To elaborate on the unimportance of clutching to the land, former leader of Islamic fighters in Chechnya, Khattab, stated:
“I would like to clarify one point that most observers of the war are unaware of: the conquest of Chechen cities, including the capital, doesn’t imply the defeat of the mujahids or the victory of the Russian forces. In my view, their conquest of the cities actually increases their burdens and forces them to switch their tactics from the offensive into the defensive mode in an attempt to maintain the cities they conquered.
Those who claim regarding the events of the first war knows that the conquest of the cities was neither a defeat for the mujahids nor a victory for their enemy. In the first war, almost all of the Chechen republic was conquered by the Russian forces. Yet, they couldn’t stand their ground for more than 20 months in the face of the mujahid forces, especially that the mujahids have a more powerful state in this war than they previously did, while the state of the Russians is more feeble than it previously was.”