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Chechnya
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Chechnya

The Chechen Republic (Russian: Чеченская Республика; Chechen: Noxçiyn Respublika Noxçiyçö), also known as Chechnya (Russian: Чечня), Chechnia or Chechenia, is a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. Bordering Stavropol Krai to the northwest, the republic of Dagestan to the northeast and east, Georgia to the south, and the republics of Ingushetia and North Ossetia to the west, it is located in the Northern Caucasus mountains, in the Southern Federal District.

Чеченская Республика Российской Федерации
Chechenskaya Respublika Rossiyskoy Federatsii
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: None
Official languages Russian, Chechen
Capital Grozny
President Sergey Abramov (acting)
Prime Minister Sergey Abramov
Area
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 79th
17,300 km²
Negligible
Population
 - Total (1997)
 - Density
(not ranked)
862 000
50/km²
Independence
 - Declared
 - Recognition
From Russia
 - 1990
 - none
Currency Russian Rouble
Time zone UTC +3
Calling Code 7 (Russia)

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, a group of Chechen leaders declared themselves to be the lawful government, announced a new parliament and declared independence as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. As of 2003, their independence is not recognized by any state; however, this declaration caused armed conflicts in which several rival Chechen groups and the Russian Federal army were involved, resulting in about 150,000 deaths in the period of 1994-2003.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Administrative Division
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 See also
8 External links
9 Further reading

History

Main article: History of Chechnya

A part of the Russian Empire since 1859, the Chechnya-Ingushetia region was incorporated as the Checheno-Ingushkaya Autonomous Soviet-Socialist Republic during the founding of the Soviet Union. Over the course of Soviet rule, the Chechens endured a forced deportment of the whole population to the Kazakh SSR (later Kazakhstan) during World War II. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, an independence movement formed in Chechnya, while Russia refused to allow the secession.

Dzhokhar Dudayev, the Republic of Chechnya's nationalist president, declared Chechnya's independence from Russia in 1991. In 1994 Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered 40,000 troops to prevent the separation of the southern oil-producing region of Chechnya from Russia (see First Chechen War).

Russia was quickly submerged in a quagmire like that of the U.S. in the Vietnam War. Chechen insurgents inflicted humiliating losses on Russia's demoralized and ill-equipped troops. Russian troops had not secured the Chechen capital of Grozny by year's end. The Russians finally managed to gain control of Grozny in February 1995 after heavy fighting. In August 1996 Yeltsin agreed to a ceasefire with Chechen leaders, and a peace treaty was formally signed in May 1997.

The conflict resumed in 1999, thus rendering the 1997 peace accord meaningless (see Second Chechen War). Chechen separatists still claim an independent Chechnya and have orchestrated attacks in Chechnya and other regions of Russia, including Moscow. A decade of war has left most of Chechnya under the control of the federal military.

Politics

Main article: Politics of Chechnya

Chechnya is considered an independent republic by its separatists, and a federal republic by its federalists. Its regional constitution was entered into effect on April 2, 2003 after an all-Chechen referendum was held on March 23, 2003.

Since 1990, the Chechen Republic has had legal, military, and civil conflicts involving the separatist movements. However, the current government of the Chechen Republic meets most laws of Checheno-Ingushkaya ASSR, the Chechen Republic, and the Russian Federation. This compromise is considered by some to be pro-federal government. Despite popular belief, most Chechen citizens see the Chechen Republic as being within the Russian Federation (more than 70% by independent and even anti-Russian polls).

Defected separatist warlord Akhmad Kadyrov, looked upon as a traitor by separatists, was elected president with 83% of the vote in an internationally monitored election on October 5, 2003. There were claims, however, of ballot stuffing and voter intimidation by Russian soldiers and the exclusion of separatist parties from the polls made by the OSCE. Rudnik Dudayev is head of the Chechen Security Council and Anatoly Popov is the Prime Minister. On May 9, 2004, Kadyrov was assassinated in a Grozny stadium by a landmine explosion that was planted beneath a VIP stage and detonated during a World War II memorial parade. Sergey Abramov was appointed to the position of acting president after the incident.

In addition to the elected government, there is a self-proclaimed separatist government that is not recognized by any state (although members have been given in political asylum in European and Arab countries.) The president of this government is Aslan Maskhadov, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister is Akhmed Zakayev. Aslan Maskhadov was elected in an internationally monitored election in 1997 for 4 years, when the separatists were a major political force. In 2001 he issued a decree prolonging his office for one additional year; he was unable to participate the 2003 presidential election, since separatist parties were said to be barred, and Maskhadov is accused of "terrorist offences" in Russia for his involvement in separatist wars. Maskhadov left Grozny and moved to the separatist-controlled areas of the south during the onset of the Second Chechen War. President Maskhadov was unable to influence a number of warlords who retain effective control over Chechen territory, and his power was diminished as a result. Most probably, any actions of Maskhadov's government, or even its disappearance, would not materially change the current situation in the Chechen Republic.

Some territories are or were controlled by regional teips.

Administrative Division

Districts

Chechnya Republic consists of the following districts (Russian: районы):

  1. Naursky (Наурский)
  2. Shelkovskoy (Шелковской)
  3. Nadterechny (Надтеречный)
  4. Groznensky (Грозненский)
  5. Gudermessky (Гудермесский)
  6. Sunzhensky (Сунженский)
  7. Achkhoy-Martanovsky (Ачхой-Мартановский)
  8. Urus-Martanovsky (Урус-Мартановский)
  9. Shalinsky (Шалинский)
  10. Kurchaloyevsky (Курчалоевский)
  11. Itum-Kalinsky (Итум-Калинский)
  12. Shatoysky (Шатойский)
  13. Vedensky (Веденский)
  14. Nozhay-Yurtovsky (Ножай-Юртовский)
  15. Sharoysky (Шаройский)

Major settlements

  1. Znamenskoye
  2. Naurskaya
  3. Achkhoy-Martan
  4. Urus-Martan
  5. Grozny
  6. Shali
  7. Gudermes
  8. Shelkovskaya
  9. Itum-Shale
  10. Shatoy
  11. Vedeno
  12. Nozhay-Yurt

Geography

Rivers:

Economy

During the civil war, the Chechen economy fell apart as organized criminal gangs acquired progressively more power.
Gross domestic product, if calculable with reliability, would be only a fraction of the prewar level. However, problems with Chechen economy had a significant effect on the federal Russian economy - many financial crimes in 1990s were committed using Chechen financial organizations. Despite significant improvements, much economic activity still centers around smuggling and bartering. Chechnya has the highest ratio within Russian Federation of financial operations made in US Dollars to operations in Russian Roubles. There are many counterfeit US Dollars printed there. The separatists planned to put into circulation a new currency, the Nahar, but the Federal army prevented them.

Demographics

Most Chechenians are Sunni Muslim, the country having converted to that faith between the 16th and the 18th century.

The languages used in the Republic are Chechen and Russian. Chechen belongs to the Vaynakh or North-central Caucasian linguistic family, which also includes Ingush and Batsb. Some scholars place it in a wider Iberian-Caucasian super-family.

See also

External links

Further reading


 
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