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Inside Modern Chechnya

With the naming of two Chechen suspects in last month’s bombings in Boston, Chechnya has reappeared on the world’s front pages. In Grozny, Chechnya’s capital, there is little evidence of the two wars that devastated the republic over the past two decades. This photo series by Reuters photographer Maxim Shemetov shows rebuilt streets, elaborate new buildings, and a cult of personality devoted to leader Ramzan Kadyrov and his father and predecessor, Akhmad Kadyrov. But in private, many people speak of a lasting climate of fear and oppression. (19 PHOTOS)

The Heart of Chechnya Mosque and new skyscrapers flank Akhmad Kadyrov Avenue, named for the late Chechen president, father of current leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
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The Heart of Chechnya Mosque and new skyscrapers flank Akhmad Kadyrov Avenue, named for the late Chechen president, father of current leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

Special forces stand guard during a government-organized event marking Chechen Language Day.
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Special forces stand guard during a government-organized event marking Chechen Language Day.

Members of a Chechen dance group pose on Chechen Language Day.
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Members of a Chechen dance group pose on Chechen Language Day.

A worker signs documents at a memorial complex devoted to late President Akhmad Kadyrov.
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A worker signs documents at a memorial complex devoted to late President Akhmad Kadyrov.

A neon sign declares: "Ramzan, thank you for Grozny!"
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A neon sign declares: "Ramzan, thank you for Grozny!"

Muslim men arrive for Friday prayers at a mosque in central Grozny.
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Muslim men arrive for Friday prayers at a mosque in central Grozny.

Men wait for Friday prayers to begin at the Heart of Chechnya Mosque.
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Men wait for Friday prayers to begin at the Heart of Chechnya Mosque.

A policeman wears a ring showing the Islamic symbol of the star and crescent in the village of Itum-Kale.
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A policeman wears a ring showing the Islamic symbol of the star and crescent in the village of Itum-Kale.

Women chat at a cafe in Grozny.
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Women chat at a cafe in Grozny.

Women watch dancers at a wedding party.
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Women watch dancers at a wedding party.

A portrait of former leader Akhmad Kadyrov hangs behind a caged fighting ring in the village of Goryachevodsk.
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A portrait of former leader Akhmad Kadyrov hangs behind a caged fighting ring in the village of Goryachevodsk.

Advertising covers a market in central Grozny.
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Advertising covers a market in central Grozny.

Fans cheer for the Terek Grozny soccer team at a match against Amkar Perm at the Akhmad Arena.
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Fans cheer for the Terek Grozny soccer team at a match against Amkar Perm at the Akhmad Arena.

Boys watch as men prepare to pray at a mosque in Grozny.
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Boys watch as men prepare to pray at a mosque in Grozny.

Students attend a lesson in Sharia law at the Russian Islamic University in Grozny.
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Students attend a lesson in Sharia law at the Russian Islamic University in Grozny.

A mosque in Argun Gorge
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A mosque in Argun Gorge

People wait for a bus outside Chiri-Yurt, the village where the Tsarnaev family has its roots. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are the two main suspects in the April 15 bombings in Boston.
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People wait for a bus outside Chiri-Yurt, the village where the Tsarnaev family has its roots. Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev are the two main suspects in the April 15 bombings in Boston.

A boy walks along a street in Chiri-Yurt.
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A boy walks along a street in Chiri-Yurt.

An aerial view of Grozny's rebuilt downtown
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An aerial view of Grozny's rebuilt downtown

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