The overreach of the Chechen warlords and the rise of Vladimir Putin combine to precipitate the re- invasion of Chechnya in 1999. Grozny is besieged once again and destroyed in urban combat. Both sides have learned from ’94-‘96 but this time Russia is committing far more. Staged “terrorist” attacks help Putin rally support, even as he kills his own people.
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After the Russian Army finally wrests the capital of Grozny from the rebels, its momentum stalls and it resorts to indiscriminate carpet bombing and massacring civilians. In an ominous turn for the future, the desperate rebels engage in mass hostage-takings that stall the war further. With able guerrilla commanders exploiting low Russian morale and poor organization, the rebels shock the world by retaking Grozny in 1996. Russia withdraws and the democratic Chechen Republic of Ichkeria is born!Check out this episode!
For Further Awesome Reading…
The Lost American: Killing Chechnya by Fred CunyThis is an excellent article by an embedded American journalist—one who paid the ultimate price for his bravery in reporting. While he was with the rebels, Russian double agents passed along false information that he was a Russian spy, resulting in his execution. The opening paragraphs of this article, written in 1995, are eerily accurate for the future Cuny would never see.
A personal account from the other side: a Russian conscript, but then, curiously, a volunteer. Babchenko recounts the hazing, poor training, and hopeless situation of the Russian draftee deployed to Chechnya, and the moral trouble and “gunpowder disease” (read: addiction to combat) of the redeployed volunteer. Grim book, worth reading for anyone.
Support the Edge of History podcast!
You can support our podcast by downloading on iTunes, subscribing and leaving a review. The Centurion reads every single one! Please share it on social media using the links at the bottom of this post. Thank You!