Now please go ahead and tell me - one thing about this whole situation; that the Donbass seperatist conflict has in common with it? Other than the fact that it's a seperatist conflict of course.
We can disagree on the specifics of Chechnya, that's fine. You are wildly underplaying Yeltsin and Grachev's decision to forget the diplomatic path and go in with the guns. Also Russian special service meddling inside Chechnya against Dudaev. Was the situation peaceful? No. Did it require full on war? no.
They negotiated for 3-4 years. This was plenty enough time for everyone to agree a deal - even if the deal would only have consisted of 'OK we accept Russian soveregnty for the time being, but we reserve the right to raise the issue of independence at a later date'.
This region was under the formal sovereignty of the Russian government after all - you can't seriously expect them to have left it to limbo forever? The population of Chechnya, don't forget, were all Russian citizens and Russia had an obligation to them too - including the +50% that probably wasn't so enthusiastic about splitting-off at the behest of some random nationalists who forced themselves into power.
I don't know honestly, I wasn't there. But what I suspect
is that Russia exhausted all its options by late '94. Negotiation failed. Arming a revolt failed. What else was left for them to do? Let the region become an even bigger hell-hole, risking destabilizing the North Caucasus further, while regional leaders in Tatarstan & Yakutia were quietly looking on and thinking about whether Dudayev's precedent wouldn't be such a bad one to follow?
Regarding non Chechens, crime affected them as well as ethnic Chechens. I heard many similar tales about Russians in Dagestan, the fear people had of pan-Caucasian forces. Did not pan out, not to any serious extent.
Regarding anti-Russian (really just pro-Chechen) policies in society, well, their land, their choices. Unfortunate they maybe were, but given Russia's history in Chechnya it really has no standing to dictate. Not back then anwyays, today is a different story.
I don't understand what is so pro-Chechen about promoting violent ethno-nationalism and letting the criminals out of your prisons to bully minorities out of the country, and taking an uncompromising, unrealistic attitude with the central government towards a path of confrontation which you have no hope of militarily winning.
Pro-Chechen would be doing everything to build up the economy of your republic, doing everything to raise the prosperity of everyone who lives in it, fighting crime and negative tendencies, raising birthrates, guaranteeing the rights of everyone who lives in your republic's legal, linguistic, etc... rights regardless of their ethnicity, promoting Chechen language among your people (including non-Chechens, why not); and doing everything to promote yourself as a civilized, modern people.
Believe me - this would be half the road to independence already - if that's what's ultimately desired even after everything I listed has been achieved (and it should all indeed be way ahead of independence on your list of priorities)
That BS what Dudayev and co. did, didn't do anything for Chechen independence, and perhaps it was never intended to either.
However the only reason I brought it up was a response to Mack's point about Crimea being "mostly Russian, never belonging to Ukraine really, and not getting the independence it wanted".
Russia is absolutely no better in this respect to Chechya.
Well we can't compare the Crimea to Chechnya; the Crimea was swiped by Russia before anything could occur.
If Russia hadn't stepped in though than I suspect it would have turned out like the Donbass; the Ukrainians would not have bothered with any negotiations, they would have just declared anyone who supports independence as terrorists and launched an ATO there against people who hadn't had time to have actually done any wrong yet or to discredit their own self-rule.
This approach has much more in common with Gamsakhurdia's towards Abkhazia and S. Ossetia, or Moldova's towards Pridnestrovie in the early 90s, than to Russia's vis-a-vis Chechnya.
Donbass also was majority Ukrainian, if not by much. It also did not actually have an effective vote where most of the population participated. The only difference is Chechnya did not have a huge power backing it up.
But for some people, Russia can do no wrong.
Donbass had the May referendum, which the lines were huge for and in some cases went on for longer than a kilometre. I forget what the turnout was but it was pretty reasonable; not less than you might expect in a presidential election for instance. As I recall +75% of voters called for the DNR/LNR sovereignty (not independence note; the DNR/LNR authorities at that time were still holding out hope for negotiations with the Ukraine and to use the vote as leverage)
I do not know of any such vote being organized in Dudayev's Chechnya, or of his regime ever asking his own people what they wanted.
Last edited by flamming_python on Mon Apr 13, 2015 12:16 am; edited 1 time in total