In This Review

Russia's Chechen Wars, 1994-2000: Lessons from Urban Combat
Russia's Chechen Wars, 1994-2000: Lessons from Urban Combat
By Olga Oliker
Rand, 2001, 128 pp
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This slender monograph focuses on the Russian military's two efforts to seize Grozny. The first, in 1994, ended in humiliation and heavy loss; the second, in 1999-2000, succeeded only after many casualties and an enormous amount of destruction. Relying heavily on a close reading of the Russian press, the author makes the case that, with all its numerous and visible faults, the Russian army showed itself able to learn and adapt to the challenges of urban warfare. Despite its uneven use of advanced technology, she writes, the Russians have some hard-won lessons in urban combat that Western militaries would do well to study.