Geographically why was Chechnya important to Russia?
Why did Russia want to keep Chechnya?
- Slava TLv 68 years agoFavorite Answer
It was an Islamic "bridge" between "mainland" Russia and Caucasian Christian territories (Georgia and Armenia) which asked Russia for the protection from Persia and Turkey back in the 19th century.
Geopolitically the situation dramatically changed since then with Georgia and Armenia being independent countries now. So, Chechnya and the whole North Caucasus is just trouble making Islamic appendix to Russia without any value.
If there were a national public referendum on Chechnya I am sure the majority of the Russian population would vote for Chechnya and other North Kavkazian territories OUT of Russia.
Some Mr. Putin's fans believe that Chechnya is a precious jewel. Taking into account how much jewelry Mr Kadyrov (Chechen president and Putin's pet boy with the soft spot for the tacky luxurious life-style) has it's partly true.
- Anonymous5 years ago
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I am afraid it might be a long answer to your question, sorry. To understand the intricacies of the situation with Chechnya you have to be aware of both the Russian modern and recent history. Chechnya and the adjacent area became important for the Russian Empire during its wars against Turkish Ottoman Empire in end of 18th- beg. 19th centuries. The Russian Empire expanded its territory to Georgia (country, not US state) and Armenia at that time. If you look at the map you can realise that Chechnya is a geographic bridge between Southern Russia and Georgia/Armenia. It was important to have a safe corridor to those areas through the Chechen territory. When the Bolsheviks (communists) came to power in 1917 they managed to reinstate communist (NOT RUSSIAN) control over almost all territories which had been included into the Russian Empire, including Georgia and Armenia. Thus, Chechnya was still important for them from strategic point of view. When the USSR broke down in 1991 Armenia and Georgia became independent states. Chechnya was part of the Russian Republic within the USSR (there were 15 republics, all of them became independent states) that is why it did not gain the independence. Boris Yeltsin, who was the president of Russia at that time, was afraid that Russia would fall apart as it had been the case with the USSR because of the regional separatism. It was the main reason for the first Russian-Chechen war of 1994. Chechnya became a de-facto independent entity in 1996. Vladimir Putin who was elected as the Russian president after Yeltsin was very much obliged with his presidential success to his revanchist war against Chechnya (started in 2000). Putin’s military victory in Chechnya (Putin served as the Russian prime-minister at that time) became the basis of his success at the presidential elections. “Appeasement” of Chechnya became the political symbol of his terms. That is why to withdraw from Chechnya would mean the admission of his failure as a politician. But! The public opinion in Russia is generally in support for separation of Chechnya from the rest of Russia. Chechnya has no any economic or strategic value. There are no ethnic Russians living in Chechnya. In fact, Chechnya is monoethnic territory now. It’s an enormous burden for the Russian federal budget. There are huge ethnic tensions between ethnic Russians and Chechens. I am sure that it will be separated from Russia soon. But it won’t happen under the current government because as I said above Chechnya is Putin’s only “success”.
- 8 years ago
I'm Russian and I'd be happy if Dagestan and Chechnya removed itselves from Russia map and became autonomous states