Quick Guide: The Chechen conflict
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Russia's defeat

Rebel tactics




Russia's defeat
Russian air attacks devastated the Chechen capital, Grozny, in 1995

Moscow first sent tanks to Chechnya, to topple its separatist leaders and curb organised crime, at the end of 1994.

The Russian forces were routed in their first battle and were ultimately driven out of Chechnya in August 1996.

They were sent back in 1999 by Vladimir Putin - then prime minister, later president - after 300 people died in a chain of bombings blamed on Chechens.

Chechen rebels had also provoked Moscow by inciting an Islamist uprising in the neighbouring republic of Dagestan.