The Chechen Struggle: Independence Won and Lost

January 05, 2011
12:00 pm - 12:00 pm

Featuring authors

Ilyas Akhmadov (watch presentation) and Miriam Lanskoy (watch presentation)

With introductory remarks by

Zbigniew Brzezinski (watch presentation)
Center for International and Strategic Studies

Moderated by

Carl Gershman
National Endowment for Democracy

Told from the perspective of former Chechen Foreign Minister Ilyas Akhmadov, The Chechen Struggle: Independence Won and Lost is a uniquely candid, inside account of Chechnya’s two wars against Russia, its interwar attempt to establish national institutions, and the splintering and eventual radicalization of the resistance.  The book captures the predicament of Chechen moderates who unsuccessfully sought to attain international assistance to stop the war and avert its catastrophic consequences: the mass slaughter of Chechens, the spread of the conflict throughout the region, and Russia’s slide into dictatorship. Ilyas Akhmadov and his coauthor Miriam Lanskoy discussed the book and offered analysis of the current conflicts in the North Caucasus and their implications for the future of the region. Zbigniew Brzezinski provided introductory remarks.


Ilyas Akhmadov was the Foreign Minister of Chechnya from 1999 to 2005, during the government of President Aslan Maskhadov. In 2004, he was a Reagan Fascell Democracy Fellow at the Endowment. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post and The Boston Globe.

Miriam Lanskoy is director of the Russia and Eurasia program at the National Endowment for Democracy. She is an expert on the North Caucasus who has published numerous articles, testified before Congress, and appeared on PBS’s The Newshour.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, National Security Advisor during the Carter Administration, is a counselor and trustee at CSIS and co-chairs its Advisory Board. He is co-chair of the American Committee for Peace in the Caucasus and is a former chairman of the American-Ukrainian Advisory Committee.

Carl Gershman is president of NED.