Have the Chechens’ Independence Claims Been Legitimate During the First and Second Russo-Chechen Wars?

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MARMARA UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AND INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

A STUDY OF
HAVE THE CHECHENS’ INDEPENDENCE CLAIMS BEEN LEGITIMATE DURING THE FIRST AND SECOND RUSSO-CHECHEN WARS?

SPRING 2010

İçindekiler
INTRODUCTION1
LEGITIMACY8
THE FIRST RUSSO-CHECHEN WAR9
THE SECOND RUSSO-CHECHEN WAR14
SELF-DETERMINATION16
CONCLUSION16

INTRODUCTION
A GENERAL VIEW OF CHECHENYA AND RUSSIA IN EASTERN EUROPE
Chechnya
Chechnya is a landlocked region in southern Russia bordered by Dagestan to the east and north, Stavropol krai and Northern Ossetia to the northwest, Ingushetia to the west, the republic of Georgia to the south.1 It is located in the eastern part of the north Caucasus Mountains, between the Caspian and Black seas. The capital and largest city of Chechnya, Grozny, is in the centre of the region. FIGURE 1: MAP OF CHECHNYA2

The Russian Republic of Chechnya started a small, localized revolution on 21 August 1991, two days after the August coup in the former Soviet Union,and declared its independence from Russia on 6 September 1991. This independence movement is led by ex-Soviet Air Force general Dzhokhar Dudayev. He became the president of Chechnya. Then, in 1992, Chechnya adopts a constitution defining it as an independent, secular state governed by a president and parliament. From 1994 to 2009, Checehnya have faced with two war: the first and second Chechen-Russia Wars. Those wars destroyed both huge swaths and the infrastructure of Checehnya.3 The population before the start of the latest war was approximately 1.05 million, but it has shrunk during the war to around 700,000 (one thirty-fifth the size of Iraq) because 40,000 to 45,000 civilians have been killed, 50,000 are living as internally displaced persons, tens of thousands are external refugees, and a vast number have moved permanently elsewhere (to Moscow, other Russian cities or foreign countries). In, April 16, 2009, the war was ended and Russia declared the nearly decade-old "counterterrorism operation" against separatist rebels to be over, a month after President Medvedev said life in the republic had "normalised to a large degree".4 Yet a year later, peace has not come to Chechnya.5 Between April 2009 and March 2010, 85 law enforcement officers were killed in the republic and 168 wounded. Acts of terrorism continue.6 Russia

Russia is located on northern asia the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), and bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, composing of 83 federal subjects.

FIGURE 2. MAP OF RUSSIA.7

It is the largest country in the world. It is also the ninth most populous naiton in the world with 142 million people. In addition, Russia has the world's largest reserves of mineral and energy resources, and is considered an energy superpower.8 Russia established worldwide power and influence from the times of the Russian Empire to being the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower. Russia, conventionally The Russian Federation, was founded following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, but is recognized as the continuing legal personality of the Soviet state. Its constitution was established in 1993. Acording to the constitution, Russia is a federation and formally a semi-presidential republic in which the president is the head of the state and the Prime Minister is the head of government. 9 In addition, its legal system is based on civil law system and judicial review of legislative acts.10 Russia has recently faced with Chechn conflict that was concluded with two wars: the first and second Chechn-Russia Wars. With the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, a number of regions managed to break away and gain independence. General Dzhokhar Dudayev,...
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