[QODLink]
Witness
Chechen fighters
The war in Chechnya is over, but rebels are still prepared to die for their beliefs.
Last updated: 25 Feb 2010 17:06
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback



Say the words Chechen rebels and most people think of the Beslan school massacre and the Moscow theatre siege, in which hundreds of civilians were killed.

Most people might also think that the war between the Chechens and Russians in the remote mountainous region of the Caucasus is over, but this is not the full truth.

Witness


 - Watch more documentaries online

Russia has waged a brutal war against Chechen separatists since the 1990s. The violence began when a former Soviet air force officer seized power and declared independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia, though, was not prepared to give up the oil-rich prize without a fight.

What started as a nationalist independence movement soon became a rallying cry for Islamist militants around the world who wanted to establish an Islamic state in the North Caucasus.

The separatists defeated the Russian army, but four years later the Russians came back with a vengeance.

At the same time, some former rebels, like Ramzan Kadyrov, the republic's current president, changed sides, in opposition to a more militant Islam that the war had provoked amongst some of the separatists.

Russia now claims to have finally defeated the rebels, but resistance continues, and many who have survived the battles and fled their homeland, still live in fear of their lives. 

Chechen fighters aired from Tuesday, 9 February, 2010.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.
NGOs say women without formal documentation are being imprisoned after giving birth in Malaysia.
Public stripping and assault of woman and rival protests thereafter highlight Kenya's gender-relations divide.
join our mailing list