RealNews

Terrorism Plagues Chechnya on the Eve of Its Referendum

Russian-linked disappearances and assassinations have become part of life for Chechens, who vote on a new constitution today. As Chechens prepare for a referendum on their future today, the disappearances and assassinations continue. There have also been a growing number of reports that missing men have been blown up — whether while dead or alive is unclear. International and Russian human rights organizations and liberal parliamentary deputies have urged that the referendum, on a Moscow-backed constitution granting limited autonomy to Chechnya within Russia, be abandoned. Critics argue that the continuing violence and warfare prevent the vote from being fair. There are also fears that fraud will taint the referendum, as it did the 1995 Chechen vote, overseen by Russian authorities, and won by pro-Moscow candidate Doku Zavgayev. Full Story

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