The Violation of Human Rights and Norms of Humanitarian Law in the Course of the Armed Conflict in the Chechen Republic:
A Report of the Human Rights Center Memorial
Authors: O. P. Orlov, A. V. Cherkasov, and A. V. Sokolov
1. From the Authors
The war in the Northern Caucasus raged bloodily and cruelly for twenty-one months. In terms of the amount of violations of human rights, of the number of victims, and of the unusual brutality of the conflict in Chechnya, the war exceeded anything seen in Russia since the end of the mass repression in the 1950s. Indeed, in terms of the military implications, one must return to the Russian Civil War in the 1920s to find an internal conflict of similar intensity.
The authors believe that that the armed conflict in Chechnya commenced on 11 December 1994, with the entry of federal forces onto the territory of Chechnya, and ended on 30 August 1996 with the signing in Khasviurt of the declarations and principles of the definitions of the basis of interrelationship between the Russian Federation and the Chechen Republic.
This report represents a general attempt by the Human Rights Center Memorial to document the violations of human rights and norms of humanitarian law in the course of the conflict. This report does not pretend to be complete.
In the following sections, facts and events will be presented through the use of examples. These are best seen as a series of facts collected from a variety of human rights organizations. In this document, events are described which, in toto, make up a systematic and massive violation of human rights.
The materials presented in this document were given to the Commission on Human Rights of the Presidency of the Russian Federation. They were used by the coordinating division in the preparation of the Document Commission “On the Observance of Human Rights and Citizens’ Rights in the Russian Federation in 1994-1995,” published on 5 February 1996.
The first draft of this document was prepared for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on human rights in Chechnya, held on 23-24 September 1996, and was given to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s Commission on Judicial Questions and Human Rights.
In 1996, Memorial prepared six books:
1. The Legal Aspects of the Chechen Crisis: Seminar Materials
2. The Conditions of the Maintenance of Detainees in the Zone of Armed Conflict in the Chechen Republic: The Handling of the Detainees
3. By All Available Means…: The Russian Federation Ministry of Internal Affairs Operation in the Village of Samashki, 7-8 April 1995 (available in English)
4. No Submarines Were Found with Us…: Chronology of the Laying of a Smoke-Screen: Kizliar-Pervomaiskoe, 9-26 January 1996.
5. Behind Their Backs…: Russian Forces’ Use of Civilians as Hostages and Human Shields during the Chechnya War (available in English)
6. The Unknown Soldier of the Caucasus War, 1994-1996: Casualties of Russian Soldiers: Dead, Missing in Action, Captured.
In addition, Memorial prepared Information of the Human Rights Center Memorial on the Conflict in the City of Gudermes in December 1995 and Information of the Observation Mission of Human Rights Organizations on the Violation of Human Rights and Humanitarian Laws in the Course of the Armed Conflict in the Chechen Republic. End of February-March 1996.
All of these materials were widely disseminated to the federal organs of the government of Russia, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, and to international human rights organizations.
In evaluating the violation of human rights during the course of the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic the authors refer to the norms guaranteed in international treaties on human rights, and above all, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Forms of Detention or Punishment. The authors also make reference to the rights embodied in the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg in 1946, and to the regulations embodied in the four Geneva Conventions.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations (UN), and the Council of Europe (CoE) were all involved to some extent in monitoring the armed conflict in Chechnya. The engagement of the OSCE and the ICRC in Chechnya were particularly laudable. Where the UN is specifically concerned, the reaction may be characterized as “too little, too late.”
3. The Violation of Human Rights and Norms of Humanitarian Law on the Part of the Government of the Russian Federation
In accordance with Part Four of Article 15 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, “Universally recognized principles and norms of international rights and international agreements to which the Russian Federation is a party constitute an integral part of its legal system.”
The Soviet Union was a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Forms of Detention or Punishment, the Geneva Conventions, and also to the First and Second Supplementary Protocols to the latter. The Russian Federation, as the legal successor to the Soviet Union, also became a party to these international agreements.
In spite of this, the Russian government, from the outset of the armed conflict treated it as a giant police operation to mop up “bandit formations.” This was done with the use of heavy military weapons, including artillery and tanks. Furthermore, this continued despite the recognition by the Russian Constitutional Court in July 1995 that the conflict in Chechnya was an internal armed conflict and was therefore subject to the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions.
The legal nihilism proclaimed by the government of Russia led to difficult consequences. The war was conducted without law, which could be seen both in the military actions as well as in the deployment of federal forces onto the territory of Chechnya.
3.1. Factors Which Negatively Affected the Ability of the Federal Forces to Observe Human Rights and Humanitarian Law
The military forces which the Russian Federation deployed in Chechnya in December 1994 were neither morally nor materially prepared to uphold the norms of international humanitarian law. This applies both to the conduct of the forces under the supervision of the Defense Ministry and to those under the supervision of the Interior Ministry.
3.2. Indiscriminate Attacks and Inordinate Use of Force
From the very outset, and throughout the course of the armed conflict in Chechnya, the largest number of victims among the civilian population and the greatest destruction were the result of attacks of an indiscriminate nature and of the inordinate use of force. It is necessary to note that this is a violation of the First and Second Supplementary Protocols to the Geneva Conventions.
Although the campaign to “restore constitutional order” in Chechnya was supposed to be completed within a week, the military forces of the Russian Federation did not even succeed in exerting control over Grozny within that time frame. The war in Grozny – entailing bombardments, shelling, rapid assaults, and “cleansings” of populated areas – continued for a year and a half. The report examines some of the assaults in a detailed manner. Owing to the nature of the conflict, the civilian population of Chechnya was unable to withdraw to any safe points or corridors within Chechnya.
3.2.1. Inaccurate Bombardments, Indiscriminate Shelling of Inhabited Areas
This section details in depth the bombardment of Grozny, Shali, and other inhabited areas in Chechnya.
3.2.2. Artillery Shelling and the Bombardment of Roads
This section examines how the long-lasting and pervasive bombings of extensive areas of Chechnya made the entire geographical area extremely dangerous for noncombatants. The report looks at several specific incidents of bombardment.
3.2.3. Operations and Assaults on Inhabited Areas
Assaults on inhabited areas were widespread during the conflict in Chechnya. These operations claimed the lives of a large number of noncombatants in both urban and rural areas of Chechnya. Based on eyewitness reports and journalistic reports, this section describes a number of these attacks.
3.2.4. Indiscriminate Attacks, Shelling, and Bombardment of Inhabited Settlements in Areas Controlled by the Federal Forces, and in the Period of the Armistice
Neither the armistice, the signing by inhabited areas of the “protocol on peace and agreement,” nor even the seizure of areas by the federal forces, saved noncombatants from indiscriminate attacks from artillery and air forces.
3.2.5. The Use of Weapons Systems for Indiscriminate Actions, Inevitably Leading to More Victims among the Civilian Population
This portion of the report shows how the use of particular weapons by the armed forces of the Russian Federation inevitably led to a dramatic increase in the number of casualties among the civilian population of Chechnya.
3.3. Premeditated Attacks on the Civilian Population
The execution of premeditated attacks on the civilian population of Chechnya violated Article 13(2) and 11(1) of the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. In the course of the armed conflict in Chechnya, such attacks were not isolated incidents, but rather constituted a consistent feature of the conflict. The nature of these attacks lead to the conclusion that such attacks were of a demonstrative character and were intended to provoke fear among the inhabitants of those civilian settlements loyal to Dudaev.
3.4. Application of Principles of Collective Responsibility and Collective Punishment
Article 4(2) of the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions states that collective punishments are forbidden and will remain forbidden at any time and at any place. This point was consistently violated by the armed forces of the Russian Federation operating in Chechnya.
3.5. The Disappearance of Individuals, Extra-judicial Executions
The disappearance of individuals and the execution of individuals without proper trials constitute violations of Article 3(1), common to all four Geneva Conventions, the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, and Article 6(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
3.6. Illegal Detention of Civilians, Cruel and Degrading Treatment of Detainees and Arrested Individuals, Use of Torture
These acts are clear violations of the four Geneva Conventions, the Supplementary Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Forms of Detention or Punishment. Detainees were held in two types of locations: at filtration points and at unofficial points of detention. It should be noted that the book includes excerpts from interviews with eyewitnesses to human rights violations.
3.6.1. Filtration Points
The so-called temporary filtration points were established by the Interior Ministry at the end of 1994 and the beginning of 1995 in Mozdok (in the Republic of Northern Ossetia-Alaniia), Stavropol, and Piatigorsk (in Stavropol district), and later in Grozny. Detentions were often made as the result of “cleansing” sweeps by the Russian armed forces in Chechnya. Those detained were suspected of committing crimes or attacks against the federal forces. Such detentions and filtration points violated the extant legislation of the Russian Federation.
3.6.2. Unofficial Points of Detention
Beginning in December 1994, detainees were often held for several days at storage points located in places occupied by the armed forces. These places of detention held no legal or official status whatsoever. Visits to these unofficial points of detention by Russian and international human rights organizations were, for all practical purposes, impossible. Therefore, information about these points and the conditions prevailing there had to be obtained from those who were themselves detained.
3.6.3. The Treatment of Detainees Who Participated in the Armed Formations of the ChRI
Detained and arrested individuals, who were known to belong to the armed formations of the ChRI, were usually not held at the filtration points. Rather, they were held either at unofficial places of detention, at roadblocks, or in isolation. Conditions in such places were poor, and the affected individuals could only be visited rarely by the ICRC.
3.7. The Use of Hostages and “Living Shields”
The exploitation of hostages and the use of “living shields” occurred in Chechnya in express violation of the Geneva Conventions and other international humanitarian norms.
3.8. The Restriction of the Freedom of Movement. The Hindering of the Exit of Inhabitants from Blockaded Points of Settlement and the Denial to Doctors and Representatives of Humanitarian Organizations of Access to Blockaded Settlements
The widespread imposition of restrictions of movement by the armed forces of the Russian Federation in Chechnya violated Article 12(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
3.9. Robberies and the Destruction of the Property of Civilians
The destructive nature of the armed conflict in Chechnya resulted in the destruction of civilian property on a large scale, in violation of Article 4(2) of the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions. In addition, a considerable number of civilians were the victims of robbery during the conflict.
3.10. The Destruction of Cultural Objects
Article 16 of the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions forbids attacks on objects bearing cultural, historical, or religious importance. However, as the report shows, the cultural objects of both the Chechen and the Ingushetian nations suffered heavily because of the armed conflict in Chechnya. The authors do not hold the federal armed forces responsible for all of this destruction, and it is evident that some cultural institutions and objects were destroyed inadvertently. Nonetheless, it is clear that the Russian armed forces made little if any effort to avoid attacks on cultural objects.
3.11. The Violation of Voting Rights of Civilians
In Chechnya during the period of the armed conflict, a mass violation of the voting rights of civilians occurred. This transpired in the course of the elections for the head of the Chechen Republic and for deputies to the State Duma of the Russian Federation, which were held in November and December 1995. Violations were also evident in the course of the elections for the deputies to the National Assembly of the Chechen Republic and to the presidency of the Russian Federation, which took place in May and June of 1996. These elections were not legitimate, and they did not ensure the free choice of the electorate. Boycotts occurred in several communities. The elections were characterized by crude intervention on the part of the federal forces, including the restriction of travel to and from voting sites. The population was also not able to receive full and unimpeded information about the elections. This clearly violated both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as the laws of the Russian Federation.
3.12. The Violation of the Rights to Free Seeking,
Obtaining, and Dissemination of Information
From the beginning of the armed conflict in Chechnya, the government of the Russian Federation, the offices of the federal armed forces, and representatives of the armed forces sought to prevent the free reception and dissemination of information. Although some of these actions may, at first glance, appear to be in harmony with Article 19(3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, they would only be so if they were in accordance with the law. In reality, they actually contradicted existing Russian legislation and thus consequently violated the aforementioned article.
3.13. The Actions of the Command of Federal Forces in Chechnya, Ordering the Prevention of the Destruction of Peacefully Inhabited Areas and a Cessation of the Attacks of the Federal Armed Forces on Peaceful Civilians
It would be unjust to assert that the commanders of the federal forces did not undertake any steps to lessen the attacks of the war on the civilian inhabitants of Chechnya. However, the authors assert that such steps and moves were simply insignificant and often had only a purely formal character. For example, occasional benevolent attempts by commanders to erect “safe corridors” for the civilian inhabitants of Chechnya tended to fail because of an inability to control the armed actions of specific units or, simply, because little or no effort was made to publicize the existence of such corridors. The commanders of the Russian armed forces in Chechnya also made no systematic attempt to acquaint their troops with the norms of humanitarian law.
3.14. The Investigation of the Legal Organs of the Russian Federation into Crimes Committed in Chechnya by the Soldiers of the Armed Forces and the Interior Ministry of the Russian Federation against Civilians
In 1995 and 1996, at the fifty-first and fifty-second sessions of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, the Russian Federation was asked to hold accountable all those who had violated the rights of individuals in connection with the armed conflict in Chechnya, and to bring those individuals before a court of law. Likewise, the UN Commission on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination asked that all those who had violated human rights or humanitarian norms during the conflict in Chechnya, be held responsible. Unfortunately, these demands were not backed by the Council of Europe, which in January 1996 invited Russia to become a member of that organization. In the opinion of the authors, the decision of the Council of Europe does not bear relationship to the real situation prevailing in the Russian Federation. In fact, despite the decisions of the Russian Constitutional Court to let Russian citizens pursue their grievances with reference to actions of the militia, this remains very difficult to do. This is even more true where the actions of the armed forces are concerned. Very few members of the armed units have, to date, been punished for criminal acts committed in Chechnya. In the opinion of the authors, the inefficacy of the work of the prosecutors and their investigations into crimes perpetrated by federal armed forces in Chechnya, are indicative not only of bias but also of an unwillingness to carry out carry out investigations as such.
4. Violations of Human Rights and Norms of Humanitarian Law by Armed Formations and Government Offices of the Chechen Republic Ichkeriia
The international community regarded the armed conflict in the Chechen Republic from 1994 to 1996 as a conflict of a municipal, or intrastate, character. Not a single internationally recognized state recognized the independence of the ChRI. Thus, the authors of this document, in evaluating the situation, make reference above all to the norms of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and the Second Supplementary Protocol to these Conventions. These norms regulate the conduct of intrastate conflicts.
The self-proclaimed Chechen Republic of Ichkeriia was not formally one of the parties which signed and ratified the Geneva Conventions and the supplementary protocols to them. Nevertheless, the armed forces of the ChRI were also bound to uphold the norms of human rights. In July 1995, the Swiss Federal Council, which acts as the guardian of the Geneva Conventions and the Supplementary Protocols, including the ratifying documents and letters of the signatory states, received the declaration of the parliament of the ChRI. This letter, dated 14 July 1995, stated that the ChRI willfully submitted itself to compliance with the Geneva Conventions and the Supplementary Protocols.
This section will only evaluate the compliance with humanitarian norms and human rights of those units serving under the political leadership of the ChRI. However, it is important to remember that areas of Chechnya existed in which armed groups operated under the control of neither the Russian Federation nor the self-proclaimed government of the ChRI.
4.1. Indiscriminate Use of Armed Force and the Deployment of Military Units in the Vicinity of Civilian Settlements
The military formations of the ChRI utilized armed force indiscriminately in the course of the conflict, although they did so to a significantly lesser extent than the armed forces of the Russian Federation. However, the ChRI formations provoked the federal forces into indiscriminate attacks by themselves attacking from areas located within civilian settlements. In such confrontations, it was often impossible for noncombatants to flee or be evacuated safely. As a result, such confrontations led to a significant number of civilian casualties from attacks by the federal forces. This transpired in violation of the First Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions.
4.2. The Hindrance of Movements of Noncombatants out of Grozny
By hindering the exit of noncombatants from Grozny beginning on 25 December 1994, the political and military representatives of the ChRI violated humanitarian law, specifically the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. It is important to note that the affected noncombatants were of a variety of nationalities – Chechen, Ingush, and Russian.
4.3. Terrorist Acts outside the Borders of Chechnya: The Taking of Hostages, Premeditated Attacks on Civilian Settlements and Medical Institutions, Extra-Judicial Killings, and the Use of “Living Shields”
Violations of human rights on the part of the organs of the ChRI were not restricted to the territory of Chechnya. They also extended to Dagestan and to the Stavropol district. The taking of hostages is an absolute violation of international humanitarian law. The other actions described in this section are violations of the Supplementary Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Forms of Detention or Punishment. Furthermore, these actions contradict the Declaration on the Measures to Eliminate International Terrorism. Due to the nature of the incidents in question, the authors have been unable to confirm the extent of the responsibility of the government and military organs of the ChRI.
4.4. The Taking of Civilians as Hostages on the Territory of Chechnya
Commencing in the autumn of 1995, the armed structures of the ChRI began detaining and kidnapping civilians. In this respect, it is difficult to discern purely criminal acts from the detention of “collaborators” and “assistants of the occupying administration.” In December 1995, after the beginning of the armed conflict, the abduction of civilians assumed a massive character. This was to a large degree the result of decisions taken by Dudaev and his government. To be sure, among the abducted individuals there were some agents of the Russian government. However, it goes without saying that these agents constituted an obvious minority of the persons kidnapped. Memorial therefore clearly sees this as an attempt to take hostages.
4.5. The Conditions in which Captives from the Russian Armed Forces Were Held and the Forcible Seizure of Civilians
For the period of the war in Chechnya, the total number of Russian military personnel who were captives or missing in action (and could be counted as captives) is about 2,000. The use of torture and inhumane detention, in the case of many of these individuals, took place in express violation of the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhumane, or Degrading Forms of Detention or Punishment.
The mutual release of forcibly seized individuals was stipulated in each of the many agreements on peace. Yet each time the absence of agreement on this specific point, amongst others, resulted in the collapse of talks.
4.6. Extra-Judicial Killings, Death Penalties, Carried out as a Result of Overly Simplified Legal Proceedings. The Disappearance of Individuals
In violation of several key elements of international humanitarian law, the military formations of the ChRI committed extra-judicial killings of both civilians and members of the Russian federal armed forces. A particularly large number of extra-judicial killings by the armed forces of the ChRI occurred in the wake of the capture of Grozny in August 1996. The killing of victims did not appear to be related to their ethnic identity. Although Memorial has not been able to confirm it, it appears that the executions in Grozny at that time were made on the basis of previously drawn-up lists of victims, largely comprised of individuals who had worked for organs representing the government of the Russian Federation. The authors of the book do not have an exact figure of the number of extra-judicial killings committed, but reliable sources have stated that the execution list for one region of Grozny comprised more than 200 names. It remains to be investigated how, and by whom, these lists were composed. It should be noted that the armed forces of the ChRI also conducted extra-judicial killings of suspected robbers and marauders. At the beginning of September 1996, the government of ChRI proclaimed an amnesty for most detainees of the pro-Moscow government.
4.7. Corporal Punishment
Beginning in the spring of 1995, in the armed formations of the ChRI and in many areas not controlled by the federal armed forces, Shar’ia courts were established. This section treats the formation of these courts and the legal principles on which they operated. The courts meted out corporal punishment, in violation of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
4.8. The Investigation of the Legal Organs of the Chechen Republic Ichkeriia into Crimes Committed by the Soldiers of the Armed Forces of the Chechen Republic Ichkeriia against Civilian Settlements and Captured Soldiers of the Russian Federal Army
The legal organs of the ChRI, in the majority of cases, do not regard the violations of human rights and norms of humanitarian law committed by the armed formations of the ChRI in the course of the armed conflict as crimes. The individuals who have committed such violations have, in the absolute majority of cases, not received any form of punishment. In this respect, the legal organs of the ChRI do not differ significantly from the analogous federal organs, which also have proved unwilling to prosecute the crimes of “their own.”
4.9. The Criminal Code of the Chechen Republic Ichkeriia: Contradictions of Internationally Recognized Norms
The authorities of the ChRI have introduced their own criminal statutes in place of the code of the Russian Federation. The new code came into effect for all parts of the ChRI in September 1996. Although the exact extent to which these new statutes carry weight in the ChRI is not completely clear, the authors attempt to analyze the compatibility of the statutes with internationally recognized humanitarian norms.
4.9.1. Basic Definitions
Already the first section of the criminal code of the ChRI violates fundamental human rights and contradicts a series of basic principles of criminal law. In particular, the authors cite violations of the Second Supplementary Protocol to the Geneva Conventions and of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
4.9.2. The System of Penalties
The criminal code of the ChRI stipulates the death penalty through stoning as the highest penalty. This clearly constitutes cruel and unusual punishment in violation of Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
4.9.3. Disproportionality and Disproportional Penalties
Besides the aforementioned prescription of stoning, criminal code of the ChRI is replete with disproportional penalties. These include punishments which are tantamount to slavery.
4.9.4. Crude Violations of Several Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of Human Beings
In addition to the above violations, the prescription in the ChRI criminal code of the death penalty for apostasy from Islam must be mentioned. This contradicts the right to freedom of religion embodied in Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Also of concern are the potentials in the criminal code for legal discrimination against non-Islamic individuals.
Gross and massive violations of human rights and humanitarian norms were committed by both sides in the conflict, as is obvious from the above text. Nevertheless, the number of victims among the civilian population, and the amount of material destruction caused by the federal armed forces, were incommensurably larger. Furthermore, the actions of the federal forces were deeds undertaken by military and police forces subject to the command of the internationally recognized government of Russia. That is, these forces were serving a state which, having signed a series of international legal documents, took it upon itself to observe unconditionally human rights. This gives the violation of human rights by the federal Russian forces an extraordinary gravity.
The Human Rights Center Memorial condemns the conduct of both sides in the conflict in Chechnya.
On one hand, how is it possible to attempt to evaluate and compare the actions of a legitimate government, fighting for the restoration of the rule of law and order with the actions of a group of separatists, recognized by no one, whose attempts to destroy the territorial integrity of the country and to establish a sovereign government in and of themselves violate international law?! On the other hand, how is it possible to attempt to evaluate the actions of the conquerors, who continuously strove in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to destroy the Chechen nation, and the acts of the victims of the aggression, who fought for the realization of the basic human right of self-determination?!
Yet if we want to see the future not as an unending confrontation of opposing states and nations:
If we want to preserve hope for their realization,
If we do not want the repetition of destructive wars aimed at the destruction of civilian settlements,
If we are agreed that it is necessary to find the road to reconciliation after any conflict,
If we conceive of ourselves not only as citizens of a particular state or of a particular nation, but also as members of the human community,
Then we must find general criteria for the evaluation of the acts of the government and of individuals acting in whatever capacity in the area of humanity and in observation of human rights whether in conditions of intense conflict or in war. Absolute prohibitions must exist – that some things must remain forever forbidden under all circumstances. Violations of these prohibitions must be condemned. Moreover, it is imperative that they are condemned socially in accordance with legal order.
The legal nihilism evidenced by the acts of the Russian Federation in the course of the armed conflict in Chechnya demonstrated contempt for international norms in the area of human rights, violated Russian laws, and betrayed an unwillingness to punish the shameful criminal acts against the civilian population. There was no victory in the conflict. Moreover, these deeds only increased the antagonism towards the federal forces and lessened the little support that existed for the protégés of Moscow among the population of Chechnya.
These same tendencies, evidenced by the organs of the Chechen Republic Ichkeriia and several of its commanders, are today resulting in the difficulties which Chechnya faces as it embarks towards a peaceful existence.