RealNews

Chechen Leader Voices Concern for Missing

The president of war-shattered Chechnya said Monday that tracing the fate of hundreds of missing people was a top concern, but he skirted allegations that a militia under his son’s command was behind many of the disappearances. Since the 1999 start of the second Chechen war in a decade, reports of disappearances have been widespread, with blame fixed variously on the republic’s separatist rebels and the Russian soldiers fighting them. Especially feared are so-called “mopping-up operations,” in which young men suspected of rebel connections are picked up by soldiers, never to be heard from again, locals and human rights groups say. And since the rise of President Akhmad Kadyrov, who took power in a Kremlin-backed October election, reports have spread of young men vanishing at the hands of a force run by his son, Ramzan. Full Story

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