Top Chechen official claims blood feud against blogger
MOSCOW (AP) — The influential speaker of Chechnya's parliament has declared a blood feud against a popular exiled blogger in what appears to be another example of intimidation of critics in...
Thousands march to honor slain Russian opposition leader
MOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of people have marched in central Moscow to commemorate Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov, who was killed four years ago.
Chechen religious leaders re-open landmark mosque in Syria
MOSCOW (AP) — Religious leaders of Russia's republic of Chechnya have inaugurated a re-opened landmark mosque in Syria's Homs, once the symbol of the rebellion against President Bashar...
Report: 2 killed, 40 detained in new gay purge in Chechnya
MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian republic of Chechnya has launched a new crackdown on gays in which at least two people have died and about 40 people have been detained, LGBT activists in Russia charged Monday.
The new allegations come after reports in 2017 of more than 100 gay men arrested and subjected to torture, and some of them killed, in the predominantly Muslim region in southern Russia.
Chechen critic fears for his life as he faces deportation
MOSCOW (AP) — A gravelly voice rings out from the phone's loudspeaker: "Aren't you scared of me?"
The man on the screen, 32-year-old Chechen video blogger Tumso Abdurakhmanov, frowns.
"I'm not scared of people like you," he says, looking into the camera. "But you people are cruel, so I'm always on my guard."
He was apparently talking to one of the most feared men in the Russian province of Chechnya, Magomed Daudov, the right-hand man of strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.
Chechen leader’s Instagram back on, then gets blocked again
MOSCOW (AP) — Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has regained access to his popular Instagram account — only to lose it a day later.
Kadyrov on Wednesday posted a selfie with a handgun and a long-winded text about his love for firearms after his Instagram account which has over 3 million followers went live after nearly a year ban.
Salah’s spats with Egypt in spotlight in African qualifying
Mohamed Salah's series of spats with his national soccer association will loom over the Egypt team as it attempts to recover from a poor — some called it disastrous — World Cup when African Cup qualifying recommences this weekend.
Chechen leader: Rights activists to be barred from visiting
MOSCOW (AP) — The leader of Russia's Chechnya has vowed to bar human rights activists from visiting his region once the trial of a prominent activist wraps up.
Speaking at a meeting with law enforcement officials in a video released on Thursday, Ramzan Kadyrov vowed to make Chechnya a "no-go zone" for human rights activists, whom he compared to "terrorists and extremists" and accused of "harming Chechnya" on the orders of the West.
IS claims responsibility for deadly attack in Chechnya
MOSCOW (AP) — The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Chechen police in Russia's Northern Caucasus.
The attacks Monday in three locations in Russia's predominantly Muslim Chechnya left several policemen injured. Five militants, aged between 11 and 16, were killed.
IS claimed responsibility Tuesday for the attack in the regional capital Grozny and in the Shali area just south of Grozny.
Islamic militants launch attacks in Chechnya, 5 killed
GROZNY, Russia (AP) — Islamic militants launched a series of attacks Monday in Russia's southern province of Chechnya, leaving five young militants dead and several police officers wounded, officials said.
The violence indicated the Islamist insurgency remains active in the mostly Muslim province despite authorities' claims that it has been eradicated. It follows an attack on a Russian Orthodox church in May that left four attackers, two policemen and a churchgoer dead.
MOSCOW (AP) — A court in Chechnya on Monday ruled to keep a human rights activist in custody despite international criticism of his arrest.
The court in the central town of Shali extended Oyub Titiyev's arrest for another six months. Titiyev, the head of Chechnya's branch of Russian human rights group Memorial, has been in jail since his arrest in January on drug possession charges, which Memorial described as a sham. His trial is set to start next week.
MOSCOW (AP) — The lawyer for a human rights activist jailed in Chechnya is asking for his case to be tried in a different Russian region because of pressure from Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov.
Oyub Titiev, the head of a Chechnya branch of the respected human rights group Memorial, has been behind bars since his January arrest on drug charges. Titiev denies the charges. The case is widely seen as punishment for Titiev's work exposing abuses in Chechnya.
ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (AP) — Egyptian star Mohamed Salah has given his first public indication of his disagreement with his country's soccer federation over the team's use of Chechnya as a base during their ill-fated World Cup campaign.
Egypt defends choice of Chechnya as World Cup base
CAIRO (AP) — The head of the Egyptian soccer federation defended the decision to select Chechnya as the base of the country's World Cup squad in Russia on Wednesday.
Hany Abo Rida, however, didn't directly address accusations that Egypt striker Mohamed Salah was used for political purposes while there.
VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Mohamed Salah put aside his highly publicized troubles to score another World Cup goal.
The Egypt forward, who has been at the center of a controversy involving his "honorary citizenship" from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, got one goal Monday in his team's 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia.
VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Mohamed Salah told Egypt team officials and teammates that he is considering retiring from international play because he is angry about being used as a political symbol while the World Cup squad was based in Chechnya, two people close to the player told The Associated Press Sunday.
Chechnya leader grants Salah honorary citizenship
VOLGOGRAD, Russia (AP) — Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov has granted honorary citizenship to striker Mohamed Salah at a banquet held to say goodbye to Egypt's World Cup squad.
The Pharaohs, as the Egyptian squad is known, adopted the Russian region's capital, Grozny, as their base for the tournament, a choice that has raised eyebrows given Kadyrov's poor human rights record and the long distances involved in the team's travels to group matches elsewhere in Russia.
MOSCOW (AP) — Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho, boxer Floyd Mayweather and now, at the World Cup in Russia, Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah. The common denominator: By cozying up with Ramzan Kadyrov, they have all played their part in making the Chechen leader accused of terrible human rights abuses seem like a normal sports-loving guy.
Salah meeting with Chechen leader raises red flags
GROZNY, Russia (AP) — Mohamed Salah was relaxing in his hotel room in Grozny when he was informed an important guest dropped in unexpectedly and was waiting for him in the lobby.
When the Egypt star forward went down, he found Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
The Moscow-backed former rebel had a favor to ask of Salah: Could he accompany him for the short drive to the stadium where the rest of Egypt's World Cup squad was training and several thousand local fans were in attendance?
MOSCOW (AP) — Four gunmen attacked a Russian Orthodox church in the mostly Muslim Russian province of Chechnya, but were killed by security forces in a clash Saturday that also left two policemen and a churchgoer dead. The attack underscored security challenges in Russia as it prepares to host soccer's World Cup next month.
The provincial capital of Chechnya, Grozny, is not scheduled to host any World Cup games, but the Egyptian team planned to use it as a training base.
MOSCOW (AP) — Provincial legislators in the Russian region of Chechnya have proposed extending a constitutional limit of two consecutive presidential term — a move that could set the stage for President Vladimir Putin to stay on beyond 2024.
The 65-year-old Putin was inaugurated Monday for another six-year term that would put him on track to become Russia's longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin.
Thousands march in memory of slain Russian opposition leader
MOSCOW (AP) — Thousands of people have marched down a central Moscow boulevard to mark the third anniversary of the slaying of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
Nemtsov was shot and killed on Feb. 27, 2015 while walking on a bridge near the Kremlin. His death sent shock waves through Russia's beleaguered opposition.
Demonstrators at the front of Sunday's anniversary event carried a banner reading, "These bullets are in all of us."
Rights activists’ car torched in Russia’s North Caucasus
MOSCOW (AP) — A prominent Russian human rights group says unknown attackers have torched one of its cars in the North Caucasus in yet another assault on the activists.
The group, Memorial, said the car was set on fire late Monday in Makhachkala, the capital of the Dagestan region. Memorial said Tuesday its employees have used it to travel to neighboring Chechnya, where the chief of the local office is in jail on suspicion of drug possession.
Chechen leader mocks criticism of rights campaigner’s arrest
MOSCOW (AP) — The strongman leader of Russia's republic of Chechnya has derided international outrage about the arrest of a rights campaigner there.
Speaking on local TV late Wednesday, Ramzan Kadyrov referred to rights defender Oyub Titiyev as a "drug-addict" and mocked U.S. and European criticism of his detention.
Family of arrested Chechen activist pressured amid arrest
MOSCOW (AP) — Authorities in the Russian region of Chechnya are threatening the family of a prominent rights advocate who was detained earlier this week, activists said Thursday.
Authorities are investigating Oyub Titiyev, chief of the local branch of the rights group Memorial, for drug possession, saying marijuana was found in his car after he was stopped by police.
Memorial has described Titiyev's arrest as an attempt to muffle a rare critic of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.
US slaps 5 Russians with sanctions over human rights
WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions on five Russians, including the leader of Chechnya, under a U.S. human rights law that has been a major irritant between Washington and Moscow.
Russia: Formal complaint made over gay crackdown in Chechnya
MOSCOW (AP) — A gay Russian man accused authorities in Chechnya on Monday of jailing and beating him as part of a broad crackdown on LGBT people.
Maxim Lapunov said during a news conference that unidentified people detained him on a street in the Russian region's provincial capital, Grozny, in March and drove him to a detention facility.
Ronaldinho plays soccer exhibition with Chechnya leader
GROZNY, Russia (AP) — Brazil great Ronaldinho has played a game in Chechnya alongside the Russian region's authoritarian ruler Ramzan Kadyrov.
Ronaldinho, a two-time world player of the year, scored for Kadyrov's team as it won an exhibition 6-3 against a lineup of Italian former players, including World Cup winners on Saturday.
Kadyrov himself took to the field and scored for his team, which was largely made up of Russian ex-pros with a smattering of government officials.
Tens of thousands in Russia’s Chechnya rally for Rohingya
MOSCOW (AP) — In an apparent bid to raise his profile as Russia's most influential Muslim, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov brought tens of thousands of people to the streets of the capital Grozny on Monday to protest what he called the "genocide of Muslims" in Myanmar.
Violence over the past few days in Myanmar's Rakhine state has killed nearly 400 people and prompted thousands of ethnic Rohingya refugees to flee into neighboring Bangladesh.
MOSCOW (AP) — In a story July 18, The Associated Press quoted Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, project director for Russia and North Caucasus at the International Crisis Group, as saying that ordinary people and businesses are the major source of funding for a charitable foundation run by the family of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The story should have noted that Sokirianskaia said she got this information from reports by local residents.
MOSCOW (AP) — The White House says it was concerned at remarks by the leader of Chechnya who suggested any gay people in his Russian republic should be shipped to Canada.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has faced international criticism since a Russian newspaper reported this spring that his security forces had detained some 100 gay men, torturing or killing some of them. The Associated Press has spoken to some of the victims.
MOSCOW (AP) — Chechnya's strongman leader has harshly denounced claims that his southern Russian republic has tortured and even killed gay men, denying that there even are any homosexual men in his region.
Kremlin-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has faced wide international criticism since a Russian newspaper reported this spring that his security forces had detained some 100 gay men, torturing or killing some of them.
MOSCOW (AP) — Prosecutors have asked a Moscow court to send a man convicted in the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov to prison for life.
A Russian jury last month found five men guilty of involvement in the killing. Prosecutors on Wednesday asked the court to sentence the suspected killer, Zaur Dadayev, a former officer in the security forces of Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov, to life in prison and the other four men to lengthy prison terms.
MOSCOW (AP) — A jury convicted five men Thursday in the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov on a bridge near the Kremlin two years ago, ending a trial that his supporters said had failed to bring the true masterminds of the brazen killing to justice.
MOSCOW (AP) — A jury on Tuesday began deliberating its verdict in the case of five men accused of being involved in the murder of a Russian opposition leader who was a top opponent of President Vladimir Putin before he was shot outside the Kremlin.
Among those on trial for the 2015 slaying of Boris Nemtsov is the suspected triggerman, a former officer in the security forces of Chechnya's regional leader, Ramzan Kadyrov.
MOSCOW (AP) — The leader of Russia's Chechnya has invited the French president and the German chancellor to visit his region and check for themselves the reports about gay people being killed and tortured there.
The Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported in April that gay men in Chechnya had been tortured and killed by police. The Associated Press last month spoke to two victims of the crackdown who backed the reports.
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — Russian police have detained several gay rights activists in St. Petersburg during a protest against the reported abuse of homosexuals in Chechnya.
An Associated Press photographer saw three women being detained during Monday's protest. The Fontanka.ru news portal reported about 10 detentions in all on Nevsky Prospekt, the city's central avenue. No official information was available.
MOSCOW (AP) — Moscow wants to protect human rights but has no reason to believe reports about the persecution of gay men in Chechnya, Russian officials said on Monday.
The Novaya Gazeta newspaper earlier this month reported that police in the predominantly Muslim republic rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three of them were killed. The journalists who broke the story in recent weeks later reported receiving death threats.
Kremlin: No reason to believe gays abused in Chechnya
MOSCOW (AP) — Vladimir Putin's spokesman says the Russian president has no reason to doubt the Chechen leader's assurances that there's no persecution of gays in his republic, despite reports by a respected Russian newspaper of a roundup of gay men there.
MOSCOW (AP) — An international journalists' rights organization is calling on Russian authorities to investigate threats made against a newspaper that reported gays were being tortured and killed in Chechnya.
The report this month in the respected Novaya Gazeta drew a range of official denials and rebukes. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov on Sunday said international attention to the story constituted a "massive information attack ... to blacken our society, lifestyle, traditions and customs."
MOSCOW (AP) — The leader of Chechnya has lashed out at international organizations that have strongly criticized the Russian region for reportedly persecuting and killing gays.
The respected newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported two weeks ago that gay men were being detained and beaten in Chechnya and said at least three had been killed.
Since then, international rights groups have denounced the claimed violence and asked Russia to intervene.
Russia asked to end alleged killings of gays in Chechnya
MOSCOW (AP) — International organizations on Thursday urged the Russian government to investigate the reported abuse and killings of gay men in Russia's southern republic of Chechnya.
The respected Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta reported earlier this month that police in the predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three of them have been killed.
MOSCOW (AP) — A respected Russian newspaper says it has uncovered information that police in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya have rounded up more than 100 men suspected of homosexuality and that at least three have been killed.
The Saturday report in Novaya Gazeta said it had confirmed the information with sources in the Chechen police and government, but gave no details.
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian authorities say six suspected militants and six soldiers were killed during a firefight in the volatile North Caucasus region.
The National Anti-terrorism Committee said in a statement Friday that armed militants, including two with suicide belts, tried to break into a National Guard base in Chechnya early Friday.
The National Guard, a powerful new security agency created last year by President Vladimir Putin, said the attack took place in heavy fog.
11 gunmen killed in Chechnya by police, regional leader says
MOSCOW (AP) — Security forces in Chechnya have killed 11 suspected militants in a series of separate clashes, the strongman leader of the Russian region said Sunday.
Ramzan Kadyrov said on Instagram that a group of gunmen attempted to launch attacks on police in the provincial capital, Grozny. During the overnight clash in Grozny, they fired at police who tried to stop their vehicle. Police killed four gunmen and captured two others, who have been taken to a hospital.
Chechnya’s leader says troops would fight happily in Syria
MOSCOW (AP) — Chechnya's strongman leader said Thursday that troops in the Russian province would be happy to fight the "scum" in Syria if they receive the Kremlin order.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reacted to Russian media reports claiming that two battalions of military police from Chechnya were preparing to leave for Syria to protect the Russian air base there and perform other tasks.
Kremlin backs investigation of televised children’s fights
MOSCOW (AP) — The Kremlin has called for an investigation after state TV broadcast mixed martial arts fights between children as young as 8.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the strongman leader of the Russian region of Chechnya, entered three of his young sons into so-called exhibition bouts during a televised fight card Tuesday.
Chechen leader Kadyrov hosts “The Apprentice”-style TV show
MOSCOW (AP) — Taking a page from Donald Trump, Chechnya's authoritarian leader Ramzan Kadyrov is starring on reality TV to search for an assistant.
Russian state television Rossiya on Wednesday broadcast the first episode of "The Team" — modeled on Trump's "The Apprentice" — in which 16 contestants are competing to become an assistant to the Chechen strongman.
Televised children’s MMA bouts prompt concern in Russia
MOSCOW (AP) — The Moscow-backed leader of the Russian region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, faced criticism Wednesday after his sons took part in televised mixed martial arts fights involving children as young as eight.
Suspects in Russian politician’s killing plead not guilty
MOSCOW (AP) — Five men suspected of involvement in the killing of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov pleaded not guilty on Monday.
Nemtsov was shot late at night in February 2015 as he and a companion walked across a bridge near the Kremlin. The brutality so close to the center of Russian power both frightened and angered supporters of the beleaguered opposition.