Northern Eurasia 2000: Second Chechen War
The Russian economy hit its nadir in 1998 before beginning a steady recovery, in part buoyed by oil revenues. In late 1999 Chechen mujahideens invaded neighboring Dagestan, provoking the Second Chechen War. This time, however, the Russian military was better prepared and—under the new presidency of Yeltsin’s successor, Vladimir Putin—restored federal control over Chechnya.
Jul 1997–1999 Asian Financial Crisis▲
Starting in Thailand with the collapse of the Thai baht, a financial crisis spread across the ‘tiger’ economies of East and Southeast Asia in the late 1990s. The biggest impact was on Indonesia, South Korea, and Thailand, but Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, and the Philippines were also deeply affected. The crisis ended about a decade of growth in the region and put pressure on the economies of the Pacific Rim.
17 Aug 1998–1999 Russian Financial Crisis▲
The 1997 Asian financial crisis led to a rapid fall in demand for Russian raw materials such as oil, at a time when Russia was still facing numerous political crises. On 17 August 1998 the Russian government devalued the ruble, defaulted on domestic debt, and declared a moratorium on repayment of foreign debt. The result was inflation and nationwide strikes, exacerbated by poor harvests which saw Russia appealing for international humanitarian aid. However, the Russian economy rapidly recovered the following year when oil prices skyrocketed.
12 Mar 1999 Visegrád Group▲
The collapse of Communism enticed many central European countries to seek closer ties with the west. In 1991, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland formed the Visegrád Group, which successfully lobbied to join NATO in 1999 (with the exception of the then-independent Slovakia).
24 Mar–11 Jun 1999 Kosovo War▲
The collapse of Yugoslavia saw the beginning of an insurgency by the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army. When the Yugoslav government retaliated against the KLA through collective punishment of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, NATO intervened with an aerial bombing campaign. On 12 June 1999 Yugoslav President Slobodan Milošević agreed to NATO’s peace terms, allowing the NATO-led peacekeeping Kosovo Force (KFOR) to take over the administration of the region.
7 Aug–14 Sep 1999 War of Dagestan▲
In August 1999 the Chechnya-based Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade invaded the mountainous western districts of the neighboring Russian republic of Dagestan in support of separatist rebels, announcing the independence of the Islamic State of Dagestan on 10 August. The Dagestani police resisted the initial incursion until the Russian government was able to respond later that month. The Russian counterattack—with artillery, airstrikes, and new T-90S tanks—proved decisive, driving the defeated Chechens from Dagestan by mid-September.
9 Aug–31 Dec 1999 Putin’s Rise to Power▲
On 9 August 1999 Russian president Boris Yeltsin appointed Vladimir Putin—a former KGB agent and director of the FSB—as acting Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, announcing that he wished to see Putin as his successor. When the unpopular Yeltsin resigned on New Year’s Eve, Putin assumed the role of acting president and quickly established himself as a strong leader by cracking down on separatist Chechnya. In the March 2000 Russian presidential election, he won 53.4% of the popular vote, easily defeating his rivals to be inaugurated as President of the Russian Federation.
26 Aug 1999–4 May 2000 Second Chechen War▲
In 1999, the militant group Islamic International Brigade invaded Dagestan from neighboring Chechnya, establishing a pretext for Russia to invade and finally crush the Chechen rebellion. The Russian invasion force vastly outnumbered the Chechens and swiftly captured the province, taking the Chechen capital Grozny on 6 February 2000. However an insurgency would continue in Chechnya until April 2009.