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. [2]


Chechen autonomous region established; becomes the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic in 1934. [2]


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. [2]


Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev restores the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. [2]


Collapse of the Soviet Union. Communist leader Doku Zavgayev overthrown; Dzhokhar Dudayev wins a presidential poll and proclaims Chechnya independent of Russia. [2]


Chechnya adopts a constitution defining it as an independent, secular state governed by a president and parliament. [2]


December - Russian troops enter Chechnya to quash the independence movement. Up to 100,000 people - many of them civilians - are estimated to have been killed in the 20-month war that followed. [2]


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. [2]


April - Dudayev killed in a Russian missile attack; Zemlikhan Yandarbiyev succeeds him. [2]

May - Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Yandarbiyev sign a peace agreement; the short-lived truce lasts until July. [2]

August - Chechen rebels launch a successful attack on Grozny; Yeltsin's security chief General Alexander Lebed and Chechen rebel chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov sign the Khasavyurt Accords which provide for a ceasefire. An agreement on Russian troop withdrawals is signed in November. [2]


January - Russia recognises Maskhadov's government following his victory in Chechen presidential elections. [2]

May - Yeltsin and Maskhadov sign a formal peace treaty, but the issue of Chechen independence is not resolved. [2]


May - Valentin Vlasov, Russia's presidential representative in Chechnya, is kidnapped and held for six months. Later in the year, four engineers from Britain and New Zealand are kidnapped and murdered. [2]

June - Amid growing lawlessness, Maskhadov imposes a state of emergency. [2]


January/February - Maskhadov declares Islamic Shari'ah law will be phased in over three years. [2]

A group of former rebel field commanders announces the formation of a rival body to govern Chechnya according to Shari'ah law and calls on Aslan Maskhadov to relinquish the presidency. [2]

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. [2]

July/August - Chechen fighters clash with Russian troops on the Chechnya-Dagestan border; Chechen rebels stage armed incursions into Dagestan in an attempt to create an Islamic state. [2]

September - A bomb attack on Russian military housing in Dagestan and 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. [2]

October - Moscow-based State Council of the Republic of Chechnya established by former members of the Chechen republican legislature. Moscow recognises it as the sole legitimate Chechen authority and refuses to negotiate with Maskhadov. [2]

Many thousands of civilians flee the Russian advance, leaving Chechnya for neighbouring Russian republics. Their numbers are later estimated to reach 200,000. [2]


February - Russian troops capture Grozny; much of the city is razed. [2]

As Russian forces ferociously bomb the Chechnyan capital, Grozny, reducing the city to rubble, Foreign Secretary Robin Cook says he ‘understood’ Russia’s problems in Chechnya. [1]

May - President Putin declares direct rule from Moscow. [2]

June - Russia appoints former Chechen cleric Akhmat Kadyrov as head of its administration in Chechnya. [2]


Human rights organisations express concern about human rights violations in Chechnya, including alleged torture and widespread detentions at the hands of Russian troops. Concerns are fuelled by the discovery of a mass grave filled with mutilated bodies. [2] [3]

September - Major rebel offensive on the Chechen town of Gudermes; a Russian helicopter carrying senior officers is downed. [2]

In the aftermath of the 11 September attacks on the US, Putin urges rebels to "halt all contacts with international terrorists". [2]

November - First official negotiations since 1999 as Maskhadov's representative Akhmed Zakayev and Russia's Kazantsev hold talks on a peace settlement in Moscow. [2]

December - Captured rebel field commander Salman Raduyev sentenced to life imprisonment on murder, terrorism charges. [2]


July - UN suspends aid operations in Chechnya for six months after the kidnapping of a Russian aid worker. [2]

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 and presses for an international operation to flush them out. [2]

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 storm the building. [2] [4]

In midst of continuing Russian atrocities in Chechnya, Tony Blair says ‘it is important to understand the Russian perspective’. [1]

December - Suicide bomb attack on the Grozny headquarters of the Russian-backed Chechen government kills around 80 people. Rebels claim responsibility. [2]


March - Russians hail Chechen referendum vote in favour of a new constitution stipulating that the republic is part of the Russian Federation. Human rights groups, among others, are strongly critical of Russia for pushing ahead with referendum before peace has been established. [2]

May - Over 50 people killed in suicide bombing of government building in the north of the republic. Just two days later, administration chief Kadyrov has narrow escape in another suicide attack which leaves over a dozen dead. [2]

October - Kadyrov elected president. [2]

December - Russian forces kill about a dozen Chechen fighters after band of rebels crosses border into neighbouring Dagestan and takes hostages. [2]


February - Former Chechen president, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, killed in explosion in Qatar, where he had been living for three years. [2]

May - President Kadyrov and numerous others killed in Groznyy bomb blast. [2]