• 1992: Chechnya declares independence from Russia a year after the collapse of the Soviet Union
  • 1994: Russian troops invade Chechnya to crush the independence movement. The war, which kills up to 100,000 people, starts in December and lasts 20 months
  • 1995: Chechen rebels hold hostages at a hospital in Budennovsk, southern Russia. More than are 100 killed in a Russian commando operation
  • 1996: The Chechen president, Dzhokhar Dudayev, is killed in a Russian missile attack and Zemlikhan Yandarbiyev succeeds him. Rebels launch a successful attack on Grozny. The rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov signs a ceasefire with Moscow and Russian troops begin to withdraw
  • 1997: Russia recognises Maskhadov’s government and the two leaders sign a peace treaty, although the problem of Chechnya independence is still unresolved
  • 1998: Maskhadov imposes a state of emergency amid continued unrest
  • 1999: Maskhadov declares that sharia law will be phased in over three years. Suspected Chechen separatists carry out a series of terror attacks in Russia, killing more than 300 people. In response, the prime minister, Vladimir Putin, sends Russian troops back into Chechnya. Troops fight on the Chechnya-Dagestan border and Chechen rebels invade Dagestan to try to create an Islamic state
  • 2000: Russian troops capture the captial, Grozny, and Putin declares direct rule from Moscow. He appoints a former cleric, Akhmad Kadyrov, as head of its administration in Chechnya
  • 2001: There are reports of widespread human rights violations in Chechnya at the hands of Russian troops, fuelled by the discovery of a mass grave filled with mutilated bodies
  • 2002: Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theatre holding 700 people hostage for three days. All 50 rebels and 120 hostages are killed when Russian forces gas the building. In December a suicide bomb attack destroys the Grozny headquarters of Chechnya’s Moscow-backed government
  • 2003 Suicide attacks continue. Akhmad Kadyrov is elected Chechen president
  • 2004: Kadyrov, widely regarded as a Russian puppet, is killed in a bombing. In September nearly 400 people – hundreds of them children – are killed during a siege at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia. Putin blames international terrorists with links to Chechen separatist fighters
  • 2005: In February the separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov calls a ceasefire and urges the Russian authorities to agree to peace talks. In March Russian forces say Maskhadov has been killed in a special operation in Chechnya. In May Maskhadov’s successor, Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev, signals an end to peace talks with Moscow
  • 2006: Ramzan Kadyrov, son of the former Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov, becomes Chechen prime minister
  • 2009: After two wars and a decade of strict security, Russia ends its counterterrorist operations in Chechnya, marking the end of the Kremlin’s war and enhancing the power of the president, Ramzan Kadyrov.



  • “Chechnya and Russia: timeline,” guardian.co.uk, April 16, 2009.