The article is an attempt to reassess analytical categories that are employed by experts in analysis of the Chechen war and the political situation in this republic. The author places the war in Chechnya into a broader context of the collapse of the Soviet Union, transitional period of early years of the Russian statehood, and the socio-political development of the region in question in the post-Soviet period. The author suggests that post-Soviet liberalization and democratization resulted in the North Caucasus in revival of traditional social practices and structures, such as clan organization and hostage taking. Therefore, non-intervention by the federal authorities into the affairs of the Chechnya Republic can only lead to perpetuation of a sort of civil war, which is brought about by differences between a modernized and traditional society. Introducing traditionalism as one of possible scenarios of socio-political dynamics in the post-Soviet period, the author suggests to reappraise the existing plans for solution of the Chechen problem.