Is Chechnya A Country?

A map showing Chechnya (or the Chechen Republic).
A map showing Chechnya (or the Chechen Republic).

A country is an autonomous region identified as distinct and independent in terms of governance, geography, and legal jurisdiction. A country is a sovereign being independent of other nations. Chechnya is not categorized as a sovereign country but as part of the federal region, a subject of Russia. As a Russian Federation, Chechnya is governed by the rules and regulations of Russia. Chechnya is in the North Caucasus. The location is within 100 kilometers of the Caspian Sea. The federal region is at the southern point of Eastern Europe.


Chechnya is located in the Eastern end of the North Caucasus. The territory is in Eastern Europe. Chechnya borders the Russian Federal territory on nearly all sides. North Ossetia and Ingushetia are located to the west, Starvropol to the northwest, and Georgia is located to the south. Chechnya covers a surface area of 17,300 kilometers. The major rivers are Terek, Sunzha, and Argun.


A series of wars led to the capturing of Chechnya by Russia. In 1991, the Soviet Union was dissolved. Thereafter, the Chechen-Ingush ASSR was divided into the Chechen and Ingushetia republic. Chechen proclaimed itself as the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria and immediately declared itself as an independent nation. The First Chechen War from 1994 to 1996 was fought as Russia tried to regain control of Chechnya. Despite Russia having superior weapons, air support and numeric strength, it was unable to gain permanent control of Chechnya. A peace treaty was signed in 1996 leading to the withdrawal of the Russian army from Chechnya.

However, during the Second Chechen War which began on August 7, 1999, Russia regained control of the territory. Russian forces were now better organized and defeated Chechnya forces. The recapture has led to Russia ruling Chechnya ever since. The process of rebuilding Chechnya began with the systematic reconstruction of infrastructure and other amenities. There have been reported cases of sporadic fighting in the mountains and southern part of the republic. Such fighting and terrorist attacks led to Russia tightening grip on Chechnya. Consequently, Russia stamped its authority in Chechnya. A referendum was conducted in 2003 in a bid to reintegrate Chechnya with Russia but provide some autonomy. The referendum had an approval rate of 95.5% according to the Chechen government.


The government of Chechnya is headed by President Ramzan Kadyrov. The legislative authority is the parliament. As a federal constituent entity of Russia, the country is under the authority as directed from Moscow. The current constitution was drafted in 2003. The capital city is Grozny and other towns include Shali, Urus-Martan, and Argun.

Demographics and Religion

Population growth has been slow due to war and displacement. Many residents of Chechnya migrated to other countries, especially during the First and Second Chechen Wars. There were 1,395,678 people living in the region as per the 2016 estimates. The main languages spoken are Chechen and Russian. Strict adherence to Sunni Islam teachings is practiced.

Human Rights

Abuse of human rights has been reported in Chechnya with the abused having no means to redress against the torture. Pro-Russian forces and federal police have been reported to use torture to get information from Chechen citizens. Extrajudicial executions, kidnappings, and many forms of torture have been carried out under president Kadyrov. Historically, the relationship between Chechnya and Russia has been tense.


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