There was jubilation outside the Chechen parliament in Grozny at the announcement that Russia was to end its security operation there.
It will strengthen President Ramzan Kadyrov’s hold on power in the republic. Kadyrov said: “We’ve paid a high price for peace, stability and development. All Chechens can be proud the anti-terrorist operation has ended. It means we have won the war against terrorism and wahhabism. We won and restored constitutional order.” The Islamic extremists Ramzan refers to as Wahhabis, along with other militia groups, may have been driven out of Grozny but many analysts warn claims of regional stability are misplaced. One of them is Oleg Orlov, head of the “Memorial” human rights organisation. He said: “While the level of violence has gone down in Chechnya, violence has spread to Daghestan and Ingushetia. There has been a catastrophic growth of mutual violence between militants and law enforcement troops in recent years and it is the civilian population that suffers most.” For now though, civilians in Chechnya will be relieved the focus of Russia’s military attention has shifted.