Chechnya’s chief mufti, Salakh Mezhiyev, leads a prayer for a delegation of Chechen officials in the courtyard of the damaged Great Mosque of Aleppo.
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Russia's mostly Muslim republic of Chechnya is becoming a major player in rebuilding war-ravaged Syria.murky charitable foundation run by the family of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov is restoring Aleppo's landmark mosque.More recently, the foundation turned its sights to Syria.While no one doubts Syria needs all the help it can get after seven years of civil war, human rights activists see sinister and self-serving objectives in the Kadyrov Foundation's undertaking. They allege that the organization has been used as Kadyrov's private piggy bank – one filled by compulsory contributions from the Chechen people.Kadyrov has ruled predominantly Muslim Chechnya since the 2004 assassination of his father, a separatist leader who switched sides to support the Russian government after two bloody wars in the 1990s.When Russia decided to send military police to Syria last December, the first battalion that was dispatched there was from Chechnya.As part of the extensive coverage of Kadyrov's charity work in Chechnya, the local state-owned television network in January ran a half-hour feature about a Chechen delegation's trip to Syria.
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