Between the wars

In May 1997, Maskhadov and Yeltsin met in Moscow and signed an accord in which Maskhadov was recognized as the legally elected president of the “Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.” Agreement was also reached on some practical economic and infrastructure issues, but no further steps were taken toward a peace settlement.


Hardly anything was done to rebuild Chechnya. Maskhadov was unable to crack down on crime as the country slipped into anarchy, as he lacked the resources to organize an effective government. Conditions became so dangerous in Grozny that in December 1998 the OSCE Assistance Group was withdrawn to Moscow.

Nor could Maskhadov control Chechen warlords like Shamil Basayev, who operated with the support and funding of foreign Islamists. In August 1999, Basayev and his men made an incursion into Dagestan, hoping to link up with Dagestani Islamic extremists and unite Chechnya and Dagestan into a single Islamic state. Although the Russian army in September repulsed the incursion,terrorist apartment bombings in Moscow and other Russian cities,resulted in Russian Prime Minister Putin launching a second war in Chechnya. Maskhadov then joined Basayev in leading the resistance against Russia, and was killed in 2005.