December 31, 1994
January 19, 1995 A deployment of some 40,000 Russian troops manages togain control of most urban areas of Grozny, but not the mountainous regions of southernChechnya. Thousands are killed as Chechen fighters continue to resist Russian militaryoccupation for the next 20 months. Pummeled by intense bombing, the city center of Grozny isvirtually destroyed and some 100,000 people -- many of them civilians -- are estimated killedover the course of the conflict, according to BBC reports.
As fighting continues between Chechen separatist fighters and Russian forces tryingto gain further control over the region, Chechen rebels seize hundreds of hostages at a hospital inBudennovsk in southern Russia. More than 100 people are killed after an unsuccessful raid byRussian forces to end the standoff. During this time period, Russian troops begin the notoriouszachistka operations -- known as "cleansing" or "mopping up" security missions -- during whichRussian forces conduct house-to-house searches for rebel fighters or hidden weapons caches.
After weeks of negotiations, a fragile cease-fire is reached between separatist leadersand Russian officials, only to fall apart months later.
Doky Zavgayev, former president of the joint Chechen-Ingush republic, is electedChechnya's president. However, Dudayev declares the results of the election invalid, claimingthat the Zavgayev government is a puppet regime installed by Moscow.
April 21, 1996
A Russian rocket kills Dudayev by locking onto the signal from his mobile phone, according to reports from journalists in the region. Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, the Chechenvice president, succeeds him.
In their first formal negotiations, Yeltsin and Yandarbiyev sign a short-lived peaceagreement.
Separatist fighters, led by militant commander Shamil Basayev, launch a fierceattack on Russian troops, recapturing Grozny. Moscow sends Russian Gen. Alexander Lebed tonegotiate an end to the violent situation, which had become a political disaster for Yeltsin.Chechen rebel chief of staff Aslan Maskhadov and Lebed sign a cease-fire as part of theKhasavyurt Accords.
Lebed and Maskhadov's cease-fire evolves into a proposed peace settlementthat includes an agreement on Russian troop withdrawals and the discussion of full Chechenindependence in five years.
Elections are held in Chechnya and are monitored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Russia recognizes the election of AslanMaskhadov, considered a political moderate, following his victory in the presidential contest.
Yeltsin and Maskhadov sign a formal peace treaty as well as a number of economicagreements, but fail to reach a deal on the overall issue of Chechen independence. This leads to bursts of violence between separatist fighters and Russian soldiers and the imposition of curfews.