Russia has ended an anti-terror operation in its war-torn southern region of Chechnya that has been in place for a decade, the national anti-terror committee said on Thursday.
The head of the Federal Security Service (FSB, ex-KGB) Alexander Bortnikov "cancelled the decree imposing an anti-terror operation on the territory of Chechnya, effective from midnight", the committee said in a statement quoted by Russian news agencies. "The decision is aimed at creating the conditions for the future normalization of the situation in the republic, its reconstruction and development of its socio-economic sphere," it said.
The decree ordering the start of the "counter-terrorist operation" was passed under late president Boris Yeltsin in 1999, just months before he resigned and installed Vladimir Putin at the helm.
Russia fought two full-scale wars with separatist forces in Chechnya after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the situation has largely stabilised in recent years under strongman pro-Moscow local leader Ramzan Kadyrov.