Chechen Republic of Ichkeria: Wikis


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Noxçiyn Paçẋalq Noxçiyçö
Нохчийн Пачхьалкх Нохчийчоь
Чеченская Республика Ичкерия

Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
In Exile since 2000


Flag Coat of arms
Anthem of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
The Chechen Republic in the Caucasus region
Capital Dƶovxar-Ġala, known as Grozny before 1996
Language(s) Chechen
Russian (de facto)
Religion Sunni Islam
Government Republic (1991-1998), Islamic Republic (1998-2007), Republic (2007-)
President of Ichkeria
 - 1991–1996 Dzokhar Dudayev 
 - 1996–1997 Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev 
 - 1997–2005 Aslan Maskhadov 
 - 2005–2006 Abdul Halim Sadulayev 
 - 2006–2007 Dokka Umarov
 - 2007–present Akhmed Zakayev
(prime minister in exile)
 - Collapse of the Soviet Union 7 February 1990
 - Dissolution of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR 1 November 1991 1991
 - First Chechen War 11 December 1994 – 31 August 1996
 - Second Chechen War 26 August 1999 – 16 April 2009 2000
 - 2002 15,300 km2 (5,907 sq mi)
 - 2002 est. 1,103,686 
     Density 72.1 /km2  (186.8 /sq mi)
Currency Russian ruble
Chechen nahar
(planned in 1994)

The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria (pronounced /ɪtʃˈkɛriə/; Chechen Latin: Noxçiyn Pachhalq Noxçiyçö, Chechen Cyrillic: Нохчийн Пачхьалкх Нохчийчоь; Russian: Чеченская Республика Ичкерия; Short: ChRI or CRI) is the unrecognized secessionist government of Chechnya. Chechnya is located in the Northern Caucasus mountains and borders 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. The republic was proclaimed in late 1991 by Dzokhar Dudayev, and fought two devastating wars between separatists and the Russian Federation which denounced secession. In late 2007, the President of Ichkeria Dokka Umarov declared that he renamed the republic to Noxçiyçö and converted it into a province of the much larger Caucasus Emirate, with himself as Emir. This change of status has been rejected by some members of the former Chechen government-in-exile.

Ichkeria is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization. Former president of Georgia, Zviad Gamsakhurdia, deposed in a military coup of 1991 and a participant of the Georgian Civil War, recognised the independence of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in 1993.[1] This recognition is no longer in effect.[citation needed] Diplomatic relations with Ichkeria were also established by the partially recognized Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan under the Taliban government on January 16, 2000. This recognition ceased with the fall of the Taliban in 2001.[2]





In November 1990, Dzhokhar Dudaev was elected head of the Executive Committee of the unofficial opposition All-National Congress of the Chechen People, which advocated sovereignty for Chechnya as a separate republic within the Soviet Union. In October 1991, he won the presidential election.

Dudayev, in his new position as president of Ichkeria, unilaterally declared the republic's sovereignty and its secession from the Soviet Union and Russia. Not recognized by any government except Georgia under Zviad Gamsakhurdia, the country has maintained an unstable existence, due in part to constant threats of invasions from the Russian Federation.

Dudayev's government had created the constitution of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria, which was introduced on March 1992.[3] In the same month, the opposition attempted a coup d'état, but their attempt was crushed by force. A month later, Dudayev introduced direct presidential rule, and in June 1993, dissolved the parliament. Federal forces dispatched to the Ossetian-Ingush conflict were ordered to move to the Chechen border in late October 1992, and Dudayev, who perceived this as "an act of aggression against the Chechen Republic," declared a state of emergency and threatened general mobilization if the Russian troops did not withdraw from the Chechen border. After staging another coup attempt in December 1993, the opposition organized a Provisional Council as a potential alternative government for Chechnya, calling on Moscow for assistance.

However, the issue of contention was not independence from Russia: even the opposition stated there was no alternative to an international boundary separating Chechnya from Russia. In 1992, Russian newspaper Moscow News made note that, just like the most other seceding republics except for Tatarstan, ethnic Chechens universally supported the establishment of an independent Chechen state [4]. Again, in 1995, during the heat of the First Chechen War, Khalid Delmayev, an anti-Dudayev belonging to an Ichkerian liberal coalition, stated that "Chechnya's statehood may be postponed... but cannot be avoided" [5]. Opposition to Dudayev came mainly due to his domestic policy, as well as his personality: on one of the most notorious incidents being a declaration, referencing earthquakes experienced by Armenia and Azerbaijan, that Russia intended to destabilize his nation by "artificially creating earthquakes". This did not go off well with most Chechens, who came to view him as a national embarassment at times (if still a patriot at others), but it did not, by any means, dismantle the determination for independence, as most Western commentators note. [6]



After the war, parliamentary and presidential elections took place in January 1997 in Chechnya and brought to power Aslan Maskhadov, chief of staff and prime minister in the Chechen coalition government, for a five-year term. Maskhadov sought to maintain Chechen sovereignty while pressing Moscow to help rebuild the republic, whose formal economy and infrastructure were virtually destroyed.[7] Russia continued to send money for the rehabilitation of the republic; it also provided pensions and funds for schools and hospitals. Most of these transfers were stolen by Chechen authorities and divided between favoured warlords.[8] Nearly half a million people (40% of Chechya's prewar population) have been internally displaced and lived in refugee camps or overcrowded villages.[9] The economy was destroyed. Two Russian brigades were stationed in Chechnya and did not leave[9] He took effort to rebuild the country and its devastated capital Grozny by trading oil in countries such as the United Kingdom[10]

Chechnya had been badly damaged by the war and the economy was in a shambles.[11] Aslan Maskhadov tried to concentrate power in his hands to establish authority, but had trouble creating an effective state or a functioning economy.

The war ravages and lack of economic opportunities left numbers of armed former guerillas with no occupation but further violence. Kidnappings, robberies, and killings of fellow Chechens and outsiders, most notably the killings of four employees of British Granger Telecom in 1998, weakened the possibilities of outside investment and Maskhadov's efforts to gain international recognition of its independence effort. Kidnappings became common in Chechnya, procuring over $200 million during the three year independence of the chaotic fledgling state,[12] but victims were rarely killed.[13] In 1998, 176 people had been kidnapped, and 90 of them had been released during the same year according to official accounts. There were several public executions of criminals.[14][15] The Islamic Republic of Ichkeria was proclaimed in 1998 and the Sharia system of justice was introduced.

President Maskhadov started a major campaign against hostage-takers, and on October 25, 1998, Shadid Bargishev, Chechnya's top anti-kidnapping official, was killed in a remote controlled car bombing. Bargishev's colleagues then insisted they would not be intimidated by the attack and would go ahead with their offensive. Other anti-kidnapping officials blamed the attack on Bargishev's recent success in securing the release of several hostages, including 24 Russian soldiers and an English couple.[16] Maskhadov blamed the rash of abductions in Chechnya on unidentified "outside forces" and their Chechen henchmen, allegedly those who joined Pro-Moscow forces during the second war.[17]

Some of the kidnapped (most of whom were non-Chechens) were sold into indentured servitude to Chechen families. They were openly called slaves and had to endure starvation, beating, and often maiming.[8][18][19][20] absence of unbiased sources.

The years of independence had some political violence as well. On December 10 Mansur Tagirov, Chechnya's top prosecutor, disappeared while returning to Grozny. On June 21 the Chechen security chief and a guerrilla commander fatally shot each other in an argument. The internal violence in Chechnya peaked on July 16, 1998, when fighting broke out between Maskhadov's National Guard force led by Sulim Yamadayev (who joined pro-Moscow forces in the second war) and militants in the town of Gudermes; over 50 people were reported killed and the state of emergency was declared in Chechnya.[21]

Maskhadov proved unable to guarantee the security of the oil pipeline running across Chechnya from the Caspian Sea, and illegal oil tapping and acts of sabotage deprived his regime of crucial revenues and agitated his allies in Moscow. In 1998 and 1999 Maskhadov survived several assassination attempts, blamed on the Russian intelligence services.[22]

Since 1999

See Second Chechen War


The first three Presidents of Ichkeria Yandarbiyev, Dudayev and Maskhadov in 1994

Since the declaration of independence in 1991, there has been an ongoing battle between secessionist officials and federally appointed officials. Both claim authority over the same territory.

Since the fall of Grozny in 2000 some of the Ichkerian government was based in exile, including in the Arab countries, Poland, United States and United Kingdom. On 23 January 2000 a diplomatic representation of Ichkeria was based in Kabul during the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

On October 31, 2007, the separatist news agency Chechenpress reported that Dokka Umarov had proclaimed the Caucasus Emirate and declared himself its Emir. He integrated the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria as a Vilayat (Province). Within the Caucasus Emirate, Chechnya became known as the Vilayat Noxçiyçö (Ichkeria) of the Caucasus Emirate.[23] This change of status has been rejected by some Chechen politicians and military leaders who continue to support the existence of the republic. Since November 2007, Akhmed Zakayev says he is now the Prime Minister of Ichkeria's government in exile.

See also


  1. ^ in 1993, ex –President of Georgia Zviad Gamsakhurdia recognized Chechnya ` s independence..,
  2. ^ Are Chechens in Afghanistan? --By Nabi Abdullaev, Dec 14, 2001 Moscow Times
  3. ^ Chechen Leadership In Exile Seeks To Salvage Legitimacy
  4. ^ Moscow News. November 22-29 1992
  5. ^ Moscow News. September 1-7 1995
  6. ^ For example, see Wood, Tony. Chechnya: the Case for Independence. Page 61, or alternatively, works by Anatol Lieven on the issue.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b Leon Aron. Chechnya, New Dimensions of the Old Crisis. AEI, 01.02.2003
  9. ^ a b Alex Goldfarb and Marina Litvinenko. "Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB." Free Press, New York, 2007. ISBN 978-1416551652.
  10. ^ London Sunday Times on Mashkadov visit
  11. ^ The International Spectator 3/2003, The Afghanisation of Chechnya, Peter Brownfeld
  12. ^ Tishkov, Valery. Chechnya: Life in a War-Torn Society. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Page 114.
  13. ^ Four Western hostages beheaded in Chechnya
  14. ^ Document Information | Amnesty International
  15. ^ Latvia Condemns Public Executions in Chechnya - 23 Sep 1997
  16. ^ The Michigan Daily Online
  17. ^ Police tried to silence GfbV - Critical banner against Putin´s Chechnya policies wars
  18. ^ RF Ministry of Justice information. CHECHNYA VIOLATES BASIC LEGAL NORMS, 08.12.1999
  19. ^ RFERL, Russia: RFE/RL Interviews Chechen Field Commander Umarov, 27.07.2005; Doku Umarov who was the head of the Security Council of Ichkeria in 1997–1999 accused Movladi Baisarov and one of Yamadayev brothers of engaging in slave trade in the inter-war period
  20. ^ Соколов-Митрич, Дмитрий (2007). Нетаджикские девочки, нечеченские маьлчики. Moscow: Яуза-Пресс. ISBN 978-5-903339-45-7.  (Russian)
  21. ^ Further emergency measures in Chechnya
  22. ^ The Jamestown Foundation
  23. ^ Amir of the Caucasus Emirate abolishes the Cabinet of Ministers, the Parliament of the former C.R.I. -

External links


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