan Alkhanov, Abu Arsanukayev, Aslambek Aslakhanov, Movladi Baisarov (assassinated 2006), Shamil Burayev, Zina Batyzheva, Odes Baysultanov, Alimbek Delimkhanov, Adam Demilkhanov, Adam Deniyev (assassinated 2000), Rudnik Dudayev †, Taus Dzhabrailov, Bislan Gantamirov, Musa Gazimagomadov (died 2003), Hussein Isayev (assassinated 2004), Idris Gaibov, Muslim Ilyasov, Zelimkhan Kadyrov (died 2004), Said-Magomed Kakiyev, Nusreda Khabuseyeva †, Magomed Khambiyev, Ibragim Khultygov, Rezvan Kutsuyev, Supyan Makhchayev, Malik Saidullayev, Sultan Satuyev, Movsar Temirbayev, Raybek Tovzayev (killed 2001), Ruslan Tsakayev (died 2003), Said-Selim Tsuyev, Dzhabrail Yamadayev (assassinated 2003), Khalid Yamadayev, Ruslan Yamadayev, Sulim Yamadayev, Alambek Yasayev, Aud Yusupov †, Akhmad Zavgayev (assassinated 2002), and others
Russian commanders and politicians
Sergei Abramov, Mukhu Aliyev, Aslambek Aslakhanov, Mikhail Babich, Viktor Barsukov, Aleksandr Bespalov, Yuri Budanov (imprisoned 2003), Boris Fadeyev, Gaidar Gadzhiyev (assassinated 2001), Magomed Gazimagomedov, Nikolai Goridov (assassinated 2002), Aleksandr Kayak (assassinated 2005), Oleg Khotin, Alexander Kolmakov, Dzhabrail Kostoyev (assassinated 2006), Abukar Kostoyev (killed 2004), Anatoly Kyarov (assassinated 2008), Alexander Lentsov, Adilgerei Magomedtagirov, Magomedali Magomedov, Ibragim Malsagov, Mikhail Malofayev (killed 2000), Valery Manilov, Mark Metsayev †, Magomed Omarov (assassinated 2005), Boris Podoprigora, Aleksandr Potapov, Anatoly Pozdnyakov (assassinated 2001), Mikhail Rudchenko (assassinated 2002), Yan Sergunin (assassinated 2004), Vladimir Shamanov, Igor Shifrin (assassinated 2002), Georgy Shpak, German Ugryumov (died 2001), Pavel Varfolomeyev (assassinated 2001), Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Sergei Zveryev (assassinated 2000), Murat Zyazikov, and others

Separatist political leaders and commanders

President of Ichkeria
(in chronological order) Aslan Maskhadov (killed 2005), Sheikh Abdul Halim (killed 2006), Dokka Umarov
Chechen separatist commanders and politicians
Salman Abuyev (defected), Aslambek Abdulkhadzhiev (killed 2002), Artur Akhmadov (defected), Ilyas Akhmadov, Uvais Akhmadov, Ruslan Alikhadzhyev (forcibly disappeared 2000), Ruslan Alkhanov (defected), Vakha Arsanov (killed or murdered in captivity 2005), Turpal-Ali Atgeriev (died or murdered in captivity 2002), Akhmed Avtorkhanov (killed 2005), Arbi Barayev (killed 2001), Movsar Barayev (killed 2002), Shamil Basayev (killed 2006), Rizvan Chitigov (killed 2005), Lecha Dudayev (killed 2000), Suleiman Elmurzayev (killed 2007), Idris Gaibov (defected), Ruslan Gelayev (killed 2004), Sultan Geliskhanov (captured 2006), Lecha Islamov (died or murdered in captivity 2005), Aslambek Ismailov (killed 2000), Khunkarpasha Israpilov (killed 2000), Magomed Khambiyev (defected), Umar Khambiyev, Ibragim Khultygov (defected), Isa Munayev, Isa Muskiyev (killed 2006), Abu Movsayev (killed 2000), Khozh-Ahmed Noukhayev (unknown fate), Salman Raduyev (died or murdered in captivity 2002), Salautdin Temirbulatov (imprisoned), Movladi Udugov, Yamadayev brothers (defected), Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev (assassinated 2004), Akhmed Zakayev, and others
North Caucasian and foreign militant leaders
Anzor Astemirov (killed 2010), Muslim Atayev (killed 2005), Alan Digorsky, Ilias Gorchkhanov (killed 2005), Rappani Khalilov (killed 2007), Ibn al-Khattab (assassinated 2002), Abdul Madzhid (killed September 2008), Rasul Makasharipov (killed 2005), Muhannad, Abu Hafs al-Urduni (killed 2006), Abu al-Walid (killed 2004), Akhmed Yevloyev (captured 2010), and others

Other associated people

Journalists
Andrei Babitsky, Supian Ependiyev (killed 1999), Adlan Khasanov (killed 2004), Ramzan Mezhidov (killed 1999), Anna Politkovskaya (assassinated 2006), Roddy Scott (killed 2002), Fatima Tlisova, and others
Victims of human rights abuses
Ruslan Alikhadzhyev (kidnapped 2000, presumed dead), Shakhid Baysayev (kidnapped 2000, presumed dead), Zura Bitiyeva (murdered with her family 2003), Elza Kungayeva (kidnapped, raped and murdered 2000), Nura Luluyeva (kidnapped and murdered 2000), Zelimkhan Murdalov (forcibly disappeared 2001, presumed dead), Malika Umazheva (murdered 2002), Khadzhi-Murat Yandiyev (forcibly disappeared 2000, presumed dead), and others
Various
Ruslan Aushev, Shamil Beno, Aleksey Galkin, Nur-Pashi Kulayev (imprisoned 2006, unknown fate), Sergei Lapin (imprisoned 2005), Timur Mucuraev, Lidia Yusupova, and others

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Russia 'ends Chechnya operation'". BBC News. 16 April 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/8001495.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-14. 
  2. ^ New Chechen Army Threatens Moscow AIA 12.07.2006
  3. ^ Федеральным силам в Чечне противостоят 22 тыс. боевиков. Russian Ministry of Defense
  4. ^ http://www.wps.ru/en/pp/military/2008/02/01.html
  5. ^ http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=7859&Itemid=65
  6. ^ http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/archive/article.php?lang=E&id=92365
  7. ^ "Íîâûé ñïîð î ïîòåðÿõ â ×å÷íå". BBC News. February 17, 2003. http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/russian/news/newsid_2773000/2773997.stm. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  8. ^ http://www.gzt.ru/society/2006/02/26/113846.html
  9. ^ http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2006/08/mil-060820-rianovosti01.htm
  10. ^ http://en.rian.ru/russia/20070621/67579434.html
  11. ^ http://www.jamestown.org/programs/ncw/single/?tx_ttnews
  12. ^ http://seansrussiablog.org/2006/08/30/interior-ministry-releases-casualties-in-chechnya/
  13. ^ More than 1,000 Chechen police died in anti-terrorist operations -Chechen Interior Ministry
  14. ^ On losses in Russian army
  15. ^ http://www.spacewar.com/2005/050330150830.fsye02lj.html
  16. ^ http://www.strategypage.com/qnd/russia/articles/20021225.aspx
  17. ^ http://en.rian.ru/russia/20091007/156385557.html
  18. ^ What justice for Chechnya's disappeared?
  19. ^ Effective human rights work is the best weapon against terrorism
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  21. ^ Sakwa, Richard (2005). "Introduction: Why Chechnya?". In Richard Sakwa. Chechnya: From Past to Future (1st ed.). London: Anthem Press. pp. 1–42. ISBN 9781843311645. 
  22. ^ a b Pashin, Alexander. "Russian Army Operations and Weaponry During Second Military Campaign in Chechnya". Moscow Defense Brief (Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies) (3/2002). http://mdb.cast.ru/mdb/3-2002/ac/raowdsmcc/. Retrieved 2009-05-29. 
  23. ^ CIA – The World Factbook – Russia
  24. ^ It's over, and Putin won The Guardian Retrieved on February 23, 2009
  25. ^ Chechen self-proclaimed government-in-exile lays down weapons Russia Today Retrieved on July 29, 2009
  26. ^ [1] 4,572 servicemen of all security agencies killed by December 2002, 680 Russian Armed Forces soldiers killed in 2003–2007 [2]
  27. ^ Chechnya War, Reuters, 11-04-2007
  28. ^ Armstrong, Patrick. "Conflict in Chechnya: A Background Perspective." Journal of Conflict Studies. November 1999; Evangelista, Matthew. The Chechen Wars: Will Russia Go the Way of the Soviet Union? Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003. ISBN 0-8157-2498-5; Dunlop, John B. Russia Confronts Chechnya: Roots of a Separatist Conflict. Cambridge, Mass.: Cambridge University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-521-63184-X; Seely, Robert. Russo-Chechen Conflict, 1800–2000: A Deadly Embrace. Florence, Ky.: Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0-7146-4992-9.
  29. ^ In one estimate, based on a report by Lavrenti Beria to Joseph Stalin, 150,000 of 478,479 deported Ingush and Chechen people (or 31.3 percent) died within the first four years of the resettlement. See: Kleveman, Lutz. The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia. Jackson, Tenn.: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2003. ISBN 0-87113-906-5. Another scholar puts the number of deaths at 22.7 percent: Extrapolating from NKVD records, 113,000 Ingush and Chechens died (3,000 before deportation, 10,000 during deportation, and 100,000 after resettlement) in the first three years of the resettlement out of 496,460 total deportees. See: Naimark, Norman M. Fires of Hatred: Ethnic Cleansing in Twentieth-Century Europe. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-674-00994-0. A third source says a quarter of the 650,000 deported Chechens, Ingush, Karachais and Kalmyks died within four years of resettlement. See: Mawdsley, Evan. The Stalin Years: The Soviet Union 1929–1953. Manchester, England: Manchester University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7190-6377-9. However, estimates of the number of deportees sometimes varies widely. Two scholars estimated the number of Chechen and Ingush deportees at 700,000, which would have the percentage estimates of deaths. See: Fischer, Ruth and Leggett, John C. Stalin and German Communism: A Study in the Origins of the State Party. Edison, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 2006. ISBN 0-87855-822-5
  30. ^ Conquest, Robert. The Nation Killers. New York: Macmillan, 1970. ISBN 0-333-10575-3
  31. ^ The European Parliament recognized this as an act of genocide on February 26, 2004.Campana, Aurélie. "Case Study: The Massive Deportation of the Chechen People: How and why Chechens were Deported." Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence. November 2007. Accessed August 11, 2008; Nurbiyev, Aslan. "Relocation of Chechen 'Genocide' Memorial Opens Wounds." Agence France Press. June 4, 2008; Jaimoukha, Amjad M. The Chechens: A Handbook. Florence, Ky.: Routledge, 2005. ISBN 0-415-32328-2.
  32. ^ a b "Second Chechnya War – 1999–???". GlobalSecurity.org. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/war/chechnya2.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-15. 
  33. ^ Lajos F. Szászdi, Russian Civil-Military Relations and the Origins of the Second Chechen War, page 155, University Press of America, 2008. ISBN 0-7618-4037-0
  34. ^ Tishkov, Valery. Chechnya: Life in a War-Torn Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Page 114.
  35. ^ Russell, John (2005). "Chechnya, 11 September and the War Against Terrorism". In Richard Sakwa. Chechnya: From Past to Future (1st ed.). London: Anthem Press. pp. 239–265. ISBN 9781843311645. 
  36. ^ from the Russian original of interview given by Stepashin: В отношении Чечни могу сказать следующее. План активных действий в этой республике разрабатывался начиная с марта. И мы планировали выйти к Тереку в августе-сентябре. Так что это произошло бы, даже если бы не было взрывов в Москве. Я активно вел работу по укреплению границ с Чечней, готовясь к активному наступлению. Так что Владимир Путин здесь ничего нового не открыл. Об этом вы можете спросить его самого. Он был в то время директором ФСБ и владел всей информацией.
  37. ^ a b Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Pribylovsky The Age of Assassins. The Rise and Rise of Vladimir Putin, Gibson Square Books, London, 2008, ISBN 1-906142-07-6, page 105. The interview was given on 14 January 2000
  38. ^ Sergey Pravosudov. Interview with Sergei Stepashin. Nezavisimaya Gazeta, January 14, 2000(in Russian)
  39. ^ Richard Sakwa, ed (2005). "Robert Bruce Ware: Mythology and Political Failure in Chechnya". Chechnya: From Past to Future. Anthem Press. pp. 79–115. ISBN 978-1-84331-164-5. 
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  41. ^ The Jamestown Foundation; CHECHEN GUNMEN ATTACK RUSSIAN ARMY UNIT IN DAGESTAN.
  42. ^ Russia's bombs: Who is to blame?
  43. ^ David Satter – House committee on Foreign Affairs
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  48. ^ Bomb Blamed in Fatal Moscow Apartment Blast, Richard C. Paddock, Los Angeles Times, September 10, 1999
  49. ^ At least 90 dead in Moscow apartment blast, from staff and wire reports, CNN, September 10, 1999
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  53. ^ Re: 7727 #11, Jeremy Putley's review of "Darkness at Dawn" by D. Satter
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  58. ^ [[Richard Sakwa |Sakwa, Richard]] (2008). Putin, Russia's choice (2nd ed.). Routledge. pp. 333–334. ISBN 978-0-415-40765-6. 
  59. ^ a b Vladimir Putin & Russia's Special Services Gordon Bennet, 2002
  60. ^ Western treatment of Russia signifies erosion of reason Dr. Vlad Sobell, 2007
  61. ^ Russia Profile Weekly Experts Panel: Russian Presidential Election – Affirming Democracy or Confirming Autocracy?
  62. ^ Russia acknowledges bombing raids in Chechnya, CNN, August 26, 1999
  63. ^ Russia launches more air strikes against Chechnya, RTÉ news, 27 September 1999
  64. ^ David Hoffman Miscalculations Paved Path to Chechen War Washington Post, 20 March 2000
  65. ^ Refugee bus reportedly shelled by Russian tank CNN, October 7, 1999
  66. ^ a b Russian warplanes kill dozens of villagers The Independent, Oct 11, 1999
  67. ^ Russia to 'display' truth on Chechnya, Reuters, October 9, 1999
  68. ^ CHAMBER JUDGMENTS IN SIX APPLICATIONS AGAINST RUSSIA European Court of Human Rights, 24.2.2005
  69. ^ Europe: Russians 'within sight' of Grozny BBC News, October 16, 1999
  70. ^ Phase Two – The Ground Campaign – October–November 1999 Globalsecurity.org
  71. ^ Crimes Of War Project > Expert Analysis
  72. ^ http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2000/rp00-014.pdf
  73. ^ Can Russia win the Chechen war? BBC News, 10 January 2000
  74. ^ RUSSIA/CHECHNYA: "NO HAPPINESS REMAINS": CIVILIAN KILLINGS, PILLAGE, AND RAPE IN ALKHAN-YURT, CHECHNYA
  75. ^ A letter of Sgt. S.Durov
  76. ^ Russia may withdraw some troops from Chechnya
  77. ^ Scars remain amid Chechen revival BBC News, 3 March 2007
  78. ^ "Russia admits heavy casualties". BBC News. January 26, 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/618971.stm. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  79. ^ "Russian army battered in Grozny". BBC News. January 6, 2000. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/592919.stm. Retrieved 2006-06-10. 
  80. ^ Oleg Orlov War Crimes and Human Rights Violations in Chechnya May 26, 2000
  81. ^ Russians urged to stop 'vacuum' bombings BBC News, 15 February 2000
  82. ^ Chechens down Russian helicopter BBC News, 19 February 2000
  83. ^ Reassessing Strategy: A Historical Examination
  84. ^ Captain Adam Geibel Ambush at Serzhen Yurt: Command-Detonated Mines in the Second Chechen War Engineer: The Professional Bulletin for Army Engineers, Feb, 2001
  85. ^ "Land of the warlords". The Guardian (London). June 13, 2006. http://www.guardian.co.uk/elsewhere/journalist/story/0,,1796576,00.html. Retrieved May 23, 2010. 
  86. ^ Williams, Stuart (16 April 2009). "Russia ends 10-year Chechnya operation". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/russia-ends-10year-chechnya-operation-20090416-a8mi.html. Retrieved 2009-04-17. 
  87. ^ Beslan's unanswered questions International Herald Tribune, May 30, 2006
  88. ^ Russia censured over Chechen man BBC
  89. ^ U.S. Response to Human Rights Commission Resolution on Chechnya U.S. Mission Geneva
  90. ^ Russian Federation 2001 Report Amnesty International
  91. ^ Chechnya Overview Holocaust Memorial Museum
  92. ^ European Court Rules Against Moscow Institute for War and Peace Reporting, March 2, 2005M
  93. ^ a b Russia: Chechen Mass Grave Found, Agence France-Presse, June 21, 2008
  94. ^ Amnesty International Issues Reports on Disappearances, The Jamestown Foundation, May 24, 2007
  95. ^ A vexing reminder of war in Chechnya's booming capital, International Herald Tribune, April 29, 2008
  96. ^ Georgia says gorge 'under control' BBC News, 2 September 2002
  97. ^ UN helicopter shot down in Georgia BBC News, 8 October 2001
  98. ^ Указы Президента ЧРИ А-Х. Садулаева, Chechenpress, 27.05.06
  99. ^ "Убивал – не убивал, попал – не попал", Kommersant, 07.08.2006
  100. ^ Law enforcers killed 72 militants in Chechnya in 2007, RIA Novosti, 16/ 01/ 2008
  101. ^ Smokescreen Around Chechnya The Moscow Times, March 18, 2005
  102. ^ Russian TV accuses military of censorship, BBC News, 23 January 2000
  103. ^ KREMLIN STIFLES CRITICAL COVERAGE OF CHECHNYA
  104. ^ Silencing Chechnya Moscow Times, January 27, 2005
  105. ^ Russia Bars ABC News for Interview With Separatist, The New York Times, August 2, 2005
  106. ^ a b POLL FINDS A PLURALITY OF RUSSIANS DISTRUST RAMZAN The Jamestown Foundation, March 27, 2007
  107. ^ Chechen official puts death toll for 2 wars at up to 160,000 International Herald Tribune, August 16, 2005
  108. ^ Russia: Chechen Official Puts War Death Toll At 160,000 RFE/RL, August 16, 2005
  109. ^ Death Toll Put at 160,000 in Chechnya The Moscow Times, August 16, 2005
  110. ^ a b c d e Chechnya war, Reuters AlertNet, 11-04-2007
  111. ^ Amnesty International Issues Reports on Disappearances Jamestown Foundation, May 24, 2007
  112. ^ a b Civil and military casualties of the wars in Chechnya Russian-Chechen Friendship Society
  113. ^ Chechnya Conflict and Environmental Implications
  114. ^ Chechen Republic // GENERAL INFORMATION, Kommersant, Mar. 10, 2004
  115. ^ a b Chechnya habitat 'ravaged by war', BBC News, 22 June 2006
  116. ^ Military operations greatly alter Chechen mountain life, Prague Watchdog, May 4, 2003
  117. ^ 'In the Caucasus, you can buy anything', Al-Ahram Weekly, 2004
  118. ^ Chechnya: Land Mines Seen As Continuing Scourge RFE/RL, October 19, 2004
  119. ^ Chechnya, LM Report 2004, 8 Feb 2005
  120. ^ May 2001: Summary of main news related to the conflict in Chechnya.
  121. ^ The battle for the soul of Chechnya, The Guardian, November 22, 2007
  122. ^ Chechnya Weekly from the Jamestown Foundation
  123. ^ [MSF Activity Reports on The Russian Federation: 2006 http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/russianfederation.cfm], Doctors Without Borders
  124. ^ Russian demographic statistics 2008 Rosstat Retrieved on Oct-05-2009
  125. ^ A determined spirit guides Grozny, The Boston Globe, November 14, 2007
  126. ^ Grozny's lost boys, Sydney Morning Herald, March 22, 2008
  127. ^ A Mystery Malady in Chechnya, Los Angeles Times, March 10, 2006
  128. ^ Large numbers of street children discovered in Chechnya, Prague Watchdog, March 23, 2007
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  130. ^ Employment and unemployment in Russia August 2009 Rosstat, Retrieved on Oct-05-2009
  131. ^ Чечня — лидер по уровню безработицы среди регионов России, 5.12.2007
  132. ^ Amnesty International Urgent Action, Amnesty International, 25 January 2008
  133. ^ The Consequences of War for Education and Culture in Chechnya
  134. ^ Spring rebuilding in Chechnya
  135. ^ The Crisis in Chechnya and the Northern Caucasus at a Glance, IRC, 31 Jan 2006
  136. ^ a b c d The warlord and the spook The Economist, March 31, 2007
  137. ^ Chechnya's Walking Wounded Time (magazine)/CNN, Sep. 28, 2003
  138. ^ Island lessons for Russian war vet, Oakland Tribune, Apr 30, 2003
  139. ^ a b The Geography of OMON Deployments in the North Caucasus, The Jamestown Foundation, April 3, 2008
  140. ^ For Russians, Police Rampage Fuels Fear Washington Post, March 27, 2005
  141. ^ Russia: Police Brutality Shows Traces Of Chechnya RFE/RL, June 20, 2005
  142. ^ Political turmoil erupts again in deadly protests IHT, November 2, 2005
  143. ^ Migrants flee town after racial violence People's Daily, September 14, 2006
  144. ^ Teenager Admits to Over 30 Murders The Moscow Times, May 29, 2007
  145. ^ Nationalists rally in Russian town near Chechnya Reuters, Jun 5, 2007
  146. ^ Racist Violence Plagues Russian Army IWPR, 15-Sep-00
  147. ^ Dokka Umarov speech
  148. ^ a b Johnson, David (April 19, 2002). "separatists kill 18 pro-Russians in Chechnya, Putin says war is over". Russia Weekly (Washington, D.C.: Center for Defense Information). http://www.cdi.org/Russia/202-3.cfm. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  149. ^ "Chechen peace amid gunfire". CNN.com (Cable News Network). December 21, 2002. http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/12/21/chechnya.life.otsc/index.html. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  150. ^ Sakker, Stephen (July 10, 2006). "Sergey Ivanov: "The war in Chechnya is over"" (in Russian). London: British Broadcasting Corp.. http://www.inosmi.ru/translation/228674.html. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  151. ^ Borisov, Tim (July 10, 2007). "Ramzan Kadyrov: Since the war ended forever" (in Russian). Moscow: Rossiiskaya Gazeta. http://www.rg.ru/2007/07/10/reg-kavkaz/kadirov.html. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  152. ^ "The Situation in Chechnya" (PDF). Ontario: Southern Ontario Model United Nations Assembly. 2007. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2008-02-16. http://web.archive.org/web/20080216043846/http://www.soma.on.ca/XXXV/Background+Guides/Security+Council+--+Topic+2+--+Situation+in+Chechnya.pdf. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  153. ^ Blomfield, Adrian (July 6, 2006). "Chechnya's new leader: a boxer with his own army". telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/03/06/wchech06.xml. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
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  156. ^ Russia Factbook Central Intelligence Agency
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  158. ^ Russian Federation What justice for Chechnya's disappeared?
  159. ^ The Alkhazurovo Operation: Are Chechnya's separatists on the Rebound?
  160. ^ iCasualties | Operation Enduring Freedom
  161. ^ Ингушетия: хроника терактов, обстрелов, похищений
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  164. ^ Commissioner Hammarberg meets Putin and Medvedev Retrieved: 8-26-08
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