L410Turbolet. Chechnya was not 'incorporated' into Russia, because there NEVER was a Chechen state to be incorporated. Just under their collective hatred of the Russians, is their collective hatred for each other. The Chechens may be a distinct ethnic group, but they most certainly never were a unified ethnic group, just as today they are not unified. Also, the deportations didn't occur in the 1950s. They occurred in 1944, at the height of the Great Patriotic War, which the Soviets were fighting against Nazi Germany. A war in which, instead of fighting against the Nazis, the Chechen people openly collaborated with the Nazis, which therefore led to their deportation, which lasted until 1957 (after the death of Stalin).
In 1991, Chechnya declared independence from the Russian Federation. A declaration which did not receive recognition from a single nation. Chechnya was left to its own devices until 1994, when Yeltsin sent in troops.
The reason for the sending of the troops? Chechnya under Dzhokhar Dudayev became a hotbed for banditry, kidnappings, murders, destabilisation -- basically the groundwork was being laid for a terrorist state. The number of people killed was not 150,000 (as quoted above), but in the range of 70,000-80,000, and this includes not only civilian losses, but also losses of Russian military, and the Chechen soldiers. And not all are at the hands of the Russians. 1/3 of the population became refugees, a lot going to Dagestan and Ingushetia.
In 1996 a ceasefire was agreed to and the Russian troops withdrew from the region. A big reason for the ceasefire, is that whilst Russian troops were meeting with tough resistance, the Russians refused to launch a full on offensive against Grozhny. In retrospect, if they did do this back in 96, the current war may never have happened.
As Dudayev was killed in 1995, Aslan Maskhadov took over the reigns of 'power' in Chechnya. Under Maskhadov, Islamic sharia law was implemented and enforced, although there was still no single authority in the region. Various Chechen factions continued to fight against each other, and this is the time that Al Qaeda made their big appearance in Chechnya. The region was turned into one big terrorist training camp.
And the Russians left them to their own devices.
In 1999, the Chechens were responsible for blowing up several apartment buildings in various cities in Russia. Even after this terrorism, the Russians still did not re-enter Chechnya.
It wasn't until Chechens crossed the border into Dagestan and carried out terrorist activities there, in the name of helping their Islamic brothers in that Republic to install an Islamic regime, that Yeltsin sent in the troops, which gives us the current war.
There are 3 main groups within Chechnya.
1) Those who support Mashkadov and his Islamic state. This also includes those groups which are against Maskhadov, but also support an Islamic state of sorts
2) Those who would support an independent, peaceful Chechnya, but not the Islamist state that those in group 1 want
3) Those who want to remain a part of the Russian Federation.
There are large numbers in all 3 groups, but those in group 2 do not have much say in Chechnya today, and they have those in group 1 to blame for that.
If there is one issue which is stopping peace from happening in Chechnya, this is it.
Eduard Shevardnadze, then President of Georgia, did nothing about the problem of the Pankisi Gorge being used as terrorist bases. Well, actually he did. He allowed them to use the area and also allowed the Ichkerian (what the Chechens call their 'independent' country) 'government' to raise funds by maintaining an office in Tbilisi. It wasn't until the Americans saw terrorism on their own shores in 2001, that Shevardnadze was subjected to intense pressure by the Americans (and Russians) to close the offices down -- at stake was the $1 billion in "aid" that Georgia was receiving from the Americans. Officially, the Chechens no longer have representation in Georgia, but unofficially, of course they do.
Now that Shevardnadze is gone, and the President with the American accent (Saakashvili) is in power, still nothing is being done.
It is high time that the Russians bit the bullet and sent troops in numbers into the Pankisi and sort the problem out for once and for all.