The ongoing attack on Ukraine is not Putin’s first war since he became prime minister in 1999. In the period since 1999, Putin has been President or Prime Minister continuously. The label dictator is just as easy to label him with. The overview of Russia’s wars is gloomy reading. I take them in order:
The Second Chechnya War 1999-2009
Chechnya declared independence after the fall of the Soviet Union. This was the first of Russia’s wars under Putin’s regime. The first Chechen war in 1994-96 led to victory for Chechnya. Chechens were blamed for terrorist attacks in Moscow and other cities in 1999. This was used as an excuse to go to the military intervention of the country. Russia began its advance in August 1999. In May 2000, the war was won and Chechnya lost its independence.
In the period from 2000 to 2009, there was a major uprising among separatists in Chechnya. This led to Russian soldiers waging war against them until 2009.
South Ossetia 2008
Russian-backed rebels declare independence from Georgia. August 8, 2008 Therefore, forces from Georgia move into South Ossetia to regain control. Russia responds by sending in Russian troops. On August 10, Georgia withdraws from the area and a peace agreement is signed.
Russian forces still continue inland in Georgia and take another bite. On August 16, the conquest was carried out to what is now South Ossetia. The area is in fact a republic where the inhabitants have a Russian passport.
From November 2013 to the spring of 2014, there were large protests in Kyiv in particular, but also in other cities. The protests started because the then president Viktor Yanukovych would not sign an agreement that had been negotiated with the EU, instead he would sign a new agreement with Russia that linked Ukraine even closer to Russia.
The protests developed into a cry for more democracy and less corruption. Finally, the president’s national guard was deployed and these fired several hundred protesters in Maidan Square.
The annexation of Crimea
Unidentifiable soldiers appeared in the Crimea. The soldiers took over public buildings. Finally, there was a referendum in which the choice was between two alternatives, both of which were secession from Ukraine and that Crimea would become Russian.
The annexation of Crimea was the first annexation of another country’s territories in Europe after World War II. Feel free to see my blog about the annexation of Crimea
The breakaway republics of the Donbas
In parallel with the annexation of Crimea, Russia sought to gain control of parts of eastern Ukraine through Russian-backed rebels. The resistance here was far greater than in Crimea and Russia eventually gained control of only a small area in the far east.
Since the autumn of 2014, the area has been what we call a frozen conflict. An ongoing war with a relatively limited number of killed. The conflict was reminiscent of South Ossetia. Feel free to see my blog about this.
There is a civil war going on in Syria. Several groups stand against each other. The Russian-friendly regime of Bashar al-Assad is on the verge of collapse. On September 30, 2015, Putin was allowed by the National Assembly to use military force in Syria.
Russian soldiers have been heavily inside Syria for several years. It is probably this situation that causes Russia’s further action in Ukraine to be postponed.
A massive Russian force build-up along Ukraine’s borders began in March 2021. Soon Ukraine expressed unrest over the major forces. In the winter of 2021, the forces were further strengthened with, among other things, field hospitals and other things needed for a large-scale invasion.
February 24 Russia begins its invasion of Ukraine. The carnage is underway. The last of wars on the list of Russia’s wars.