Russia: December 12, 2003

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 Fighting continues in Chechnya. While more pro-Russian Chechens are taking over security and police functions, the rebels keep attacking anyone in authority. Most of the rebel groups are also involved in criminal activities. Kidnapping and smuggling are the main activities, including kidnapping Russian soldiers for ransom. The criminal activities, especially when they spread to adjacent parts of Russia, are one of the reasons for the government crackdown, and show no signs of going away.

 

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