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Chechnya: Republic of Contrasts

Tradition and modernity in Chechnya: high fashion, celebrity parties & Sharia law

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Russia’s Republic of Chechnya has undergone a revival after two military conflicts in its post-Soviet history. 

The Chechen capital Grozny
The capital Grozny, destroyed in two Chechen wars, is now completely rebuilt, with skyscrapers, shopping malls and fancy hotels springing up.

There are neither ruined houses nor the sounds of gunfire anymore. Today, the capital city Grozny hosts international celebrities and fashion shows, but it keeps it all in line with Sharia law and local customs.

Heart of Chechnya mosque
Men pray inside the Akhmad Kadyrov Mosque, also known as the ‘Heart of Chechnya’. It’s one of the biggest mosques in Russia built after the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

RTD travels to the land of contrasts to meet Chechen people and see how they juggle tradition and modernity. A Quranic school student, Supreme Mufti, fashionistas, and ordinary people speak of the unique Chechen culture and how it’s woven into all aspects of everyday life. 

Chechen fashion
Models practice on the catwalk before a fashion show. Chechen women are expected to dress according to a strict dress code that implies a loose-fit, down to the heel and modest style.

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