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In 1995, Russia virtually gave Chechnya de facto statehood and independence even though, de jure, it didn't recognize Chechnya as an independent state. And I would like to emphasize strongly that Russia withdrew all of its troops, we moved the prosecutors, we moved all the police, dismantled all the courts, completely, 100 percent.
Yes, life in Chechnya so far looks more like a life after a natural disaster.
I'm sure corruption in Chechnya is minimal.
Other places are also generators of far-flung violence beyond their own borders - Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are obvious examples - but none has as long a history of war, resistance, and terror as Chechnya.
The history of Chechnya is one of imperialism gone terribly wrong. In the 13th and 14th centuries, Chechens were among the few peoples to fend off Mongol conquerors, but at a terrible cost. Turks, Persians, and Russians sought to seize Chechnya, and it was finally absorbed into the Russian Empire in 1859.
I'd been to a number of war zones before in my life, but I had never been in one as terrifying as Chechnya.
A foreign ideology cannot be introduced into Chechnya - were it through an Arab or al-Qaeda. Our experience is rich and long enough for us to be Muslims and know what jihad is.
Thousands of mercenaries, who have trained in camps on the territory of Chechnya as well as come in from abroad, are actually preparing to impose extremist ideas on the whole world.
We need a strong police force - the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Chechnya. We have to get rid of the traitors who have managed to penetrate into the law-enforcement department.
Chechnya is part and parcel of the Russian Federation.
The Chechnya problem is a centuries-old problem. The thing is that today, fundamentalists and terrorists are exploiting those centuries-old problems to accomplish their own objectives that have nothing to do whatsoever with the interests of Chechnya.
You have no right to criticise Russia over Chechnya.
We want peace and a political solution to the situation in Chechnya.
One has to work for years and decades, to conduct negotiations, to stand for positions and points of view, to jointly develop a civilized view on the administrative and state organization of Chechnya.
It is not advantageous for Russia in its present state to fight against Chechnya. The army is a mess. It must be made combat ready. That will take time. Russia has a lot of economic, social and political problems much more important than Chechnya.
I assure you, it would be much more pleasant for me to be an ordinary voter in peaceful Chechnya than the president of a republic at war.
Criminals were coming to Chechnya from all over the world - they did not have a place in their own countries. But they could live perfectly well in Chechnya.
Military troops were withdrawn from Chechnya on Dec. 31, 1996.
The people have already determined Chechnya's status at the referendum - it is a unit of the Russian Federation. Its political status is not to be discussed any more.
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