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Flag : Chechnya
 

 
Fact file : Chechnya
 
Area15,000 sq km
CapitalGroznyy
Population862,000
LanguageRussian, Chechen
CurrencyRussian Rouble

 

Chechnya

Chechnya, about the size of Tripura, is an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation.
It is rich in oil and gas deposits. Major oil pipelines and railways cross the republic.
The capital is Grozny.
Chechens are Muslim.
Together with the Ingush, another Muslim group, they make up more than 70 per cent of the population of about two million.
Chechnya's relationship with Russia:
Russia began to extend its influence into the Chechen area in the 16th century and eventually made Chechnya a part of the Russian empire.
The Chechens, led by various leaders called Imams, tried to regain their freedom time and again, but without success.
Their defiance continued into the 20th century. When the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991, the Chechens declared themselves independent. The Russian government however did not recognise Chechen independence and Russian troops moved into Grozny in 1994 to put down the rebels. The fighting stopped in 1996 but erupted again.
As the Russians are not likely to let go of this oil-rich region, and the Chechens are not likely to drop their centuries-old struggle for freedom, the war is likely to be a long-drawn-out one.

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