From 1994 to 1996, Russia fought Chechen guerillas in a conflict that became known as the First Chechen War. Tens of thousands of civilians died, but Russia failed to win control of Chechnya's mountainous terrain, giving Chechnya de facto independence. In May 1996, [Boris] Yeltsin signed a ceasefire with the separatists, and they agreed on a peace treaty the following year.
But violence flared again three years later. In August 1999, Chechen militants invaded the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan to support a local separatist movement. The following month, five bombs exploded in Russia over a ten-day period, killing almost three hundred civilians. Moscow blamed Chechen rebels for the explosions, which comprised the largest coordinated terrorist attack in Russian history. The Dagestan invasion and the Russian bombings prompted Russian forces to launch the Second Chechen War, also known as the War in the North Caucasus. In February 2000, Russia recaptured the Chechen capital of Grozny, destroying a good part of the city center in the process, reasserting direct control over Chechnya. Tens of thousands of Chechens and Russians were killed or wounded in the two wars, and hundreds of thousands of civilians were displaced.
6.Since the Second Chechen War, Chechen separatists have repeatedly attacked targets across Russia.
October 2002 - Chechen rebels seize a theater in Moscow, and hold over 700 people hostage. Russian forces use gas to neutralize resistance; most of the rebels and 120 hostages are killed.
May 2003 - 59 people are killed when two suicide bombers drive a truck full of explosives into a government complex in northern Chechnya.
February 2004 - 40 are killed and 100 injured when a suicide bomber detonates a bomb on a Moscow metro train.
August 24, 2004 - Two Russian passenger planes are blown up almost simultaneously, killing 89
August 31, 2004 - A female suicide bomber kills nine people and herself, and wounds 51 others when she detonates a bomb outside a subway station in northeastern Moscow.
September 1, 2004 - Armed attackers storm a school and herd at least 100 children, parents and teachers -- possibly as many as 400, later revealed to be 1,200 -- into a school in southern Russia where they threatened to kill the children. The hostage takers reportedly demanded the release of more than two dozen prisoners picked up during raids on Chechens in southern Russia in June and a Russian withdrawal all of its forces from Chechnya
April 2007 - Eighteen people are killed when a Russian-made Mi-8 military transport helicopter crashes in Chechnya. Local media reports said the helicopter was shot down by Chechen rebels during a Russian operation.
7.In 2006, The New York Times reported that the Chechen capital was starting to rebuild.
Improvements have also been made in outlying towns. Services are being extended into the Caucasus Mountains, the separatists' former stronghold. Many residents speak of a degree of peace they had not seen in 13 years.
"I compare how we used to live, and it is like we are in a fairy tale now," said Zulika Aliyeva, 46, whose home was destroyed when Russia sacked Grozny in 1999 and 2000 and who spent years squatting in a ruined building. The building she moved to recently has been partly repaired.