Russia Ends Chechnya Operation
Russia says it has ended its 10 year military operation in the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya. Moscow says stability has returned to the region, torn apart by two wars since the collapse of the Soviet Union. But as Nadim Baba reports, the peace between Russia and Chechen fighters is not necessarily mutually agreed (2:15):
Russia says it has ended a decade-long operation against separatist fighters in Chechnya, in a move that could see thousands of troops withdrawn from the territory.
Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, ordered the move, which took effect on Thursday, Russia’s anti-terror committee said.
About 20,000 troops are expected to pull out.
A committee statement read: “The decision is aimed at creating the conditions for the future normalisation of the situation in the republic, its reconstruction and development of its socio-economic sphere.”
Chechnya has been badly damaged during two wars with Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The population is regularly subjected to curfews, roadblocks, limitations on journalists, spot searches and detentions.
Critics argue that major violations of human rights have been carried out in the former breakaway republic under the auspices of the military presence.
People living in Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, cheered and waved Russian and Chechen flags in reaction to Thursday’s news.
Nikolaus von Twickel, a reporter from the Moscow Times, told Al Jazeera that while the decision to end the operation was likely to be welcomed by most people in Chechnya, it was not unexpected.
“The situation on the ground has become relatively stable. So the news this morning wasn’t that much of a surprise really,” he said. >>>
‘Chechens want stability and cooperation’
Chechens want to demonstrate that they are peaceful people willing to live in a stable part of the Russian Federation, said State Duma Deputy Vladimir Pligin (6:28):
In depth: Chechnya’s battle for independence