Success of terrorism in war: the case of Chechnya
Sumner, Dianne Leigh
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Russia militarily invaded Chechnya in December 1994 expecting to easily suppress the separatist uprising in the region. The Russian Army was unprepared and had greatly underestimated the Chechen forces under the command of former Soviet Air Force General Jokhar Dudayev and his motivated field commanders with recent war experience in Afghanistan, Abkhazia, and Azerbaijan. When Russian forces began to gain a decided advantage (due to overwhelming firepower and numeric superiority) between February and June of 1995 and began to attack the last Chechen strongholds deep in the southern mountains, Chechen tactics changed. The June hostage raid, led by Chechen Commander Shamil Basayev, against Russian civilians in the town of Budennovsk marked the beginning of a successful campaign of terrorism by Chechen combatants that had a decisive impact on the outcome of the war. The Budennovsk episode, which resulted in a short- lived cease-fire, was followed by a series of more varied terrorist attacks between June 1995 and January 1996. These attacks were successful in swaying public opinion against the war effort, in creating widespread fear among the Russian population well beyond the borders of Chechnya, and ultimately led to Chechnya's victory over Russia
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