Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

Chronology for Chechens in Russia

Publisher Minorities at Risk Project
Publication Date 2004
Cite as Minorities at Risk Project, Chronology for Chechens in Russia, 2004, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/469f38d12.html [accessed 21 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Date(s) Item
1785 Sheik Mansur leads Chechens in their first attempt to resist Russian encroachment on their lands.
1817 - 1864 The Russian Empire expands into the Caucasus, waging several bloody and taxing wars in order to subjugate the peoples of the region. Chechnya is the site of particularly brutal warfare.
1859 Chechnya is formally annexed by Russia.
1865 39,000 Chechens are exiled to Turkey by Tsarist authorities.
1893 Drilling for oil begins near Grozny, the capital of Chechnya.
1917 - 1921 During the Bolshevik takeover and Russian Civil War, Chechen territory is alternately controlled by Red and White forces. Chechens led by Sheik Uzun Haji fight first against the Whites and subsequently against the Bolsheviks.
1920 - 1925 Sporadic armed resistance continues against Bolshevik forces.
1922 The Chechen Autonomous Oblast is formed.
1930 - 1939 An anti-Russian millenarian cult based on folk Islam is active in Chechnya. Throughout the 1930s and after, Chechens resist Stalin's collectivization and Sovietization policies.
1936 The Chechen and Ingush polities are merged into the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Republic.
1940 Long after Stalinist repression has quieted other regions of the Soviet empire, a revolt breaks out in Chechnya.
1943 - 1944 During World War II (in Soviet parlance, "The Great Patriotic War"), some Chechens fight in the Red Army while others either directly or indirectly collaborate with German units by attacking Soviet forces.
Feb 1944 As punishment for collaboration with Germany, Stalin abolishes the Chechen-Ingush republic and deports its inhabitants to northern Kazakhstan.
1957 As part of Nikitia Khrushchev's de-Stalinization campaign, the Chechens are formally rehabilitated and permitted to slowly resettle their traditional homeland. Over subsequent years, returning Chechens clash with Avars and Dargins who occupied the region after the 1944 deportation.
1978 Soviet authorities permit Mosques to reopen in Chechnya.
Aug 1990 A series of rallies are held throughout Chechen-Ingushetia to protest the failure of the region's Supreme Soviet to clarify certain issues, notably the republic's sovereignty status.
Sep 1990 The Soviet media reports that returning Chechen and Ingush deportees from Kazakhstan are provoking tensions with ethnic Russians in an effort to force Slavs to leave the republic.
Nov 1990 A "National Congress of Chechen People" adopts a declaration of Chechen sovereignty. The status of Chechnya within the USSR/Russian Federation is declared as subject to negotiation.
Nov 1990 The Supreme Soviet of the Chechen-Ingush republic declares sovereignty with the full prerogatives of an independent state.
Mar 1991 In the town of Nazran, citizens rally for the restoration of Ingush statehood within a separate Ingush polity. Protestors also demand the return of the majority-Ingush region of Prigorodny incorporated into the neighboring republic of North Ossetia by Stalin. As part of his effort to politically weaken his rival Mikhail Gorbachev (President of the USSR), Boris Yeltsin (Chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet) visits Chechen-Ingushetia and promises to assist the region in achieving autonomy within Russia.
Jul 1991 The parliament of Ingushetia declares the region an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Although formal union still exists, this is the first step in dividing Chechen-Ingushetia into an Ingush republic and a Chechen republic, a situation which prevailed in the first two decades of Soviet rule.
Aug 1, 1991 In the wake of the failed anti-Gorbachev coup in Moscow, political factions in Chechnya mobilize for control of the republic, a process which includes rallies and strikes. The two main contenders for power are the "National Congress of Chechen People," representing a broad anti-Communist coalition, and the republic's Communist-controlled Supreme Soviet.
Oct 1991 Russian media report that Chechen factions have resorted to sporadic violence in their competing bids to control the region. Leader of the "National Congress of Chechen People," Dzhakhar Dudayev, declares that his organization is assuming legislative and executive power in Chechnya. Dudayev wins 85 percent of the vote in Chechnya's presidential elections.
Nov 1991 In his first act as President of Chechnya, Dudayev declares the sovereignty of the Chechen republic. Russian media report that both pro- and anti-Dudayev forces are forming military units and securing armaments. In another indicator of unrest, reports indicate an accelerated departure of Russian families from Chechnya.
Dec 1991 Over 97 percent of Ingushetia's voters favor a referendum calling for the establishment of a separate Ingush polity within the Russian Federation. Later in the month Ingushetia declares itself a separate republic, in effect dividing Chechen-Ingushetia into two political units. The USSR is dissolved.
Jan 1992 The Chechen republic formally declares its recognition of the pre-1934 border with Ingushetia.
Feb 1992 The Dudayev regime declares that it will pursue an independent foreign policy, in particular with Islamic countries such as Turkey. Russian military installations are plundered by apparently pro-Dudayev Chechens. A new anti-Dudayev political movement is formed known as "Daymokhk" (Fatherland).
Mar 1992 The Latin alphabet is reintroduced in Chechnya. Armed clashes occur between pro- and anti-Dudayev forces, prompting the republic's parliament to declare a state of emergency. The Dudayev regime accuses Russian (Confederation of Independent States) forces of providing arms to its internal opponents.
Jun 1992 Amid dangerous security conditions, Russian army units complete their withdrawal from Chechnya. At the same time, the emigration of Russian civilians from the republic continues.
Jul 1992 The Chechen parliament accuses Dudayev of usurping power in the republic and ruling arbitrarily and against democratic norms.
Oct 1992 Chechen Cossacks (Russified Chechens) ask President Yeltsin to place their lands in Chechnya under the administrative jurisdiction of the neighboring Stavropol Kray.
Feb 1993 Anti-Dudayev members of parliament accuse the Chechen President with attempting to seize complete power in the republic. A new "National Reconciliation Council" emerges as an umbrella group for anti-Dudayev groups in Chechnya.
May 1993 Large anti-Dudayev rallies are held in Grozny (capital of Chechnya). These demonstrations continue into June. Several key government buildings are occupied by opposition forces. Pro-Dudayev civilians as well as regular military forces of the republic surround the sector of the city held by the protesters.
Jun 1993 Dudayev military units shell several buildings in Grozny which are occupied by dissident forces. According to Russian media, three sub-regions (known as rayons) declare their independence from the Dudayev government.
Jul 1993 The now divided regions of Chechnya and Ingushetia conclude a treaty of friendship and cooperation.
Aug 1994 The "Provisional Council of Chechnya," a coalition of anti-Dudayev forces, declares that it is taking power in the republic. This move apparently has Moscow's approval. Fighting breaks out in the republic between pro- and anti-Dudayev forces.
Sep 1994 Fighting intensifies in Chechnya as Dudayev attempts to suppress armed resistance to his rule. Combat continues over subsequent months.
Dec 1994 Amid a complicated political situation in Moscow, President Yeltsin orders the Russian army to occupy Chechnya, liquidate the Dudayev government, and restore order in the republic. This is the largest military action by Russia's armed forces since the invasion of Afghanistan. Large-scale clashes ensue between Russian troops and Chechen fighters. The once politically fractured Chechens now, for the most part, unite behind Dudayev as the embodiment of resistance against Russia. Russian troops encounter some resistance as they move through Ingush regions towards Chechnya. Ingushetia formally pledges to assist Chechnya in its struggle against Moscow. Many refugees from the conflict seek safety in Ingush regions.
Jan 1995 The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) denounces Russia's invasion of Chechnya. Human Rights Watch issues a report which accuses both Russian and Chechen forces of violating human rights. After a humiliating delay caused by tenacious Chechen resistance, Grozny is largely secured by Russian forces. In the first of several such statements, Yeltsin prematurely declares the military phase of the Chechen conflict over.
Feb 1995 With the fall of Grozny, Chechen forces revert to traditional clan-based forms of guerrilla resistance. Armed clashes with Russian forces continue over subsequent months. In addition, Chechen rebels periodically resort to taking Russians hostage. The parliament of Estonia calls on the Estonian government to extend full diplomatic recognition to the Dudayev government of Chechnya, which has gone into hiding but continues to direct resistance.
Jun 1995 Hundreds are taken hostage when Chechen fighters seize a hospital in the town of Budennovsk. This and similar hostage-taking incidents apparently embarrasses Dudayev, and he eventually calls for the prosecution of perpetrators under Islamic law.
Dec 1995 Defying a ban of such activities, about 3,000 Chechens protest on the streets of Grozny to mark the anniversary of the Russian military assault. Almost all Chechens boycott elections intended to validate the Russian-installed government of Doku Zavgayev (commensurate with his popular standing in Chechnya, Zavgayev divides his time between Moscow and a fortified compound at the Grozny airport). A major clash between Russian and Chechen units occurs in Gudermes, Chechnya's second largest city.
Jan 17, 1996 Abandoning hopes of saving hostages, Russian troops pounded Chechen rebels in the village of Pervomaiskoye in Dagestan on Chechnya's border. About 2000 people were taken hostage on 9 January by 200 rebels led by Salman Raduyev. All but about 120 hostages were released after a day, but the rebels were using the remaining hostages as shields in an attempt to enter Chechnya. Russian security chief Mikhail Barsukov then set a 14 January deadline for the release of the hostages. The rebels refused and on 15 January, Russia began bombing the village with artillery and helicopters. The siege ended on 18 January when Russia displayed a huge show of force. President Yeltsin said 82 of the 100+ hostages were freed and that 26 Russian troops and most of the rebels were killed.
Jan 25, 1996 The Council of Europe voted 164-35 to admit Russia despite fierce criticism of Moscow's military crackdown in Chechnya and its human rights record. The Council was set up in 1949 to safeguard democracy and human rights on the continent. As a member, Russia's duties will include ratification within one year of conventions guaranteeing human rights, protecting minorities, and outlawing torture.
Feb 5, 1996 Thousands of separatist supporters staged an anti-Russian demonstration in Grozny, stepping up pressure on Moscow to withdraw its troops. Armored vehicles took up positions near the protest, but the crowd dispersed without violence.
Feb 15, 1996 Yeltsin ruled out a rapid withdrawal from Chechnya and demanded the execution of leaders Dudayev, Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev who commanded hostage-taking raids outside Chechnya in January.
Mar 8, 1996 Chechen gunmen protesting Russia's treatment of their homeland seized a Turkish Cypriot passenger jet and forced it to fly to Bulgaria and then Germany.
Apr 1996 Amid continuing fighting in Chechnya and efforts by Yeltsin to end the conflict before presidential elections, Dudayev is killed in an air strike that reportedly specifically targets him. His death was confirmed by his top field commander on 24 April 1996. A report by the U.N. Commission on Human Rights called on Russia to put an end to the bombardment of towns and villages in the rebel region of Chechnya. The report said the Russian army was using disproportionate force against separatists which resulted in high numbers of civilian casualties.
May 13, 1996 Prime Minister Chernomyrdin asked the OSCE to make contact with Chechen separatists on his behalf.
Jun 8, 1996 Masked gunmen killed Yusup Elmurzayer, the head of Chechnya's Urus-Martan regional administration. He had opposed the rebels, but maintained dialogue with them. He also had criticized the Russians.
Jun 10, 1996 Russia and Chechen leaders agreed to a new peace deal. It is not a lasting solution, but was likely to help Yeltsin in the polls. Two explosions injured six members of a convoy of rebels and international mediators returning from the negotiations, casting doubts over the peace deal.
Jun 14, 1996 Chechens began voting for a regional parliament and Russian president in elections opposed by the rebels who see Chechnya as an independent state.
Jul 13, 1996 Fighting broke out on 9 January, days after Yeltsin's election victory. Germany, the U.S. and the OSCE have expressed concern at the escalation of violence. Bombs in Moscow on busses and the metro exploded killing several people and injuring several others.
Jul 18, 1996 Rebel field commander Salman Raduyev, reported to have been killed after leading a hostage raid in January reappeared and said former separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev was also alive. His comments could not be independently confirmed, but neither was Dudayev's death. Few Chechen leaders believe Duydayev is alive.
Jul 19, 1996 Russia's lower house of parliament urged Yeltsin to halt the fighting in Chechnya and restart peace talks. The Duma's resolution is non-binding and Yeltsin has ignored similar calls in the past.
Jul 23, 1996 Rebel leader Zemlikhan Yandarbiyev accused the Kremlin of breaking peace deals as the two sides battled for control of southern mountain areas. Fighting broke out almost as soon as Yeltsin won reelection on 3 July.
Aug 3, 1996 Two aid workers from the International Action Against Hunger organization were kidnapped by unidentified gunmen in Chechnya. Members of the Russian State Commission on Chechnya said they were ready to hold talks with separatist representatives during a four-day visit to the region.
Aug 13, 1996 Russian and Chechen leaders agreed to a truce to evacuate wounded after eight days of fighting in Grozny. Rebels seized much of the city on 6 August. Hundreds, possibly thousands, were thought to have been killed in the heaviest fighting in 18 months. Tens of thousands of civilians were trapped without food and medical supplies.
Aug 31, 1996 A peace deal was signed by Alexander Lebed, Yeltsin's envoy to the region, and Aslan Maskhadov, the Chechen military's chief of staff. Terms include a commission with co-chairmen (one Russian and one Chechen) to meet once a week in Grozny; the commission is charged with supervising the withdrawal of Russian troops and preventing violence and crime in the region; tasks include financing of house-building, getting businesses back to work, compensating victims of war, ensuring the region has fuel and provisions for the winter.
Sep 6, 1996 Thousands of Chechens celebrated the fifth anniversary of their declared independence and what they hope is an end to the conflict.
Oct 3, 1996 Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and Chechen leader Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev agreed to set up a new joint body to rebuild Chechnya's economy and organize local elections. Chernomyrdin later warned that Russian sovereignty over the region was not open to negotiation. Under the peace agreement, the question of sovereignty was put on hold for five years.
Oct 27, 1996 Russia's new security chief Ivan Rybkin met Chechen rebel leaders for the first time. Separatists were worried that Lebed's dismissal would jeopardize the peace deal signed 31 August. Rebel leaders attended a congress in southwest Chechnya at which they said there could be no compromise on independence from Moscow.
Nov 18, 1996 A blast killed 56 at a military block of flats in Russia's Dagestan region which borders Chechnya. Some officials speculated that the blast was linked to the Chechen conflict. Chechen leader Yandarbiyev denied that separatists were responsible.
Jan 5, 1997 Russia announced it had withdrawn the last of its troops from Chechnya, formally ending the two-year long conflict. Separatists agreed to postpone a decision on Chechnya's status in return for the withdrawal of Russian troops. There has been sporadic violence in the region since the peace deal was signed in August.
Feb 12, 1997 Aslan Maskhadov took office as Chechnya's president after elections 27 January.
Feb 13, 1997 The outgoing president of Chechnya, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, thanked the Checheny people for their conduct of the war against Russia and promised that he would continue to devote himself to creating an independent state. He added that he was confident that the world would recognize Chechnya as independent. Yandarbiyev wished Chechen President-elect Maskhadov well in his new post and said that he was confident that the new president would pursue the policy of independence (BBC).
Feb 14, 1997 Russian President Boris Yeltsin urged newly installed Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov to protect the interests of ethnic Russians remaining in Chechnya. Yeltsin said that Chechnya should protect "human rights and freedoms, regardless of nationality and religious affiliation" (DPA).
Feb 15, 1997 Sources say President Maskhadov intends to take up both the premiership and the military command. Maskhadov's reasoning was that the Chechen Constitution allowed the holding of both posts. Maskhadov also said that he was going to urge for release of Chechen guerrillas who were captured during the hostilities and who at that time remained in Russian prisons and detention camps (ITAR-TASS).
Feb 20, 1997 The Islamic Order Union, which backed Movladi Udugov during Chechnya's Presidential elections in January, announced that it intended to turn into a powerful political organization in the republic. A Supreme Council was set up at the Union's session and Udugov was elected its chairman. The Union had 15,000 members. It received six seats in the local parliamentary elections in January. Udugov had been named acting Prime-minister. He would be responsible for relations with Moscow in Chechnya's new government (BBC).
Feb 21, 1997 Deputy Russian presidential representative in Chechnya, Viktor Medveditskov, said that the situation concerning Russian speakers in Chechnya had sharply deteriorated since federal troops left the Caucasus republic in late 1996. Medveditskov said that Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov suffered increasing pressure from the opposition, but he expressed hope that Maskhadov had enough strength to resist extremist politicians. Medveditskov quoted Maskhadov as saying that Groznyy would not receive any finances from Moscow if Chechnya insisted on independence (ITAR-TASS).
Feb 24, 1997 Chechen political scientist Shamil Beno said that the problem of unemployment was amid the most pressing ones in the republic. Beno noted that there were 200,000 jobless people in Groznyy in 1996 while their number was increasing significantly for 1997. Beno warned that the unemployment crisis would become irreversible if the government of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov failed to work out a state employment program. Many analysts in Chechnya believe that this program should call for signing an agreement with Moscow that would allow Chechen citizens to receive foreign passports and transit visas and go to wherever their labor is needed (ITAR-TASS).
Mar 5, 1997 Four Russian journalists were abducted in Chechnya. The attackers fired three shots and punched holes in the tires of the journalists' car, then they took the journalists away to an unknown destination. Russian vice-premier Vitaly Ignatenko said that the increasing frequency of abduction of mass media people was becoming an "international issue", and suggested that the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and other international organizations contribute to the solution of this problem (ITAR-TASS).
Mar 6, 1997 The Chechen government met in emergency session to discuss measures to find journalist Nikolai Zagnoiko from the Iter-Tass News Agency, and Yuri Arkhipov, Nikolai Mamulashvili and Lev Seltzer from "Radio of Russia", recently kidnapped in Chechnya. Secretary of Chechen Security Council, Akhmed Zakayev, and Russian Vice-Premier, Vitaly Ignatenko, agreed to maintain permanent contacts and exchange all information available about the fate of the kidnapped journalists (Itar-Tass).
Mar 12, 1997 Russia's State Duma, the lower house of parliament, approved the third and final reading of a limited amnesty for participants in the Chechen war. The amnesty covered both Russians and Chechens who committed "socially dangerous acts" in Russia's North Caucasus republics and Stavropol region from December 9, 1994 to December 31,1996 (DPA).
Mar 21, 1997 President Maskhadov said that he would soon announce the appointment of a new cabinet. Some former officials would stay, the president said (Xinhua News Agency).
Apr 2, 1997 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that talks on the settlement between Russia and the separatist republic of Chechnya were at an impasse because Moscow categorically opposed Chechnya's insistence on independence. The situation had been complicated by a series of kidnappings of journalists in Chechnya (AFP).
Apr 9, 1997 One Ingush policeman was killed and another wounded in an exchange of fire with some 70 armed Chechens who tried to enter Ingush territory. The presidents of Chechnya and Ingushetia set up a commission to investigate the circumstances of the border clash. Chechen Interior Minister Kazbek Makhashev told ITAR-TASS that "the Chechens did not belong to any Chechen military or law-enforcement body" . He noted that the incident did not have "any political basis" (BBC).
Apr 12, 1997 Members of the Abkhazia faction in the Georgian Parliament were on an official visit to Chechnya. In Groznyy, the Georgian delegation had meetings with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, parliament speaker Ruslan Alikhadzhiyev and First Deputy Prime Minister Shamil Basayev (BBC).
Apr 14, 1997 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov went on a Moslem pilgrimage to holy sites in Saudi Arabia where he intended to hold talks with leaders of a number of Islamic states (dpa).
Apr 17, 1997 The run-off elections to the Chechen parliament were pronounced as valid. 63 legislators will be working in the new Chechen parliament (ITAR-TASS).
Apr 25, 1997 The Chechen field commander Salman Raduyev, who calls himself the "commander of Gen Dzhokhar Dudayev's army" , claimed that he and his fighters were responsible for planning and carrying out acts of terrorism in southern Russia (BBC).
Apr 30, 1997 Russian and Chechen negotiators who met for talks on the Moscow-Grozny draft accords passed a joint statement which condemned the recent terrorist acts in the Northern Caucasus. The statement was signed by the Russian Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin and the Chechen first Prime Minister Movladi Udugov (ITAR-TASS).
May 12, 1997 Yeltsin signed landmark peace treaty with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov paving the way for normalization of ties despite Chechnya's unresolved status. Yeltsin, who sent thousands of Russian troops into Chechnya in December 1994 to crush the independence movement there, pledged never again to use force against the small, mainly Moslem republic in the North Caucasus. Yeltsin made small concessions of form, by signing the document himself, receiving Maskhadov, and referring to the "Republic of Ichkeria." -- the Chechens' name for their republic. But he was obtaining concessions of substance, such as Maskhadov's choice of the word "sovereignty" rather than "independence". The treaty, on "peace and the principles of relations between Russia and the Republic of Ichkeria"-- was brokered by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and it aimed at building on a ceasefire deal. The deal was signed on 31 August and it halted 21 months of fighting between federal troops and separatist guerrillas.
May 14, 1997 Chechen Vice President Vakha Arsanov said that the signing of the Chechen -Russian treaty on peace had "put an end to the state of war between the two sides, and Chechnya in fact was becoming a subject of international law". The treaty signed by the Russian and Chechen presidents, "besides easing the political climate and (providing) economic advantages, would also allow settlement of another painful problem the return of POWs and detainees held by both sides" , Arsanov told reporters in Groznyy (BBC).
May 14, 1997 Following a visit to Moscow where Chechnya and Russia signed a landmark peace treaty, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that Russia would remain Chechnya's main partner, both economically and politically, and would be placed ahead of the West and Arab countries (afp).
May 21, 1997 The Russian government apologized to leaders of the independence-minded southern republic of Chechnya after Russian warplanes intercepted a plane carrying a Chechen delegation to an international conference in the Netherlands. Chechen Vice President Vakha Arsanov, who headed the delegation, demanded that all Russian officials leave Chechnya after the plane had been forced to return to the Chechen capital Grozny after its occupants refused to land at Russia's Mineralnye Vody airport for a customs inspection (dpa).
Jun 2, 1997 Six hostages, five Chechens and an Austrian businessman, were freed in Chechenia. The whereabouts of another seven abducted Russian journalists was still unknown (dpa).
Jun 6, 1997 Four journalists taken hostage in the early spring in Chechnya were released. Reports said that Zagnoiko and the three Radio Russia journalists were handed over to Magomed Tolboyev, secretary of Dagestan's security council, and then brought to Makhachkala, capital of the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan. ITAR-TASS quoted Tolboyev as saying that the journalists were released as the result of a complex operation "based on personal contacts, with the cooperation of official Chechen structures, the ministry of internal affairs of Chechnya and Dagestan, and Russian federal structures." Three Russian journalists from the NTV television channel remained held by kidnappers in Chechnya (afp).
Jun 12, 1997 Chechen presidential aide Ruslan Kutayev said that the leadership of Chechnya was extremely indignant over another kidnapping in Groznyy of two correspondents of the Russian Public TV program "Vzglyad" (bbc).
Jul 1, 1997 Chechen governmental delegation arrived in Moscow to discuss three Moscow-Grozny accords. One was on Chechnya's oil sector and transportation of Azerbaijan's oil to the Russian seaport of Novorossiisk via Chechnya. Russian negotiators agreed to Chechnya's being an independent party in the oil transportation project. Two other accords were on customs and bank cooperation. The Chechen delegation led by Movladi Udugov, deputy premier, held talks with the Russian governmental commission chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais (bbc).
Jul 4, 1997 Russian First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fuel and Energy Boris Nemtsov ruled out the signing of a trilateral political agreement between Russia, Azerbaijan and Chechnya on the transportation of Azerbaijani oil from Baku to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk via Chechen territory. "There will be no political agreements between Azerbaijan, Russia and Chechnya on the transportation of Caspian early oil across the territory of Chechnya," Nemtsov said (bbc).
Jul 5, 1997 Russian First Deputy Prime Minister and Fuel and Energy Minister Boris Nemtsov said that Russian, Azerbaijani and Chechen oil companies were likely to sign an agreement on the transportation of Azerbaijani Caspian oil from Baku to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk via Chechen territory. President Aliyev of Azerbaijan observed that the trilateral agreement would be "purely commercial" and that it would be signed by oil companies rather than government officials (bbc).
Jul 5, 1997 Leaders of almost all political parties, public movements and associations of Chechnya gathered in Groznyy to discuss the situation in the republic and map out "ways to strengthen the Chechen nation's unity in the process of building an independent Islamic state". About 30 parties, movements and associations were expected to adopt a resolution containing an assessment of and suggestins regarding how to stabilize the tense situation in the republic (bbc).
Jul 5, 1997 Two British aid workers working for the "Center for Peacekeeping and Development" in Chechnya were kidnapped in the capital Grozny. The British Foreign Office in London said that it had asked Russian and Chechen authorities to do "all in their power" to secure their release. According to the Chechen government, the kidnappers were both making money and working for unidentified Russian political forces trying to disrupt the peace process in the republic (bbc).
Jul 11, 1997 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov received requests from political and state officials in Chechnya to introduce presidential rule with elements of a special regime or state of emergency. Maskhadov did not agree to these requests, but stated that he would soon sign a decree on special measures to combat kidnapping (bbc).
Jul 12, 1997 Russia, Chechnya and Azerbaijan signed accords on banking, customs and oil transportation. The accords are expected to pave the way for a broad political and economic treaty between Moscow and Grozny, said Chechen first deputy prime minister Movladi Udugov. The oil accord had three parties and stipulated deliveries of Azerbaijan's Caspian oil to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk through Chechnya (itar-tass).
Jul 12, 1997 Chechen warlord Salman Raduyev warned that he would not obey an order by President Aslan Maskhadov to dissolve his armed faction, which numbers some 1,000 men. Raduyev said he had "no intention of taking off his military uniform and dissolving his army as long as Russia had not recognized the independence" of the breakaway republic of Chechnya. (afp).
Jul 16, 1997 The Russian Federal Security Service [FSS] and the Chechen National Security Service [NSS] signed an agreement on cooperation in Yessentuki. Chechen Vice President Arsanov said that at the initial stages, the document "will largely be of political significance", but in the long run the agreement may intensify the fight against crime in Chechnya (bbc).
Jul 26, 1997 Chechnya has begun to form its own professional army. A representative of the general staff of the republic's armed forces, Umar Khambiyev said that everyone who in the past two months had expressed the wish to become a professional soldier had to pass through a tight net of qualifying commissions. In his words, the main selection criteria were "physical health and moral qualities such as genuine faith in Allah and political reliability" (bbc).
Jul 29, 1997 Chechen government spokesman said that Chechenia had broken off further talks with Moscow on bilateral ties until Russia agreed to plan rebuilding the economy of the breakaway republic. During a meeting with Rudolf Thorning- Petersen, a representative of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Maskhadov accused Moscow of reneging on previous agreements and asked the OSCE to "take efforts to expand humanitarian assistance to Chechenia"(dpa).
Jul 30, 1997 Three persons were killed and one was wounded as a result of a powerful explosion outside the headquarters of Salman Raduyev in the center of Groznyy. It was reported that the explosion coincided with the time of Raduyev ‘s arrival. Chechnya's foreign minister Kazbek Makhashev, who was at the crime scene, blamed foreign secret services for carrying out this act of terrorism. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov arrived at the blast site to inspect the situation (itar-tass).
Jul 31, 1997 Chechnya's former first deputy prime minister and influential field commander, Shamil Basayev, denied reports that over 100 of his fighters were present in Georgia's breakaway republic of Abkhazia. "There is not a single man from my team in Abkhazia," Basayev said, adding that "my guys and I are in Groznyy and do not intend to leave it for anywhere". Also Chechnya's Minister of Culture Akhmed Zakayev, who was on a working visit to Georgia, said that "such statements do not conform to reality" and they aimed "to aggravate the situation in the region". Abkhazia made no comments on the issue (bbc).
Aug 15, 1997 Chechen authorities said that they had surrounded the building where Russian journalists were being held hostage. Chechen authorities said that they would storm the building if the captives were not released within 48 hours. Magomed Magomedov, a deputy prosecutor leading the hunt for those behind a wave of kidnappings said that the gunmen would not be prosecuted if they released the journalists. Local residents started fleeing neighboring houses while religious authorities were trying to intervene to prevent bloodshed (afp).
Aug 17, 1997 Former Chechen president Zelimkhan Yandarbayev founded a political party aimed at creating a Caucasian federation of states free from Russian domination. The party's objective would be to "liberate the Caucasus from the yoke of the Russian empire" and create a "union of independent states on the historic lands of the Caucasus." The congress called on the peoples of the Caucasus to "come to the defense of Ichkeria and its independence"(afp).
Aug 20, 1997 An office of Chechnya opened in North Ossetia in accordance with the agreement between Presidents of the two neighboring countries. The task of the Chechen representation would be to establish political, economic and cultural ties between the two republics and help the return of refugees to the Chechen republic (itar-tass).
Aug 22, 1997 President Boris Yeltsin, who held talks with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov in the Kremlin, said that the treaty to be drafted would "somewhat raise the level of sovereignty of the Chechen Republic." Yeltsin's offer however fell short of Maskhadov's goal of immediate recognition of his republic's 1991 declaration of independence. Yeltsin said that officials might need as much as two years to draw up the new treaty, which would consolidate a landmark peace treaty that he had signed with Maskhadov in May 1997 (afp).
Aug 24, 1997 35 Islamic public and political movements of Dagestan and Chechnya gathered in the capital of Groznyy to establish a new religious- political movement. The goal of the movement, called the Islamic Nation was "to prevent anti-Islamic expansion in the Caucasus, promote the consolidation of the Islamic public and political forces and ensure real unification of peoples of the Caucasus". Movladi Udugov, Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the movement said that "the Islamic Nation would work to revive Dagestan in its historical borders". The new movement, however, set itself goals which went far beyond the limits and borders of the Caucasus. Udugov said, that "the movement will work for the unification of Islamic ideas in the world" (bbc).
Aug 31, 1997 One person was killed and 11 injured when ethnic-Chechens clashed with police in the southern region of Dagestan. The clash between several hundred armed Chechens and police took place in Khasavyurt, near the border with Chechnya. The Chechens aimed to free two arrested people. Khasavyurt has a large ethnic-Chechen population with close ties to neighboring Chechnya (bbc).
Sep 3, 1997 Despite numerous optimistic forecasts Moscow and Groznyy failed to sign an agreement on the transit of the first flow of Caspian oil via the Baku-Groznyy- Novorossiysk pipeline. The problem that remained unresolved concerned tariffs (bbc).
Sep 4, 1997 Russian President Boris Yeltsin condemned the public execution of two people in the breakaway southern republic of Chechenia, likening it to "lynch law" and calling it a "medieval act". The two people put to death were found guilty of conspiracy by an Islamic court. Chechenia had been running its own affairs since winning a 21-month war against Russian troops in August 1996 (central european time).
Sep 5, 1997 The social- political movement "For National Revival of the Chechen People and the Republic of Chechnya" condemned executions being carried out in compliance with decisions of the Sharia court in Chechnya. The movement made a statement saying that "these acts are incompatible with Islam and with spirituality and moral and ethical norms of a civilized society." The movement's membership comprises various strata of the Chechen diaspora in Russia, all of them being critical of the current administration of Chechnya (itar-tass).
Sep 15, 1997 Russia's First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov said that Moscow would build a pipeline for the transport of Caspian Sea oil bypassing the breakaway southern republic of Chechenia. The pipeline would run north of Chechenia, Nemtsov said. Khozh-Akhmed Yarikhanov, head of the Chechen oil company Yunko, said that the Russian government's decision to build the new pipeline was a breach of its agreements with Chechenia. Chechenia, which has been running its own affairs since the end of the war in August 1996, sees the pipeline as a key to its economic independence (dpa).
Oct 1, 1997 Chechnya's vice-president, Vakha Arsanov, gave an ultimatum to the mission of the Russian Federation to leave the Chechen Republic if a decision was not taken to make an air corridor available for a Chechen delegation flying from Groznyy to Baku. The ultimatum came after a requested flight clearance for a state delegation heading for Baku was turned down (bbc).
Oct 23, 1997 Two Hungarian aid workers employed by the Geneva-based Action by Churches Together, two Britons, four French nationals, a German, a Yugoslav and two Russian Orthodox Church aid workers were reportedly kidnapped in the Chechen capital Grozny. An official said that the identity of the hostage takers was unclear. The official suspected criminal, rather than political motives behind the kidnapping (afp).
Oct 25, 1997 President Aslan Maskhadov of Chechnya launched a purge in the leadership of the republic. A special committee headed by Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Ruslan Gelayev was established to this aim. A number of high ranked officials were dismissed and a number of ministers were warned that they did not satisfy the requirements in full (bbc).
Nov 1, 1997 Chechen special services announced that an illegal organization called "the government of Chechnya in exile" was formed in Moscow. The organization included Chechen nationals who had fled to Russia. The organization was sending leaflets to the republic, urging people to rise up against the lawful authorities. More than 10 people involved in these political provocations had already been arrested in Sharil District (bbc).
Nov 1, 1997 Chechen parliament speaker Ruslan Alikhadzhiyev urged the Russian political leadership to put an end to the "mass persecution"of Chechens on Russian territory. "Russian power agencies have worked out a plan, coordinated by the Interior Ministry, under which numerous pogroms are conducted with the help of criminal groups against Chechen families that have been living in Russian provinces for decades," Alikhadzhiyev said. Meanwhile, the Russian Interior Ministry dismissed claims of mass persecution of Chechens in Russia as groundless (bbc).
Nov 11, 1997 Chechens largely ignored a government decree saying that all women must adopt a Moslem dress code. Chechens believed that formal Islamization ran counter to Chechnya's deeply held Caucasus traditions. The decree signed by Chechen Vice President Vakha Arsanov did not specify what women should wear. It said that employers should make sure that their employees respected Islamic traditions in their dress. The order was the latest of numerous attempts to install a more fundamentalist Islamic state in Chechnya. Some see strict Islamic rules, even full Shariah law, as a way to stamp out the republic's appalling post-war crime rate (bbc).
Nov 11, 1997 Ernst Muehlemann, chairman PACE special commission on Chechnya, said that Western humanitarian aid for Chechnya depended on bringing kidnappings in the North Caucasian republic to an end (bbc).
Nov 13, 1997 Dagestani Security Council Secretary Magomed Tolboyev said that the aggravation of relations between Chechnya and Dagestan was caused by "the hopeless claims" of Groznyy to act as a leader in the North Caucasus. In his opinion, Chechnya did not want to recognize "the growing political influence and status of Dagestan" (bbc).
Nov 16, 1997 The Union of Patriotic Forces, formed in 1996 by field commander Salman Raduyev and Chechen ex-president Zelimkhan Yandarbiev, denounced the treaty of peace and principles of mutual relations between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic, signed in May. The Union demanded the resignation of the Chechen government and adjustment of the foreign and domestic policies of the republic (bbc).
Nov 19, 1997 Chechen president Aslan Maskhadov said that his first visit to the United States aimed to "see how Americans live and tell them about the life of Chechens." Maskhadov said "he did not come to achieve American recognition of Chechnya as an independent state although Chechnya proposes to all countries, primarily Russia, to do that". Commenting on Caspian oil transit via Chechnya, Maskhadov said "it is a matter of great political importance and an additional security guarantee. On his way back home Maskhadov stopped in Turkey to hold talks with Turkish politicians and businessmen (itar-tass).
Nov 27, 1997 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that he did not intend to drop his request to the parliament made in mid-October for special powers. "I do, indeed, have great powers, as the democratically elected president," Maskhadov said. "However, today's situation requires that one man in the state should take upon himself the full measure of responsibility and secure the opportunity to push through drastic reforms." He stressed that he had in mind "reforms in all spheres of politics, economics and the state system". Maskhadov said that "this goal cannot be achieved if permission to do anything has to be sought from parliament" (bbc).
Dec 15, 1997 Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov met in Grozny to discuss safe storage of nuclear waste. The Russian Emergencies Ministry is expected to send equipment for a chemical laboratory where nuclear waste is stored. Before hostilities, the object had been guarded and experts had carried out all necessary work to keep radioactive stuff intact (itar-tass).
Dec 20, 1997 About 3,000 people, members and supporters of the public and political movement Dzhokhar's Path, gathered on the central square of Grozny to demand the dissolution of the present Chechen government. The demonstrators said that they had no faith in the policy carried out by President Aslan Maskhadov and his government. The leader of the movement, Salman Raduyev said that Maskhadov was surrounded by former members of the Moscow backed government of Doku Zavgayev who were seeking to prevent Chechnya from turning into an independent state (itar-tass).
Dec 22, 1997 A group of up to 100 Caucasian fighters, including Chechens, attacked Russian tank battalion in the republic of Daghestan. Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Movladi Udugov said that the Chechen government had issued a statement "categorically condemning any actions of a provocative nature aimed at wrecking agreements" between Moscow and Chechnya (dpa).
Dec 22, 1997 A Russian government spokesman expressed deep concern over information revealing British and US involvement in Chechen efforts to set up a Caucasian common market. According to an anonymous Russian security source, foreign involvement in the Caucasian common market would force Russia, when dealing with transportation of Caspian oil to Novorossiysk, to consider not only Chechnya, but also Western capital (dpa).
Jan 1, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov dismissed the breakaway republic's government. Maskhadov had recently charged that a number of former field commanders in his government were responsible for numerous abductions of Russians and foreigners in Chechenia. Maskhadov also claimed that some of his ministers had embezzled funds from the Chechen oil industry. Basayev, the first deputy vice prime minister, is considered a strong candidate for the prime minister's post. Basayev is known for his strong stance against Moscow. (dpa).
Jan 5, 1998 Ali Ramazan Ampukayev, representative of Chechnya's president in Poland, said that kidnapping of five Poles in Chechenya was a provocation inspired by Russia. During a press conference in Warsaw, he announced that three people would be sent to Chechnya to try to establish the location of the kidnapped Poles (bbc).
Jan 6, 1998 The Interior Minister of Russia announced that Russian security forces could intervene in the breakaway Chechen republic to fight the recent crime wave in the Russian Caucasus. Kulikov referred to a recent attack on Russian armored vehicles in the neighboring republic of Dagestan by a commando of 30 to 120 men from Chechnya as one of the signs of growing tension in the tiny Moslem republic (afp).
Jan 7, 1998 A senior Chechen official warned that any Russian attempt to launch military strikes against alleged "bandit" bases in Chechnya would reignite the war which devastated the republic in 1994-1996. First Deputy Prime Minister Movladi Udugov said that Russian Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov's threat of military action showed that "Russian politicians cannot be trusted even if fundamental high-level documents have been signed (afp)."
Jan 9, 1998 Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Movladi Udugov said that Chechnya put thousands of troops on alert following a build-up of Russian soldiers near the border. The decision was reached at a meeting where military chiefs discussed the "massing of the Russian military near Chechnya's border with Russia's Stavropol region and Dagestan" (afp).
Jan 10, 1998 Ramazan Abdulatipov , Russian Deputy Prime Minister and chairman of the state commission dealing with stabilization of the situation in Chechnya and Chechnya's development, arrived in the Chechen capital. Abdulatipov is visiting Chechnya on instructions from the prime minister Chernomyrdin to discuss joint measures to stabilize the Chechen economy. The Russian deputy prime minister is expected to meet Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and to take part in a joint meeting with the new members of the Chechen government (bbc).
Jan 12, 1998 Chechen government sources announced that Chechen Interior Ministry would be transformed into a Ministry of Shariah Security (dpa).
Jan 13, 1998 The new government in Chechenia, formed by the notorious ex-field commander Shamil Basayev, was announced officially. The new cabinet included two first deputy premiers - Basayev and Turpal Atgeriyev. Named "foreign minister" was Movladi Udugov. Udugov , had previously been first deputy premier and Chechen government spokesman. Ex-field commander Ruslan Gelayev was given the defense portfolio. Islam Khalimov was tapped to head the Ministry of Shariah Security - formerly the Interior Ministry. The key post of fuel and energy minister was given to Basayev's brother, Shirvani (bbc).
Jan 13, 1998 Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin said that the military were obliged to protect Russian territory from attacks in the North Caucasus. Commenting on the prime minister's statement, Yevgeniy Kiselev, the presenter of Russian NTV's 'Itogi' program, noted that Russian policy on Chechnya was still divided between those favoring talks and those who assert the need for force (bbc).
Jan 18, 1998 The Chechen maverick commander Salman Raduyev said that he intended to work "towards bringing about a political crisis in Russia". In a feature on the channel's "Top Secret" program, Raduyev said that Chechnya, "like any other state, had its national interests, both inside and outside Chechnya". Chechnya's outside interests included the Caucasus and Russia, where Chechens would always be able to stir up some trouble. Raduyev's organization claimed responsibility for bombing incidents in Russia in 1997 (bbc).
Jan 20, 1998 Heads of Chechen diasporas in Russian regions and leaders of the Russian Congress of Vainakhs were invited by the Chechen parliament to attend a parliamentary session, due to be held in Grozny on February 1. The Russian Congress of Vainakhs is a public and political movement, created two years ago, which represents the interests of some 500,000 Chechens and Ingushs living outside their historic motherland. The Chechen parliament is planned to discuss a number of problems which worry Chechen communities in the federation. Economic assistance of the Chechen diasporas in the restoration of Chechen economy is another issue to be discussed (itar-tass).
Jan 27, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov expressed concern over an impeding confrontation between the legislative and executive power. In a statement circulated by his press-service, Maskhadov said that parliament impeded the president's activity by canceling his decrees and overcoming his veto. The statement also pointed out that the deputies were guided by the 1992 constitution which set the target of building a secular democratic state. "Since the war," continues the document, "the socio- political situation in Ichkeria has changed and the leaders of the republic, its president, with support from the absolute majority of the population, have declared the objective of building a Chechen Islamic state on the basis of the Koran and Shari'ah". According to the statement, parliament was trying to meddle with the discussion on state construction and its transition to Islamic state (bbc).
Jan 29, 1998 Moscow's chief negotiator with Chechenia said that the breakaway republic was offered "associate membership" in the Russian Federation. Security Council Secretary Ivan Rybkin said that such a status – including "maximum freedom, independence and sovereignty" - was one of the alternatives discussed in talks on a treaty spelling out relations between Moscow and Grozny (dpa).
Feb 3, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said in an interview with Interfax that his Republic could not be a member of the Russian Federation. "The Chechen Republic will never, under any circumstances, agree to remain in the constitutional and legal space of Russia. Never in my life will I sign a document providing for dependence on Russia whatever form it may take," he said and added "nobody in Chechnya would let me do that"(bbc).
Feb 4, 1998 Referring to a statement by Russian President Boris Yeltsin's spokesman for the Russian Security Council, Igor Ignatyev said that the settlement of the Moscow-Groznyy relations should rest on peace, territorial integrity and "great patience". "It is a different matter in what political formula these relations will be manifested," the spokesman said. "A Russian- Chechen commission, formed by presidents Yeltsin and Maskhadov, is actively working on the issue," Ignatyev added (bbc).
Feb 7, 1998 Chechnya's leaders suspended peace talks with Moscow, accusing Russia of failing to fulfil its pledges under the treaty signed in May 1997. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that Chechnya was set to revise the accord on transportation of the Caspian oil through its territory unless Russia meets earlier inter-governmental accords (itar-tass/apf).
Feb 11, 1998 Deputy Prime Minister Ramazan Abdulatipov said that he was strongly opposed to the idea of turning Chechnya into an Islamic state. Speaking at a press conference Abdulatipov said "one cannot live at the end of the 20th century in the Caucasus and speak of some Islamic state. An Islamic state, even if it existed "not along with, but besides Russia" , would seriously complicate the situation in the region, which would bring no good to the people of Chechnya" (ITAR-TASS).
Feb 13, 1998 Chechen terrorist Salman Raduyev, leader of the Army of Gen Dudayev, said that he intended to stage Tbilisi-style acts of terror against "Russian politicians and army officers involved in the killing of Chechnya's first president, Dzhokhar Dudayev. Raduyev said that the terrorist action against Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze had been made by militants from the Army of Gen Dudayev. He did not explain what was the linkage between Shevardnadze and the death of the former Chechen president (bbc).
Feb 15, 1998 Chechen warlord Salman Raduyev announced the beginning of a mass political action of civil disobedience to the incumbent government. Speaking at a rally in Groznyy attended by 200 people Raduyev said that "the assassination attempt against Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze was carried out by Georgian patriots, followers of Georgia's first president, Zviad Gamsakhurdia". Raduyev explained his words about his involvement in the attack on the Georgian leader by the fact that he was "the general secretary of the international public and political organization Caucasian Home", of which Raduyev's Georgian friends were members" (bbc).
Mar 5, 1998 Salman Raduyev, a former field commander of the Chechen rebel forces, was relieved of his duties as the general secretary of the Caucasian confederation and expelled from that public and political organization. Raduyev was relieved for actions incompatible with the rules of the organization and for numerous provocative political statements made on behalf of the organization. The decision to sack Raduyev was made at a conference of the Caucasian confederation in Groznyy. The former vice-president of Chechnya, Said-Khasan Abumuslimov said that the conference passed a resolution condemning Raduyev's acts of provocation. The Caucasian confederation was established on 5th September 1992 by the former presidents of Chechnya and Georgia, Dzhokhar Dudayev and Zviad Gamsakhurdia. It brings together public and political movements of the North Caucasus republics, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Its current president is Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, a former president of Chechnya (bbc).
Apr 7, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov expressed gratitude for the latest Russian aid sent to his republic to deal with the aftermath of recent landslides. Maskhadov expressed his determination to make Russia pay compensation for damage inflicted on Chechnya as a result of the war (bbc).
Apr 14, 1998 Chechnya's Supreme Shari'ah Court said that "at the current stage, jihad (holy war) should be understood as all-round efforts to strengthen and build an Islamic state" and that " this new jihad is more important than the jihad of the war period". The Supreme Shari'ah Court said that the peace agreement signed on 12th May 1997 by Russia and Chechnya "shall be observed by all residents of the Chechen Republic and by the state as a whole, including the president", because the agreement " benefits both sides and does not contradict the Shari'ah norms" (bbc).
Apr 27, 1998 The congress of the peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan elected as its chairman Chechnya's acting prime minister, Shamil Basayev. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov addressed the congress calling on the peoples of Dagestan, Chechnya and the whole Caucasus for consolidation and unity. He claimed that the presence of Russian troops in the North Caucasus destabilized the regional public- political situation. The congress became a permanent body with a chairman, deputies and staff. (itar-tass).
May 4, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov is supervising the search for Valentin Vlasov, the Russian presidential envoy to Ichkeria. Vlasov was abducted on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Maskhadov instructed all law-enforcement agencies to identify the organizers and perpetrators of the crime and to take steps to set Vlasov free. "The abduction is politically motivated and designed to aggravate tension in the region when a new Russian government is taking over," Islam Khalimov, Chechen minister of Shari'ah national security, told Interfax (bbc).
May 5, 1998 A thousands-strong rally was held in the Achkhoy-Martanovskiy District in Chechnya. The rally demanded finding the criminals who carried out the kidnapping of the Russian envoy in Chechnya. The population of the District made an address to the Russian and Chechen presidents, saying that such crimes had political implications and were aimed at destabilizing the situation in the District and disrupting Russo- Chechen relations. (bbc).
Jun 22, 1998 Renegade field commander Salman Raduyev and his supporters seized the TV center and demanded live broadcast time. Raduyev was not given this opportunity. The government sent special troops to the city hall, where the TV center was located. The director of the National Security Service, Lecha Khultygov, and the chief of staff of Gen Dudayev's army, Vakha Dzhafarov, were killed in the ensuing shoot-out. Khultygov was a former brigadier-general and commander in one of the subunits which fought against the Russian army. He was an active supporter of Aslan Maskhadov. Dzhafarov was a colonel in Raduyev's forces. (bbc).
Jun 25, 1998 Under a decree issued by President Aslan Maskhadov, which was approved by the Chechen parliament, a state of emergency and a curfew were imposed in Chechnya from 24th June. The state of emergency was introduced from midnight on 24th June until 15th July. The curfew would operate from 22.00 pm to 06.00 am. Maskhadov noted that emergency measures were imposed to step up the struggle against criminal groups, above all, against criminals engaged in kidnapping (bbc).
Jul 16, 1998 Following armed clashes between government troops and Wahhabis near the town of Gudermes, Chechen authorities outlawed Wahhabism, an extremist branch of Islam. Presidential spokesman Vachagayev said that the authorities would not tolerate the outrage committed by the Wahhabis and were banning all their armed formations, public and political movements, newspapers and some television programs on Chechen territory. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov criticized Wahhabism and called on people to organize counteractions against Wahabism (bbc).
Jul 22, 1998 The co-chairman of the Russian-Chechen negotiating commission, Ivan Rybkin said that stability cannot be restored in Chechnya "without the mediation of the regions bordering on Chechnya". "If the fire of civil war flares up in Chechnya, it will be impossible to keep the conflict within the Chechen borders", he was quoted as saying (bbc).
Jul 23, 1998 Analyzing the recent events in Chechnya, Emil Pain, a member of the Russian presidential council, has expressed concern that "internal struggle, which apparently will continue in Chechen society for a long time, may spill over to neighboring areas". According to Pain, this is evidenced by the fact that the Gudermes group, "against which President Aslan Maskhadov and the Chechen armed forces are taking actions", is not limited to the Chechen Republic alone. Even during hostilities in 1994-96, the group was active in the neighboring regions of Dagestan populated by Akin Chechens. Therefore, Pain contends, "struggle against the Gudermes group and, simultaneously, against Wahhabism will inevitably affect the neighboring regions in Dagestan" (bbc).
Jul 26, 1998 An attempt on the life of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov was made in the center of Groznyy (bbc).
Aug 20, 1998 Mikhail Bocharnikov, director of African Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry has said that the establishment of diplomatic relations between Chechnya and the Taleban movement and the opening of a Taleban diplomatic mission in Groznyy " is inadmissible in international law". According to a number of media reports, Chechnya's foreign minister has proposed to his counterpart in the Taleban administration to establish political and diplomatic relations and open diplomatic missions in Kabul and Groznyy (bbc).
Oct 3, 1998 Acting Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov told Interfax that the Chechen leadership was "indignant" at the murder of Akmal Saidov, the representative of the Russian government in Chechnya. "We regard Saidov's abduction and subsequent murder as sheer provocation and it is perfectly obvious that it is a purely political action," Udugov said. He stressed that the murder was connected with an attempt to influence the situation in the republic (bbc).
Oct 8, 1998 Thirty-five Chechen opposition parties set up a body to coordinate the drive against President Aslan Maskhadov launched recently by a group of influential field commanders. The task of the Center of Public and Political Parties and Movements was "to pool efforts to make the leadership of the republic strictly obey the constitution and other laws (bbc).
Oct 10, 1998 Chechen Muslim leader Mufti Khadzhi-Akhmad Kadyrov urged the Chechen authorities to pass a law banning public movements and political parties. "In an Islamic state there can be only two parties – the party of Allah and the party of those who do not believe in the Almighty," he was quoted as saying. He said that the founders of the hundreds of parties registered in Chechnya pursued purely mercenary objectives that were far from public interests. The mufti said that advocates of Wahhabism were enemies of Islam and the Chechen people. They "are fanning domestic conflicts and pushing Chechens to interfere in Dagestan". "The most reactionary wing of Wahhabism operates under the name of the Congress of the People of Chechnya and Dagestan," led by Movladi Udugov. Mufti Khadzhi-Akhmad Kadyrov urged the president and parliament to immediately expel from Chechnya foreign emissaries spreading Islamic teachings alien to the Chechen people (bbc).
Oct 31, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that Russia and Chechnya had the same interests regarding the transportation of early Caspian oil by the northern route. "The Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline has already proved that it is ready to start transporting the main flows of Caspian oil any time," Maskhadov said. "Chechnya has shown that it is able to meet its commitments and ensure total security of the pipeline and the oil….However, Russia is not making timely payments for the protection and maintenance of the pipeline on Chechen territory", Chechen president added.
Nov 8, 1998 Opposition field commanders Shamil Basayev and Salman Raduyev held their congress in Groznyy. The sides stressed the need to resolve all contentious matters by peaceful means. Basayev proposed that a unified domestic and foreign policy be fashioned, based on the Shari'ah. The meeting decided to set up a consultative council that would involve all interested sociopolitical forces and work out a unified state policy (itar-tass).
Nov 9, 1998 Several thousand people gathered at the spot where Chechnya's first president Dzhokhar Dudayev was killed. The rally aimed to mark the seventh anniversary of Dudayev's inauguration. It was attended by Chechnya's leaders, including President Aslan Maskhadov and Dudayev's relatives and friends (bbc).
Nov 17, 1998 A special plan for fighting crime came into effect in Chechnya. Mairbek Vachagayev , press secretary of President Aslan Maskhadov said that the plan did not imply a state of emergency and that there would be no restrictions of the constitutional rights of citizens. Vachagayev said that the plan targeted groups specialized in kidnapping of people and theft of petrochemicals". President Maskhadov believed that if crime was not suppressed, there would be no investments nor restoration of the economy or the social sphere. Mairbek Vachagayev observed however that the special plan was not linked either with the activity of the organizers of the Chechen people' national congress, or with Salman Raduyev's attempts to inflame Chechnya's domestic political situation by defying the Supreme Shari'ah Court's verdict which had found him guilty and sentenced to four years in prison (bbc).
Dec 4, 1998 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov announced that he would run for re-election at the next polls in three years. The Chechen constitution stipulates a five-year presidential term. Maskhadov was elected in early 1997. Regarding opposition military commanders Salman Raduyev, Shamil Basayev and Khunkar Israpilov, President Aslan Maskhadov said that "he made maximum effort to convert them into allies" (bbc).
Dec 11, 1998 Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Kazbek Makhashev made a statement on the murder of four foreign citizens. "The high-profile killing of three Britons and one New Zealander is more political than criminal, and is reminiscent of similar atrocities committed in Groznyy in the autumn of 1994", Makhashev said. According to him the criminals who committed the crime were acting on an order from foreign special services. (bbc).
Dec 14, 1998 Yusup Soslambekov, Chechen president's envoy for foreign policy issues said that the planned dates for a large-scale operation to free hostages in Chechnya had to be approved by the parliament. " Most kidnappings occur near the border between Russia and Chechnya," Soslambekov said. "Nine out of every ten hostages are being held outside Chechnya," he added. The large-scale operation in the North Caucasus republic would be implemented after certain consultations with Russia's security and law-enforcement structures, Soslambekov announced (bbc).
Dec 26, 1998 The Chechen parliament decided to hold an emergency session. Parliament requested President Maskhadov's attendance. The deputies would discuss the decision of the Supreme Shari'ah Court suspending parliament's work and dismissing speaker Ruslan Alikhadzhiyev. Parliamentarians may vote for replacing members of the court, Alikhadzhiyev said (bbc).
Jan 6, 1999 President Aslan Maskhadov's initiated a round-table conference of political parties, movements and clergy in Groznyy. The conference aimed to discuss ways of overcoming the current social and political crisis in Chechnya which had begun in mid 1998 with government's incapability of performing its duties, and which had entered a new cycle in late December with the Supreme Shari'ah Court dismissing the parliament chairman and suspending the parliament itself. The so-called commanders' council, comprised of field commanders Salman Raduyev, Shamil Basayev and Khunkar (-Pasha) Israpilov, insisted on Maskhadov's resignation (bbc).
Jan 10, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov announced that within a transition period of three years Chechnya would work out a concept of an Islamic state, a new constitution of the republic based on the Koran, and would define a mechanism for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections. A special commission was set to carry out these tasks. Maskhadov announced that the commission, chaired by the Chechen head of state, decided to create "an Islamic Council" in the republic, consisting of learned religious figures and well- known Chechen theologians. The council would have to settle all disputable issues only on the basis of Shari'ah norms (bbc).
Jan 11, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that the court case against Aset Taymaskhanova and Fatima Dadasheva, accused of arranging the explosion at Pyatigorsk railway station, "has been trumped up in a secret deal between the Russian special services and the psychologically unbalanced field commander Salman Raduyev." President Maskhadov warned that Chechnya would be obliged to replace the language of diplomacy, which Russian leadership did not understand, by more effective measures. The Chechen leadership came under serious criticism on behalf of the Chechen opposition over the Stavropol trial of Taymaskhanova and Dadasheva. The opposition believed that the president and government failed to help the two girls, who were citizens of Ichkeria (bbc).
Jan 25, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov accused Russia of fuelling internal conflicts in Chechnya to topple its legitimate power. " Russia systematically takes steps to form an armed opposition in Chechnya and unleash a confrontation," Maskhadov said at a news conference in Groznyy. "These plans are doomed to failure since the organizers do not understand the mentality and spirit of the Chechen people," he said (bbc).
Jan 28, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov denied that there was a serious conflict between the government and the military. Maskhadov said that the three generals who openly opposed him "will soon come to realize their mistakes". Maskhadov also said that he saw the absence of war in the republic as his main achievement and that his goal was to construct an Islamic state (bbc).
Feb 5, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov issued a decree introducing direct Shari'ah rule on the territory of the republic. Maskhadov hoped that Shari'ah rule would help him fight successfully the crime in the republic. Analysts noted that Maskhadov violated the Chechen constitution passed at Dudayev's time by defining Chechnya as an Islamic state. Analysts called attention to the fact that Maskhadov intended to disband the republic's parliament legally elected in 1997. Chechen Vice-President Vakha Arsanov is expected to convene an emergency session of all Chechens who have taken part in the armed conflict of 1994-1996. Arsanov has unequivocally demanded that Maskhadov introduce the so-called "shura" in Chechnya which would effectively mean direct rule by the council of elected field commanders (bbc).
Feb 7, 1999 Chechen Vice-President Vakha Arsanov said that he did not intend to leave his post for the time being, despite the fact that the republic's president had issued a decree abolishing the post of vice-president. At a news conference in Groznyy, Arsanov said that under the president's decree introducing Shari'ah the post of president as well as vice-president should be abolished and the imam elected by members of the Shura council should become head of the republic (bbc).
Feb 8, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov signed a decree setting up a shura in accordance with Shariah norms. Shura is a state council with consultative powers. Former President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, and generals Shamil Basayev, Khunkar Israpilov and Vakha Arsanov, as well as many other prominent politicians and field commanders, some of whom Maskhadov's opposes, are expected to be shura's members (bbc).
Feb 9, 1999 The President's political opponents announced that they intended to form a State Shura council and a Supreme Shari'ah Court. The opponents included Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, Vakha Arsanov, Shamil Basayev and other well-known field commanders. The president's opponents said that Aslan Maskhadov should surrender his powers to the Shura. Independent experts in Shari'ah law took a different view. They thought that Maskhadov was elected in strict accordance with the prescriptions of the Koran, and there were no grounds for demanding his resignation (bbc).
Feb 10, 1999 President Aslan Maskhadov of Chechnya said that the Shura, or state council, set up by opposition Chechen field commanders, was simply a public organization with no mandate from the people of the republic. Maskhadov stressed that "only the president can speak on behalf of the people, as the people have not given anyone else that mandate". (bbc).
Feb 11, 1999 The Shura consultative council formed by Chechen military and political leaders demanded the immediate release of two women sentenced by a Russian court to long prison terms for the bombing of the railroad station in Pyatigorsk. A Shura statement released today said "Making the two citizens of the Chechen Republic hostage to charges cooked up by Russian special services is a hostile action against the independent Chechen state and the Chechen nation … If they (the citizens) are not released the Shura will have to take proper action to set Fatima Taymaskhanova and Ayset Dadasheva free". The Chechen military leaders said that confessions were extracted from the two women "by systematic torture and threats".
Feb 14, 1999 Headquarters were established in Chechnya to free two Chechen women, sentenced to long terms of imprisonment for bombing at Pyatigorsk station in April 1997. The decision to establish the headquarters was made at a meeting of the Shura set up by military officers and politicians (bbc).
Mar 8, 1999 Movladi Udugov, former Chechen foreign minister and Shura member said that a Shura formed by Chechnya's military and political leaders resolved to demand that officials representing the president and the government of the Russian Federation leave Chechen territory within 48 hours. According to Udugov, the demand was issued because the leadership of the Russian Federation has staged wholesale persecution of Chechen nationals throughout Russia and sentenced Fatima Taymaskhanova and Ayset Dadasheva to long terms in prison on fabricated criminal charges (bbc).
May 29, 1999 Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Akhmed Zakayev said that Russia's air-strikes on Chechnya border regions initiated in April were a gross violation of the bilateral treaty on peace and principles of relations. Zakayev noted however that "the events on the border should not have an impact on the expected meeting between Yeltsin and Maskhadov" (bbc).
Jun 30, 1999 Isa Idigov, Chechen foreign minister, was replaced by Ilyas Akhmadov. Mairbek Vachagayev, Chechen President spokesman said that Akhmadov was "the only professional political analyst in Chechnya". Asked about the reasons for the change, Vachagayev said that "the foreign ministry of the Chechen republic has been useless for year and a half "(bbc).
Jul 7 - 11, 1999 Russian Security Council Secretary Vladimir Putin said that retaliatory strikes against Chechnya were a possibility but negotiations between Russia and Chechnya must not stop. Col-Gen Valeriy Manilov, first deputy chief of the Russian General Staff, said that political talks on Chechnya would be impossible until "the source of terrorism and the base for the reproduction of terrorism in Chechnya was liquidated. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov has put himself outside the negotiating process because he has basically sided with the terrorists", Manilov said. Attempts by US officials to "compel Russia to stop destroying terrorists and to force it to begin negotiations with some abstract forces are unacceptable to us" , Manilov added. (bbc).
Jul 19, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said that certain groups in Russia and their accomplices in Chechnya had launched a campaign aimed at torpedoing the Chechen president's upcoming meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin. "The unjustified shelling of Chechnya's territory and attacks along its border are part of that campaign," Maskhadov said. "The dates of the talks with Yeltsin have been repeatedly put off because of sabotage attempts by opponents of Chechen-Russian relations," he added (bbc).
Jul 24, 1999 Mairbek Vachagayev, Chechnya's envoy to Russia, said that Chechnya would not compromise on the issue of the republic's independence but was willing to form part of a confederation with Russia as an interim solution (bbc).
Jul 24, 1999 A meeting of the leadership of the Congress of the Peoples of Chechnya and Dagestan was held in Groznyy. Chechen generals and politicians, including Shamil Basayev and Movladi Udugov, attended the meeting. Representatives of several Dagestani parties and movements were also present. There were no representatives of the Chechen authorities. The meeting examined the situation in Dagestan and the issue of renaming the congress (bbc).
Jul 30, 1999 Chechnya's law-enforcement agencies launched a special operation, called Intercept, to search for kidnapped local parliamentary deputy Abdurakhman Suleymanov (bbc).
Aug 11, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov urged the United States and the United Nations Organization to act as mediators and guarantors in the political settlement of the Chechen conflict. "We are prepared for a dialogue and are ready to discuss various ways of settling the situation on the basis of respect for the Chechen people's right to free and safe existence," said Maskhadov's message to US President Bill Clinton. "The Chechen people hope that the US will use its influence as a defender of the rights of individuals and peoples to help end the conflict," Maskhadov said. "Russia has embarked on a genocide of the Chechen people", the Chechen president claimed (bbc).
Aug 11, 1999 Chechen authorities urged the forthcoming OSCE summit in Istanbul to discuss ways of settling the Chechen conflict by political means. In letters sent to OSCE member states, Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov claimed that peaceful civilians were constantly dying and all kinds of mass destruction weapons had been deployed in Chechnya since the start of the second war (bbc).
Aug 14, 1999 Chechen armed groupings were pouring into the Ingush and North Ossetian republics. Several small well-armed groups indicated their readiness to stage acts of terrorism on the administrative borders of Ossetia and Ingushetia. The planned actions aimed at separating the North Caucasus from Russia, so as to establish an independent Muslim state (bbc).
Aug 24, 1999 Chechen parliament press secretary Lom-ali Misirbiyev said that a political agreement was reached between all branches of power in Chechnya. Misirbiyev said that the agreement "will promote the stabilization of the social and political situation in Chechnya and put an end to the confrontation between the branches of power". The document enabled the president to appoint and sack the heads of power structures and the prosecutor-general. It thereby modified the Chechen constitution which vested that authority in parliament. The document however obliged the president to present the staffing and structure of the cabinet for parliamentary approval (bbc).
Sep 1, 1999 Russian newspaper 'Segodnya' notes that the Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov is exploiting field commander Shamil Basayev's "defeat in Dagestan" in order to weaken Maskhadov's opponents at home. The newspaper supported this claim reminding that Maskhadov dismissed Ibragim Khultygov as head of the National Security Service and pledged to disband the council on the ground that it was involved "with oil instead of intelligence and counterintelligence work". The newspaper points to the removal of Movladi Udugov from the National Security Council as additional evidence of the president's determination to weaken his domestic political opponents and to revive relations with Moscow. Udugov and his Islamic order party were known for their close links with the Dagestani Wahhabis members of the orthodox branch of Sunni Islam (bbc).
Sep 10, 1999 In a session held behind closed doors, the Chechen parliament discussed political and "other measures" to ensure security in the breakaway region. "The parliament regarded the recent [Russian] air strikes on the Chechen territory as an open and unjustified aggression," the first deputy speaker Selim Beshayev said. "Appeals were voiced to impose martial law, but such decision was not taken," Beshayev said. "The parliament categorically denies its involvement in the Dagestan events," Beshayev said, referring to the stand-off between the Russian troops and Islamic guerrillas in Dagestan, which had begun in August (bbc).
Sep 11, 1999 The leader of the Our-Home-is-Russia sociopolitical movement Viktor Chernomyrdin said that the problem of Chechnya was Russia's internal matter. Chernomyrdin said this to reporters, commenting on the statement of James Rubin, spokesman for the US State Department, that Russia violated the Geneva convention in Chechnya (bbc).
Sep 13, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov called on any Chechen volunteers who might be in Dagestan to return immediately to Chechnya. Kazbek Makhashev, deputy prime minister in the Chechen government said that Maskhadov's appeal was dictated by his desire to avert a new war in the Caucasus (bbc).
Sep 17, 1999 Oleg Mironov, Human Rights Commissioner in the Russian Federation, issued an appeal "On mass and gross violations of human rights in the North Caucasus". The appeal noted that the North Caucasus was one of the most explosive zones of the Russian Federation. Political instability, territorial problems, the economic crisis and the existence of laws contradicting federal legislation led to interethnic clashes in North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Karachay-Cherkessia, and to armed conflicts in Chechnya and Dagestan, the appeal said. The appeal noted that a major factor destabilizing the situation in the region was the unsettled crisis in the Chechen Republic. Additional factors were expanding armed conflict in Dagestan, as well as terrorist actions by bands calling themselves Wahhabis. The appeal justified as lawful the actions of the federal forces in the North Caucasus in view of the 1998 federal law on combating terrorism. The appeal criticized the Russian federation for having failed to ratify the 1997 European convention on combating terrorism which might have provided federal anti-terrorist activities with more legitimacy (bbc).
Sep 17, 1999 Russian Border Troops closed the Russian-Georgian border along the river Psou Abkhazia. This act aimed to prevent infiltration of Chechen terrorists from suspected Muslim terrorist bases in Abkhasia (bbc).
Sep 20, 1999 Chechen leadership expressed its readiness to consider extraditing terrorists who bombed houses in Buynaksk and Moscow. However Chechen leadership requested evidence from Russia on the involvement of citizens of Chechnya in the terrorist acts. Chechnya also demanded a) the establishment of a UN mission to ensure the unbiased resolution of this issue; b) preliminary extradition of war criminals to the Chechen judicial authorities; c) extradition of generals and pilots who ordered and bombed peaceful Chechen villages in August-September 1999. (bbc).
Sep 21, 1999 A round table discussion attended by various public and political organizations, MPs and representatives of the Chechen government qualified Russia's actions against Ichkeria as an open terrorist aggression against civilians. Yandarbiyev, ex-president of Chechnya, said that the Chechen people must defend their motherland and be ready for any actions by the Russian aggressors (bbc).
Sep 24, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov appealed to the world community to support the Chechen people and recognize Chechen independence. He outlined the history of conflict in the region, saying that the current events in the Caucasus were the fourth attempt by Russians over the last 150 years "to resolve finally the Chechen problem". He accused the Russians of refusing to pay compensation for destruction caused before Russians left Chechnya in 1996. He said, there was no alternative to independence (bbc).
Sep 24, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov urged Russian federal authorities to abandon the use of force and sit at the negotiating table. "An impending catastrophe in the North Caucasus can be averted and thousands of Russians and Chechens can be saved if Russia's leadership halts bombing and consents to resolve problems at the negotiating table by political methods," Maskhadov told Interfax. "Certain forces within Russia are pursuing a course of starting a military confrontation in Chechnya and provoking a civil war here," he said. "The organizers of a new war want a complete blockade, round-the-clock bombings, mass casualties, destruction and a new flow of refugees", Maskhadov noted (bbc).
Sep 24, 1999 Said-Selim Abdulmuslimov, press secretary of Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, said that if federal troops continue to inflict strikes Chechnya would have to effect "a defense plan" to protect Groznyy and the entire republic. Following an urgent session of the Chechen government and members of parliament, the Cabinet of Ministers was put on emergency footing. It was proposed to set up a state committee for defense. The heads of the power-wielding structures and the republic's national guard were given specific tasks to adopt a plan for the defense of Groznyy and other Chechen population centers. An operative headquarters were also established and were expected to hold sessions every morning (bbc).
Sep 25, 1999 Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in St Petersburg to attend the inauguration of the governor of Leningrad Region. On his arrival, the prime minister announced that there were no plans for a ground operation in Chechnya, but that the special subdivisions would handle it very carefully if it were to prove necessary. The prime minister did not rule out a meeting between the leaders of Russia and Chechnya (bbc).
Oct 2, 1999 The Chechen defense minister indicated that if the Russian army invades Chechnya it would meet resistance at the Chechen border. "Chechen defense forces will not meet the Russian army in the center of Groznyy as was the case in 1994 but will offer resistance at the front line," Chechen Defense Minister Magomed Khambiyev told Interfax (bbc).
Oct 5, 1999 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that about one-third of the territory of the Chechen republic was under the control of the federal forces. Putin said that the federal forces had reached the line of the river Terek, and had gone out of Dagestan. The prime minister noted that the creation of a cordon sanitaire' or security zone' was still far from complete, but the final aim was to destroy the terrorists and their bases on the territory of Chechnya (bbc).
Oct 5, 1999 Russian artillery was reportedly conducting intensive shelling from multiple launcher systems and combat helicopters (bbc).
Oct 6, 1999 Mairbek Vachagayev , general representative of Chechnya in Moscow, announced that Chechnya was in a state of war with Russia. Vachagayev said that President Maskhadov had been trying to settle the conflict by political means but had been forced to sign an order introducing martial law in Chechnya. Presenter Maskhadov proposed to the clergy, including the republic's Council of Mufti and the imams of all cities and districts, to declare gazavat, that is a sacred war.
Oct 10, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov said at a news conference that the Chechen leadership had no plans for spreading hostilities outside the republic. He stressed that the Chechens would fight only on their territory. Maskhadov dismissed as groundless fears that his compatriots might use terrorist acts. Maskhadov said that he did not lose the hope that a political solution to the problem would be found (bbc).
Oct 11, 1999 Four hundred soldiers drafted on a contract basis arrived at the main Russian base in the North Caucasus. They would replace young soldiers who participated in the operation to create a cordon sanitaire around Chechnya (bbc).
Oct 12, 1999 Malik Saydullayev, businessman and newly elected chairman of the Chechen State Council, said that work was afoot to form an alternative government. He indicated that unlike the parliament in exile which had formed the new bodies of power, the State Council would be based in the north of the republic, and it would be controlled by the federal forces ( bbc).
Oct 12, 1999 The Russian government made a statement on the situation in Chechnya. The government said that it had undertaken an anti-terrorist campaign aimed at complete restoration of law and order on the whole territory of the Chechen Republic. The government said that the first stage of the operation had been successfully accomplished with the government freeing one-third of the republic's territory from terrorists (bbc).
Oct 14, 1999 There was an antiwar rally in Groznyy to urge the leadership of Russia and Chechnya to sit down at the negotiating table and hammer out a peace settlement. The rally was organized by the Chechen parliament, political parties and public movements. Official reports said that over 25,000 people took part in it. The rally participants sent a message to the UN, the Council of Europe, OSCE and other international organizations urging them "to make every effort to prevent the approaching catastrophe liable to cause the deaths of tens of thousands of people" (bbc).
Oct 22, 1999 At least five missiles blew up near the presidential palace in the city of Groznyy. Chechen command representatives said that fighting had flared up on all fronts. The Chechen side said that federal forces were trying to cross to the right bank of the river Terek "in several places" (bbc).
Oct 23, 1999 Acting US Secretary of State Strobe Talbott made an unprecedentedly tough statement against Russia's actions in Chechnya saying that the USA was concerned about prospects for a peaceful settlement of the Chechen conflict and this concern was intensified by the escalation of violence in the republic (bbc).
Oct 25, 1999 The press service of the Russian Defense Ministry announced that more than 1,500 displaced persons returned to the northern districts of Chechnya. Reportes said that rebels were driven out of 41 of the 46 populated areas in the Nadterechnyy, Naurskiy and Shelkovskiy (bbc).
Oct 27, 1999 The Russian Fuel and Energy Ministry began the construction of an oil pipeline through Dagestani territory to detour Chechnya. The Russian 'Segodnya' newspaper described it not as an investment but as a political project aimed at preventing the success of the Chechen campaign. To implement the project, the Russian oil company Transneft would need about 180m dollars (bbc).
Nov 10, 1999 A delegation of the Chechen parliament left for the OSCE summit in Istanbul. The delegation would request discussions on the political settlement of the Chechen conflict (bbc).
Nov 11, 1999 Deputy Russian presidential chief of staff Igor Shabdurasulov said that Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov did not control the situation in the North Caucasus republic, and it would therefore be senseless for Russia to hold talks with him alone. Nevertheless, "Russia still views Maskhadov as the legitimate president of the Chechen republic," Shabdurasulov said. Moscow would never negotiate with warlords Shamil Basayev or Khattab, he added. "There can be and will be no dialogue with any terrorists". Asked about chances for storming the Chechen capital Groznyy, Shabdurasulov said "It should be decided on the spot whether such actions are necessary" (bbc).
Nov 15, 1999 Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ordzhonikidze said that Russia would not permit discussion of the Chechen issue at the UN Security Council. He said that "this issue has nothing to do with the work of the UN Security Council". Ordzhonikidze stressed that the UN Security Council deals with issues of maintaining international peace and security and the Chechen issue in no way came within the sphere of the Security Council's competence (bbc).
Nov 18, 1999 The Russian State Duma approved government measures aimed at settling the situation in Chechnya. It recommended that no talks with the republic's government be held. This question was raised by Vladimir Zhirinovskiy, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party faction (bbc).
Nov 18, 1999 Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov signed a decree on the responsibility of citizens of the Chechen Republic and officials, which said "The law-enforcement agencies of Chechnya must organize work to find and draw to criminal responsibility citizens who have agreed to cooperate with the occupation authorities (bbc).
Nov 18, 1999 President Boris Yeltsin spoke out in defense of his forces' military action in Chechnya. The president said that Russia did not intend to accept "prescriptions of so-called objective critics". Addressing the OSCE summit in Istanbul, he said that Russia had no choice but to put a stop to the cancer of terrorism. The president ruled out talking to "bandits and murderers" as a way of achieving lasting peace in Chechnya (bbc).
Nov 26, 1999 Federal troops established control over the strategic heights on the Sunzhenskiy and Terskiy ranges. The troops blocked the Groznyy-Nazran and Groznyy-Vladikavkaz motorways and used artillery and air strikes to destroy concentration of militants, their equipment and military bases. Chechen militants continued withdrawing part of their units to the republic's mountainous districts and building positions, mining roads and bridges on the way of the advancing federal troops. Contradictions over the assessment of the situation and further tactics were reportedly growing amid Chechens. Warlords Shamil Basayev and Khattab were speaking in favor of subversive operations. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and his aide, Movladi Udugov, called for a political settlement with the support of the international community (bbc).
Dec 1, 1999 The Russian military said that Chechen militants were trying to seize the initiative on various fronts. That included Urus-Martan, south of Groznyy, and the area of Goragorskiy in the east of Chechnya. Chechen attacks were rebuffed (bbc).
Dec 4, 1999 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a resolution to implement an action plan of measures to normalize the political situation in Chechnya. The measures aimed at restoring the economy, ensuring support for the Chechen republic, as well as assisting the Chechen people in restoring state authority and local self-government (bbc).
Dec 6, 1999 A Press release of Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia was seriously concerned about NATO's statement on the situation in Chechnya. "Such 'love of peace' by figures who, just recently, launched a wide-scale armed aggression against sovereign Yugoslavia, who dropped thousands and thousands of tons of bombs and missiles on the country's civilian facilities, killing and maiming totally innocent civilians of that country, looks at best cynical," stressed the press release (bbc).
Dec 11, 1999 The National Council of Chechens of Dagestan urged Russian leadership and heads of the North Caucasian republics to stop the war, or at least to agree a truce, so that civilians could leave Groznyy (bbc).
Dec 17, 1999 Temur Grdzelidze, first deputy chairman of the Georgian Department of Intelligence, described as a " downright lie" Russian media reports about a meeting allegedly held in Tbilisi between Movladi Udugov, aide to the Chechen president, and Bin Ladin , an envoy of the international terrorist organization. Grdzelidze also denied reports that Vakha Arsanov, the vice president of Ichkeria, had smuggled out 500,000 dollars from Georgia for Chechen militants (bbc).
Dec 23, 1999 Chechen vice president Vakha Arsanov denied reports of secret negotiations allegedly conducted by representatives of Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov with the command of the federal forces in Chechnya. According to Arsanov, Maskhadov had not authorized anyone to hold talks with Russian military. "If someone without a document confirming his mandate is trying to talk to generals, he is an impostor and will be held responsible according to wartime laws," Arsanov said. He repeated the stance of the militants that they would agree to talks with Moscow only with the mediation of the OSCE and other international organizations (bbc).
Dec 23, 1999 Mufti Akhmed Kadyrov, Chechnya's supreme Muslim leader, called for a referendum to decide the breakaway region's political status. Asked about conflict-settling prospects, he said "I support talks to halt the war, no matter with whom. Talks should be held with those who take decisions. Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov does not take them. If Moscow believes that talks should be held with warlord Shamil Basayev, let it be so." Kadyrov expressed readiness to serve as a mediator in talks with Maskhadov or Basayev, or warlord Salman Raduyev (bbc).
Dec 28, 1999 Col-Gen Valeriy Manilov , first Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Russian armed forces, denied reports that air strikes had been carried out on Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov's HQ (bbc).
Jan 18, 2000 The Russian government formed a commission to coordinate the normalization of the social and political situation in the Chechen Republic. The commission is expected to coordinate the activities of the federal executive bodies and oversee compliance with the unified state policy on Chechnya. The commission should also draft proposals for the formation of the system of bodies of state authority and local government, as well as for the restoration of constitutional order in Chechnya (bbc).
Jan 24, 2000 The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the recognition of Chechnya by the Afghan movement Taleban was "legally void". "The open support by the Taleban of terrorists operating in one of the subjects of Russia gives us serious reasons for raising the question of tightening sanctions against the Taleban," the ministry said (bbc).
Jan 27, 2000 German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer urged the Russian government to "immediately" withdraw the ultimatum imposed on the inhabitants of the Chechen capital of Groznyy. Fischer appealed to Moscow to ensure the safety of the civilian population and of their humanitarian supplies (bbc).
Feb 5, 2000 Russia's special services said that Chechen separatist leaders increased their contact with Afghanistan's Taleban Islamic militia. The sources said that the aim of Movladi Udugov's visit to Afghanistan in late January was to hold talks with Taleban leaders on rendering military, political and financial aid to the Chechen guerrillas. "Iranian and Pakistani officials also took part in the talks," the sources said. "More than 400 mercenaries have been recruited, 70 per cent of whom are members of the Islamic Party of Afghanistan led by Golboddin Hekmatyar, while the rest are Palestinians, Kashmiris, and Taleban with previous fighting experience," the sources added (bbc).
Mar 2, 2000 Deputy Russian Prime Minister Nikolay Koshman visited Vienna to address the OSCE permanent council. Koshman presented a timescale for the completion of the Chechen campaign. Koshman said that the military part of the operation would be over within the next 10 days (bbc).
Mar 11, 2000 Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he did not rule out direct presidential rule in Chechnya. Putin reaffirmed his tough stance on Chechnya. Asked about Chechnya's future, he said that "all who are with arms, in mountain caves must be driven away and wiped out" (bbc).
Mar 13, 2000 Lord Judd, head of the delegation of PACE, urged Russian authorities to begin talks with Aslan Maskhadov on political settlement of the Chechen conflict. Judd said that PACE had been repeatedly told that Maskhadov never controlled the entire Chechen territory. However, he would be an appropriate person to start talks with as he was elected by the people, Judd noted (bbc).
Mar 17, 2000 Akhmed-Khadzhi Kadyrov, Chechnya's mufti, spoke in favor of direct presidential rule in Chechnya. The mufti saw direct presidential rule as lasting for a year or two, "after which a president of the republic should be elected". Kadyrov said that the Russian president should choose a local politician as leader of Chechnya during the transition period and expressed readiness to assume this responsibility if necessary. Kadyrov said that he discussed the future of Chechnya with acting President Vladimir Putin (bbc).
Mar 20, 2000 Russian Presidential aide Sergey Yastrzhembskiy restated Russia's rejection of mediation regarding Chechnya. Yastrzhembskiy said that the OSCE mission in Chechnya might resume its work in the future, but that extending the OSCE mandate in Chechnya was not on the agenda. Yastrzhembskiy said that no official confirmation had been received yet on having OSCE experts monitoring Russian presidential elections in Chechnya. Sergey Yastrzhembskiy assessed as counterproductive the suspension of Russia's membership in PACE. Yastrzhembskiy emphasized that cooperation with the council was especially important at a stage when the country's legal system was taking shape (bbc).
Mar 27, 2000 Chechens disputed the high turnout for Russian elections. Chechens claimed that over 220,000 refugees in Ingushetia and about 650,000 inhabitants in Chechnya ignored the Kremlin electoral campaign. Chechens claimed that the turnout in Chechnya was 47 per cent. International observers called attention to the fact that conditions for free elections in Chechnya were not available (bbc).
Apr 5, 2000 Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin said that Russia would adopt a tougher policy toward the Chechen rebels who did not use the amnesty or lay down their arms. "We will strengthen Russia's borders, especially with Georgia, and Chechnya's administrative border with Dagestan and other regions, and rebuild the socioeconomic sphere in Chechnya," Putin was quoted as saying. "We will also attend to political processes. Election of a Chechen member to the State Duma could be a step forward in that direction," the president added (bbc).
Apr 7, 2000 Russia's President-elect Vladimir Putin met senior European Union envoys. A settlement plan for Chechnya was not discussed at the meeting. However, envoys received detailed information on what happened in the republic for the last few months. Putin paid special attention to the refugee issue, as well as to plans for the restoration of Chechnya's economy and government. Putin confirmed that Moscow did not intend to impose direct presidential rule (bbc).
Apr 15, 2000 Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Austrian Foreign Minister and OSCE Chairman-in-Office confirmed intentions to revive the operation of the OSCE mission in Chechnya. She said that the resumption of the mission's work was discussed at her Moscow meeting with President Vladimir Putin, as well as with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov. Ferrero-Waldner said the OSCE mission would have its office in Znamenskoye, Chechnya. In addition to checking the violation of human rights by both Chechen rebels and Russian troops, the mission would also coordinate the efforts of various international humanitarian organizations in the republic (bbc).
Apr 19, 2000 The acting commander of the Russian federal force in the North Caucasus, Gennadiy Troshev, said that it was premature to state that the war in Chechnya was over (bbc).
Apr 27, 2000 The Russian Foreign Ministry said that Russia voted against the resolution by the UN Human Rights Commission on the situation in Chechnya adopted at the initiative of the European Union and the USA. Therefore, Russia would not feel bound by its provisions (bbc).
May 1, 2000 A new public and political movement, called the Union of Citizens for the Chechen Republic as a Democratic Rule-of-Law State Within the Russian Federation (Solidarity), was formed in Chechnya. Union leader Amin Osmayev said that the movement aimed to bring together people who thought that Chechnya could revive socially, economically and spiritually only as part of Russia (bbc).
May 3, 2000 The Chechen foreign minister Ilyas Akhmadov called on the USA to save the Chechen people "for the sake of peace on earth and stability". Ilyas Akhmadov recounted the history of Russian aggression against Chechnya through the centuries and said that the current aggression was aimed at the complete annihilation of the Chechen people (bbc).
May 4, 2000 Chechen General Khamzat Gelayev said that Russians were facing a military- political deadlock. Evaluating the military situation in Chechnya, Khamzat Gelayev stressed that the armed forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria retained their maneuverability, coordination and fighting ability. "We will destroy the aggressors throughout the entire territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and at the necessary moment we will start a large-scale operation involving all troops. Nobody is going to allow the aggressors to get out of Chechnya alive", said the Chechen general.
May 4, 2000 Russian human rights activist Oleg Mironov spoke out against direct negotiations between President-elect Vladimir Putin and Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov (bbc).
May 6, 2000 The Chechen Solidarity movement said that it would sue the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for the "material and moral damage" inflicted on the Chechen people during the second war in Chechnya. At its May Day meeting the movement's members said that OSCE was "the main organizer of the genocide of the Chechen people". The movement said that it would file a lawsuit against this organization with the International Court in The Hague. It is believed that the movement was organized with the help of the Russian military (bbc).
May 10, 2000 Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian authorities were drawing up a draft law on federal rule in Chechnya. The president said that the law would be in force for 18 months to two years, that is, for the time necessary to restore a normal way of life in the republic (bbc).
May 25, 2000 Russian General Staff said that more than 1,500 well-armed people "nurturing plans for a possible breakthrough onto Russian territory" were concentrated outside the Chechen stretch of the Russian-Georgian border (bbc).
Jun 3, 2000 Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Kasyanov said that allegations that Russia wanted and was already prepared to deliver pre-emptive strikes on terrorist bases in Afghanistan was an exaggeration. Kasyanov said that this was a misinterpretation of some recent statements by a number of Russian politicians (bbc).
Jun 6, 2000 Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze said that Georgia was ready to get involved in the political settlement of the Chechen conflict but categorically ruled out the possibility of taking part in Russian military operations against Chechnya (bbc) .
Jun 7, 2000 Chechen field commander Shamil Basayev met Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov to discuss the military and political situation in Chechnya, as well as the implementation of the decision of the State Defense Committee, "On the tactics of the armed forces of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria". Basayev denied reports that Maskhadov was wounded. Basayev said that there were no disagreements amid Chechen leadership. He emphasized that the country and the Chechen people had the concrete and ultimate task of liberating the motherland from foreign invaders. The Chechen general also said that the aggressor was continuing chaotic air and artillery strikes in southern Chechnya. Basayev noted that fighting was going on near Khidi-Khutor, Tazen-Kala, Zhanni-Vedeno, Sayasan, Turti-Khutor and other villages (bbc).
Jun 8, 2000 Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov brought peace proposals to Washington. The draft was sent to the US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright who was on a trip to the Middle East. The proposals included immediate cessation of hostilities and the beginning of political negotiations with Russian leadership. The Chechen side insisted on international mediation, and more concretely, on the involvement of OSCE and the Council of Europe in the talks, as well as on the establishment of an independent international commission to investigate war crimes. The return of the OSCE mission to Chechnya was postponed (bbc).
Jun 12, 2000 Vladimir Putin signed a decree appointing Chechen mufti Akhmed Kadyrov as the head of Chechen administration. Kadyrov was known as a supporter of President Maskhadov (bbc).
Jun 15, 2000 Walter Schwimmer, secretary-general of the Council of Europe, said that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe would not take up the issue of restoring Russia's voting rights before seeing substantial progress in the political settlement of the Russian-Chechen conflict. Schwimmer will be visiting Russia on 22nd-26th June together with Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini (bbc).
Jun 20, 2000 Refakh Muslim movement drafted a plan for peaceful settlement of the Chechen conflict. The plan envisaged more powers for Mufti Akhmad Kadyrov, the new head of the Chechen administration, and called for the establishment of a representative body in Chechnya (bbc).
Jun 21, 2000 Walter Schwimmer, General Secretary of the Council of Europe, said that Russia should remain a Council's member. A Committee of Ministers to the Council of Europe suggested in April that Russia's membership to the Council be suspended owing to the events in Chechnya. The question would be at the agenda of the PACE session, scheduled to begin in Strasbourg on 26th June (bbc).
Jun 23, 2000 Chechnya's interim administration chief Akhmad Kadyrov said that the tough stance of the Council of Europe toward Russia would "do no good to Chechnya and its people" (bbc).
Jul 4, 2000 Former Chechen parliament deputies elected in 1997 set up a group aimed to revive the work of parliament. The deputies met the head of the Chechen administration Akhmad Kadyrov and informed him of their plan. Kadyrov declined speaking about the meeting in detail (bbc).
Jul 15, 2000 Movladi Udugov, first deputy chairman of the Majlis of Muslims in Chechnya and Dagestan, said that he did not see a real basis for negotiations with the Kremlin regime (bbc).
Jul 15, 2000 Chechen Vice-President Vakha Arsanov said that Chechen armed forces seized the initiative in the military situation in Chechnya. Arsanov said that Russian occupying grouping was considerably disoriented and had no clear idea of what to do next (bbc).
Jul 25, 2000 A Russian federal force representative identified some sources of financial support for Chechen rebels. The sources included individuals, states and organizations. Among them was notorious Osama Bin Ladin known for having assigned 34m dollars for purchase of armament and communication equipment. Money also came from "taxes", "collected" from Chechen businessmen, as well as from "contributions" made by ethnic Chechen criminal groups. States and organizations known for their financial commitment to the Chechen rebellion included Saudi Arabia; the international Islamic organization, Al-Haramayn al-Sharifayn (Two Holy Places); the Al-Jama'ah al-Islamiyah (The Islamic Group) radical organization; as well as the Turkish Refah radical Islamic organization, and the People's Movement nationalist party (bbc).
Jul 26, 2000 Lt-Gen Vladimir Bokovikov, the Russian president's deputy representative in the Southern Federal District, said that there could be no political dialogue with President Aslan Maskhadov. Bokovikov said that there could only be talks of his all-out capitulation (bbc).
Jul 27, 2000 The Russian Security Council gathered in the Kremlin to discuss additional measures against Islamic extremism. Security Council Secretary Sergey Ivanov said that Islam as a religious faith posed no threat to Russia's national security. Ivanov specified that the threat came from extremist radical organizations of Wahhabi nature (bbc).
Aug 4, 2000 President Ruslan Aushev of Ingushetia said that political forces favoring the merger of Ingushetia with Chechnya were in actual fact seeking solution to the Chechen problem. "I am categorically opposed. So long as I am president, this will not happen", Aushev said.
Aug 15, 2000 Chechen authorities embarked upon reviving the Chechen court system. Chechen Minister of Justice Bek said that a decision to this aim had been agreed upon with Russian federal agencies and would be carried out with their assistance. Courts would be guided by Russian laws. Their revival indicated Chechnya's return to the Russian constitutional and legal system (bbc).
Aug 22, 2000 Chechens reported that elections to the Russian State Duma on the occupied part of Chechen territory were openly boycotted. Chechens claimed that elections were a failure with Russian helicopters carrying out concentrated rocket strikes on election day against residential homes in the village of Tsentoroy. Six civilians were reportedly killed. A number of "polling stations" in Urus-Martanovskiy and Achkhoy-Martanovskiy Districts were blown up. Periodic shoot-outs occurred in various parts of the Chechen capital (bbc).

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