Grozny: Russia's 'Happiest' City
Published 31 August 2012
Chechnya's capital, Grozny, has surprised many by topping a recent "happiness index" for Russian cities. The poll's organizers have attributed Grozny's success in the survey to the fact that many of its denizens are hopeful about the direction their city is taking as it gradually emerges from decades of war and chaos.
Girls play on the central square of the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque in Grozny. The mosque, which was opened in 2008, is named after the late father of Chechnya's strongman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
The Chechen capital is gradually being rebuilt after it was devastated by two wars between separatists and Russian forces as well as many years of low-level insurgence.
The remains of the former presidential palace in Grozny after the first Chechen conflict in the 1990s.
The exterior of Grozny's Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque.
A view of central Grozny as it looks today.
A nighttime view of the Chechen capital from the Grozny City Hotel
A young man and woman dance outside a polling station in Grozny during Russia's presidential election in March 2012.
A man photographs a girl against a backdrop of fountains in the center of Grozny earlier this summer.
Boys cool off from the summer heat in a fountain in downtown Grozny.