Since the dissolution of the USSR in 1991, lot of its republics chose to be independent states and most succeeded without any significant pressure from the then newly established Russia. But one particular republic wasn't successful at all, which is Chechnya.

Chechnya's retention history has multiple war campaign marks. Litvinenko's controversy also suggests that Russian apartment buildings bombing in 90s, allegedly performed by the government of Russia, were done for the purpose of a justifying of the war against Chechnya. Lot of financial and personnel resources were thrown on the keeping Chechnya a Russia's republic.

Even now, when there are no any major war escalation in the region, Russia allegedly spends a lot of money to keep it in control.

There are several claims that suggests that Chechnya is critical to Russia.

  1. Rich oil deposits.

    Although Chechnya may be a major hub in the oil infrastructure of Russia, one can assume that more resources were spent to prevent its secede. And still, Russia is notoriously rich of natural resources, even without Chechnya, to the point of its economy dubbed resource-based, so the claim that Chechnya's oil is so important for Russia is rather doubtful.

  2. Strategic location.

    Some claims that Chechnya has strategically important location. However, this is also questionable, since Chechnya doesn't have a sea exit and has no exclusive border with adjacent countries. In fact, at the south it has a small border with Georgia, but adjacent Russia's republics' Dagestan, North Osetia, Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia aggregate borderline with Georgia is much longer.

  3. Secede case for other republics.

    Boris Yeltsin's claim, who was a Russia's president during the escalation of this conflict in 1992, was based on a belief that other federal subjects, such as Tatarstan may follow the example of Chechnya and try to secede. In fact, all of these subjects have already signed their stay treaties, even Tatarstan which made it last, and it is very dubious, that if Chechnya was granted independence, they may have change their mind.

So what may be a real motive to keep Chechnya within the Russian Federation?


1 Answer 1


Chechnya was not a constituent republic of the USSR. Hence, I do not know why you refer to it as "one republic who did not gain independence". If you count Chechnya, why do you not count Tatarstan, Dagestan, Ingushetia, North Ossetia, Adygea, Kalmykia, Bashkiria, Yakutia and all other republics that constitute the Russian Federation. Independence of all these republics would be part of the process of dissolution of Russia, rather than of the USSR.

Generally speaking, no country allows a region to unilaterally secede. That said, Chechnya was for a time de facto independent and became a hub for organized crime, car theft, bank order (aviso) frauds, slave and hostage trade and assaults on the passing passenger trains. Later, it became a hub for the Jihadist terrorists who wanted to convert all North Caucasus into an Islamic fundamentalist emirate.

It was the assault by the Chechen rebels on Dagestan that sparked the Second Chechen War.

The oil infrastructure in Chechnya is not significant. The location of Chechnya is important in that the only railroad line towards Dagestan goes through Chechnya.

For a more extensive answer, look here.

  • 2
    While technically Chechnya wasn't constituent republic of the USSR, the severity and desperation of it seeking independence is rather unique. And the Russia's resistance proved severe and not less desperate. So the question stresses why despite all this extreme tensions Russia chose to hold Chechnya. What is the fundamental reason. And as far as I understood, your answer is because Russia wanted to make Chechnya a better place, without "organized crime, car theft, bank aviso frauds, slave and hostage trade and assaults on the passing passenger trains" and "Jihadist terrorists" expelled. Right? Sep 14, 2016 at 13:28
  • 2
    @TranslucentCloud "the severity and desperation of it seeking independence is rather unique." - this is not certain at all, see the linked answer, the last part. "Right?" - I suggest you to read the linked answer first. There were different reasons for first and second wars. Basically Chechnya started to run totally crime-based economy with taking slaves and hostages became routine, criminals were hiding there with success. The second war started when Chechnya broke the armistice and attacked Dagestan.
    – Anixx
    Sep 14, 2016 at 13:36
  • 4
    I very much doubt your claim regarding that it is "totally safe place again", considering reports that whole villages' youth male population moves to ISIS and other terrorist groups/states. Why are you sure so much? Sep 14, 2016 at 13:47
  • 4
    Sorry, but photographs of buildings in the center of Grozny (built on the money of Russian taxpayers, by the way) doesn't at all convince me that "currently the safest for tourists republic", since the reports proved different and the president Kadyrov himself declared that women are not human beings but merely a property of men. I wonder if any female tourists are treated the same. But thank you for your input, I understood your point and suggest to close this discussion, we already float a lot from the topic. Sep 14, 2016 at 14:01
  • 5
    @TranslucentCloud so you think if the jihadists won, women would have more rights there? As I already said, Russia tried to play de-facto independence, and it did not work.
    – Anixx
    Sep 14, 2016 at 14:11

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