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Chechnya roadmap

The second Chechen war grinds on - but the Chechens are supporting neither side

By Thomas de Waal   November 2003

Fifteen years ago, the Soviet army pulled out of Afghanistan and handed over to Moscow’s chosen leader, Muhammad Najibullah. In February 1989, Boris Gromov, the last Russian soldier in the country, symbolically crossed the iron bridge at Termez over the Amu Darya river and peace was declared.

But of course it was not over. The withdrawal led to a brutal civil war, years of fighting between rival warlords, and the arrival of the Taleban and al Qaeda. In October 2003, there is a disturbing parallel with that other victim of Russian military power, Chechnya. Of course the comparison is far…

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