There were two wars in Chechnya after the end of the Cold War, in 1994-96 and in 1999-2009. Was there any evidence, or even claims, of Western support to certain Chechen fighters via the provision of resources or intelligence?

  • At least, I don't remember vocal public statements of the Russian government in this regard.
    – fraxinus
    Apr 6, 2022 at 22:08
  • @fraxinus: not then, but they are claiming that now.
    – Fizz
    Apr 7, 2022 at 8:34
  • Now, the Russian government's statements are much more disconnected from reality.
    – fraxinus
    Apr 7, 2022 at 9:04

2 Answers 2



The source actually says "partially true" where the first claim (that US officials met separatist leaders) is true while the second claim (that US provided intelligence or weapons) has no publicly-available evidence corroborating it. It does say that US-made weapons were found in Chechnya, that US NGOs (which count former government officials as members) did send funds and support, and the US offered asylum to a Chechen separatist leader. But these don't meet the standard of "the US provided intelligence or weapons to Chechen separatists".

So: maybe. If the US actually did help Chechen separatists, the details would probably remain classified even today.

  • One should consider performance of american proxies such as Saudi Arabia.
    – alamar
    Apr 7, 2022 at 6:41
  • 2
    Saudi Arabia has much more vested interest in Chechnya than the US. If there was principal-proxy relationship back then, it would be SA the principal and US the proxy. On the other hand, in 1994-2000 USA and Russia were much closer.
    – fraxinus
    Apr 7, 2022 at 9:07

The principle "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" is still true: it was used by the West in Chechnya the same way it was used in Afghanistan. Many Chechen fighters have found asylum in the West. Some of those fighters later committed terrorist attacks in the West.

  • 2
    I think it is more complicated than that: in the 90s Russia was not really the enemy of the West... at least much less than before the collapse of the USSR. On the other hand, the Islamic terrorism was beginning to be a real concern. The last stages of Russian campaign in Chechnya were taking place already after 9/11. Apr 8, 2022 at 12:48
  • It is not uncommon for the West to take in refugees from areas with high mortality warzones and significant persecutions of civilian populations, without expecting to influence the outcome all that much (less so than some would prefer, more so than some would prefer). Both of these conditions for asylum applied to Chechnya in the 1994 and 2000 wars. And the West was still on relatively friendly terms with Russia back then. Apr 12, 2022 at 18:30

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