One of the costliest wars in the history for the Russian Federation. Thousands of young conscripts were butchered. Ended in a humiliating defeat for the Russian Armed Forces. With a population of less than one million, the Chechens defeated the Russian Army (which itself had an active manpower of 3 million). All started with the dissolution of the USSR. Ethnic Chechens, who constituted for some two-third of the population in Chechenya drove out the federal authorities and seized power. Thousands of non-Chechens were massacred by Chechen fanatics and some 300,000 were driven out. After a stalemate of 3 years, the Russian president (a drunkard called Boris Yeltsin) ordered the army to attack the rebels. Said-Magomed Kakiyev, a pro-Russian Chechen led the assault in the initial stages, with a few hundred of his supporters, with the proper Russian forces supporting them. The Rebels soon routed Kakiyev's troops and the battle soon shifted to a pitched war between the foreign mercenaries (from Afghanistan, Paksitan, Saudi Arabia.etc) and the Russian Army (mostly 17 and 18 year old conscripts).