Jokhar Dudaev (to the left), December 10, 1994. Photo RFE/RL

31 December 2016, 00:34

20 years pass since end of First Chechen War

The day of December 31 has marked the 20th anniversary of the withdrawal of the last federal forces from Chechnya on December 31, 1996. By the end of the First Chechen War, the "Caucasian Knot" prepared a compilation of reference materials, combined in a thematic folder.

The exact number of victims of the First Chechen War is still unknown. According to various sources, 4000-14,000 Russian soldiers and officers, 3000-10,000 Chechen fighters, and 50,000-100,000 civilians were killed.

Oleg Orlov, a member of the Board of the Human Rights Centre (HRC) "Memorial", believes that a consensus might have been found with President Djokhar Dudaev, who led separatists.

The war was started on December 11, 1994, three years after the proclamation of independence of the Republic of Ichkeria, and it lasted two years. The invasion of the federal forces was preceded by unsuccessful attempt to storm Grozny in November 1994, committed by the forces of anti-Dudaev opposition, with the support of the Russian military forces.

On December 31, 1994, the Russian army started storming Grozny. The control over the capital was not taken until March 1995.

On June 14, 1995, a unit of militants led by Shamil Basaev, a Chechen field commander, committed a terror act in the Stavropol city of Budyonnovsk. In the period from March 6 to 8, 1996, Grozny was actually controlled by troops led by Ruslan Gelaev.

On April 22, 1996, Djokhar Dudaev was killed near the village of Geghi-Chu. On May 27-28, 1996, at the talks held in Moscow, the sides succeeded to agree on ceasefire. However, in summer 1996, the hostilities in Chechnya were resumed.

On August 6, 1996, the separatists led by Aslan Maskhadov, the chief of the Headquarters of Ichkeria, seized the cities of Grozny, Gudermes, and Argun. By August 22, Alexander Lebed, the Russian Security Council Secretary, achieved a ceasefire in Grozny.

On August 30, 1996, Aslan Maskhadov and Alexander Lebed signed a statement in the Dagestani city of Khasavyurt. By December 31, 1996, all federal troops left Chechnya.

Ruslan Martagov, a political analyst from Chechnya, believes that the area of the second war was prepared as a result of the first Chechen military campaign.

Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.

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