ABSTRACT

This chapter advances a detailed account of the brutalisation paradigm applied to an empirical case study. Evidence extracted from in-depth interviews with eyewitnesses of the Second Russian-Chechen War is integrated with secondary sources to provide a thorough analysis of Russia’s COIN operations. The inclusion of additional examples taken from past and present brutalisation-centred COIN campaigns supports the empirical findings extrapolated from the principal case study. The second half of this chapter critically evaluates the results achieved by the Russians in Chechnya, problematising several misconceptions that have long accompanied the study of controversial approaches to COIN warfare. In the last section, this chapter extrapolates from the analysis of Russia’s COIN experience in Chechnya a list of takeaways customised for Western practitioners.