||The Russian counterinsurgency campaign in Chechnya from late 1999 has been typical for the authoritarian model of counterinsurgency and demonstrates the authoritarian inclinations and mindset of the Putin regime. Instead of increasing government legitimacy, winning the Chechen population's 'hearts and minds' and in this way realising a durable solution to the Chechen conflict, the Putin administration relied mainly on at first mostly indiscriminate and later more selective violence and repression, for which it relied on an indigenous counterinsurgency force under the command of the Kadyrovs, in order to coerce the Chechens in compliance. At the same time, the Putin administration placed a lot of effort in preventing the national will to continue fighting in Chechnya from eroding by making the Chechen conflict invisible, creating the impression of normalisation and reducing Russian casualties. To this end, the Kremlin tried to reduce the freedom of the press and bring the media and civil society, which it viewed as a threat to its war effort, under its control, while at the same time it increasingly came to rely on its Chechen proxies, who in the mid-2000s took over the brunt of the counterinsurgency operations from the Russian military. Thus, although the Putin regime in the early 2000s was still regarded as a 'hybrid' or 'transitional' regime, the Russian counterinsurgency campaign in Chechnya from late 1999 demonstrates that Putin and the members of his inner circle from the start viewed democracy, free media and a strong and vibrant civil society as threats to their ability to govern, their war effort in Chechnya and their own positions.