Is Chechnya next as the war in Ukraine shows no signs of stopping?August 10, 20222 min read
A long history of conflict in regions such as Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Russia shows these conflicts often grow and eventually draw in other armies or countries.
With all eyes on the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, there are serious concerns that the powder keg could soon blow. Augusta University's Dr. Craig Albert shares his expertise on war, terrorism and what could be next for the region.
As this war between Ukraine and Russia goes on, how does Chechnya come into play?
"Chechnya has units fighting on both sides of the conflict. There is a large contingent of independence fighters, rebels and militants fighting for Ukraine, as they have historical grievances with Putin and Russia dating to the Russo-Chechen wars beginning in the early '90s. The official stance of Chechnya, however, under the dictatorship of Kadyrov, is pro-Putin, and has sent upwards of 10,000 troops to fight against Ukraine. Thus, we have the potential of an ethnic civil war breaking out within Chechnya, as they dispute their differences on the battlefield."
Do they look at this as an opportunity to break free from Russia?
"There are many Chechens that may think this is the perfect strategic opportunity to break away from Russia and claim independence. Others within Chechnya see this as a perfect opportunity to carry out the deeds of the Islamic Caucasus Emirate, officially a part of ISIS, and claim more space for ISIS to operate. It should be noted, most of the civilians just want to live in peace and have economic opportunity as they are still recovering from decades of war in the '90s-2000s."
What would that look like if they decided to go on attack?
"Depending on which group initiates conflict, it would most likely look like some form of terrorism or insurgency operation. Small-scale and limited in scope. Political assassination could also come into play depending on the side of the people that seek violence."
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Dr. Craig Albert is director of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies at Augusta University. He is a leading expert on war, terrorism and American politics. This is an important national and international issue. Albert is available to speak with media – simply click on his name to arrange an interview today.