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Counterterror Regime Reinstated In Southern Chechnya

Russian federal troops in Chechnya in 2000
Russian federal troops in Chechnya in 2000
GROZNY -- Chechen officials have reinstated a special security regime in two southern districts in Chechnya just one day after Moscow announced it was ending the regime, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Although Moscow-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said on April 21 that the situation in the republic has stabilized, army commanders say rebels have been more active in recent days.

Sergei Markedonov, the head of the Interethnic Relations Department at the Moscow-based Institute for Military and Political Analysis, told RFE/RL that there is no connection between renewed rebel activity and the decision to lift the so-called counterterrorism regime in Chechnya.

Markedonov added that the rebels would not be able to amass the same level of popularity they had in the 1990s because their ideology has changed from being Chechen separatists in the 1990s to fighting for an Islamic emirate in the Caucasus.

Timur Muzaev, chief editor at the Public Information Center for National Politics, told RFE/RL that the rebels will continue to fight regardless of whether there is a counterterrorist regime.

He said that although the number of rebels is decreasing, there are still many young men in the North Caucasus who might join the resistance, though not necessarily for religious reasons.