The return of ISIS fighters to Chechnya could pose a security challenge for the war-torn Russian republic. The authorities may respond true to form, with repression, but efforts to repatriate women and children stranded in Syria and, in some cases, to reintegrate foreign fighters should not be discounted.
Rights group Memorial 16 Dec announced resumption of work in Chechnya, suspended since July murder of Natalia Estemirova. Authorities 19 Dec reported militant leader Aslan Izrailov killed during special operation.
This society [in Chechnya and the mostly Muslim areas of the Caucasus region] is highly homophobic. Homosexuality is condemned. It is believed Islam considers it a great sin.
[There were] numerous, numerous signals [about detentions and violence toward gay men in Chechnya]. It came from too many sources not to be true.
Fighting on the side of Assad is something that Chechens are reluctant to do as a whole.
[Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic] knows very well that if there is no Putin in the Kremlin, there will be no Kadyrov in Grozny.
Originally published in The New York Times