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In this fully illustrated book an expert on the conflicts traces the progress of the wars in Chechnya, from the initial Russian advance through to urban battles such as Grozny, and the prolonged guerrilla warfare in the mountainous regions. He assesses how the wars have torn apart the fabric of Chechen society and their impact on Russia itself. Featuring specially drawn full-colour mapping and drawing upon a wide range of sources, this succinct account explains the origins, history and consequences of Russia's wars in Chechnya, shedding new light on the history – and prospects – of the troubled region.
Over 2,400 total pages ... Russian outrage following the September 2004 hostage disaster at North Ossetia’s Beslan Middle School No.1 was reflected in many ways throughout the country. The 52-hour debacle resulted in the death of some 344 civilians, including more than 170 children, in addition to unprecedented losses of elite Russian security forces and the dispatch of most Chechen/allied hostage-takers themselves. It quickly became clear, as well, that Russian authorities had been less than candid about the number of hostages held and the extent to which they were prepared to deal with the situation. Amid grief, calls for retaliation, and demands for reform, one of the more telling reactions in terms of hardening public perspectives appeared in a national poll taken several days after the event. Some 54% of citizens polled specifically judged the Russian security forces and the police to be corrupt and thus complicit in the failure to deal adequately with terrorism, while 44% thought that no lessons for the future would be learned from the tragedy. This pessimism was the consequence not just of the Beslan terrorism, but the accumulation of years of often spectacular failures by Russian special operations forces (SOF, in the apt US military acronym). A series of Russian SOF counterterrorism mishaps, misjudgments, and failures in the 1990s and continuing to the present have made the Kremlin’s special operations establishment in 2005 appear much like Russia’s old Mir space station—wired together, unpredictable, and subject to sudden, startling failures. But Russia continued to maintain and expand a large, variegated special operations establishment which had borne the brunt of combat actions in Afghanistan, Chechnya, and other trouble spots, and was expected to serve as the nation’s principal shield against terrorism in all its forms. Known since Soviet days for tough personnel, personal bravery, demanding training, and a certain rough or brutal competence that not infrequently violated international human rights norms, it was supposed that Russian special operations forces—steeped in their world of “threats to the state” and associated with once-dreaded military and national intelligence services—could make valuable contributions to countering terrorism. The now widely perceived link between “corrupt” special forces on the one hand, and counterterrorism failures on the other, reflected the further erosion of Russia’s national security infrastructure in the eyes of both Russian citizens and international observers. There have been other, more ambiguous, but equally unsettling dimensions of Russian SOF activity as well, that have strong internal and external political aspects. These constitute the continuing assertions from Russian media, the judicial system, and other Federal agencies and officials that past and current members of the SOF establishment have organized to pursue interests other than those publicly declared by the state or allowed under law. This includes especially the alleged intent to punish by assassination those individuals and groups that they believe have betrayed Russia. The murky nature of these alleged activities has formed a backdrop to other problems in the special units.
Dodge Billingsley, is the Director of Combat Films and Research, a fellow at the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies at Brigham Young University, and a senior faculty member at the Naval Post Graduate School's Center for Civil Military Relations.
In February 2014, street protests in Kiev and other Ukrainian cities led to the ousting of the Russian-backed President Yanukovych. The so-called Euromaidan Revolution saw many changes to Ukraine's constitution, but the violent reaction in the east and south of the country led to armed counter-revolution, unofficially backed by Russia. This conflict is the essential example of Russia's new policy of 'hybrid warfare', which blends propaganda, misinformation, and the deployment of 'deniable' Special Forces and regular troops alongside proxies and mercenaries to achieve its strategic ends. Using his extensive contacts in both Russia and Ukraine, and access to a mass of official and unofficial sources, Mark Galeotti presents a thorough and intriguing primer on all the forces involved in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Supported by specially commissioned artwork, he analyses both the progress of the war, and what it teaches us about Russia's current military capabilities.
This two-volume history of counterinsurgency covers all the major and many of the lesser known examples of this widespread and enduring form of conflict, addressing the various measures employed in the attempt to overcome the insurgency and examining the individuals and organizations responsible for everything from counterterrorism to infrastructure building. • Provides an extremely broad coverage of counterinsurgency that spans the period from 1900 to the present day and addresses geographical areas such as Algeria, India, Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaya, Cyprus, Vietnam, and many other regions and countries • Supplies historical and geographical perspectives that enable the reader to examine each chapter as an independent case study and compare and contrast each event with others to draw lessons across time • Includes an extensive bibliography that covers all aspects of modern counterinsurgency-based themes, including geographical regions, theory, and tactics
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia's army has undergone a turbulent transformation, from the scattered left-overs of the old Soviet military, through a period of shocking decay and demoralization, to the disciplined force and sophisticated 'hybrid war' doctrine that enabled Vladimir Putin to seize Crimea virtually overnight in 2014. Using rare photographs and full colour images of the army in action, profiles of army leaders and defence ministers, as well as orders of battle and details of their equipment and dress, this is a vivid account of the army's troubled history and of its current character, capabilities and status. Written by an internationally respected author with remarkable access to Russian-language sources and veterans, this study is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the growing power of Russia's military.
The Russia-Chechen wars have had an extraordinarily destructive impact on the communities and on the trajectories of personal lives in the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya. This book presents in-depth analysis of the Chechen conflicts and their consequences on Chechen society. It discusses the nature of the violence, examines the dramatic changes which have taken place in society, in the economy and in religion, and surveys current developments, including how the conflict is being remembered and how Chechnya is reconstructed and governed.

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