Chechnya is located in the Northern Caucasus Mountain. It has a population of more than 1 million Chechens, who speak either Chechen or Russian, and have a religion of either Muslim or Russian Orthodox. But that number may decrease, rather than increase due to a genocide that has been going on for as long as anyone can remember.
1. Massive deportation
In 1944, Stalin, the then leader of the Soviet Union, had the entire Chechen population deported to Siberia and Kazakhstan. They were only allowed to return home 13 years later. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, nationalist leaders of Chechnya declared the republic’s independence, which started it all.
2. First war
The first war between Chechnya and Russia started in 1994 and ended in 1996. The years in between were a testament to a bloody conflict. At the beginning of the war, 30,000 Chechens were killed, and 600,000 displaced when a Russian troop of 35000 – 40000 invaded the republic. In 1995, capital Grozny falls to Russian forces and was destroyed, even when they were still 60,000 people living in it. When 1996 came and Russian troops withdrew, 120,000 Chechens died, and only 3,000 Russian troops.
3. Second war
This round of military conflict happened between 1999 and 2000. It started when Russian military invaded Chechnya, in what is supposed to be an “anti-terrorist operation”. Naturally, Chechen fighters fought back and launched terrorist attacks in Russia. But the Russian troops managed to take over Gronazy, where they fought, abused and killed more Chechens. Militants, on the other hand, killed 54 people when they launched five suicide bomb attacks on Russian security bases.
4. Human rights violations
In 2001, alleged tortures and widespread detentions reached human rights organizations, which expressed concerns over these crimes carried out by Russian troops to Chechens. It was also at this time when a mass grave filled with mutilated bodies was discovered.
5. Suicide attacks
The years following 2001 was fraught with attacks from both sides of the fence. In 2002, rebels from Chechnya seized a theatre in Moscow and held hostage over 700 people. When Russian forces subdued the militants by using an unknown gas, all 41 rebels were killed, including 129 out of the 700 hostages.
In May 2003, 59 people were killed in a government complex in Northern Chechnya, when two suicide bombers crashed a truckload of explosives into the building. A month after that, 16 people were killed at a concert in Moscow during a suicide attack. The year 2004 was even worse for both Chechens and Russians, with continued attacks from both sides.
6. Killed by landmines
Since 1994, 700 people have been killed by landmines left from the conflict between Chechnya and Russia, according to UNICEF. This further increased the death toll, when added to the number of people killed during the 10-year anti-terror operation of Russia in Chechnya.
To this day, Chechnya is still being attacked, but this time by other terrorist groups, such as Islamic militants. But with their own group of terrorists, the Caucasus Emirate, peace will remain elusive to Chechens.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.