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Explain the chief causes of the conflict in Chechnya

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Russia and Chechnya conflicts.
    1. The relations between Russian and North Caucasians.
    2. The appointment of General Alexis Yermolov.
  3. The creation of Confederation of Mountain People.
  4. Chechen nationalism.
  5. The emergence of Russian federation.
  6. Failure of the coup against Dudayev by the Chechen opposition.
  7. The second attack.
  8. The Russian nationalism.
  9. The official causes of launching the two wars.
  10. The importance of the timing of the war.
  11. Conclusion.
  12. Bibliography.

The conflict in Chechnya constitutes one of the most burning issues of the post Cold War Russian federation politics. Actually, the two wars, that took place under Yeltsine's and Putin's presidencies, from 1994 to 1996 and from 1999 to 2001, and even to nowadays, have been the most important domestic political question in Russia.
The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is one of the twenty Russian Federation republics and is located in the North Caucasus. This republic has always been the most separatist one, refusing to officially enter the Federation. The history of its conflicts with the Russian states goes back to the eighteen century and the Chechen people is well known for its violent nationalist character and its hatred toward Russia, many things separating it from the Russian people, such as the fact that it is a Muslim people.
The question is here to understand the causes of the conflict and to know how and why the situation has never improved. It is here important to underline that the two Chechen wars are parts of the same process. Actually, the second Chechen war is the consequence of the failure of the Russian military against the Chechen guerrilla and of the deterioration of the situation in the region. Consequently, we can argue that the main causes of the first conflict are almost the same than the one of the second one and we are going to insist on it.
In a first part, we will see that the history of the relations of Russia and Chechnya is one of the main causes of the existence of the Chechen nationalism, which has led to the secession and has deeply conditioned the escalation to the conflict.

[...] From 1991 to 1994, when Russian troops finally attacked his regime, he governed Chechnya in an authoritarian way, with the Charia as supreme law, hostility towards Russia and he allowed it to become a ?gangster paradise? run by clans and mafia. In conclusion, we can say that the history of the relations of Russia and Chechnya has deeply conditioned the situation leading to the conflict in 1994. Actually, centuries of tensions and confrontations have shaped the Chechen nationalism and hatred towards Russia. [...]


[...] Taras, Nation and Politics in the soviet successor states, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press p.456. R. Seely, Russo-Chechen conflict, 1800-2000, a deadly embrace, London, Frank Cass p.175. A. Brown, Contemporary Russian Politics, New York, Oxford University Press p Ibid A. Lieven, Chechnya, Tombstone of a Russian Power, Bolton, Yale University Press p.84. 10) http://www.ciaonet.org/wps/watson/hag01.pdf 11) Oleg Olobov in A. Lieven, Chechnya, Tombstone of a Russian Power, Bolton, Yale University Press p.87. 12) R. Seely, Russo-Chechen conflict, 1800-2000, a deadly embrace, London, Frank Cass p.190. [...]


[...] The fact that there is an oil pipeline running from oilfields of Azerbaijan through Dagestan and Chechnya to the Russian port of Novorossisk constitutes an important factor in Russia wanting to preserve its control on Chechnya. Things like the rivalry with Turkey on this ground, which makes impossible the existence of a Turkish embassy in Grozny, the fact that, under Dudayev the pipeline has been riddled with holes by local people siphoning the oil, that an illegal exportation has taken place, generating fortunes, and that his regime became a serious threat to the Russian state ability to guarantee its influence in directing new pipelines have constituted a trigger for the first conflict. [...]

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