From February to October 1992, Valery Tishkov served as Minister of Nationalities of the government of Russia. This book is his account of ethnicity, nationalism, and conflict in the territory of the former Soviet Union, focusing particularly on the Russian federation, and drawing on his personal political experience and inside knowledge of major events. He analyzes the demographic, ecological, and cultural backgrounds of ethnic tensions and conflict, and carefully measures grassroots ethnic attitudes and cultural interactions, which do not always correspond to intellectual and political statements and claims.

Ambition and the Arrogance of Power: The Chechen War (Part I)

Ambition and the arrogance of power: The Chechen War (Part I)

9.1 Explanatory Models

How can we categorize and explain the Chechen crisis? One widely used approach involves conspiracy theory, where the presence of some powerful internal subtext or ‘true causes’ – most often oil and money – is cited to explain the development of the crisis. Eduard Ozhiganov, an expert at the Analytical Center in the State Duma, reasons:

Today there exist only two lines for hauling strategic goods out of Russia – the Baltic route and the Caucasian one, which passes primarily through Chechnya. The entire struggle is for control over these two lines, or more exactly over the hauling itself. And therefore, any changes ...

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