The 10,000 rouble ($329) award - a significant amount in the war-torn region - was offered by Chechnya's federation in an announcement broadcast on local television.

"Every baby boy born in Chechnya on the fifth of October will receive a special cash prize," the announcement said. "In the case of twins, the prize will automatically be doubled."

The Itar-Tass news agency said its correspondent had visited a hospital in the regional capital Grozny and found 16 mothers determined to give birth on the day.