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History of Chechnya

The people of Chechnya mainly belong to the Chechen ethnic group, with Russians and Ingush ethnicities making up the minorities. The Chechens and Ingush are largely Muslims. Like many of the other republics encompassed by the former Soviet Union, Chechnya declared its independence after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. However, it is still regarded as one of many republics within the Russian Federation. Chechnya, officially known as the Chechnya Republic is located in North Caucasus in Eastern Europe, close to the Caspian Sea. Chechen, like many republics across the world, has undergone many changes. One significant evolution in early history worth noting is how the Chechen autonomous region was created by the Bolsheviks in November 1920. Later in 1934, it merged with the Ingush autonomous region forming a joint Chechen-Ingush autonomous region, eventually becoming a republic.

Russia and Chechnya have often crossed paths that have erupted violence, deaths and displacement. Economic reasons amongst others indicate Russia’s interest in the latter. As the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea go through Chechnya apart from oil and gas pipelines connecting Russia with Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan it is realpolitik that dominates in the narrative.

Starting from the early 20th century, conflicts have ruptured normalcy in the republic. It was the revolt against the Soviet rule during World War II that cost Chechnya big. Joseph Stalin accused the population of cooperating with the Nazis. Chechens were banished to Kazakhstan and Siberia in 1944, killing thousands. In 1957, after Stalin's death, survivors were allowed to return home. Stalin’s successor Nikita Khrushchev restored the province. The country remained under Soviet rule until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The post-Soviet era has not been any better for Chechnya as intense fighting continues. Currently, Chechnya is under the rule of Ramzan Kadyrov, a Russian-appointed leader.

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