TITLE

Crisis in the Caucasus: A New Look at Russia's Chechen Impasse

AUTHOR(S)
King, Charles
PUB. DATE
March 2003
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Mar/Apr2003, Vol. 82 Issue 2, p134
SOURCE TYPE
Review
DOC. TYPE
Book Review
ABSTRACT
As Matthew Evangelista shows in his new book, 'The Chechen Wars: Will Russia Go the Way of the Soviet Union?', predicting violence in Chechnya was easy. Explaining why it erupted when it did, and why the conflict now appears intractable, is far more difficult. If former Russian president Boris Yeltsin's war was purportedly about preserving the union, Vladimir Putin's has now become about defending it. It is jarring to read Evangelista's chapter on war crimes and international policy. Evangelista is right to challenge the Yeltsin government's claim that the war was necessary to preserve the union. One of the chief criticisms that can be leveled against Western policy on the Chechen crisis is the insistence on interpreting the violence in the Caucasus as an embarrassing deviation from what is otherwise a path toward democracy. There may be several reasons for the United States to avoid the Chechen question, but treating Russia differently because it is a modern, democratizing state with an unfortunate terrorism problem is not one of them.
ACCESSION #
9126695

 

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