On Tuesday, the capital of Chechnya celebrated Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday, something not done elsewhere in Russia: over 100,000 young Chechens dressed in the colors of Russian and Chechen national flags marched on the main avenues of Grozny. And Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Russian Federal Republic of Chechenya, led the march in Putin’s honor.

Unfortunately, given the extravagance of the parades, Putin himself did not see the festivities. He had chosen to spend the day deep in the Siberian Taiga, hundreds of miles from the nearest village and thousands away from Grozny. But the Putin spirit can be felt everywhere in a capital that was devastated by two wars for independence in the 1990s and early in the last decade. In those days jihadists around the world embraced the cause of the Muslim rebels, and the Russian military struck back against the insurgents with devastating and often indiscriminate firepower. Large parts of Grozny were leveled. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-K1 – Michael’s Blog