[QODLink]
People & Power
In the court of the Chechen king
We investigate the story of president Ramzan Kadyrov - autocratic gangster or politician?
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2009 10:40 GMT

Filmmakers: Dom Rotheroe and Antony Butts

Islamic and fiercely independent, Chechnya has fought Russian rule for the last 200 years.

Following a short lived rebellion in 1944, Joseph Stalin deported Chechnya's entire population to Kazakhstan and Siberia and it is thought that a third of them may have died in the process.

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, the Chechen desire for independence only increased.

This led to two notoriously bloody separatist wars with Russia - at the cost of over 100,000 lives – one tenth of the population. The Russians won the second war and turned Grozny into what the UN in 2003 called the most destroyed city on earth.
 
In April 2009, Moscow officially declared the end of those conflicts and suspended its "counter-terrorism" operations, however, in recent months attacks from some regional Islamic insurgents have continued.

Curiously, the man left in charge of the republic after all this turbulence is himself a former rebel.

Ramzan Kadyrov, Kremlin-backed Chechen president, is portrayed in the West as more of an autocratic gangster than a politician, often accused of brutally suppressing human rights.
 
But how is he regarded in Chechnya itself?

This episode of People & Power can be seen from Wednesday, October 21, 2009 at the following times GMT: Wednesday: 0600, 1230; Thursday: 0130, 1400, 1930; Friday: 0630, 1630; Saturday: 0330, 2030; Sunday: 0030, 0530; Monday: 0830.

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.