Chechnya profile - Timeline

  • 16 July 2015
  • From the section Europe

1858 - After decades of violent resistance, Chechnya is conquered by Russia following the defeat of Imam Shamil and his fighters, who had aimed to establish an Islamic state.

Dzhokhar Dudayev proclaimed independence

1922 - Chechen autonomous region established; becomes the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1934.

1944 - Soviet dictator Stalin deports the entire Chechen and Ingush populations to Siberia and Central Asia, citing alleged collaboration with Nazi Germany. Many thousands die in the process.

1957 - Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev allows Chechens back to the Caucasus, restores the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

Break-away bid blocked

1991 - Collapse of the Soviet Union. Communist leader Doku Zavgayev overthrown; Dzhokhar Dudayev wins a presidential poll and proclaims Chechnya independent of Russia.

Before the storm: Russian troops prepare for an assault on Grozny which claims an estimated 100,000 lives

1992 - Chechnya adopts a constitution defining it as an independent, secular state governed by a president and parliament.

1994 December - Russian troops enter Chechnya to quash the independence movement. Up to 100,000 people - many of them civilians - are estimated killed in the 20-month war that follows.

1995 June - Chechen rebels seize hundreds of hostages at a hospital in Budennovsk, southern Russia. More than 100 are killed in the raid and in an unsuccessful Russian commando operation.

Dudayev killed

1996 April - Dzokhar Dudayev killed in a Russian missile attack; Zemlikhan Yandarbiyev succeeds him.

1996 August - Chechen rebels launch a successful attack on Grozny; Russian military leaders and Chechen rebels sign the Khasavyurt ceasefire accords, followed by an agreement on a Russian troop withdrawal in November.

1997 January - Russia recognises Aslan Maskhadov's government following his victory in Chechen presidential elections.

Uncertain peace

1997 May - Yeltsin and Maskhadov sign a formal peace treaty, but the issue of Chechen independence is not resolved.

1998 May - Valentin Vlasov, Russia's presidential representative in Chechnya, is kidnapped and held for six months.

1998 June - Amid growing lawlessness, Maskhadov imposes a state of emergency.

1999 March - Moscow's top envoy to Chechnya, General Gennadiy Shpigun, is kidnapped from the airport in Grozny. His corpse is found in Chechnya in March 2000.

Shariah law imposed

1999 January/February - Maskhadov annouces that sharia - Islamic religious law - will be phased in over three years.

1999 July/August - Chechen fighters clash with Russian troops on the Chechnya-Dagestan border; Chechen rebels carry out armed incursions into Dagestan in an attempt to create an Islamic state.

1999 September - A series of apartment block bombings elsewhere in Russia are blamed on Chechen rebels; some 300 people are killed in the blasts.

Russian forces redeploy in Chechnya; the new prime minister, Vladimir Putin, says the campaign is needed to quash terrorism.

Russian troops returned for another crackdown in 2000

2000 February - Russian troops capture Grozny; much of the city is razed.

2000 May - President Putin declares direct rule from Moscow.

Kadyrov years

2000 June - Russia appoints separatist-turned-Moscow loyalist Akhmat Kadyrov the head its administration in Chechnya.

2001 - Human rights organisations express concern about human rights violations in Chechnya, fuelled by the discovery of a mass grave filled with mutilated bodies.

2001 September - Major rebel offensive on the Chechen town of Gudermes; a Russian helicopter carrying senior officers is downed.

2002 August - Georgia accuses Russia of carrying out air raids in the Pankisi gorge, close to Georgia's border with Chechnya. Moscow says the gorge is a safe haven for Chechen rebel groups.

2002 October - Chechen rebels seize a Moscow theatre and hold about 800 people hostage. Most of the rebels and some 120 hostages are killed when Russian forces pump in narcotic gas and storm the building.

2002 December - Suicide bomb attack on the Grozny base of the Russian-backed Chechen government kills around 80 people. Rebels claim responsibility.

2003 March - A referendum approves a new constitution stipulating that Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation but is criticised for being held before peace is fully established.

Akhmad Kadyrov, right, was Moscow's man in Chechnya. His son later also served as president

2003 October - Former rebel Akhmad Kadyrov is elected president.

2003 December - Russian forces kill about a dozen Chechen fighters after band of rebels crosses border into neighbouring Dagestan and takes hostages.

2004 May - President Akhmad Kadyrov and many others are killed in a Grozny bomb blast.

After Kadyrov

2004 June - Dozens killed in neighbouring Ingushetia in attacks reported to have involved hundreds of gunmen. President Putin blames Chechen rebels but rebels say only volunteers took part.

2004 September - Hundreds are killed or wounded - many of them children - in the Beslan school siege in North Ossetia. Russia blames international terrorists linked to Chechen separatist militants; separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov condemns the attack and denies responsibility.

2004 October - Kremlin-backed former Interior Minister Alu Alkhanov is sworn in as president following August elections.

2005 February - Separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov calls a ceasefire and urges peace talks, but the the pro-Moscow Chechen leadership dismisses his overtures and says he should give himself up.

2005 March - Russian forces say Aslan Maskhadov has been killed in a special operation in Chechnya.

2005 May - Maskhadov's successor, Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev, signals end to policy of seeking peace talks with Moscow and decrees organisation of the Caucasus Front in apparent bid to widen conflict with Russia.

2005 October - Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev says he commanded a major assault in Nalchik, capital of the North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, that leaves dozens dead.

New parliament

2005 November - Tight security in place for regional parliamentary elections regarded by Moscow as important for normalisation but by separatist forces as a charade. More than 50% of the seats are won by Kremlin-backed United Russia.

2005 December - President Putin attends opening session of new parliament and pledges support for reconstruction.

2006 February - 13 people are killed in an explosion at Russian military barracks near Groznyy. Officials say a gas leak was the most likely cause but do not rule out other theories.

2006 March - Ramzan Kadyrov - son of the late leader Akhmad Kadyrov - becomes prime minister after Sergey Abramov resigns.

2006 June - Separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Saydullayev killed by government forces. He is succeeded by Doku Umarov.

2006 July - Warlord Shamil Basayev is killed in neighbouring Ingushetia in what Russian forces say was a special operation but Chechen rebels say was an accidental explosion.

Anna Politkovskaya, a critic of Russia's war on Chechnya, was murdered

2006 October - Prominent Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, a fierce critic of the Kremlin's actions in Chechnya, is shot dead in Moscow.

2007 February/March - President Alu Alkhanov is moved to a Russian government post and Ramzan Kadyrov is named his successor.

2007 June - A military court in southern Russia sentences four soldiers to prison terms for murdering six Chechen civilians, in a rare ruling against Russian troops.

2007 December - The United Russia party, which backs Russian President Vladimir Putin, wins 99% of the vote in Chechnya in Russian parliamentary elections. Foreign observers say the election was "not fair".

2008 February - Russian President Vladimir Putin's favoured successor, Dmitry Medvedev, wins 89% of the vote in Chechnya, on a turnout of 91%.


2009 April - Russia declares the nearly decade-old operation against separatist rebels to be over, a month after President Medvedev said life in the republic had "normalised to a large degree".

2009 July - Russian human rights activist Natalia Estemirova, who had been investigating alleged abuses by government-backed militias in Chechnya, is abducted and killed.

Russian special forces remain on alert as separatists continue to be active

2010 April - Rebel leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for deadly suicide attacks on Moscow Metro in March.

2010 August - Doku Umarov appears to announce in a YouTube video that he is retiring because of his age and names Aslambek Vadalov as his successor. Days later, he declares that his resignation statement was a "falsification" and that he is staying on.

2010 November - Three men go on trial in Austria accused of complicity in the murder of a former bodyguard of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who strongly denies allegations he ordered the killing.

2011 February - Doku Umarov claims responsibility for a deadly suicide attack on Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January that left dozens dead. He says in a video posted online that the attack was a response to "Russian crimes in the Caucasus".

2014 March - Kavkaz Center, the main website of Russia's Islamist militants, says Doku Umarov has "become a martyr" and has been succeeded by Ali Abu Mohammed as leader of the Caucasus Emirate.

2014 December - Sixteen people are killed after militants shoot their way into Grozny and attack a media building and a school.