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.

    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.

    Basayev was killed in July, 2006.

    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 continued to strike 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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora