Bringing Peace to Chechnya? Assessments and Implications [Updated January 27, 2006]   [open pdf - 102KB]

"Russia's then-Premier (and current President) Vladimir Putin ordered military, police, and security forces to enter the breakaway Chechnya region in September 1999, and these forces occupied most of the region by early 2000. The conflict has resulted in thousands of military and civilian casualties and the massive destruction of housing and infrastructure. Putin's rise to power and continuing popularity have been tied at least partly to his perceived ability to prosecute this conflict successfully. In the run-up to Russian legislative elections in December 2003 and a presidential election in March 2004, Putin endeavored to demonstrate that peace had returned to the region. […] A consistent theme of U.S. and other international criticism of Russia is that Russian troops use excessive and indiscriminate force to quell separatism in Chechnya and commit serious human rights abuses. Several analysts have discerned a decrease in Bush Administration criticism of Russian policy in Chechnya, perhaps spurred to some degree by the Moscow theater hostage crisis and stepped-up terrorist bombings and armed attacks throughout Russia in recent years. […] Foreign Operations Appropriations for FY2006 (H.R. 3057; P.L. 109-102) retains a provision first included in FY2001 appropriations that cuts some aid to Russia unless the President determines that Russia is not hampering access to Chechnya by non-governmental organizations (NGOs). One issue for the second Session of the 109th Congress is whether to continue this ban in FY2007 legislation."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32272
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