The Chechen Republic of Ichkeria declared independence for the collapsing Soviet Union in the end of 1991 under the Government of Duzhokar Dudayev. While the Dudayev government had control over the capital Grozny, it had little control over the countryside and outlying towns. Rule quickly devolved into local warlords and even ethnic Russian bands fighting against the Dudayev government. These groups had little in common except a hatred of Russia and subsequent rule from Moscow. President of the Russian Federation Borris Yeltsin become increasingly agitated and moved towards intervention. Despite protest from high command of the Russian armed forces in December of 1994 the Russians invaded Chechnya in 3 large columns with the intention of seizing Grozny within a matter of days.
The Russian commanders pressing into Grozny were of a mixed bag of units consisting of regular Motor Rifle units, VDV and MOD ministry of the interior troops. Training was limited at best and moral was dismal. The last regimental maneuvers the army had done were in 1992. This left the Russian units completely unprepared for the task ahead.Having received no training in urban warfare, most of the Russian forces were quickly led into ambushes by fighters familiar with Russian tanks on top of the Soviet era apartment blocks or in basements where the main cannons could not be brought to bear on them. Most units were surrounded and cut off. Trapped in apartment blocks and other buildings with no hope of rescue reaching them. Entire brigades were wiped out. The resulting first battle of Grozny albeit untimely successful was a disaster for the Russians.
In March of 1996 Chechen forces launched a counterattack into Grozny. Numbering between 1500 and 2000, They seized several strategic points and weapons dumps. Russian Federation forces were forced to fight to take back the lost sections of the city and drive them out. Lessons learned in the initial assault on the city were quickly forgotten as units rotated out and were re[placed by more new recruits with no city fighting experience. The final battle of the first Chechen war would come in August of 1996 small bands of Chechen fighters infiltrated the city and seized much of it in a matter of hours. The Russian Federation was forced to a cease fire and and withdraw for the Chechen republic.