Background of Chechnya Conflict –Russian Aggression to Control Grozny – Final Outcome
Chechnya was a growing threat to Kremlin since early 1725. The ethnic conflict in Northern Caucasian was undeniable as many Islamic factions were active to establish a new pan-Caucasian state with a separate identity. Russia (Soviet Union) attacked Caucasian regions to force rulers for submission. Russian troops easily went ahead to reach Terek River which runs through Dagestan, Chechnya and Ossetia (northern region). Chechnya is one of the much sensitive zones for ethnic struggles and violence. However, in 1991 Chechnya revolted for independence without being loyal to Moscow. Soviet Union collapsed and Grozny declared de-facto freedom shrugging off the loyalty towards Moscow. In 1880, Russian Tsar Ruler (Romanov) reinvaded Northern sections of Caucasian territory for occupying other places. This military invasion occurred and Chechnya rebels guided by Shamil resisted Romanov boldly. Tsars were unable to defeat Shamil in Chechnya. They went back in despair and empty hands. So Chechnya citizens were independent for some time. However Moscow didn’t forget previous setback and turmoil. After the revolution in Soviet Russia, Russian communist party gained more political strength replacing other rivals. Joseph Stalin ordered his defense to go for a blitz krieg invasion to demolish hideouts of Chechens most probably in 1941-42 after Second World War.
Soviet Collapsed- Chechen Revolted for Freedom
In 1991, Soviet Union was smashed in uprising, resentment, public remonstration and political conflict. Dudayev, the Chechen President supported the declaration of independence denying the control of Moscow over Grozny. North Caucasus washeated up andpeople inthisvastregion had similarmindsets toform astrongsecular government whichmust not be corrupted.
Russian control was discarded strongly by Chechen people. Chechnya is an oil rich state with a number of oil reserves. The crude oil supply pipe line runs through Novorossiysk port. So, Russian interest was greater to capture oil reserves and ports in North Caucasus area. Moscow administration had had a plot to start proxy war with tricks to play for diverting Chechen rulers.
Russian rulers started boosting up small Islamic factions and terrorist outfits which have no significant roles to run the administration of Chechen government. The counter insurgency was a part of political sophistry opted for by Russian rulers. However, this strategy was not successful. When Moscow didn’t get good outcome, it decided to deploy Russian troops to Grozny for overpowering Chechen rulers on the spot.
Chechen Found Active behind Camouflage
Chechen rebels chose guerrilla attacks to deactivate opponents. The transport system, communication network and towns were obstructed. Chechen rebels used many tricks like jamming mobile phones, hacking information online and sending wrong messages to disturb Russian troops to march ahead. However, in spite of obstructions and hurdles, Russian army was ordered to move to Grozny to tackle extremists. 1000 soldiers with 26war tanks andfleets of more than 100 bullet proofvehicleswere seen rushingthroughthe uneventerrain to smashenemies atGrozny. Russian soldiers were ferocious to kill Chechen rebels without dithering. When pressure was immense and unbearable, Chechen extremists had to go to northern areas for safety. Chechen fighters changed their plans. Theywere split intosmallgroups for attackingRussian troopsThey selected schools, hospitals and collegesto take the hostagesofinnocentcitizens. In 1995, two incidents of forceful abduction and hijacking at Kizlyar-Pervomaiskoye and Budennovsk were signs of atrocities. Many Russians were killed in this insurgency. Russian government blamed Shamil Basayev, a trained militant, for this public assassination. Basayev was trained by Russian army to help Abkhaz extremists in 1990. However Basayev became a strong enemy to Russia.
Conflict in Islamic Factions Became Uncontrollable – Insurgency Brewing up
In 1996, insurgency took new color as insurgents successfully invaded Russian troops in Grozny terminating many civilians and Russian armies. It was small skirmish which compelled Russian government to sign the Khasavyurt Accord. Hostility was controlled with peace treaty. However, Chechen was not confident of getting independence from Russian government. In this accord, the proper discussion was supported to reach a point of understanding within a span of 5 years. Till then, Chechen citizens must admit the submission to Moscow Federation. Peace accord to end tension and hostility was not stable in Chechnya. Islamic factions and fundamentalists forced Aslan Mashkadov to approve Shariah law.
Chechnya will be a fundamental Islamic nation with new ideologies. In Dagestan, Sufi and Salafist factions exchanged bullets to boost up insurgency. The conflict between two separate Islamic factions became uncontrollable. Sufi is an old faction with conventional beliefs. Salafist has modified innovative laws for young generation. It is a new faction in Dagestan.
In 1999, Basayev relaunched a powerful ground attack with a battalion of 5000 soldiers to cross the borderline of Dagestan to defy Russian troops. This invasion was spoiled by Russian armies. After clearing all troops of Basayev from Dagestan, Russian troops again looked back to enter in Grozny to switch off the existing administration of Chechnya. Insurgents hoodwinked themselves and fought behind the curtains. They killed Akhmad Kadyrov who was backed by Russian government to regulate Chechnya. His assassination made the insurgency much stronger. Doku Umarov’s declaration as an Emir once again hand crafted a plot to germinate insurgency. Two different factions had separate principles. Trans-national Islamic strategy for worldwide Caliphate was similar to the theory of Al-Qaida. However, another conventional Islamic sect opted for regional Islamic dominance. So in-fighting and ethnic profiling weakened these Chechen insurgents to give advantages to Moscow.
Chechen Rebels with ISIS – Suspicion Looms Large
US administration and other western countries proved the nexus between ISIS militants and insurgents in Northern Caucasian provinces.
Jihad supporters and ISIS extremists were trained by Chechen insurgents. US also guessed the involvement of Al Nusra Front with international insurgency and terrorism.
Umar Shishani was detected by US and Moscow as a supporter of ISIS extremists to draw blueprints for serial bomb blasts in different countries. On the other hand, Clinton the former American President didn’t show softness when he evaluated heinous role of Yeltsin’s army to shot dead Chechens in the streets.
Yeltsin ordered Chechens to admit defeat or submission or leave the country without belongings. Russian troops will never spare any resistance from Chechens.
Clinton administration requested Yeltsin to have calmness to treat Chechen citizens. The government should be formed through referendum instead of muscle power exhibition. US also announced that Russia could be isolated from European Unions and advanced nations in the event of promoting insurgency to subdue Chechens forcefully. Financial aids would be blocked to Russia.
However, Putin didn’t think of changing his plan even in high emergency. Chechen insurgents appointed many widows for suicidal attacks with bombs. Ramzan Kadyrov was recommended by Moscow to hold the office as de facto president of Chechnya. Putin dreamt of pacification and he approached with expectation of cessation of severe hostility with insurgency in Grozny.
At present, the political situation in Chechnya is not considerably comfortable to Chechens. Aslanbek Aslakhanov , an eminentanalyzerandDumamemberof Russiahas showcased the carnageandepisodes of brutality in Grozny and other important cities of Chechnya.
Putin is using gun powder to demolish houses of residents in Grozny. Just like Aleppo, the city of Grozny of Chechnya is becoming a horrendous dead city with piles of hardened cold corpses and carcasses drenched in blood. Putin’s zachistiki (mob cleansing or mopping-up operation) is an act of barbarism to annihilate the cities in Chechnya.
In this city combing operation, Russian soldiers are found ransacking and attacking residential houses of Chechens without providing specific reasons. Theyarrestciviliansand then they compel thesearrestedpersonsto theground of filtration wherephysical torture, exploitation andmolestationtake place .
Therefore, Putin should postpone this zachistiki operation to have trust of local citizens. However, Russian President has sent messages to UN and other EU members to support him. Russian force has to control insurgency and vandalism in Chechnya. Rebels and militants are blowing vehicles, torturing Russian women and compelling school children to admit their custody.
In 2001, on 29th November, Urus Martan, a female spy, carried a powerful bomb under her apparel. This explosive material was planted close to a group of Russian troops surreptitiously. In this explosion, a trained commander and two Russian officers were burnt to debris. Another merciless and destructive carnage took place in 2002. Intruders and Chechen rebels decorated the roads leading to Yurt and Atagi villages with high explosives.
Land mines exploded w hen army convoys carrying soldiers and arms were rushing through these roads. Putin never forgot screenshots of land mine explosions and massacre. Therefore, Putin had to be strict by opting for the counter insurgency using artillery force to take vengeance. However, his re-insurgency plan has not been praised by European countries. Civilians in Chechnya should have life security, and confidence to live under roofs without being tortured. Women should not be molested in the name of filtration or correctness.
General Vladimir‘s “Order 80” is being abused and distorted. Russian soldiers are looting and harassing women in Chechnya. Under Order 80, Russian army officers are rechecking passports and documents of Chechens. They seize important papers and army raids local residential apartments to damage properties.
Aslakhanov re-verifies the political condition in Grozny. In 1994, Chechens came to open streets to resist Russian soldiers. They cried for freedom. However, most rebels have been sidelined or forced to go in exile. Right now, stray violence, street melees and insurgency increase due to personal grudge with previous setback. People who have lost wives, family members and sacrificed their peace are gathering energy to strike Russian armies. They should be called for negotiation. Putin has not showed sympathy. According to him, Chechen rebels are betrayers, and traitors.
First they discard arms to admit guilt. These rebels are barriers to pacification in Chechnya. Putin’s recent statement is straightforward and transparent. Zachistiki will be withdrawn only after the subjection of all terrorists to Moscow. Chechnya is not an independent nation. It belongs to Moscow. Putin lambasted the fanatical sentiments of Chechens who have indulged disloyalty with acute mistrust. They have made Grozny a devil’s workshop with a miniature hatchery to nurture insurgency and cultivate militancy. Aslakhanov supports the modern social reform and paintwork to modernize Chechens. Order 80 must be frozen to energize Chechens to have stamina to meet Russian top brass for faster settlement.
The final result is little bit typical. Grozny is still radiating in aristocracy with renewed aspiration and energy for young generation to reconstruct lives. RamzanKadyrovis an independent ruler of Chechnya. However, Grozny, capital city of Chechnya is a part of Moscow administration. So the equation is simple.
Chechnya is a de- facto independent territory with loyalty to Putin. Grey smoke of embedded insurgency and Islamic factionalism unsteadily goes up to form a cloud of mistrust with hallucination.
Black hounds are screaming in half sunken dilapidated houses in Grozny. Still the air in this capital city is heavily loaded with dark thick layers of gun powder with smoke oozing out of carcasses burnt to ashes in bomb explosions.
Grozny is a lack lustrous city with suppressed tension for another invasion. However, move for pacification must be supported to restore the luster of Grozny with more gorgeousness and elegance.