The Chechen conflict
in Securitising Russia
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In September 1999, Russian federal forces moved into the Republic of Chechnya, a constituent part of the Russian Federation located in the North-Caucasus region. This military campaign came to be known as the second Chechen war, following on from the first Chechen war of 1994–1996, and an uneasy period of peace and de facto self-rule lasting for three years between 1996 and 1999. The existence of conflicting discourses in relation to the situation in Chechnya illuminates well the way in which Vladimir Putin's government, and particularly in this case Putin himself, have consciously used the discourse of securitisation in some settings, at the same time as employing the conflicting discourse of ‘de-securitisation’ or ‘normalisation’ in others. International criticism of Russia's actions in the republic has been countered by the insistence that the Chechen conflict is a key part of the war against terrorism. After describing Russia's counter-terrorism in Chechnya, this chapter discusses Putin's commitment to political normalisation through the support of accelerated reconstruction, social provisions, and economic recovery.

Securitising Russia

The domestic politics of Putin

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