Taking The War To Moscow19911994199519961997199920012002

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Secessionist leader JokHar Dudayev seizes control of Chechnya and calls elections. The uprising is the first since 1944, when Stalin deported almost the entire population to Siberia and Central Asia. Dudayev wins the presidency and declares Chechnya's independence

Boris Yeltsin orders Russian troops into Chechnya after a Moscow-backed coup fails to oust Dudayev

Russian forces drive Chechen rebels from the capital, Grozny, in March. In June, guerrillas take 1,600 hostages at a hospital in Budennovsk in southern Russia. In a week-long siege at least 120 people die many during bungled Russian assaults. The hostages are freed as the fighters return to Chechnya in a bus convoy with 150 people acting as human shields against Russian attack

In January, Chechens seize 2,000 hostages at a hospital in Kizlyar in neighboring Dagestan. The rebels head home with about 100, but are trapped in the village of Pervomaiskoye, also in Dagestan. Sympathizers in Turkey seeking to draw attention to the Chechen conflict hijack a Black Sea ferry, holding 242 people captive. All are eventually freed, and the hijackers surrender to police. In April, a missile strike kills Dudayev. Chechen offensives in August force Moscow to negotiate a truce; a peace pact in November grants de facto independence and sets elections for January 1997

Aslan Maskhadov is elected Chechen President

More than 300 people die in a series of apartment building bombings in Russian cities. Russian authorities blame the Chechens, though their guilt has never been proved, and then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sends 100,000 troops to Chechnya for "an antiterrorist operation." His hard-line stance boosts his popularity ahead of presidential elections in March 2000

In March, three die when Saudi forces in Medina storm a Russian jet hijacked by Chechens. In April, pro-Chechen gunmen hold 100 hostage for 12 hours in an Istanbul hotel before surrendering to police

In May, a bomb planted by Chechen rebels kills 34 people at a Victory Day parade in Kaspiisk, Dagestan. In October, Chechen guerrillas seize a Moscow theater, taking more than 800 captive. At least 90 hostages and 50 terrorists are killed when Russian forces storm the building