Northern Eurasia 1995: First Chechen War
Dec 1994Belarus, Kazkhstan, and Ukraine
agree to surrender nuclear weapons
in return for security guarantees
The end of the Soviet Union sparked secessionist movements across the former Soviet republics. In late 1994 Yeltsin’s Russian government invaded the breakaway republic of Chechnya in an attempt to restore Russian federal control there. Although the Russians initially proved successful, continued Chechen resistance and poor federal morale pushed Yeltsin to agree to a ceasefire in 1996.
1 Nov 1993 Treaty of Maastricht▲
On 7 February 1992, following negotiations in the second half of 1991, the nations of the European Community signed the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht, Netherlands. In accordance with this treaty, the European Community formally became the European Union on 1 November 1993. Only three countries—Denmark, France, and Ireland—would hold referenda on this process; the government of the United Kingdom’s refusal to do so would sow the seeds for Brexit in the 2010s.
20 Apr 1994 Collective Security Treaty▲
On May 15, 1992, the former Soviet States of Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan signed the Confederation of Independent States Collective Security Treaty (which would become the Collective Security Treaty Organization in 2002). The military alliance went into effect on April 20, 1994, by which time Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Georgia had agreed to join. However, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Uzbekistan would decline to renew their membership in 1999.
? Sep 1994–27 Sep 1996 Rise of the Taliban▲
In September 1994 Mullah Mohammad Omar and just fifty religious students (talib) founded the Taliban in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan. Supported by Pakistan and much of the warlord-weary Pashtun population of Afghanistan, the Taliban swiftly gained control in the south, capturing Kandahar City in November and advancing on Kabul in early 1995. Despite facing stronger resistance in northern and central Afghanistan, the Taliban took Kabul in September 1996, declaring it the capital of their Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
5 Dec 1994 Budapest Memorandum▲
In December 1994 the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America signed the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conference in Budapest, Hungary, confirming that Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine would become parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and surrender their substantial Soviet-era nuclear weapons stockpiles. In return for this, Russia, the UK, and the US agreed to respect the territorial integrity of these three former Soviet republics, to refrain from using force or economic coercion against them, and to assist them should they become the victims of aggression. As a result of these assurances and other agreements, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine gave up their nuclear weapons between 1993 and 1996.
11 Dec 1994–31 Aug 1996 First Chechen War▲
In late 1994 the Russian government invaded the secessionist Chechen Republic of Ichkeria in Chechnya, quickly capturing the capital of Grozny and driving the Chechen army into the mountains. However, Chechen insurgent tactics—raiding and taking hostages—brought the war to neighboring Russian regions, while heavy-handed and indiscriminate Russian reprisals led to both international condemnation and mounting civilian casualties. As the operation lost popular support and the demoralized Russian army began losing ground to the Chechens, the Russian government was forced to agree to peace, effectively acknowledging Chechnya’s de-facto independence.