High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The 1999 2000 battle of Grozny was the siege and assault of the Chechen capital Grozny by Russian forces, lasting from late 1999 to early 2000. The siege and fighting left the capital devastated like no other European city since World War II. In 2003 the United Nations called Grozny the most destroyed city on Earth. On October 15, 1999, after mounting an intense tank and artillery barrage against Chechen separatists, Russian forces took control of a strategic ridge within artillery range of Grozny. They then made several abortive attempts to seize positions on the outskirts of the city. On December 4, the commander of Russian forces in the North Caucasus, Gen. Viktor Kazantsev, claimed that Grozny was fully blockaded by Russian troops. Gen. Anatoly Kvashnin, chief of the army's general staff, even predicted the rebels would abandon the Chechen capital on their own, urged to withdraw by the civilians, fearing widespread destruction.