Avenue named after Putin in Chechen capital

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Moscow, Oct 5 (UNI) An avenue in the centre of the Chechen capital Grozny was today renamed in honour of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Chechnya's pro-Moscow President Ramzan Kadyrov said he was sure that 99 per cent of the Chechen population trusted Putin and the Russian leadership.

''As a sign of the Chechen people's gratitude, the Victory Avenue will now be renamed after the national leader - Vladimir Putin,'' RIA Novosti news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying.

''This is our tribute to the person who has done so much for our country and for all of us,'' he said.

Today's renaming of the avenue came to coincide with a local holiday marking 420 years of friendship between the Chechen and Russian peoples.

Putin, who was the Prime Minister under the late former President Boris Yeltsin also, ordered federal troops into the Chechen Republic in 1999, following a large-scale attack by Chechen militants in the neighbouring Russian republic of Daghestan, and a series of bombing attacks in Moscow and other Russian cities allegedly launched from Chechnya.

Putin's tough handling of the conflict in Chechnya earned him popularity throughout Russia.

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