From: Riz Khan

Chechnya’s forgotten war

Is the country heading toward another conflict and what impact will this have on the region?

Watch part two

The situation in Chechnya has improved over the past few years as it recovers from two wars.

Ramzan Kadyrov, the country’s Moscow-backed president, is reconstructing Chechnya with billions of dollars in aid from the Kremlin.

After the assassination of his father, Akhmad Kadyrov, in 2004, Moscow appointed him prime minister and later president of the Russian republic.

The Kadyrovs fought against Moscow’s rule in the first Chechen war between 1994 and 1996. But at the beginning of the second war in 1999, they switched sides and fought alongside Russian forces against Chechen separatists.

Ever since, money has flowed freely from Moscow and Kadyrov’s supporters claim he is rebuilding infrastructure and bringing stability to Chechnya.


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But human rights groups accuse Kadyrov of creating a totalitarian state within a state where officials allegedly use kidnapping, torture and extrajudicial killings against opponents of his government.

Political observers say Kadyrov’s methods are fuelling a simmering Islamic insurgency.

On Tuesday, we ask: Is Chechnya heading toward another conflict and what impact will this have on Russia’s stability?

Riz will be joined by Mohammad Adel Shishani, the vice president of the World Chechen Congress, Frank Judd, who just visited Chechnya as part of the British parliament’s committee on human rights, and Professor Emma Gilligan from the University of Connecticut who specialises in Soviet history, human rights and genocide.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. Watch Riz Khan live at 2030GMT, with repeats on Wednesday at 0030GMT, 0530GMT and 1130GMT.