The current Russo-Chechen conflict illustrates the persistent tension between the principles of national self- determination and territorial integrity. Russia and Chechnya remain engaged in a centuries-old struggle with no foreseeable end. Many Chechens assert that they are continuing the struggle to break free of Russian oppression which began over two centuries ago. Indeed, Chechens have compared their struggle for national self-determination to that of the United States in 1776. In contrast, Russians argue that they have the right to protect and preserve their country's territorial integrity. In an effort to gain support from foreign observers, Russia has portrayed its struggle in Chechnya as part of the fight against international terrorism. Reaching an acceptable political solution would require compromises regarding the fundamental principles as well as the security and economic interests at stake.
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx