characterizes Russia’s basic Chechnya policy dating back to Stalin, which looks at Chechens as undeserving of political latitude because of their long history of banditry, among other reasons. This means political alienation for the Chechens, a condition that makes it a perfect breeding ground for violence (Hewitt, C., 2002). Hewitt posits that violence is a response to being excluded from the political arena, such that people will resort to violence if they see the political system as unresponsive to their needs. So when Chechen rebel bands intensified attacks on Russian troops and civilian targets, the Russian federation responded in kind and, in some cases, with even greater force. The group instinct of the Chechens perceived this as a threat. Based on Evan Harrington’s (2004) theory of inter-group hostility, the situation is rife for violence when a “group senses a threat from its government, from another group in the same country, or another government.”
All the known political and psychological theories on inter-group hatred, prejudice, realistic conflict, ethnocentrism and authoritarianism may have come into play to hasten the plunge of the Russia-Chechen conflict into the pit of violence and hostility.
Russia is a melting pot of races, cultures and religions, making the federation a stratified society. This condition breeds inter-group hatred, in which there will always be unequal power relations and even discrimination between social groups. (Amiot, C. & Bourhis, R., 2005) The Russians who comprise the social and political majority in the federation may thus look down on the smaller Muslim segment of the population who are then reduced to a minority or low-status group. Amiot & Bourhis (2005) observe that the dominant group members in such a situation tend to initiate “overt” or “covert” acts of discrimination against the low-power groups. This portends certain trouble because at a later stage, the members of the low