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Russia's Tinderbox. Conflict in the North Caucasus and its Implications for the Future of the Russian Federation,

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Prior to the December 1994 Russian military intervention, few people in the West other than Russian specialists had even heard of Chechnya or were familiar with its people. Today, it is infamous as the site of one of the most violent ethno political conflicts of the 1990s and of the largest military campaign on Russian soil since World War II. Chechnyas capital, Grozny, is in ruins, in the wake of a massive and ferocious bombing campaign by the Russian airforce. Hundreds of thousands of Chechens have been killed, maimed or left homeless. Russian military intervention has, however, ended in stalemate. The initial conflict that sparked the war between the Russian political leadership in Moscow and Chechnya over the republics status in the Russian Federation has not been resolved by the overwhelming show of force. The factors that both led to war and now hinder a peace settlement are not exclusive to Chechnya. They are present to a greater or lesser degree throughout the Russian Federation, but are most acute in the broader region of which Chechnya is a part - the North Caucasus. In contrast to the rest of the Russian Federation, which has largely managed to avoid violence since 1991, the North Caucasus region has now been the scene of two wars and an array of armed clashes, and has also become embroiled in conflicts beyond its borders.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

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