Chechnya, a Russian republic, is a remote, oil-rich area bordering Georgia, whose population is predominantly Muslim. Historically, its residents resisted Russian control. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the territory has been the scene of two wars that caused thousands of deaths and at times embarrassed Russia's military.
Grozny is the capital city of the Chechen Republic, Russia. The city lies on the Sunzha River. According to the preliminary results of the 2010 Census, the city had a population of 271,596.
In 2007 Vladimir Putin, Russia's prime minister, anointed Ramzan A. Kadyrov, a former guerrilla who once fought against Russian troops, as the region's president. Mr. Kadyrov succeeded his father, Akhmad Kadyrov, a fervent Kremlin supporter before he was killed by an assassin’s bomb in 2004.
The government in Moscow has ceded effective autonomy to Mr. Kadyrov and he enforces his own mandates that include the imposition of Islamic standards, such as a ban on alcohol and gambling and pressure on women to adopt Islamic dress.
The territories of Dagestan and Chechnya until a decade ago were all part of the Soviet Union, whether they liked it or not. In 1994, Chechnya and Russia fought a war that ended in Chechnya humiliating Russia and bringing about de facto independence. Chechnya, and neighboring Dagestan, are both bitterly poor nations and devoutly Muslim. Much of the drive to be independent of Russia carries with it an Islamic contingent; in Chechnya, the most radical anti-Russians are those who have declared a "jihad" against the powers in Moscow.