Russia launched massive air strikes on the Chechen capital, Grozny, in December 1994 after the Chechen government refused to disarm and surrender to Moscow's authority.
Tanks rolled in on 11 December, their paths often blocked by peaceful protests. By the end of the month they had reached Grozny.
The first bloody battle took place on New Year's Eve and was a disaster for the Russian forces. Hundreds of soldiers died.