Here's a look at what you need to know about Chechnya, a republic in southwestern Russia, in the Caucasus Mountains region. Chechnya is bordered by Russia, the country of Georgia, and the Russian republics of Dagestan and Ingushetia.
Facts: Capital: Grozny
Population: 1,268,989, according to the 2010 official Russian census
Ethnicity: Ethnic Chechen (Sunni Muslim) and ethnic Russian (Russian Christian Orthodox)
President: Ramzan Kadyrov (2007-present)
Prime Minister: Magomed Daudov (2012-present)
Timeline: 1991 - Chechnya begins fighting for independence from the crumbling Soviet Union.
1994 - The Russian Federation sends 35,000-40,000 troops to Chechnya to stop the rebellion.
February 1995 - Grozny falls to Russian forces.
May 27, 1996 - A ceasefire is declared, but fighting continues. Chechen rebels seize key government sites.
August 31, 1996 - A peace accord is signed and Russian troops soon withdraw. Two years of fighting leaves 120,000 Chechens and 3,000 Russian troops dead.
August 1999 - Islamist rebels launch incursions into neighboring Dagestan. Russian forces respond by moving into Chechnya in September.
September 1999 - Apartment buildings in Moscow, Buynaksk and Volgodonsk are bombed, resulting in the deaths of nearly 300 people.
February 2000 - Russian forces take control of Grozny, and the conflict begins to wind down.
July 2000 - Militants launch five suicide bomb attacks on Russian security bases. The deadliest attack kills 54 people.
October 2002 - Chechen rebels seize a theater in Moscow, and hold over 700 people hostage. Russian forces use an unknown gas to subdue the militants. All 41 of the rebels and 129 hostages die.
May 2003 - Fifty-nine people are killed when two suicide bombers drive a truck full of explosives into a government complex in northern Chechnya.
June 2003 - A suicide attack kills 16 people at a concert in Moscow.
February 2004 - Forty are killed and 100 injured when a suicide bomber detonates a bomb on a Moscow metro train.
May 2004 - Akhmad Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, is assassinated. Kadyrov was elected Chechen president with backing from Russia.
August 24, 2004 - Two Russian passenger planes are blown up almost simultaneously, killing 89.
August 31, 2004 - A female suicide bomber kills nine people and herself, and wounds 51 others, when she detonates a bomb outside a subway station in northeastern Moscow.
September 1-5, 2004 - Armed attackers storm a school in Beslan, in southern Russia, and take at least 1,200 people hostage, including children. The hostage takers reportedly demand the release of more than two dozen prisoners and that Russia withdraw all of its forces from Chechnya. Some of the hostage takers are reportedly wearing explosives belts used in suicide bombings.
September 2, 2004 - Some hostages are released.
September 3, 2004 - Russian troops end a standoff at the Beslan school in which Chechen rebels had taken several hundred students, teachers, and parents hostage.