Russia's Invasion of Chechnya: A Preliminary Assessment

  • January 01, 1995
  • Dr Stephen J Blank, Dr Earl H Tilford Jr

On December 11, 1994, Russia invaded the secessionist republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus. The aim was to suppress the republic's government, led by General Dzhokar Dudayev, compel it to accept Moscow's authority, and to force it to renounce its bid for independence and sovereignty. This invasion, which quickly turned into a military quagmire for Russia's troops, triggered a firestorm of domestic opposition, even within the higher levels of the Ministry of Defense. As a result, the invasion has the most profound and troubling possible consequences for the stability of the Russian government, Russian democracy, and the future political-military relationship. This special report, based on what is already known, attempts to assess the discernible consequences of this invasion and provide a framework within which future developments can be assessed.