The Separatism of Chechnya in 1991: Prerequisites for the Republic’s Secession from Russia

Ruslan Kermach


The article deals with the case of Chechen separatism, which resulted in the secession of the Republic from Russia in 1991. The theoretical framework for this study is based on considering secession as a dynamic process triggered by a shift in the perception of a cost-benefit equilibrium regarding a possible attempt at secession. The second section of the article briefly analyzes the most important structural prerequisites, which could have been conducive for Chechen secessionism at the beginning of the 1990s. The last section explains the factors, which could have been crucial in changing the initial calculation of a costs and benefits equilibrium regarding the possible attempt at secession. Among the above mentioned factors, the rise of ethno-nationalism and nationalist elites creating discourse justifying the secession of the Chechen Republic. The role of the center-periphery relationship and the weakening position of the federal center in Moscow are also considered in the article.


secession; separatism; Chechnya; self-determination; cost-benefit; ethno-nationalism

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