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Europe

Russia's Putin makes surprise visit to Chechnya

Video by Aude SOUFI , Gulliver CRAGG

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-25

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Chechnya for talks with the local premier, Ramzan Kadyrov, amid a recent spike in violence in the Russian republics of the North Caucasus.

AFP - Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday made an unannounced visit to Chechnya, the government said, amid concerns over mounting Islamist violence in the restive Caucasus region.
  
A terse government statement published by Russian news agencies said the Russian strongman had "visited Chechnya on a short one day working visit" for talks with its leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
  
"During the visit, the prime minister discussed with Ramzan Kadyrov the social-economic situation, problems of employment and realizing investment projects of the region," the statement said.
  
No further details were immediately available.
  
Visits by Russian leaders to Chechnya are rare events and Putin's surprise trip came after a sequence of bloody attacks in the Russian Caucasus.
  
On Friday, a double suicide bombing killed four police in the Chechen capital Grozny in an attack which Kadyrov said could have been aimed at killing him at a ceremony to mark his birthday.
  
Last week over 20 people were killed in a bomb attack on the police headquarters in Nazran, the main city of the region of Ingushetia which neighbours Chechnya.
  
There has been alarm over the regularity of attacks on security forces in the overwhelmingly Muslim regions of Russia's Caucasus, where the pro-Kremlin local authorities are battling Islamist insurgents.

Date created : 2009-08-24

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