Russia's Restless Frontier: The Chechnya Factor in Post-Soviet Russia / Edition 1

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The conflict in Chechnya, going through its low- and high-intensity phases, has been doggedly accompanying Russia’s development. In the last decade, the Chechen war was widely covered, both in Russia and in the West. While most books look at the causes of the war, explain its zigzag course, and condemn the brutalities and crimes associated with it, this book is different. Its focus lies beyond the Caucasus battlefield.

In Russia’s Restless Frontier, Dmitri Trenin and Aleksei 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.


Author Description:

Dmitri V. Trenin is a senior associate and director of studies at the Carnegie Moscow Center. He retired from the Russian army after a military career that included participation in the Geneva strategic arms control negotiations and teaching at Russia’s Military Institute.  Trenin was the first Russian officer to be selected for the NATO Defense College and is a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies. He is the author of numerous articles and books on Russian security issues, including The End of Eurasia: Russia on the Border Between Geopolitics and Globalization (Carnegie Endowment, 2002).

Aleksei V. Malashenko cochairs Carnegie’s Ethnicity and Nation-Building Project and is a leading expert on the role of Islam in Russia and the CIS. He is also a professor at the State Institute (University) for International Relations. He is a member of the editorial board of the journals Central Asia and Caucasus (Sweden), Eurasian Studies (Russia), and Russia and Muslim Countries (Russia). Malashenko is the author of ten books and more than one hundred academic articles, as well as a frequent contributor to the Jamestown Foundation’s reports on the Soviet Union. His articles are published in leading Russian newspapers.


Anatol Lieven is a senior associate for foreign and security policy at the Carnegie Endowment, currently studying the war against terrorism and underlying patterns in U.S. foreign and security policy. He previously worked at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London.  Among his books are Ambivalent Neighbors: The EU, NATO and the Price of Membership (ed. with Dmitri Trenin); Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power; and The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and the Path to Independence.

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Editorial Reviews

Foreign Affairs
Two Russian authors and their British colleague produce a book different from any other on Chechnya. This is not an account of the wars themselves or of how the Russians got themselves into them or of the awful toll they have taken on their victims. Rather, it is a study of how the wars have affected Russia, especially its military, its Muslim population, its other territories in the North Caucasus, and its international relations. All this is measured in careful, balanced, nuanced, and analytically objective terms, and the book, in its original Russian, was badly needed by a Russian public burdened with simple and highly biased notions of the war. This updated version in English will convey to a larger audience the complex ramifications of these wars and create a heightened sense of the stakes as Russia, after Beslan, enters a new and more tragic phase of its struggle in Chechnya.
From the Publisher

"the main authors indeed provide insights and analysis that are hard to find elsewhere and probably not available in another single source....the book constitutes a chilling analysis of the war's consequences that is all the more notable for being written by Russisans. With its deep insights into Russian state and society, this is as strong an indictment of Russian policy in Chechnia as any" —Svante Cornell, Johns Hopkins University-SAIS, Slavic Review, 9/1/2006

"Trenin and Malashenko offer the most comprehensive and detached analysis yet available of the meaning of the war in Chechnya for Russia's political development, security concerns, and relations with the rest of the world. It is a very important book." —Lt. General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.), 3/1/2004

"Dmitri Trenin and Alexei Malashenko believe that the tragic mishandling of Chechnya could put Russia's other post-Soviet achievements at risk. This is a bold, brave and persuasive argument that deserves the widest possible hearing." —Stephen Sestanovich, Council on Foreign Relations and former Ambassador at Large for the New Independent States, 3/1/2004

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780870032035
  • Publisher: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 253
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dmitri V. Trenin is deputy director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, a senior associate of the Carnegie Endowment, and chair of the Moscow Center's Foreign and Security Policy Program. He has been with the Center since its inception in 1993. He is author of The End of Eurasia: Russia on the Border Between Geopolitics and Globalization (2002), published by the Carnegie Endowment. Aleksei Malashenko is codirector of the Carnegie Moscow Center's Ethnicity and Nation-Building Project. He is also a professor at the Moscow Institute for International Relations and former head of Islamic Studies at the Oriental Institute of the Russian Academy of Science. Anatol Lieven is senior associate with the Carnegie Endowment.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. A Chronicle of an Unfinished Conflict
3. The Chechen War and the Russian World
4. The Islamic Factor
5. War and the Military
6. International Ramifications
7. Chechnya and the Laws of War by Anatol Lieven
8. Conclusion
About the Authors
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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