August 26, 1999
The Second Russian-Chechen War
In order to raise and assert his authority, Putin starts his leadership of Russia with the bloody second Russian-Chechen war.
In fact, Chechnya was independent of Russia between 1996 and 1999. However, the country was experiencing growing economic and political issues related to the impact of the war and the post-war crisis. Many paramilitary formations not controlled by the government operated in the republic. One of them begins hostilities in Dagestan in August 1999. The riot is suppressed, but the Russian command uses it as an excuse to invade and launches a second military campaign against Ichkeria, which will be no less bloody than the first one.
Numerous Russian political circles, especially the military ones, express dissatisfaction with the results of the Khasavyurt agreements, believing that the “Chechen issue” has not been resolved, but only postponed. They fear that Chechnya will set an example for other national autonomies and people who have historically been forcibly annexed by Russia. Russia’s political leadership and, above all, Vladimir Putin, whose campaign was based on a “counter-terrorist operation” in Chechnya, justifies the actions of the military, both perpetrators and leaders of the group.
The “operation” lasts 10 years.
“To restore the constitutional order,” the Russian command is using “scorched earth” tactics, destroying not only the fortified positions of the Chechen insurgents, but cities and villages, historical and religious monuments of the Chechen people, especially in the foothills and mountains of Ichkeria. The actions of Russian units in Chechnya are causing growing disapproval from the world community. The US and the European Union have harshly criticized Russia’s policy in Chechnya, accused Moscow of violating international rights, and called for a political solution to the crisis. Just like in previous years, Russia is experiencing a wave of terrorist acts. In August 2000, an explosion was heard at a crossing near Pushkin Square in Moscow, killing 8 people and injuring about 200. Although no organizers have been found, society blames Chechen terrorists. In October 2002, a tragedy occurred at the theater center in Dubrovka, where the play “Nord-Ost” takes place. Authorities don’t make concessions to terrorists, and more than 100 people die during the operation. On September 1, 2004, Chechen terrorists seized a school in Beslan, killing more than 300 people during an assault by government forces. Then the federal troops kill the most influential Chechen field commanders, Maskhadov and Basayev. This makes it possible to achieve a relative stabilization of the situation in the North Caucasus. In 2007, at Putin’s request, R. Kadyrov, the son of mufti A. Kadyrov, who was killed by militants in 2004, was elected president of the Chechen Republic. The republic’s leadership, loyal to Moscow, is working to combat the remnants of Islamic militants and rebuild the republic, using generous infusions from the federal budget.
The result: the victory of the Russian Federation, the termination of the Khasavyurt agreements (on determining the status of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria), the declaration of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as a terrorist organization, and its destruction by the Russian Armed Forces.