The Second Chechen War and the Lead-Up to It: Background information when reading A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

by Anthony Marra

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
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  • First Published:
    May 2013, 400 pages
    Feb 2014, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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Beyond the Book:
The Second Chechen War and the Lead-Up to It

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is set primarily during the Second Chechen War, which started August 1999.

The second war had its roots in the First Chechen War (aka the War in Chechnya). At the heart of this initial conflict – and indeed the one that followed - was the relationship of Chechnya to Russia.

Chechnya and its neighbors Chechnya was one of more than a dozen states to declare independence from Russia in the wake of the Soviet Union's dissolution in 1991. But not all Chechens agreed with the decision with many wanting to remain a part of the Russian Federation. The end result was that Chechen President Dzokhar Dudayev's pro-independence government was unstable and this led to armed resistance by rebels opposed to his domestic policies. The situation was exacerbated by the Russian Government under President Boris Yeltsin, which sought to further destabilize Chechnya by supplying the rebels with money, weapons and mercenaries. Non-ethnic Chechens (predominantly ethnic Russians, ...

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