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Post By
The Black Guardian

In Reply To
Bob

Subj: Re: A question about Chechnya.
Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 11:52:44 pm EST
Reply Subj: A question about Chechnya.
Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2007 at 11:02:20 pm EST

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Just why do the Russians have such a huge obsession over this country? Why are they going to such lengths to try to annex (or keep?) it? Especially considering that they're not going to such effort in order to retain anything in Eastern Europe and they don't have that kind of interest in places like Poland, Checkoslovakia (I probably spelled that wrong), the Czech Republic (if that country doesn't exist anymore then you'll have to let me off the hook, I don't keep up with Eastern European history very well), Transylvania (I know, I know, but I couldn't think of any other Eastern European places), etc. I've heard that historically Chechnya is a part of Russia but I've also heard that historically it was in fact not. So just why does Russia have this huge beef with Chechnya that they don't with anyone else?

> Just why do the Russians have such a huge obsession over this
> country? Why are they going to such lengths to try to annex (or
> keep?) it? Especially considering that they're not going to such
> effort in order to retain anything in Eastern Europe and they don't
> have that kind of interest in places like Poland, Checkoslovakia (I
> probably spelled that wrong), the Czech Republic (if that country
> doesn't exist anymore then you'll have to let me off the hook, I
> don't keep up with Eastern European history very well), Transylvania
> (I know, I know, but I couldn't think of any other Eastern European
> places), etc. I've heard that historically Chechnya is a part of
> Russia but I've also heard that historically it was in fact not. So
> just why does Russia have this huge beef with Chechnya that they
> don't with anyone else?

It's a major chokepoint of Russia's oil pipeline. Plus, Russia is scared that if they lose Chechnya, they will lose other territories.

Russians (Cossacks) have been in the lowlands of Chechnya since the 16th century, but the majority of the population and territory isn't Russian (ethnically or historically). The Chechens (Nakh) inhabited the mountains well before the Russians got there, but they were beginning to settle the lowlands about the same time as the Russians. They've been fighting for the territory on and off since about the 18th century (Caucasian War), when the Tsars tried to annex the area.

Back in the 40s, Russians comprised about a third of the population. When the Soviet Union fell, the population was about 20-25% Russian. But today, they're about 3% of the population. The vast majority are the Sunni Muslim Chechens, with a tiny amount of Turkics (Kumyks) and other groups. Russia's hold on the territory is pretty much gone. They just refuse to admit it.
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