World News

    Chechen Conflict Spawns Terrorism

    Chechnya, one of several small majority Muslim republics in Russia's North Caucasus, has been the scene of two bloody conflicts between separatist rebels and the Russian government during the past two decades.

    In 1994, then Russian President Boris Yeltsin sent 100,000 Russian troops into Chechnya to depose the region's separatist leader, Dzhokhar Dudayev. That military intervention sparked a two year conflict that claimed the lives of several thousand Russian troops and tens of thousands of Chechen civilians. Dudayev was killed in a Russian airstrike in April, 1996.

    In 1999, Yeltsin's successor, President Vladimir Putin, intervened militarily in Chechnya again, after Chechnya-based Islamic militants mounted an armed incursion into the neighboring region of Dagestan. The ensuing conflict claimed the lives of at least 5,000 Russian troops and 25,000 to 50,000 civilians.

    While the Chechen insurgency was initially primarily nationalistic, it took on an increasingly Islamist character over the years. The leader of the insurgency's radical wing, Shamil Basayev, worked together with international jihadist militants like Ibn al-Khattab, a Saudi national with close connections to Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida, who fought Soviet troops in Afghanistan in the 1980s and went to fight in Chechnya in the mid-1990s. He was killed in July, 2006.

    In 2002, Chechen militants seized a theater in the Russian capital Moscow, and 129 hostages were killed when security forces attempted to free them. In 2004, militants loyal to Basayev seized a school in the town of Beslan in North Ossetia, another republic in Russia's North Caucasus. More than 330 people, half of them children, died in that siege.

    Also in 2004, several bombings on the Moscow metro that killed dozens of people were blamed on suicide bombers from the North Caucasus.

    On August 24, 2004, two Russian airliners blew up in midair almost simultaneously. Authorities later said the planes were brought down by bombs triggered by two female Chechen suicide bombers, and, in September, Basayev took responsibility for bringing the planes down.

    While Islamist insurgents have been less active in Chechnya lately, mainly due to the iron-fisted rule of Chechnya's current pro-Moscow leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, they continue to carry out attacks targeting police and other officials in neighboring republics of the North Caucasus, including Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.

    They have also struck Russian targets outside the North Caucasus: In January 2011, an Islamic militant from Ingushetia carried out a suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo that killed 37 people.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora