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Putin Visits Mammoth Grozny Mosque

Putin was in Grozny, Chechnya today, visiting what is said to be Europe's largest mosque.

After committing himself both to the reconstruction of Chechnya and the Moscow-backed leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Putin said that all of Russia's Muslims can be proud of the mosque and how it serves as a gift to the whole Muslim world.

Putin and Kadyrov are certainly leaving their mark on Grozny. Recently, it was revealed that one of Grozny's central avenues would be named after the Russian prime minister. And the new monolith of a mosque has been named the Akhmad-Haji Kadyrov Mosque, after Ramzan's father.

Kadyrov Junior was against renaming Grozny after his father, who was assassinated in May 2004, but his reluctance obviously didn't extend to the mosque.

UPDATE: C. J. Chivers has an interesting piece in "The New York Times" about the "selective forgetting" required of immortalizing Akhmad-Haji Kadyrov.

-- Luke Allnutt

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