Chechnya

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Chechnya

(chĕchnyä`, chĕch`nēə) or

Chechen Republic

(chəchĕn`), republic (1990 est. pop. 1,300,000, with neighboring Ingushetia), c.6,100 sq mi (15,800 sq km), SE European Russia, in the N Caucasus. GroznyGrozny
or Groznyy
, city (2006 est. pop. 230,000), capital of Chechnya, SE European Russia, in the northern foothills of the Greater Caucasus. It is the center of Chechnya's oil fields, linked by pipelines to Makhachkala on the Caspian Sea, to Tuapse on the Black Sea,
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 is the capital. Prior to 1992 Chechnya and IngushetiaIngushetia
or Ingush Republic
, republic, c.1,240 sq mi (3,210 sq km), Russian Federation, in the N Caucasus. The capital (since 2003) is Magas, a new city in the suburbs of Nazran, the former capital.
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 comprised the Checheno-Ingush Republic.

The mountainous region has important oil deposits, as well as natural gas, limestone, gypsum, sulfur, and other minerals. Its mineral waters have made it a spa center. Agriculture is concentrated in the Terek and Sunzha river valleys. Oil, petrochemicals, oil-field equipment, foods, wines, and fruit are produced. The population, which is concentrated in the foothills, is predominantly Chechen, or Nokhchi. The Chechen, like the neighboring Ingush, are Sunni Muslim, and speak a Caucasian language.

History

Recognized as a distinct people since the 17th cent., the Chechens were the most active opponents of Russia's conquest (1818–1917) of the Caucasus. They fought bitterly during an unsuccessful 1850s rebellion led by Imam ShamylShamyl
or Shamil
, 1798?–1871, imam (religious and political leader) of the E Caucasus. From 1834 to 1859 he led the Muslim tribes of the E Caucasus in their holy war to resist Russian conquest, waging guerrilla warfare with great skill.
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. The Bolsheviks seized the region in 1918 but were dislodged in 1919 by counterrevolutionary forces under Gen. A. I. DenikinDenikin, Anton Ivanovich
, 1872–1947, Russian general. The son of a serf, he rose from the ranks. After the Bolshevik Revolution in Nov., 1917 (Oct., 1917, O.S.), he joined General Kornilov, whom he succeeded (1918) as commander of the anti-Bolshevik forces in the south.
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.

After Soviet rule was reestablished, the area was included in 1921 in the Mountain People's Republic. The Chechen Autonomous Region was created in 1922, and in 1934 it became part of the Chechen-Ingush Region, made a republic in 1936. After Chechen and Ingush units collaborated with the invading Germans during World War II, many residents were deported (1944) to Central Asia. Deportees were repatriated in 1956, and the republic was reestablished in 1957.

In 1991, as the Soviet Union disintegrated, the Chechen-dominated parliament of the republic declared independence as the Republic of Ichkeria, soon better known as Chechnya. In June, 1992, Russia granted Ingush inhabitants their own republic (Ingushetia) in the western fifth of the territory; in subsequent years there have been disputes and tension between the two republics over territory.

Tensions between the Russian government and that of Chechen president Dzhokhar Dudayev escalated into warfare in late 1994, as Russian troops arrived to crush the separatist movement. Grozny was devastated in the fighting, and tens of thousands died. Russian forces regained control of many areas in 1995, but separatist guerrillas controlled much of the mountainous south and committed spectacular terrorist actions in other parts of Russia. Fighting continued through 1996, when Dudayev was killed and succeeded by Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. The Russians withdrew, essentially admitting defeat, following a cease-fire that left Chechnya with de facto autonomy.

Aslan Maskhadov, chief of staff of the Chechen forces, was elected president early in 1997 but appeared to have little control over the republic. In 1999, Islamic law was established. Terrorism, including a series of bombings in Moscow, erupted again, and after Islamic militants invaded neighboring DagestanDagestan Republic
or Daghestan Republic
, constituent republic (1999 pop. 2,074,000), c.19,400 sq mi (50,250 sq km), SE European Russia, bounded on the E by the Caspian Sea. Makhachkala (the capital) and Derbent are the chief cities.
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 from Chechnya, Russian forces bombed and invaded Chechnya, capturing Grozny and forcing the rebels into mountain strongholds. The rebels continued to mount occasional guerrilla attacks on Russian forces, as well as terror attacks in Moscow and other Russian cities outside Chechnya, but there have been no significant rebel attacks in Chechnya since 2004. Both sides were accused of brutality and terrorizing noncombatants.

In 2003 voters approved a new constitution for Chechnya, and Akhmad Kadyrov was subsequently elected president, but the election was generally regarded as neither free nor fair. Both the constitution and the president were backed by Russian government. Kadyrov was assassinated in 2004; Alu Alkhanov was elected to succeed him. Russian forces killed Maskhadov, who was considered a moderate Chechen rebel leader, in 2005 and Shamil Baseyev, a notorious and significant rebel commander, in 2006.

Alkhanov resigned as president in 2007 after a power struggle with Prime Minister Ramzan KadyrovKadyrov, Ramzan Akhmadovich,
1976–, Chechen rebel and political leader. The son of assassinated (2004) Chechnya president Akhmad Kadyrov, he was a guerilla leader in the first Chechen war (1994–96).
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, son of the former president, and Kadyrov was then appointed president (the post was renamed imam in 2010) by Russian president Putin. Kadyrov has been accused of terroristic and sadistic brutality; a number of his rivals and critics have been assassinated, and there also has been an increase in antigovernment terrorist attacks.

References in periodicals archive ?
Head of the Administration of the Head of the Government of the Chechen Republic Abdulkahir Izrailov, Minister of Internal Affairs for the Chechen Republic Ruslan Alkhanov, Secretary of the Council of Economic and Public Security Vakhit Usmaev and others took part in the meeting.
Shaikh Nasser, on a visit to the Chechen Republic, praised the efforts of the Chechen president and his government to provide a decent life for the people.
The project is being implemented under the Republican Target Programme of Socio-Economic Development of the Chechen Republic for 2008-2011 and the Programme of the Chechen Republicas Innovative Development for 2009-2012.
Chechen Republic sports minister Haidar Alkhanov said: "They took a unanimous decision not to leave Premier Liga.
Vakha Demelkhanov, Grozny, Chechen Republic, Russian Federation
The convictions and sentences were a major embarrassment for Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose government has waged a fierce crackdown on rebels involved in the ongoing insurgency in the breakaway Chechen republic.
While the conflict in the Chechen Republic may be a distraction for Moscow, it has the potential to spill over into other Muslim areas in the Caucasus, inflaming their populations and destabilizing other governments.
According to the ministry, the Russian side is open for dialogue with Denmark concerning the processes occurring in the Chechen Republic to overcome the stereotypes and misconceptions ingrained in the consciousness of a part of the establishment of that country about the real state of affairs in this subject.
THE long-awaited revamp of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website names 26 countries - including Israel's West Bank and Gaza areas, Chechen Republic and Albanian-Kosovo border - as off limits for British travellers.
The latest crisis comes just over three years after Moscow launched a second war in Chechnya under the command of Putin, then prime minister, who was elected president in March 2000 partly on the back of his pledge to respond toughly to the anarchy in the Chechen Republic.
Condemning terrorism, the Congress declared that the official organs of the Chechen republic had had nothing to do with the explosions that took place in 1999 in apartment buildings in Moscow, Volgodonsk and Buynaksk, and expressed the conviction that Chechens in general had played no part in the acts of terrorism that preceded the new war.
Aftayeva Fariza, a representative of the breakaway Chechen Republic in Amman, Jordan, identified the hijackers as Aslambek Artsayev, the former Chechen interior minister, and his brother, Sufian.