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Discuss With Reference To Ethnic Conflict In The Caucasus, Russia's War With Chechnya. Your Discussion Must Cite Specific Aspects Of The Conflict And Lead Up To The War In 1994.

2421 words - 10 pages

Discuss with reference to ethnic conflict in the Caucasus, Russia's war with Chechnya. Your discussion must cite specific aspects of the conflict and lead up to the war in 1994.The world is populated with multiethnic states: "82 percent of all ethnic states comprise two or more ethnic groups, which are often involved in disputes either with each other or with the state itself " (Toft, 2003, 17). An example of the latter is the Chechen - Russian conflict. In 1783, Tsarist Russia instigated a major incursion into the North Caucasus to subjugate and colonize the area. It began with the annexation of Azaq and the Crimean Khanate and took eighty years of Russian insurgence to succeed (Broxup, 1994:83; Panico, 1995: 256). However, success in the wars did not endure for long. Starting from then, Chechnya has persistently resisted Russian domination, whether under the Tsarist regime, as the USSR, or under the Russian Federation. Through the 18th century, from 1785- 91 a resistance led by Sufi Naqshibandyi (brotherhood) leader, Sheik Mansur, stretched from north Dagestan to the Kuban, Tatarstan. This was followed in the 19th century by a more threatening revolt led by Imam Shamil in the form of a religious uprising, lasting between 1834- 59, and, another revolt in 1877- 78 during the Russo- Turkish war. In the 20th century, the first resistance was after the Bolshevik revolution in 1920 - 21, another small anti- Chechen violence that erupted in Grozny, in 1958, and, finally, another conflict in August 1991, following the putsch against the then Soviet President, Gorbachev. In December 1994, Boris Yeltsin launched a sudden attack that lasted till August 1996, when the cease- fire agreement was signed in the town of Khasavyurt (Kovalev, 2000: 3; Lieven, 1998: 8 - 10; Panico, 1995: 256 - 258; Toft, 2003: 64 - 66). The Chechen - Russian conflict, like Kosovo, Kashmir, Palestine and Afghanistan, is as a result of ethnic differences where "minority demands for sovereignty of territory and the perception of indivisibility of territory from the rest of the country in the eyes of the central state" are the main causes of problem (Toft, 2003: 17- 19).This essay will examine two aspects of the conflict: the historical background of the Chechen people with particular focus on the role of religion in the conflict, and, then, briefly, deportations of 1944. Although these two are not the only reasons for the events that led up to war in 1994, they are perhaps the most important underlying causes for the dynamics in the Chechen conflict. Later sections of this essay will shortly provide alternative theories and reasons for the war, however, it is beyond the scope of this essay to discuss all the aspects of a complex multiethnic theater of conflict like Chechnya. We will begin by examining the background of the conflict before we discuss specific reasons. This is intended to explain why this conflict has never been resolved previously, and why, despite being similar to...

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