I wanted to bring this up, these minor Muslim 'republics' are well known in the 1990s and early 2000s because of the bitter war between Chechnya-Dagestan a united muslim republic and Russia.
In 1991, Chechnya declared its independence from Russia, it is a small period compare to Ukraine, Poland, and other larger nation. Chechnya holds a large majority of the Russian Muslims, while this area is one of the poorest it also holds one of the best history of war.
For those who don't know much war history like I do, the Russians are known to be highly mobile and with a massive firepower and manpower is able to quickly take over smaller nations. However, in a few cases the Russians only won because the enemies ran out of ammo or supplies.
In that case, we have the Finnish Winter War (Russo-Finnish War, War of the Finnish Independence); the Finns with 50:1 ratio, very little tanks, and an airforce that have to fight 10:1, with over 300,000 forces to over 3,000,000 Soviet forces, they hold them off for five months, with 30,000 losses to the Soviets 1.5 million, and a huge cost for both sides with Finland losing 10% of its land and 5% of its important industries. However, the Finnish people remain free.
64 years later, Chechnya and Russia have a brutal war, the republic is poor, with a very high devoted Muslims into the nation, the small forces is force to fight a nation that is much bigger then them. Because many of the Muslims fought in the Red Army or in the Russian army, they are highly trained.
They are master planners, because they are outdated without an airforce, or much tanks, they created sniper fireteams, as the snipers pin down men, assault teams ambushes them and kill them, RPGs are use on tanks, as the Russian infantries are often cut down.
In 1996, Chechnya won the first war, Russia is humiliated, in 1999-2000, they lost, however insurgency are very high and committed terrorist attacks which causes hundreds of deaths, even at a school.
The terrorists are condemned and are backlashes by the community of Chechnya.
Chechnya, a tiny Muslim republic, proved to many people that you should not believes in terrorism and that not all Muslims are bad.
I studied Chechnya Wars and it is really a good read, I highly believes that all Muslims and all groups should read about how a tiny nation fought for its rights to live and won.
I'm born and raised in Chechnya, and i'm an Chechen myself.
Had to move out to Holland because of the war.
I don't know much about chechnya since i had to move out with my parents at the age of 2, i can speak the language and speak it anyways.