CHECHYNA WAR RUSSIAN INVASION Chechnya
The first Chechen war between 1994 and 1996 led to a humiliating defeat for the Russian army and then-Pres. Boris Yeltsin. Many soldiers ? underpaid and badly treated by their superiors?  saw the restive mountain republic as not worth dying for. The Russian experience in Afghanistan was still fresh. But military leaders forgot or deliberately ignored the war?s counter-insurgency lessons.Chechens who fought against the Russian army were sometimes former Soviet soldiers, including Dzhokhar Dudayev? the young republic?s first post-Soviet leader.Others were police officers and civilians with no prior combat training. They carried small arms, light weapons and had few heavy artillery. They had no air force. Both sides resorted to brutality, torture and arbitrary executions. Chechen terrorists targeted civilians in Russia, and Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin extended a hand to pliable Chechen leaders. The Kremlin?s focus on enlisting collaborators proved decisive, and defections from the Chechen side rose exponentially. Two clans that had fought the Russians in 1994? the Yamadayevs and Kadyrovs? struck a bargain with Moscow in 1999. Russian troops overran Grozny. After 2000, the war evolved into an insurgency.
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