● Moscow first sent in troops to Chechnya in 1994, in an attempt to suppress the rebellion, but they suffered heavy and humiliating losses and withdrew two years later. ● An estimated 50,000 civilians had also lost their lives in the fighting, according to Memorial, a Russian human rights organisation. ● Russia initially recognised the government and a peace agreement granting the region substantial autonomy was agreed. ● Most Chechens are Sunni Muslims, many of whom practice in the mystical Sufi tradition; most Russians are Orthodox Christians. But the independence struggle has long been more about nationality than religion. Chechen identity is fiercely independent and anti- hierarchical, and rests on clan honor and — to a great extent — hatred of Russia. ● Terrible. In the Soviet era, the Chechens balked at the government's efforts to seize private property and collectivize farming and herding. ● After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, carried away by his success in freeing Russia from the Soviet yoke, told all the Russian provinces to claim "as much autonomy as you can handle." Chechnya promptly declared independence, which was more than Yeltsin had had in mind. In 1994 he sent in troops to quickly reassert Russian sovereignty, but when Chechens fought back, the crackdown turned into a nightmarish slaughter. At least 50,000 civilians were killed; the capital, Grozny, was completely flattened; and some 200,000 women and children fled to neighboring provinces and farther afield. In 1999, then Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who was preparing to succeed Yeltsin, blamed a series of deadly bombings in Moscow on
Cannon 4 Chechen militants and launched a second war. ● Hong Kong: ● Hong Kong is governed under the principle of "one country, two systems", under which China has agreed to give the region a high degree of autonomy and to preserve its economic and social systems for 50 years from the date of the handover. ● But Beijing can veto changes to the political system, and pro-democracy forces have been frustrated by what they see as the slow pace of political reform. ● 1842 - China cedes Hong Kong island to Britain after the First Opium War. ● 1898 - China leases the New Territories together with 235 islands to Britain for 99 years. ● 1941-45 - Japan occupies Hong Kong during Second World War. ● 1970s - Hong Kong is established as an "Asian Tiger" - one of the region's economic powerhouses - with a thriving economy based on high-technology industries. ● 1997 - Hong Kong is handed back to the Chinese authorities after more than 150 years of British control. ● Moreover, to be independent, one needs international recognition. Is any country willing to offend China and recognise the independence of Hong Kong?
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- Summer '18