From the Struggle for Independence to the Religious Conflict: A Case From the Chechen Republic

From the Struggle for Independence to the Religious Conflict: A Case From the Chechen Republic

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8911-3.ch001
(Individual Chapters)
No Current Special Offers


The chapter deals with the chaotic situation of 1990 when the struggle for independence was intermingled with the religious revival in the acute form of radical Islamism and the process was gradually shifting to the revival and activities of political organizations. At the same time, religion was intertwined with politics and criminal activity. In investigating the conflicts in which Islamic radicals were involved, it was very difficult to distinguish the ideology of religious fundamentalism from criminal activities related to drug and arms business, people trafficking, and kidnapping. Crime, in its turn, was directly in the political and power groups that were closely linked to radicals. Thus, the North Caucasus republic, called Chechnya by Russians, appeared directly in the center of Russia's recent history, threatening its state and social security.
Chapter Preview

The Roots For Radicalization

It can be argued, that the Chechen war led to noticeable shifts in Russian political life, had a serious impact on interethnic relations, became one of the most important stimuli that contributed to the reorientation of foreign policy and, finally, forced the Russian military machine, confrontation with the West, to respond to new security challenges from the South. The Islamic factor influences the situation in Russia and influences its foreign policy. It is of particular importance because the political radicalization of Islam intensified at the end of the 20th century, and Chechnya is not an exception. In the countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus, Afghanistan, the Middle East, other regions of the Muslim world, and especially in the Muslim borderlands, conflicts are developing, in which Islam is one of the most important mobilization levers that set in motion significant ethnic and social masses. The war in Chechnya has become in many ways a landmark event, a kind of emblem of post-Soviet Russia. Although the Chechen problem arose before the collapse of the USSR, and the Dudayev leadership announced its withdrawal from the Russian Federation in November 1991, until the very beginning of the first campaign at the end of 1994, Chechnya remained on the far periphery of Russian political geography.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Religion: A certain system believes in the supernatural, following a set of moral norms and types of behavior, rituals, and cult actions and uniting people in such organizations as church, Ummah, religious community, etc.

Politics: The activity of a state, party, or social group in the field of domestic or foreign relations, pursuing own interests

Radicalization: A process by which people or groups of people become adherents of political, religious, or other extremism.

Chechen Republic: The North Caucasus Republic, mostly populated by Muslims.

War: An armed confrontation and military actions between states, tribes, political groups, etc., occurring based on various claims.

Islamization: A political term denoting the process of increasing the influence of Islam in various spheres of state policy and public life, as well as the process of increasing the number of people professing Islam in a particular region or country.

Struggle: Opposing someone or something for a particular reason; achieve something, overcoming obstacles, and difficulties.

Complete Chapter List

Search this Book: