Agree with Smells like New Screen Names.
Chechnia (Free Ichkeria) has been independent after end of first Chechen war. They never stopped kidnapping russian citizen from neighboring provinces (about 10-20 people) every month, for ransom. Unless ransom paid, they used to behead victim and send tape of execution to relatives.
Besides that business they engaged in drug trafficking, smuggling and other cute things.
All russians fled Chechnya even before first war, because police couldn't save them. They just ran for their lives.
And yes, Dagestan invasion. It was not approved by official president Mashadov, but he was just unable to control army.
Between Dagestan and start of second Chechen war, they have blown several apartment buildings in Russia, each explosion claimed hundreds of lives.
So ... peace with independent Ichkeria is worse then open war.
Though, now when Chechnia is subdued, loyal Ramzan Kadyrov rules it like medieval Khan, it drains huge money from federal budget... this more looks like paying tribute. So, in fact, many russians support idea of getting rid of Chechnya