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Chechnya The Continuing Conflict Chechnya is situated in the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. It is surrounded by Dagestan to the east, Georgia and South Ossetia to the south, Russia to the north and North Ossetia in the west. Chechnya is rich in mineral oil and produced twenty million tons per year before the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 created the opportunity for the Russian provinces to declare their independence. The Russian government managed to keep its control of all states apart from Chechnya, which, under the new president Dzhokhar Dudayev, declared independence in October 1991. The Russian Government did not approve this and President Yeltsin declared war against the newborn regime in 1994. Yeltsin feared that if they had not declared war the other Caucasus states may have followed suit, to prevent this they preferred to curb it at the out set. The second Chechen war, which began in September 1999, was a result of the actions taken by Russia in the first war and was a product of the same policies. The fight for independence for Chechnya has been ongoing since the Bolshevik Revolution and is one that will be fought well into the future if something is not done about it now. The Russo-Chechen war that ended in 1996 should have given the Russian government a feel of things to come when they decided to attack in late September of last year. Triggered by security challenges to the State, Russia decided that the democracy would be in danger if they didn’t act. Russia was in a politically unstable situation right now with the resignation of Yeltsin, and the current Presidential elections looming. Also looming on the political horizon was the concern over rampant corruption in the government. If they had done nothing Yeltsin’s party would have stood to lose, yet Putin, (Yeltsin’s successor) succeeded in focusing the medias attention on the war rather that the domestic corruption. This war has given rise to a huge influx of racial hatred that has again helped Putin. Because the majority of the Chechen’s are Muslim, and not of the same ethnic background as Russians, racial discrimination has helped to boost the wars popularity and subsequently Putins. The security of oil in the southern Caucasus states and its transportation routes are the main influential factors in the... ... middle of paper ... ...the task of the US and their European allies to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights; the charge, a violation of its international treaty rights. Russia should also be required to conduct peace negotiations with the Chechens under the guidance of the various European Groups with a vested interest in the preservation of the borders of the surrounding countries. Threats of this can be conveyed to Russia, but this action, and anything that may come of it will not necessarily by abided by Russia. Russia has already shown that it will do what it wants concerning this issue. The US and its European allies are in apposition where threatening Russia with action is the only thing that they can do. Russia will not respond to these threats and will best only give them lip service. That this conflict be resolved in a manner favourable to Russia is essential. Russia cannot permit the secession of any part of its territory because it will lead to actions by other regions and the access to Caucasus oil fields cannot be lost. Any other action taken by a third party will only result in destabilization of Russia and termination of diplomatic relations between Russia and the west.

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