The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1980s is one of the most important events of modern history. It led to the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Consisting of all former Soviet Republics including Russia, this organization of sovereign states had to elect new governments to take over the dissolved ones. The imminent end of communist rule resulted in the democratization of those states, and created the potential opportunity for Russian provinces to declare their independence. However, through diplomatic negotiations Russia managed to reclaim all its provinces except Chechnya which declared independence in October 1991. Russia feared that this would spark disintegration efforts in other regions so in an effort to resolve this issue diplomatically, Russia proposed higher regional autonomy and tax privileges for Chechnya but to no avail. Realizing that diplomacy was at a stalemate, Russia declared war on Chechnya in December 1994 in order to re-establish rule in that region. The conflict became known as the first Chechen war. .
The research question this essay will be trying to answer is, what were the causes of this war, and was violence necessary? After outlining the conflict itself, this essay will go on to prove that the reasons behind this war lie deeply within the political relations Chechnya has had with Russia in the last 200 years. This will be achieved by applying the framework of greed and grievances to both parties and in depth system- level analysis. After that, Alternative theories will be taken into consideration and analyzed for significance. The first Chechen war was a brief two year military engagement between the Russian Federation and the province of Chechnya. War was declared in December of 1994 and a diplomatic agreement was reached by August 1996. The key actors involved were Russia and its army, and Chechnya with its separatist militia known as the All-National Congress of the Chechen People (NCChP).