For hundreds of years, dictators have ruled Russia. Do they still? Did the processes unleashed by Gorbachev and continued under Russian President Boris Yeltsin lead eventually to liberal democracy in Russia?
The Bush and Putin administrations have misleadingly folded Chechnya into the global war on terror. Their critics have done little better by defining Chechnya as a human rights challenge. However, ignoring Chechnya or focusing primarily on human rights misses the larger issue, which is not what happens to Chechnya, but what kind of Russia emerges from that forgotten war.
Trenin and Malashenko examine the implications of the war with Chechnya for Russia's post-Soviet evolution. Considering Chechnya's impact on Russia's military, domestic politics, foreign policy, and ethnic relations, the authors contend that the Chechen factor must be addressed before Russia can continue its development.
Combining keen political analysis with the unique perspective of a native observer, Lilia Shevtsova offers a valuable assessment of the forces that will shape the post-Yeltsin era.