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The First Chechen War And The Four Faces Of Power

1208 words - 5 pages

Chechnya is a very small Autonomous Republic to the south of the Russian mainland, just north of Georgia. Its population generally remains that of a mid-sized American city: about one million inhabitants. Chechnya is complicated because of the copious teips, which are ethnic groups organized through common ancestry and geographic location (1-17). "Blood feuds" be- tween warring factions of 'pure' and 'impure' Chechens have been common and incessant since the beginning of the eighteenth century. Chechen dependance on Russia (or the USSR, after 1917 and before 1989) has periodically become a problem for the 'pure-blooded' teips, who mostly reside in the state's southern mountainous region and desire complete liberty from Kremlin.
The goal of the militant Chechens was and remains the independence of Chechnya and the cession of Russian military maneuvers in all areas within established boundaries. However, the explicit, opposing ambition of Kremlin officials, including executives such as president Boris Yeltsin was to disarm the Chechen rebels and maintain the stability of the Russian Republics. Russian authorities, military forces, and political figures consistently acted excessively, even to the point of exacerbating the growing Chechen threat.
The First Chechen National Assembly convened in November, 1990; it declared the for- mation of the Chechen Republic of Nochchi-Cho (also Ichkerija{1-18}) and elected Dzokhar Dudajev to its executive committee (2-117). Nominally, there was importance to the renaming of Chechnya, as it signified a break with Kremlin, as it had no permission thereof, and indicated Chechen rule would be dominated by the southern teips, of which Dudajev was a member (1-31). Subsequently, Chechnya declared its independence of Russia in the Second Chechen National Congress and held formal parliamentary elections in late September, which weren't recognized by Russian authorities because a number of regions within the state, including Nadterechno re- fused to participate.
As punishment - or action that raise the cost of non-compliance - for allowing the elec- tions, Yeltsin declared martial law in Chechnya and demanded the arrest of Dzhochar Dudajev (1-20). Dudajev met further internal opposition from Avturchanov and Khasbultov, partially be- cause Dudajev demanded the recall of all Chechen representatives to Russian Parliament. Russia deployed troops, which approached Chechen borders in late 1992 (1-21). Dudajev utilized a cost- ly signal by arranging his own tanks against Russia, to indicate that if the opposition troops pro- ceeded, they would be punished with shelling. This move made Russia more open to negotia- tions, wherein the Russian Minister of Peace attempted to convince Dudajev via persuasion - or actions taken by one actor to alter the behavior of another - that total sovereignty was neither in Chechnya's nor Dudajev's favor and was impossible; it would be crushed by Russian military might.
January 31, 2007 Political...

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