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Now, win their hearts...
Russia has to ensure that sleeping dogs continue to lie in Chechnya

T he insurgency problem in Chechnya is less than two decades old, but the wounds are very deep. The region was struggling for independence ever since Russia took over Caucasus and rebellians were seen since the late 19th century (they even sided with Hitler when he invaded Russia during World War II). They have faced severe oppression from the Soviet rule all these years.

In 1991, post the break up of the USSR, Chechnya declared independence in 1992. Boris Yeltsin bitterly opposed the declaration and sent troops, but the ploy failed. In fact, the Russian attack killed many civilians and destroyed human infrastructure. The region was then divided among warlords. When the insurgency by the Chechen separatist movement began to strengthen in the late 1990s, Putin, Russia’s then Prime Minister, ordered a brutal military operation to crush the separatist movement. During the military operation, Caucasian militants (the separatist group) carried out large-scale attacks throughout Russia. The most prominent were the 1999 apartment-bombing campaign, the 2002 Moscow theatre siege and the 2004 Beslan school massacre. The Chechen war also attracted jihadists from Middle East and Central Asia to the Chechnya cause. More recently, under President Kadyrov, the Chechen insurgency has been toned down, as extremist groups have been suppressed. But their traces can be still found in the neighbouring republics.

As of 2009, Russia has partially succeeded in mitigating the separatist movement. The Government officially declared the end of hostilities towards Russia in April this year, but there are still groups of insurgents taking the battle forward. Russia has to ensure that the issues that led to the radicalisation of the people of Chechnya are buried so that the era of lasting peace prevails.

By:- Sray Agarwal

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