Key Events in Russia’s Chechnya Conflict
Key dates in Russia’s struggle with separatists in its republic of Chechnya:
Sept. 6 _ Dzhokhar Dudayev, retired Soviet air force general, leads ouster of Chechnya’s Soviet government, which supported the failed August coup by hard-liners in Moscow. Receives tacit approval of Russian authorities, calls elections.
Oct. 27 _ Dudayev elected president.
Nov. 1 _ Dudayev declares Chechnya independent.
Nov. 2 _ Russian parliament calls Dudayev’s election illegal.
Nov. 7 _ Russian President Boris Yeltsin announces emergency rule in Chechnya.
Nov. 9 _ 1,000 Russian troops fly to Grozny and approach capital. Tens of thousands of Chechens block the streets and airport.
Nov. 10 _ Soviet troops retreat.
Oct. 11 _ Dudayev declares state of emergency after thousands of Russian troops mass on border.
Nov. 18 _ Troops from both sides pull back.
April 2 _ Dudayev dissolves parliament, declares one-man rule.
June 5 _ Dudayev calls out tanks to halt referendum on one-man rule. Thousands protest.
June 13 _ Open fighting between pro- and anti-Dudayev forces breaks out in Grozny.
Aug. 2 _ Russia openly supports the opposition Provisional Council.
Aug. 11 _ Yeltsin rules out use of force.
Nov. 25 _ Russian helicopter gunships attack government positions near Grozny.
Nov. 26 _ Opposition retreats after fierce fighting at presidential palace.
Nov. 29 _ Yeltsin issues ultimatum to Chechens to lay down arms by Dec. 1 or face direct Russian intervention. Russian jets bomb Grozny.
Dec. 9 _ Yeltsin authorizes use of force.
Dec. 11 _ Russian tanks roll into Chechnya; 10,000 to 40,000 Russian soldiers are backed by jets and helicopter gunships.
Dec. 12 _ Peace talks begin in Vladikavkaz.
Dec. 13 _ Russian aircraft blast Chechen positions as near-daily bombing and shelling begins.
Dec. 14 _ Chechnya suspends talks.
Dec. 17 _ Chechnya ignores Yeltsin ultimatum to disarm.
Dec. 20 _ Chechens say 120 people killed in overnight air raids on Grozny. Several hundred thousand people in North Caucasus line roads to protest Russia’s offensive.
Dec. 22 _ Waves of jets attack Grozny with bombs in first daylight air raid, killing at least 24.
Dec. 27 _ Yeltsin orders halt to airstrikes on Grozny and calls for talks.
Dec. 28 _ Russian planes resume bombing Grozny after two-day respite. Chechen government rejects talks without Russian withdrawal. Heavy fighting.
Dec. 31 _ Ferocious Russian ground and air assault on Grozny begins.
Jan. 1 _ Fierce street-to-street battles for control of Grozny. Charred bodies and armored vehicles line the streets around the presidential palace.
Jan. 2 _ Outgunned, outnumbered Chechen defenders drive Russians out of the center of Grozny.
Jan. 4 _ Yeltsin orders halt to bombing of Grozny.
Jan. 5 _ Russian fighter jets bomb Grozny, again ignoring Yeltsin’s order.
Jan. 6 _ Yeltsin demands his top ministers explain why his orders were not obeyed.
Jan. 7 _ Russian commander, Maj. Gen. Viktor Vorobyov, killed by a mortar shell. Presidential palace catches fire, upper floors burn.
Jan. 9 _ Russian tanks and artillery hammer center of Grozny with hundreds of shells and rockets, trying to seize presidential palace and other key installations.
Jan. 10 _ Temporary cease-fire proposed by Russians collapses within hours. Fierce fighting for palace, city center.