Questions about Chechnya

GEA2000 World Regional Geography Assignment 3 What do you do with a problem like Chechnya?

Beginning in 1990 and moving very rapidly through 1991, the world watched with shock as country after country declared independence from the Soviet Union. By December 26, 1991, the Soviet Union finally ceased to exist and 15 new countries stood in its place. The process was chaotic, so there are parts of the story that are often overlooked. One of the important elements of the breakup of the Soviet Union is the fact that not every territory that wanted independence was able to get independence. Perhaps the most famous area that did not get independence is a territory commonly referred to as Chechnya. As you are about to discover, Chechnya is in a region called the Caucasus and the region is known for having very diverse populations. In this assignment, we are going to study Chechnya to learn more about independence and separatist movements in order to understand that these issues are very complex. Please answer all questions in a new word document or pdf (any other file type will receive 0) and submit them to Canvas. The file name should be Lastname_Assignment3.docx

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The following articles will be helpful resources when answering the questions:

Guide to Chechnya and its neighbors:

A quick history of Chechnya:

Photo essay of the war:

Beslan school siege:

Moscow theatre crisis:

Boston bombing:


  1. First, it is important to look at some demographic information about Chechnya. Fill out the following table.
  Chechnya Russia
Physical area    
Majority religion    
Language family of majority language    
Current leader    
Year that it was incorporated into Russia   –n/a
Does Chechnya have autonomy?   -n/a-


  1. Briefly describe two major cultural differences between Russians and Chechens.
  2. Since 1991, there have been two wars fought between Russia and Chechnya. Using information from the articles, briefly describe some of the destruction and loss of life in Chechnya. Additionally, describe how the current leader of Chechnya came to power and tell me if he supports Chechen independence.
  3. Unfortunately, the conflict in Chechnya became famous for the use of terrorism. Two instances in particular made world headlines while they were happening; one was a school siege that happened in the city of Beslan, and another was the siege of a theatre in Moscow. Examine the “Long-term Effects” area in the “Aftermath” section on the Wikipedia entry for either the Beslan school incident or the Moscow theatre incident and explain how Russia responded to the terrorist threat.
  4. Some Americans know this area because of its connection with the Boston marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. What were the reactions of the Chechen and Russian leaders in response to the Boston bombings?
  5. As I mentioned in the prompt, this region is very diverse and many of Chechnya’s neighbors have similar problems. Identify two other independence movements in the Caucasus region.
  6. Finally, how does this get resolved? Should Chechnya be given the opportunity to vote for independence, should Russia send in more troops, or is the status quo okay? Justify your answers with information from lecture and the articles.

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