Chechnya declared its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. 1994 saw Russia send in troops to combat the independence movement, and to repossess the territory and maintain its control over the Baku-Novorossiysk oil route. In 1996 Russian troops were withdrawn under the terms of a peace agreement, and Chechnya became effectively independent. However, hostilities resumed in 1999 when Russia re-invaded Chechnya and seized the capital. To date, more than 250,000 civilians have fled to Ingushetia, and Russia has been severely criticised by the international community for its alleged human rights abuses during this conflict.