This essay aims to analyse the First Chechen War (1994-1996) as a fundamental conflict that boosted the resentments between the parties. Although it is not an extensive compilation, it aims to summarise the main elements around the onset of the war by collecting the main ideas published by the academic community. First, it will describe the origins of the conflict, including elements and situations that affected the dynamics of the war. Second, it will analyse why this case should be considered as a civil war by discussing its characteristics. Third, it will summarise some relevant theories of how civil wars start. Fourth, it will analyse the First Chechen War in light of the civil war onset theories provided. Finally, insights will be offered for future discussion on the topic.