President Boris Yeltsin's peace plan for Chechnya is the latest attempt to halt a war that has killed more than 30,000.

The war is only the latest manifestation of Russian-Chechen antagonism. The Chechens, a Muslim people of 1.2 million who have lived in the Caucasus Mountains for 6,000 years, resisted Russian conquest until 1864. Stalin deported Chechens to Central Asia in 1944 for alleged collaboration with the Nazis. They returned in 1957.

Some key events in the war:

Oct.-Nov. 1991 - Soviet Gen. Dzhokar Dudayev wins a presidential poll, declares Chechnya independent.

Nov. 1991 - Yeltsin sends troops to the Chechen capital, Grozny. Thousands of Chechens block the airport; the troops pull out in three days.

Nov. 1994 - Russia sends troops to Chechen border.

Dec. 11, 1994 - Yeltsin orders troops into Chechnya.

Jan. 1995 - Russian tanks advance into Grozny, meet fierce resistance by Chechens.

Feb. 1995 - Rebels abandon Grozny, but fighting continues in villages.

June 14-18 - About 100 rebels storm Budennovsk, 45 miles outside Chechnya, taking hundreds of hostages. Prime Minister Chernomyrdin negotiates deal to free hostages and let rebels return to Chechnya.

July 30 - Negotiators reach military accord, but sporadic fighting continues.

Jan. 9, 1996 - Chechen fighters seize hostages in Kizlyar, near Chechnya, then go to Pervomaiskoye. Standoff ends when Russians flatten village.

Feb. 15 - Yeltsin studies peace options, admits war was "maybe one of our mistakes."

March 31 - Yeltsin says combat operations in Chechnya will end at midnight.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.