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Museums coming to life in rebuilt Chechnya
11 December 2009 - Tiny Chechnya is undergoing a cultural revival after decades of war. Museum founder Adam Satuyev says he opened 'Donde-Yurt', Chechnya's only ethnographic museum, last year to enormous success. Chechen authorities opened two other museums on Thursday in the name of 19th century Russian writers Leo Tolstoy and Mikhail Lermontov who famously wrote about their adventures in Chechnya. (more)

Chechen government, separatist leaders meet for talks
24 July 2009 - A Chechen separatist leader and a senior representative of the regional government said Friday they have met for talks to bring stability to the war-scarred Russian region. It was the first such contacts between the two sides in eight years. 'It's a promising start,' Norwegian mediator Ivar Amundsen, director of the Chechnya Peace Forum told The Associated Press. 'This is not a peace agreement, but it's an intention. ... The talks have been very constructive and very positive.' (more)

Chechnya schools to teach math in local language
2 July 2008 - Officials in Chechnya said Tuesday that local schools will start teaching mathematics in Chechen language. The decision apparently will make Chechnya the first area in all Russia to teach a major subject in public school in a language other than Russian. Chechens, conquered by Russia in the nineteenth century, used Arabic letters before switching to the Latin alphabet after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution and to Cyrillic in the 1930s. (more)

Russia to spend $5 billion rebuilding Chechnya
23 June 2008 - Russia will spend $5 billion (2.5 billion pounds) by 2011 on rebuilding Chechnya, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Monday. Prime Minister Putin said tens of thousands of jobs would be created. The government has poured billions of dollars into rebuilding Chechnya after fighting between Russian forces and Chechen rebels waned. (more)

Chechnya says car production starts as part of revitalization
9 May 2008 - A new factory in the south Russian republic of Chechnya assembled its first cars on Thursday, the Chechen government said, in a boost for the Kremlin, which wants to present the war-scarred region as rejuvenated. Over the past few years, workmen have repaved Chechnya's roads and reconstructed the capital Grozny, once described by the United Nations as the most destroyed city in the world. (more)

Civilian flights to Chechnya start again after 6 years
8 March 2007 - The first regularly scheduled civilian passenger flight in six years arrived at Chechnya's main airport Thursday, in what officials say is yet another sign that normalcy has returned to the war-wracked Russian region. Moscow-Grozny flights will run three times a week round-trip to begin with and could increase to six flights weekly by the summer. (more)


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Rebels kill policeman, injure 14 others in Chechnya
29 June 2013 - Rebels have killed a Russian policeman and injured 14 others in Chechnya, police said on Saturday, a rare clash in the now mostly calm North Caucasus republic which lies near to the venue for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Moscow waged two wars against separatist rebels in mainly Muslim Chechnya in the 1990s but the province has been fairly peaceful in recent years as Islamist insurgents have turned their focus to the nearby regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia. This month, President Vladimir Putin put Russia's security forces on high alert to safeguard the Games due to take place next year in the Black Sea resort of Sochi. Human rights activists say Russia's Islamist insurgency is fuelled by a combination of religion, official corruption, and strong arm tactics against suspected militants by local leaders. (more)

Russia's Caucasus have seen decades of war, terror
19 April 2013 - Russia's volatile North Caucasus, which the two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings once called home, have seen two decades of brutal fighting between Russian forces and separatists bent on carving out an independent Islamic state. Russia faced strong international criticism for its indiscriminate use of force against civilians and other rights abuses in Chechnya. The two separatist wars killed an estimated 100,000 people, and Russian bombing reduced most of Chechnya's capital, Grozny, and many other towns and villages to rubble, sending tens of thousands fleeing. Chechnya has stabilised under the steely grip of Kremlin-backed local strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, a former rebel whose forces have been accused of severe human rights abuses. But the Islamic insurgency has spread to neighbouring provinces, with Dagestan -- sandwiched between Chechnya and the Caspian Sea -- becoming the epicentre of violence. Militants launch daily attacks against police and other authorities. (more)

HRW: Chechen women abused if refuse to cover head
10 March 2011 - Chechnya's strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has imposed an Islamic dress code on women, and his feared security forces have used paintball guns, threats, and insults against those refusing to obey. In a 40-page report released Thursday, Human Rights Watch condemned the campaign as a flagrant violation of women's rights and urged other nations to raise the issue with Moscow. A few weeks after the paintball shootings, Kadyrov told local television that he was ready to give awards to the men who carried out the attacks and that the targeted women deserved the treatment. There was no response from the federal authorities. In July 2009, the director of the Chechen office of Russia's Memorial rights group, was abducted near her home in Grozny and found shot to death along a roadside a few hours later. Natalya Estemirova had publicly criticized the Islamic dress campaign as a violation of Russian law, angering Kadyrov who had threatened her with repercussions. (more)

Chechen rebel leader claims airport bomb
7 February 2011 - A website affiliated with Chechen rebels has released a video in which insurgent leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for last month's deadly suicide bombing at Russia's largest airport and threatens more bloodshed if Russia does not leave the region. Over the weekend, the website released another video in which Umarov also threatened more attacks, saying 2011 would be 'the year of blood and tears.' The blast at Domodedovo, south of the Russian capital, raised strong concerns about Russia's strategy against the insurgents and about its ability to protect against future attacks. The day after the bombing, President Dmitry Medvedev said that terrorist attacks in the country increased in 2010, although he did not cite figures. (more)

Chechen rebel leader threatens attacks on Moscow
6 February 2011 - Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov claims to have sent a young man on a suicide mission to Moscow and is threatening more deadly attacks if Russia does not give up its Caucasus region. Umarov says the man standing beside him is being sent on a special operation to 'wake up' Russians, and if this is not enough more attacks will follow to make this a year of 'blood and tears'. The rebel leader says he can call on 50 to 60 potential suicide bombers if necessary. (more)

Chechnya republic - Factbox
19 October 2010 - Here are some facts about Russia's mostly Muslim Chechnya republic on the country's restive southern fringe, where violence has escalated over recent months, leading the Kremlin to name the North Caucasus its biggest domestic political problem. (more)

Chechnya: Rebels stage suicide attack on parliament
19 October 2010 - Islamist rebels killed at least four people on Tuesday as they tried to seize Chechnya's parliament in a brazen suicide attack that showed Russia has failed to quell insurgency on its southern flank. At least 17 people were injured in the attack, one of the most brazen in Grozny for years. Russia's leaders are struggling to contain a growing Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus. Local leaders say a mix of clan feuds, poverty, Islamism, and heavy-handed tactics by law enforcement agencies has driven youths into the hands of rebels who want to create a Sharia-based pan-Caucasus state. 'The potential of this insurgency is immense, it is constantly fostered by unemployment and poverty,' said a political analyst. 'In my view, the Kremlin has run out of ideas for a solution to this problem.' (more)

Chechnya: What does the parliament attack mean? - Q and A
19 October 2010 - Islamist rebels killed at least four people on Tuesday as they tried to seize the parliament of Russia's volatile Chechen republic, in the latest sign Moscow is failing to control an insurgency in its North Caucasus region. Below are some questions and answers on the issue: (more)

Forest massacre may be linked to Moscow bombings
3 April 2010 - The two mysterious young widows who brought terror to Moscow by targeting its famed subway system might have been motivated by a forest massacre in which garlic-picking villagers were slain by government forces. Both suicide bombers -- one 17, another reportedly 20 -- were from Russia's predominantly Muslim North Caucasus region, home to a fierce Islamic insurgency that has been fuelled by frequent killings, kidnappings, and torture of residents by government forces. Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov said the attacks were retaliation for the 11 Feb. killing of four innocent civilians by government forces in the North Caucasus. The Memorial rights group said the four were villagers caught in the crossfire and then dragged away and executed while gathering the wild shoots to sell at local markets. 'That shooting was just lunacy,' said Alexander Cherkasov, a Memorial spokesman. 'And that lunacy was used to justify terrorism.' (more)

One of Moscow subway bombers was 17-year-old widow
2 April 2010 - A leading Russian newspaper reported that the a seventeen year old girl was one of the two female suicide bombers who struck Moscow's subway. The paper indicated that she may have been out to avenge her husband, an Islamic militant killed by Russian forces. President Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have called for swift action to stop terrorists. On Friday, Medvedev broadened the targets to include their accomplices who help in any way. 'In my opinion, we have to create such a model for terrorist crimes that anyone who helps them ... has committed a crime,' Medvedev said. However, that is something Russian authorities have already been doing. Russian police and security forces have long been accused of seizing people suspected of aiding militants. Some people have been tortured, and many have disappeared. And rights activists trying to document the abuses have also been killed, kidnapped or threatened. (more)

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