Securing Sochi: Russia's Elite Counter-Terrorism Fighters

Securing Sochi: Russia's Elite Counter-Terrorism Fighters

SPIEGEL ONLINE - January 07, 2014

As Russia reels from last week's terror attack in Volgograd, President Putin is going to great lengths to make sure the Winter Olympics in Sochi remain secure. The elite Spetsnaz fighters are charged with holding off Islamist separatists from the volatile Caucasus. By Matthias Schepp more... Comment ]

Third Wave: Thousands of Chechens Seek Refuge in Germany

Third Wave: Thousands of Chechens Seek Refuge in Germany

SPIEGEL ONLINE - August 28, 2013

A decade after the end of the war against Russia, thousands of Chechens have headed for Germany seeking asylum. They are fleeing from Chechnyan leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who many say is a brutal strongman who ruthlessly persecutes his enemies. By Benjamin Bidder and Maximilian Popp more... Comment ]


Welcome Money? Rumor Lures Chechen Refugees to Germany

Welcome Money? Rumor Lures Chechen Refugees to Germany

SPIEGEL ONLINE - July 18, 2013

In recent months, a huge number of Russians have applied for asylum in Germany -- most of them from Chechnya. German authorities are baffled, but insiders in Russia say it all started with a rumor. By Benjamin Bidder and Christina Hebel in Moscow and Hamburg more... Comment ]

Conspiracy Theories in Kyrgyzstan: Accounts Tie Boston Bombers' Family to Mafia

Conspiracy Theories in Kyrgyzstan: Accounts Tie Boston Bombers' Family to Mafia

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 03, 2013

As law-enforcement officials search for clues about the early life of the Boston Marathon bombers, a number of conspiracy theories are coming to light. Many are based on alleged ties between the men's father and a local mafia boss in Kyrgyzstan. By Marcus Bensmann and Matthias Schepp in Bishkek/Moscow more... Comment ]


Chechen Cha-Cha: Church Investors Linked to Birthday Party Scandal

Chechen Cha-Cha: Church Investors Linked to Birthday Party Scandal

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 24, 2011

A German dance troupe is under fire for their performace at a party for Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, who has been accused of human rights abuses. Now the controversy has unexpectedly spread to the Catholic Church. SPIEGEL reports the 'television ballet' also receives funding from a firm partly owned by nine dioceses. more...

Slain Russian Journalist: New Details Emerge in Politkovskaya Murder Case

Slain Russian Journalist: New Details Emerge in Politkovskaya Murder Case

SPIEGEL ONLINE - October 04, 2011

Five years after the murder of the investigative journalist Anna Politkovskaya in Moscow, the identities of the presumed killers are now known. A picture is emerging of a web of intrigue involving the Chechen mafia, shadowy intelligence agents and a corrupt police officer with a gambling addiction. By Benjamin Bidder and Matthias Schepp in Moscow more... Comment ]


On the Hit List: Russia Hunts Down Chechen Terrorists Abroad

On the Hit List: Russia Hunts Down Chechen Terrorists Abroad

SPIEGEL ONLINE - September 27, 2011

On orders from the Kremlin, Russian agents have been liquidating Chechen terrorists abroad. Turkish investigators suspect that a Russian was also behind the latest killings, the recent murder of three Chechens in Istanbul. Some believe the operations are being planned from Berlin. By Stefan Berg and Matthias Schepp more... Comment ]

Nabbing the Gunman: Suspected Politkovskaya Killer Captured in Chechnya

Nabbing the Gunman: Suspected Politkovskaya Killer Captured in Chechnya

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 31, 2011

For almost five years, Rustum Makhmudov had managed to avoid arrest. Now, the suspected killer of Russian journalist Anna Polikovskaya has been arrested in Chechnya. Investigators hope to learn who else might have been complicit in the murder. By Benjamin Bidder in Moscow more...


A Chechen Strongman's New Toy: Legendary Soccer Trainer Ruud Gullit Takes on Grozny

A Chechen Strongman's New Toy: Legendary Soccer Trainer Ruud Gullit Takes on Grozny

SPIEGEL ONLINE - April 01, 2011

Dutch soccer star Ruud Gullit was a legend in the 1980s. Now he is the new manager of Chechen team Terek Grozny as part of a pet project by Chechnya's hardman leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, who hopes football success can help rebuild his battered country. But critics accuse Gullit, who used to be an outspoken proponent of human rights, of selling out. By Walter Mayr in Grozny, Chechnya more...

Awkward Encounters: The Klitschkos and the Chechen Despot

Awkward Encounters: The Klitschkos and the Chechen Despot

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 21, 2010

Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko aren't just feared boxers -- they are almost universally admired for their support of democracy. But recent appearances with infamous Chechen ruler Ramzan Kadyrov have many wondering if the brothers are worthy role models. By Stefan Berg more... Comment ]