The conflict between Chechnya and Russia has escalated over the past few years and the motivation for both sides have become complicated. Chechens have been recognized as a distinct people since the 17thcentury and have been actively against Russia’s conquest of the Caucuses for more than two centuries. In 1858 Russia defeated leader Imam Shamil, who was trying to establish an Islamic state. After the Russian Revolution, Chechnya declared independence which forced the Bolsheviks to occupy the region. They later formed the Chechen-Ingush autonomous Region in 1924. A few years after it became an autonomous republic. Chechens and their Ingush neighbors are mostly Sunni Muslim. Political and economic reason, as well as different cultural and religious beliefs than Christian Russia, have escalated this conflict into the global issue it is today. Both sides have legitimate arguments to either be independent or united.
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