President B. Yeltsin, on the basis of the results of the parliamentary elections of 1993, somewhat corrected the economic policy of the Chernomyrdin government. In 1994-1997 government support was felt by some branches of the domestic, primarily extractive, industry. Due to an increase in the state presence in the management of economic processes, the inflation rate was reduced, the rate of decline in production was reduced. However, financial stabilization was not achieved, which was shown by the scandalous termination of the activities of MMM and other financial pyramids, as well as Black Tuesday on October 11, 1994, when the dollar rose from 3,081 to 3,926 rubles per dollar.
Relative successes were achieved in the process of internal political stabilization. In January 1994, the State Duma announced an amnesty to the members of the Emergency Committee and participants in the October 1993 events.
On April 28, 1994, the leading parties and movements, President B. Yeltsin and Prime Minister V. Chernomyrdin signed the Agreement on Public Accord. However, this document was refused to be signed by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, the APR, Labor Russia movement and other opposition movements. The executive authority, which unleashed hostilities in the North Caucasus at the end of 1994, soon showed a real attitude towards the treaty. After the unsuccessful autumn offensive of the pro-Russian Chechen opposition on Grozny, on December 9, 1994, B. Yeltsin signed a decree on the introduction of troops into Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia. With the help of the military operation, the Russian leadership tried to prevent the Chechen Republic from seceding from Russia, to regain control over strategic oil pipelines and railways passing through the republic, to reduce the criminogenic situation in the region.
Military operations in the Chechen Republic (the self-name of Ichkeria) were conducted for two years in 1994-1996. Only on March 11, 1995 was Grozny taken, March 23 Argun, March 30 Gudermes and March 31 Shali. The destruction of the army units of the Chechen Republic did not lead to the cessation of hostilities, which were now conducted between the Russian army and the partisan Chechen formations. In April 1995, the units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia and the Russian army took control of Southern Chechnya under a series of operations, while at the same time no fundamental distinctions were made between the civilian population and the militants (Samashki, April 18).
The approaching 50th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War (May 9, 1995) and the planned visit to the solemn events in Moscow by the leaders of Western states prompted B. Yeltsin from May 1 to May 10, 1995 to impose a moratorium on military actions. The break promoted a regrouping of forces of resistance in the Chechen Republic . On May 13, the offensive of the Russian troops to the southern regions of Ichkeria was resumed. After fierce fighting on 1-3 June, the Russian leadership announced the defeat of the Dudayev troops, the cessation of hostilities and the beginning of the restoration of the Chechen economy.
On June 14, 1995, the Chechen terrorist detachment of S. Basayev made a raid in the Stavropol Region and seized a hospital in the town of Budyonnovsk. After the unsuccessful assault on June 17, negotiations began, as a result of which the Russian government released the terrorists. The terrorist attack in Budyonnovsk showed the need to change the Russian approach to the Chechen war.
The process of pro-Russian elections in Chechnya was initiated. On December 17, 1995, D. Zavgayev was elected head of the Chechen Republic, proclaiming the course of restoring the Chechen economy and cooperation with the Russian authorities. The fragility of the balance achieved was demonstrated by the January events: the attack of S. Raduyeva on Kizlyar and Pervomaysky, as well as the March street battles in Grozny. However, the death of D. Dudayev, leader of Ichkeria as a result of the terrorist attack on April 22, 1996, enabled the Government of the Russian Federation to declare the settlement of the "Chechen problem" and the beginning of the negotiation process. The end of the Chechen war was one of the main tasks of the new presidential campaign of B. Yeltsin. In May 1996, during his stay in Moscow of the Chechen delegation, B. Yeltsin visited Grozny with a one-day visit.
Hostilities for the presidential election period were stopped. The election of B. N. Yeltsin to a second term in the presidency led to the intensification of Chechen resistance, which made the most of the peaceful respite. As a result of the battles of August 6-10, 1996 in Grozny, the city came under the control of Chechen militants. Under these conditions, B. Yeltsin, not daring to resume hostilities, begins the process of peace negotiations. August 31, 1996 signed an agreement on the cessation of hostilities. On November 23, 1996, the last soldier of the Russian army left the territory of Ichkeria. The Chechen adventure cost the Russian people several thousand dead and tens of thousands of wounded. De facto, Ichkeria became independent. On January 27, 1997, A. Maskhadov was elected president of the republic.
The military actions in the North Caucasus caused an increase in the opposition in the country, which intensified as the military incapacity of the regime was revealed. This was facilitated by the economic policy of the government in 1994-1996, focused only on export industries. As a result, a number of Russian regions that are not connected with the oil and gas complex, as well as the production and export of raw materials, were in a deep economic crisis. The decline in production compared with the Soviet period was 60-65%, which was higher than the figures of the period of the Great Patriotic War. It was not possible to create a stable financial system in the country, the state employees' debts were up to two years in payments. Along with the increased stratification of society, this led to a strengthening of the opposition, which convincingly distorted the results of the 1995 State Duma elections. Among the four parties that crossed the 5% threshold, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation received the most votes (22%), 10.9%), then NDR (10%) and Yabloko (7.1%). In the single-mandate constituencies, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and its allies won more than half of the seats. Communist G. Seleznev became the speaker of the State Duma.
On June 16, 1996, a presidential election was to be held. The leadership of Russia launched an unprecedented attack by the media on the voter under the slogan "Vote or lose!". Strong pressure on the voter provided the local pro-presidential administration. Seeking to enlist the support of voters, B, Yeltsin withdrew from the government the Minister of Foreign Affairs A. Kozyrev and Deputy Prime Minister A, Chubais, responsible for the failure of privatization. The government announced a rapprochement with Belarus, having signed with it on April 2, 1996 the Treaty on the Formation of the Community of Sovereign Republics (SSR). Temporary hostilities were suspended in the Chechen Republic.
Thanks to foreign loans, partial repayment of government debts to state employees began, on June 16, 1996, the first round of presidential elections took place: B. Yeltsin - 35.28%, G. Zyuganov - 32.04%, A. Lebed - 14.52%, G. Yavlinsky - 7.42%, V.Zhirinovsky - 5.7% = The remaining pretenants received less than 1% of the vote. In the interval between the first and second rounds of elections, B. Yeltsin concluded an agreement with A. Lebed, appointing the latter as Secretary of the Security Council and Assistant to the President for National Security. At the same time, Defense Minister P. Grachev was withdrawn from the government, and A. Korzhakov from the entourage of the president. A serious deterioration in the health of Boris Yeltsin was hidden from the voters, as well as the circumstances surrounding the financing of his election campaign.
On July 3, 1996, the second round of presidential elections took place. 53.8% voted for B. Yeltsin, 40.3% - for G. Zyuganov. The 1996 presidential elections, supplemented by the results of the local elections of 1996/1997, demonstrated the need to strengthen the authority of the central government, confirming its viability. There were certain parallels with the political stagnation of the 1970s, including the first-person disease. B. Yeltsin’s health condition (despite a successful heart operation conducted on November 5, 1996) gave the opposition a reason to constantly put the president’s ability to fulfill his duties under consensus. The socio-economic indicators of the standard of living of the population did not improve either.
The credibility of the authorities after the elections was rapidly dropping. Personnel changes of the summer of 1996 were temporary. A. Lebed was soon replaced as secretary of the Security Council I. Rybkin. The former leaders became part of the presidential administration.
The economic course of the government of V. Chernomyrdin remained unchanged. On November 5, 1996, an all-Russian protest rally under the slogan “Salary, employment and social guarantees” took place, in which over 10 million people took part (according to trade unions data 15 million). The November demonstrations and rallies of the Left Opposition put forward political demands on the authorities, including leaving the posts of the government and the president. On November 15, these actions were supported by the State Duma, which was in opposition to the authorities, by adopting a special resolution "On mass demonstrations by citizens of the Russian Federation on November 5 and 7". In particular, it noted: “Mass demonstrations by citizens have shown that the Russian Federation’s social and political situation has worsened, mistrust of the Government of the Russian Federation has increased, disbelief in its ability to lead Russia out of a protracted and deepening crisis ".
For more than 5 months, until the end of January 1997, the State Duma did not approve the state budget for 1997. Under these conditions, it was necessary for the authorities to show readiness for renewal, continuation of reforms, for inclusion in the power structures of politicians-reformers of the new generation. On December 30, 1996, in an interview with leading Russian agencies, B. Yeltsin said: "The year turned out to be very difficult for me. At first there were elections. Then the disease and the operation. It was difficult to decide on it. The decision turned out to be right. And now I am ready to take for solving the most difficult tasks facing Russia. We must catch up on lost time. "