Why does Russia have such problems with Chechnya?

The Chechnya territory is only 30 miles wide! How could Russian forces have such trouble hunting down the terrorists? The area is so small (5000 square miles), why is it so hard for the Russians to win?

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Good answer, Thalia ...

    There is no neat, simple answer ... under Stalin, the Chechens were reduced from 20 million to a little over 1 million and after the disbandment of the USSR the Chechens wanted absolute autonomy and they had lots of scores to settle. Unfortunately Chechnya is rich in oil [which is the scourge of so many modern wars] and as the Russians did not want to let go, the results was a war which the Russians thought they would win easily [sound familiar?] But this war was disasterously savage because it was inflamed by intense nationalism and ethnic hatred. It was a calamitously managed war that swiftly degenerated into a brutal campaign of suppression that only increased Chechen resistance; a war in which an ill-trained, disintegrating Russian army, in truth little more than a mob, was pitted against a smaller, but highly motivated and skilled guerrilla force which feels it has nothing to lose and will fight till the end.

    Kill or be killed was the sole motivation of most soldiers in the disintegrating Russian Army, who were desperately fighting to stay alive rather than win a war. Win or die was the creed of Chechens inspired by fanatical patriotism and their Islamic belief in jihad, or holy war, against the traditional enemy. Many Russians saw Chechens as swarthy, treacherous savages and habitual criminals. The Chechens saw the Russians as ruthless conquerors and despoilers of their motherland.

    And yes, the area is small but strategically it suits the guerilla style warfare of the Chechens and not the invading Russians ... it's like David fighting Goliath!

  • 1 decade ago

    Have you been living under a rock?

    The war has ended about six years ago. Chechnya is presently at peace (or as peaceful as a nationalistic ultra-Islamic state scourged by decades of war can be.)

    About 90% Chechen budget is sponsored by Moscow, that pours bucket-loads of money in hopes that to pacify the people at least for a little while. The city of Grozny is rapidly being rebuilt.

    Why did it take so long to win?

    Chechens are natural fighters, with a particular code of ethics that prescribes bravery and sacrifice above anything else. Chechen boys learn to handle a dagger before they can walk. It is traditional for all households to have weapons, and most houses have underground passages leading away from the village. When a war comes, a Chechen Taip (tribe) will usually go into the mountains, and engage in guerrilla warfare. The mountains are riddled with forts, towers, bases and secret passages. If the resources become scarce, combatants can don civilian clothes and return to village for supplies and new recruits.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The people in Chechnya practice Islam. Also if its 5000 square miles as you say then maybe it could be say 30 miles by say 165 miles long. That size could be fairly large in terms of fighting insurgents. The Gaza strip is only 25 miles long and about 5 miles wide and look at all the trouble they cause!

  • 1 decade ago

    The same reason why Yugoslavia disintegrated - the conflict was provoked by US. Who are conquerors? Chechen mob control important areas of business in Moscow and other parts of Russia up to now. Only inexperienced conscripts were sometimes easy targets for insurgents. But there are enough pros in Russian military, like scouts, spetsnaz, paratroopers. Insurgents were easy targets for them in both wars. Chechnya was a problem because it was a political problem, not military.

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  • Thalia
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Its a guerilla war, and guerilla wars are very hard for conventional armies to fight.

    The US had the same problem in Afghanistan and Vietnam.

    And on a smaller scale Britain spent decades battling the IRA (in Northern Island) and Spain battling ETA (in the Basque country).

    You can hardly send in the tanks and crush them when they just don civilian clothing and blend back into the ordinary population at any time.

  • maren
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    that's not a conflict against Chechnya as a rustic, via fact this way of u . s . does not exist. particularly that's the searching down and killing of terrorist canines, that experience the might desire to make certain a "unfastened Chechnya"(study: radical Islamic state). interior the interim, Chechen "freedom combatants" (as western media loves to call them) bloodbath infants, carry out suicide bombings and take hostages.

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