Russia is defeating the Chechen rebels using an ancient practice, but denying that they are doing so. For thousands of years, the most effective way of pacifying a hostile population was to turn your army loose to pillage the civilians. Rape, robbery and random violence eventually made the locals willing to calm down. Russia denies that it is doing this, but the actions of many of the troops says otherwise. The behavior of the Russian troops continues to be brutal, even though several dozen have been tried for bad behavior. The local rebels are asking for peace talks.