Chechnya applied for UN recognition as an independent (sovereign) state was was refused. The reason is because it is the Kuwait of Russia. It is the Russian oil field. The Chechens only applied for independent status because a number of local community villages want to claim the oil is theirs and not Russia's. The Chechens are not an independent peoples which may historically be regarded as a state, like the Georgians or the Ukrainians or the Moldavians. Chechnya is like Abkhazia. It's just some locals who are using the opportunity of soviet collapse to make a grab for as much fiscal assets as they can get their hands on.
For the Abkhazians it is the Georgian Navy and Black Sea ports, which is roughly half the economy of the entire nation and more than half its military hardware in dollar value (Georgia has no airforce or armour, but it does have some missile-frigates that are very valuable and handles a lot of oil shipping).
For the Chechens it is the Russian oil fields, the same ones Hitler tried to get his hands on. Grozny, the central Russian oil capital is the capital of "Chechnya" which is just a territorial region in the transCaucasus district of Southern Russia, it is not a historically independent state. You get the actual country of Russia itself, you go to the bottom of the map where the Caucasus mountains are and while you're still inside the country's historical millenia old borders, you're in Grozny.
The place wasn't named for its people it was the other way around. It's just local villagers trying to steal oil, Russian citizens ergo criminals ergo terrorists, and digging their heels in because the region is right next to northern Georgia and Georgians are kinda tough nuts (a lot of them are Gherkas). So when they say "Chechen rebels" they're talking about Russian nationals working in conjuction with Georgian criminals all working together as a terrorist organisation whose objective it is to rationalise the stealing of the Russian oil fields by claiming a new independent state. And neither the UN nor EU are having any part of it. But NATO is still diametrically opposed to the CIS so every time Russian peacekeepers head into the mountains MSNBC media says they're invading Georgia.
That's what Chechnya is about.