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Grozny billboards showing Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and Ramzan Kadyrov (ITAR-TASS) GROZNY, July 11, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- Security forces are on high alert in Chechnya this week, as the Russian republic's president marks 100 days in office,  RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.


Cars are being searched at checkpoints around Grozny and other towns.


In northern Grozny, one driver was told the reason his car was being searched was that Chechen rebels had received a big sum of money from abroad, and were preparing an attack.


The heightened security measures come as Chechnya's pro-Moscow president, Ramzan Kadyrov, is celebrating his first 100 days in office with a large-scale TV campaign.

The Rise Of Ramzan Kadyrov
Kadyrov dances at the reopening of Grozny Airport

Ever since his father, pro-Kremlin Chechen President Akhmed-Hadji Kadyrov was killed in a May 2004 bomb blast in Grozny, Ramzan Kadyrov has risen to prominence.

In March 2006, First Deputy Prime Minister Kadyrov, who heads a personal army of 10,000 heavily armed fighters, was named prime minister. His reign as premier has been characterized by divisions in the Chechen leadership and accusations of torture. But he has also been credited with improving living standards in the republic.

In October, he turned 30, clearing the way for running for president.


CHRONOLOGY

The fighting in Chechnya has raged, with short breaks, since 1994. It has brought misery, death, and destruction to the North Caucasus republic and to Russia as a whole. View an annotated timeline of the conflict.

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