Vladimir Putin’s Other Wars

Since the arrival of Vladimir Putin to the presidency of Russia, the transcontinental country has participated in different conflicts. This is how Putin's other wars have been.

War in Chechnya

Photo: Wikimedia-Svm-1977

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

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Leer en español: Las otras guerras de Vladimir Putin

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, all the eyes of the world have turned to Vladimir Putin and his decisions to act. But this is not the first war of the Slavic president, much less of Russia. Since the 20th century,  the country has had several direct, indirect, internal and external conflicts.

War in Chechnya

Although the conflict between Russia and the separatists of the Chechen Republic began prior to the arrival of Vladimir Putin, when he became president, the war was not yet over. During the second war in Chechnya, he experienced his hardest moments during 2005 and 2006, when the Russian army killed several separatist leaders.
Putin and the Kremlin used the flags of the fight against terrorism to fight the separatist guerrillas and the balance left nearly 3,800 Russian soldiers dead, 14,000 wounded and a government allied to Moscow in the region that today is still part of Russia. Both sides claimed crimes against humanity against civilians.

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Invasion in South Ossetia

Perhaps the most similar military operation to the one experienced today in Ukraine. The Russian army decided to enter South Ossetia (disputed territory with Georgia) in 2008. The territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are recognized by most countries as regions of Georgia, except Russia . Here, the separatist movements have the support of Moscow (similar to eastern Ukraine).
The conflict left hundreds of Georgian soldiers dead and 67 dead Russians. The diplomatic solution came with the mediation of NATO, the United States and the European Union and a ceasefire that is maintained. However, to this day, there are still Russian soldiers near the Caucasus border and with a self-proclaimed government dependent on Moscow.

War in Syria

Russia and Vladimir Putin made their support for Bashar al-Assad's government clear from the start. Hence, the Russian army carried out various operations in conjunction with forces loyal to the Syrian executive. They were a key player in the fight against the Islamic State through bombings and airstrikes. Due to the common enemy of ISIS, Russia worked together with forces from the West.

The conflict left a hundred Russian soldiers dead, 14 helicopters destroyed and 15 planes out of service. Because Russia's involvement was limited to air support and advice, casualties after 11 years were much lower than the figures reported from Ukraine in just 1 month. According to figures from the Russian Ministry of Defense, as of March 25, 1,351 soldiers had died on their side.

War in Ukraine

One could now say that it is the first war in Ukraine and that we are now experiencing the second. The first was when rebel groups in eastern Ukraine (Lungansk, Donetsk and Crimea) rebelled against kyiv. Despite the fact that Russia provided and helped the separatists "under the table" as soon as Crimea declared its independence, they provided military support and later annexed it.

Despite the fact that Russia has been a clear winner in the wars in which it has participated recently, the conflict in Ukraine has been completely different from any other confrontation that the superpower has experienced. The ghosts of a new Afghanistan when the red army of the Soviet Union had to leave the Central Asian country defeated seem to return.

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