Chechnya: the causes of a protracted post-Soviet conflict.
Civil wars, 4
The conflict in Chechnya is one of the most protracted of all the post-Soviet conflicts and is the only violent secessionist conflict to have occurred within the Russia Federation. The article evaluates the main explanations for the conflict and challenges historicist and ‘ethnic’ war accounts. It presents an alternative analysis which focuses on the interrelationship and combined effect of history, contingency, the instrumentalization of conflict by political leaderships, intra-Chechen cleavages, political economy, sectional interests and international factors. The article views the 1994-6 and 1991-present wars as part of a continuum, and discusses how the dynamics of the conflict have changed over time, as new radicalising elements such as Islamic fundamentalism and Russian nationalism under Putin have become more salient.
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