Russia's Chechen Wars 1994-2000
Lessons from Urban Combat
by Olga Oliker
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An examination of the difficulties faced by the Russian military in planningand carrying out urban operations in Chechnya.Russian and rebel military forces fought to control the Chechen city ofGrozny in the winters of 1994-1995 and 1999-2000, as well as clashing insmaller towns and villages. The author examines both Russian and rebeltactics and operations in those battles, focusing on how and why thecombatants' approaches changed over time. The study concludes that whilethe Russian military was able to significantly improve its ability to carryout a number of key tasks in the five-year interval between the wars, otherimportant missions--particularly in the urban realm--were ignored, largelyin the belief that the urban mission could be avoided. This consciousdecision not to prepare for a most stressful battlefield met withdevastating results, a lesson the United States would be well served tostudy.
- RAND Corporation, September 2001
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