The Caucasus Insurgency is an ongoing conflict between Soviet, Nationalist, and Islamist forces in the Caucasus region, including the Georgian SSR, Armenian SSR and Azerbaijani SSR, and the Dagestani ASSR, Chechen-Ingush ASSR, North Ossetian ASSR and Kabardino-Balkar ASSR. The Chechen-Ingush ASSR has been the most active of these regions, with the Republic of Chechnya gaining control of most of its claimed territory in 1991, and intense fighting continuing until 2009, when the Soviet Army withdrew from Chechnya. The least active area has been Kabardino-Balkaria. Unrecognised nationalist governments exist in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Dagestan, and Ossetia.
Fighting between Chechnya and Russian/Soviet forces had been occurring since the early 19th century, when the area was annexed by the Russian Empire, and a large clash occurred during World War II. The Republic of Chechnya declared its independence in 1991, claiming the territory of the Chechen-Ingush ASSR. The bulk of fighting occurred between 1994-1996 and 1999-2009, after which Soviet troops were withdrawn. Fighting has occurred occasionally since ~2000 and especially since 2007 between supporters of the secular, republican government controlling Chechnya and those who wish to create an Islamic and/or monarchic state in the region.
Fighting began in Azerbaijan in 1988, after pro-independence demonstrations were shut down by the government.
Mass demonstrations in support of independence occurred in Armenia in 1988. The following year, clashes between Armenians and Azeris over Nagorno-Karabakh began.