Page last updated at 13:59 GMT, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Timeline: Chechnya

1858 - After decades of violent resistance, Chechnya is conquered by Russia following the defeat of Imam Shamil and his fighters, who had aimed to establish an Islamic state.

Minutka Square, Grozny
Central Grozny: Conflict left the capital in ruins

1922 - Chechen autonomous region established; becomes the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1934.

1944 - Soviet dictator Stalin deports the entire Chechen and Ingush populations to Siberia and Central Asia, citing alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany. Many thousands die in the process.

1957 - Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev restores the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

Break-away bid blocked

1991 - Collapse of the Soviet Union. Communist leader Doku Zavgayev overthrown; Dzhokhar Dudayev wins a presidential poll and proclaims Chechnya independent of Russia.

1992 - Chechnya adopts a constitution defining it as an independent, secular state governed by a president and parliament.

1994 December - Russian troops enter Chechnya to quash the independence movement. Up to 100,000 people - many of them civilians - are estimated to have been killed in the 20-month war that followed.

1995 June - Chechen rebels seize hundreds of hostages at a hospital in Budennovsk, southern Russia. More than 100 are killed in the raid and in an unsuccessful Russian commando operation.

Dudayev killed

1996 April - Dudayev killed in a Russian missile attack; Zemlikhan Yandarbiyev succeeds him.

Former president Dudayev
Former President Dzhokar Dudayev was killed in 1996

1996 May - Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Yandarbiyev sign a peace agreement; the short-lived truce lasts until July.

1996 August - Chechen rebels launch a successful attack on Grozny; Yeltsin's security chief General Alexander Lebed and Chechen rebel chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov sign the Khasavyurt Accords which provide for a ceasefire. An agreement on Russian troop withdrawals is signed in November.

1997 January - Russia recognises Maskhadov's government following his victory in Chechen presidential elections.

Uncertain peace

1997 May - Yeltsin and Maskhadov sign a formal peace treaty, but the issue of Chechen independence is not resolved.

1998 May - Valentin Vlasov, Russia's presidential representative in Chechnya, is kidnapped and held for six months. Later in the year, four engineers from Britain and New Zealand are kidnapped and murdered.

1998 June - Amid growing lawlessness, Maskhadov imposes a state of emergency.

1999 March - Moscow's top envoy to Chechnya, General Gennadiy Shpigun, is kidnapped from the airport in Grozny. His corpse is found in Chechnya in March 2000.

Shariah law imposed

1999 January/February - Maskhadov declares Islamic Shari'ah law will be phased in over three years.

A group of former rebel field commanders announces the formation of a rival body to govern Chechnya according to Shari'ah law and calls on Aslan Maskhadov to relinquish the presidency.

Former Chechen warlord Salman Raduyev
Warlord Salman Raduyev was captured in 2000

1999 July/August - Chechen fighters clash with Russian troops on the Chechnya-Dagestan border; Chechen rebels stage armed incursions into Dagestan in an attempt to create an Islamic state.

1999 September - A bomb attack on Russian military housing in Dagestan and a series of apartment block bombings elsewhere in Russia are blamed on Chechen rebels; some 300 people are killed in the blasts. Russian forces redeploy in Chechnya; the new prime minister, Vladimir Putin, says the campaign is needed to quash terrorism.

1999 October - Moscow-based State Council of the Republic of Chechnya established by former members of the Chechen republican legislature. Moscow recognises it as the sole legitimate Chechen authority and refuses to negotiate with Maskhadov.

2000 February - Russian troops capture Grozny; much of the city is razed.

2000 May - President Putin declares direct rule from Moscow.

Kadyrov years

2000 June - Russia appoints former Chechen cleric Akhmat Kadyrov as head of its administration in Chechnya.

2001 - Human rights organisations express concern about human rights violations in Chechnya, including alleged torture and widespread detentions at the hands of Russian troops. Concerns are fuelled by the discovery of a mass grave filled with mutilated bodies.

Russian forces near Grozny, 2000
Renewed Russian campaign followed attacks in 1999

2001 September - Major rebel offensive on the Chechen town of Gudermes; a Russian helicopter carrying senior officers is downed.

2001 September - In the aftermath of the 11 September attacks on the US, Putin urges rebels to "halt all contacts with international terrorists".

2001 November - First official negotiations since 1999 as Maskhadov's representative Akhmed Zakayev and Russia's Kazantsev hold talks on a peace settlement in Moscow.

2001 December - Captured rebel field commander Salman Raduyev sentenced to life imprisonment on murder, terrorism charges. He dies in a Russian jail in December 2002.

2002 July - UN suspends aid operations in Chechnya for six months after a Russian aid worker is kidnapped.

2002 August - Georgia accuses Russia of carrying out air raids in the Pankisi gorge, close to Georgia's border with Chechnya. Moscow says the gorge is a safe haven for Chechen rebel groups and presses for an international operation to flush them out.

2002 October - Chechen rebels seize a Moscow theatre and hold about 800 people hostage. Most of the rebels and some 120 hostages are killed when Russian forces storm the building.

2002 December - Suicide bomb attack on the Grozny base of the Russian-backed Chechen government kills around 80 people. Rebels claim responsibility.

Akhmad Kadyrov (left) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (right)
Akhmad Kadyrov: Moscow-backed president (left), killed in 2004

2003 March - Russians hail Chechen referendum vote in favour of a new constitution stipulating that the republic is part of the Russian Federation. Human rights groups, among others, criticise Russia for pushing ahead with vote before peace has been established.

2003 May - Over 50 people killed in suicide bombing of government building in the north of the republic. Two days later administration chief Kadyrov has narrow escape in another suicide attack which leaves more than a dozen dead.

2003 October - Akhmad Kadyrov elected president.

2003 December - Russian forces kill about a dozen Chechen fighters after band of rebels crosses border into neighbouring Dagestan and takes hostages.

2004 February - Former Chechen President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev killed in explosion in Qatar, where he had been living for three years. Two Russian intelligence agents subsequently sentenced to life in jail by a Qatari court for the killing.

2004 May - President Akhmad Kadyrov and many others killed in Grozny bomb blast.

After Kadyrov

2004 June - Dozens killed in neighbouring Ingushetia in attacks reported to have involved hundreds of gunmen. President Putin blames Chechen rebels led by Aslan Maskhadov whose spokesman denies the latter's direct involvement but says Chechen volunteers took part.

Aslan Maskhadov - reported killed in operation by Russian forces
Separatist Aslan Maskhadov was killed by Russian forces

2004 July - Acting President Abramov survives explosion.

2004 September - Hundreds are killed or wounded - many of them children - when a siege at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, ends in bloodbath. President Putin blames international terrorists with links to Chechen separatist fighters. Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov condemns the seizure but says it was carried out by "madmen" seeking revenge for Russian actions against their own loved ones in Chechnya.

2004 October - Kremlin-backed former Interior Minister Alu Alkhanov sworn in as president following August elections.

2005 February - Separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov calls ceasefire and urges the Russian authorities to agree to peace talks. The official Chechen leadership dismisses his overtures and says he should give himself up.

2005 March - Russian forces say Aslan Maskhadov has been killed in a special operation in Chechnya.

Life goes on in shadow of military
Life goes on amid a strong military presence

2005 May - Mr Maskhadov's successor, Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev, signals end to policy of seeking peace talks with Moscow and decrees organisation of Caucasus Front in apparent bid to widen conflict with Russia.

2005 July - About 15 people killed when armoured police vehicle blown up north of Groznyy.

2005 October - Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev says he commanded militant forces which launched major assault in Nalchik, capital of the North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria. Dozens die in clashes between Russian forces and rebel fighters.

New parliament

2005 November - Tight security in place for regional parliamentary elections regarded by Moscow as important for normalisation but by separatist forces as a charade. More than 50% of the seats are won by Kremlin-backed United Russia.

Shamil Basayev
Warlord Shamil Basayev was Russia's most-wanted man

2005 December - President Putin attends opening session of new parliament and pledges support for reconstruction.

Dangerously high levels of radiation found at a Groznyy chemical factory reported to have been unsecured since Russia bombed it during the assault of 1999.

2006 February - 13 people are killed in an explosion at Russian military barracks near Groznyy. Officials say a gas leak was the most likely cause but do not rule out other theories.

2006 March - Ramzan Kadyrov becomes prime minister after Sergey Abramov resigns.

2006 June - Separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev killed by government forces. He is succeeded by Doku Umarov.

Slain reporter Anna Politkovskaya
Reporter Anna Politkovskaya exposed Chechnya abuses

2006 July - Warlord Shamil Basayev is killed in neighbouring Ingushetia in what Russian forces say was a special operation but Chechen rebels say was an accidental explosion.

2006 October - Prominent Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of the Kremlin's actions in Chechnya, is shot dead in Moscow.

2007 February/March - President Alu Alkhanov is moved to a post in the Russian government by Russian President Vladimir Putin who names Ramzan Kadyrov as his successor. The Chechen parliament approves his candidacy.

2007 June - A military court in southern Russia sentences four soldiers to prison terms for murdering six Chechen civilians, in a rare ruling against Russian troops.

2007 December - The United Russia party, which backs Russian President Vladimir Putin, wins 99% of the vote in Chechnya in Russian parliamentary elections. Foreign observers say the election was "not fair".

2008 February - Russian President Vladimir Putin's favoured successor, Dmitry Medvedev, wins 89% of the vote in Chechnya, on a turnout of 91%.


2009 April - Russia declares the nearly decade-old "counterterrorism operation" against separatist rebels to be over, a month after President Medvedev said life in the republic had "normalised to a large degree".

Doku Umarov
Doku Umarov: Top militant who heads rebel "Caucasus Emirate"

2009 July - Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, who had been investigating alleged abuses by government-backed militias in Chechnya, is abducted and killed.

2010 February - Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov drops three libel suits against human rights activists and journalists who accused him of murder.

2010 April - Rebel leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for deadly suicide attacks on Moscow Metro in March.

2010 August - Doku Umarov appears to announce in a YouTube video that he is retiring because of his age and names Aslambek Vadalov as his successor. Days later, he declares that his resignation statement was a "falsification" and that he is staying on.

2010 October - Gunmen attack parliament, killing four people before being killed themselves.

2010 November - Three men go on trial in Austria accused of complicity in the murder of a former bodyguard of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who strongly denies allegations he ordered the killing.

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May 2004: Blast kills President Akhmad Kadyrov




Compiled by BBC Monitoring

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