Cause of Russian/Chechen Conflict?

Discussion in 'Europe' started by CI0406, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. CI0406
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    CI0406 Rookie

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    This is a short assignment from my university asking for an explanation of the cause of violence in the Russian/Chechen conflict. I analyzed it in light of greed vs. grievance.

    There has long been controversy over the factors that catalyze conflict. A new school of thought propounds that the cause of conflict can be defined either as “greed” or “grievance.” The greed argument contends that there is an inherent link between natural resources and conflict—the more natural resources there are that can provide benefit to a particular group, the more likely it is that there will be conflict over the ownership of those resources. Conversely, the grievance debate contends that conflicts take place as groups battle for justice and ideology, not economics. This framework elucidates an interesting fact in the conflict between the Russians and the Chechens. The Russians are motivated by greed, while the insurgent Chechens fight because of grievances.

    The source of violence in the Chechen-Russian conflict has been stereotyped as an inexplicable primordial hatred between the Orthodox Russians and Muslim Chechens. However, using the tenants of greed vs. grievance it can be argued that the centuries old conflict between these two parties was initially catalyzed by Russian greed. While there was some conflict between Russia and Chechnya in the sixteenth century, the first real clash came when Peter the Great took the Russian throne. Peter aspired to make Russia a major military and economic power, whose affluence rivaled that of Europeans. Peter believed that in order to have the affluence of his European neighbors, he must have colonies which he could economically exploit like the Europeans. He therefore decided to create a Russian equivalent to these colonies where he could exploit resources and labor to build the greatness of Russia. The Chechens resisted his efforts, and in 1722 fighting broke out as Russian forces marched into the region, due to Peter’s greed and desire to own the resources of the Caucasus.

    The Russians, motivated by greed contrasts with the Chechens, who are motivated by grievance. In the 1700s the Chechens were fighting a battle driven by socio-political motivations. They were bent on protecting their Islamic faith, their governing system and their way of life against the aggression of the Russians. This trend of fighting for survival continued as the Russians continued to inflict serious damage upon the Chechens. From the deportation of nearly the entire Chechen population under Stalin to the modern incarnation of the war that began in 1999, the Russians have deepened the resolve of the Chechens by giving them grievance after grievance as motivation. Chechen insurgents have subsequently launched a vicious campaign using techniques including hostage taking and suicide bombing against the Russians in an obvious effort not to enrich themselves, but instead to reclaim their autonomy.

    The theory of greed vs. grievance does a great deal to explain the source of violence in various conflicts. In the conflict between Russia and Chechnya it provides what appears to be an explanation of the motivations of both parties. The Russians were initially motivated by the desire to obtain economic strength, the exact definition of greed based conflict. Conversely, the Chechens are fighting a grievance based war caused by Russian infringement on their sovereignty. This new system of classification does make one facet of the conflict clear--while the conflagration between the Chechens and Russians has subsided, the two are fighting very different wars, and it is necessary for both the understand the motivations of the other to create a lasting peace.
     
  2. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    Pardon, thats total Bullshit, which may have been partially right for the first Chechen war.
    The first Chechen war was a struggle for independence, it was hard fought, there were atrocities on both sides and in the end Chechenya gained a significant amount of autonomy.
    No state ever lets a part of it "rebel" without reprisals, that simply does not happen.

    The Chechens started the second Chechen war by a war crime (storming a Russian military hospital near the border and butchering the Wounded Soldiers as well as military personal) and several terrorist attacks in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Beslan.

    The notion of Russia not reacting to something like beslan or the Musical attack is about as strange as the USA not reacting to 9/11.
     
  3. Gurdari
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    Gurdari Egaliterra

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    Well, the second war ostensibly began as a result of apartment bombings, non?

    One theory is that it may not have been Chechen's at all... the only evidence being one of the bombs that did not go off because it was discovered:

    Ryazan incident

    On the evening of September 22, 1999, a resident of an apartment building in the city of Ryazan noticed two suspicious men who carried sacks into the basement from a car with a Moscow license plate. He alerted the police, but by the time they arrived the car and the men were gone.

    The policemen found three 50kg sacks of white powder in the basement. A detonator and a timing device were attached and armed. The timer was set to 5:30 AM. Yuri Tkachenko, the head of the local bomb squad, disconnected the detonator and the timer and tested the three sacks of white substance with a "MO-2" gas analyzer. The device detected traces of hexogen, the military explosive used in all previous bombings.

    Police and rescue vehicles converged from different parts of the city, and 30,000 residents were evacuated from the area. 1,200 local police officers armed with automatic weapons set up roadblocks on highways around the city and started patrolling railroad stations and airports to hunt the terrorists down. In the morning, "Ryazan resembled a city under siege". Composite sketches of two men and a woman terrorist suspects were shown on TV.

    In the morning of September 23 Russian television networks reported the attempt to blow up a building in Ryazan using hexogen. Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Rushailo announced that police prevented a terrorist act. Later in the evening Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin praised the vigilance of the Ryazanians and called for the air bombing of the Chechen capital Grozny.

    In the evening of September 23, the perpetrators were caught. A telephone service employee tapped into long distance phone conversations and managed to detect a talk in which an out-of-town person suggested to others that they "split up" and "make your own way out".

    That person's number was traced to a telephone exchange unit serving FSB offices. When arrested, the detainees produced FSB identification cards. They were soon released on orders from Moscow.

    The next morning, FSB director Nikolai Patrushev declared that the incident was a training exercise. FSB issued a public apology and said that the explosives were dummies used in the exercise.
     

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