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UNIT 26: World History and Identity

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VIDEO SEGMENT: The Chechen Conflict

Globalization can also contribute to individual and group identities that form in resistance to external pressures. This segment explores the example of the Chechen people, who developed an increasingly distinctive ethnic and national identity in response first to Russian expansion, then to Soviet policies, and finally to post-Soviet Russian attempts to force Chechens to remain a part of Russia.

From the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, Chechen resistance to Russian imperial expansion into the Chechen homeland prompted increasing numbers of Chechens to convert to Islam. In the Soviet period, Josef Stalin brutally deported most Chechens and replaced them with Russian settlers. This event encouraged some Chechens to adopt a radical form of Islam, and to demand self-determination.

Once the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, Chechens tried to declare their independence from Russia. They were met with military force by the Russian state-a reaction fueled in part by the fact that Chechnya is a land rich in oil. In each case, Chechens responded to policies and programs implemented by states that were themselves caught up in global struggles for territory, ideological power, and natural resources.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


Anonymous, IMAM SHAMIL OF DAGESTAN, LEADER OF THE CAUCASUS MUSLIMS (1797). Courtesy of Getty / Hulton Archive.

Ruslan Musayev, CHECHEN WOMEN PROTESTING AGAINST RUSSIA (1999). Courtesy of AP/ Wide World Photos.


Mindaugas Kulbis, CHECHEN PRESIDENT ASLAN MASKHADOV AND PRESIDENT OF THE REPULIC OF INGUSHETIA, RUSLAN AUSHEV AT PRAYER FOLLOWING MASHHADOV'S INAUGURATION (1997). Courtesy of AP/ Wide World Photos.

Hot Pepper Studios, created for Bridging World History, MAP OF LOCATION OF CHECHNYA (2004) Courtesy of Oregon Public Broadcasting.



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