Russia Says It Is Triumphant In Chechnya

Ten years ago, then Prime Minister Vladmir Putin sent thousands of Russian troops into the secessionist republic of Chehnya and made clear they would remain until victory had been achieved. During the ensuing decade, thousands died on each side in a bloody and cruel war in which there were brutalities on both sides. Chechnya became a hotbed for insurgents because of the inept and brutal actions by Russian soldiers who abused both the enemy and innocent civilians. About seven thousand men took to the hills in 2000 to continue the fight against Russia, but as the years passed and the reality of life in mountains and constant fighting finally caught up, the men slowly went back home either with a pardon or simply out of exhaustion.

The secessionists divided into an Islamic and a Chechen nationalist group. The secessionists during the time period 1996-1999 had control over a state, but internal squabbling and incompetent leaders cost them an opportunity to present Russia with a fait accompli by letting the world see an independent and democratic society. Putin put in charge brutal local Chechen leaders who saw no problem in killing secessionists as long as they got power and money. The Chechens sold out and lost their people an opportunity for having their own state.