The Russian army stormed back into Chechnya in autumn 1999, on the orders of Vladimir Putin.
Chechen radicals were blamed for a series of apartment block bombings. They also tried to start an Islamist rebellion in neighbouring Dagestan.
The region had also become one of the world's hostage-taking capitals. As President Maskhadov was challenged by a number of rebellious warlords, the republic slipped out of his control.