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ODTÜ Gelişme Dergisi

Yıl 2000 , Cilt 27 , Sayı 2

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The battle for chechnia: russia confronts chechen secessionism (1989-1999)

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Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University1
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The aim of this article is to examine the struggle between Moscow and the post-Soviet Chechen secessionist movement over the control of Chechnia. It is argued that the development of the Chechen conflict has been considerably affected by the post-Soviet transition process in Russia that weakened the federal centre militarily while shaping developments in its periphery. Instead of attempting to use political instruments to divide Chechen ethnic nationalists, the federal leadership relied on military instruments, which proved ineffective against Chechen guerrilla tactics, whereas Chechen secessionists have used ethnic nationalism effectively to unite the majority of the Chechen people against Moscow until the end of the Chechen war of 1994-1996. The article explores the socio-historical background of the conflict, and discusses the strategies used by federal authorities and secessionist Chechen leaders during and in the aftermath of the war. The article concludes by pointing out the role of post-war instability in Chechnia upon resumption of war in 1999.

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