From a nowadays viewpoint in history, the Russian Federation quickly gained control over the Chechen territory in the Second Chechen War while the separatist forces had to go into hiding. As result the Russians established a provisional government very quickly which turned into the Chechen Republic and thus they won the war. These facts are maybe known today, but they weren’t evident from the beginning. When the separatists were forced into hiding, it didn’t equal the victory of the Russians. The Chechen separatists were preparing a new independence phase and started their counter-strike in 2001. Most civilians supported the Ichkerian Republic and it took 2 years and bloody massacres and other human-right violations by the Russian forces to get control over the rebel strongholds in the Groznensky district, Achkhoy-Martan district, Vedenskiy district and Shatoy district, while the capital was provisonally set to Gudermes, as Grozny was not safe enough. However, by 2002 the Russian authorities managed to seize complete control, and although they already controlled all strategic routes and all borders already in mid-2000, the separatist infrastructure remained intact until 2003.