Russia ordered to compensate Chechen woman over Grozny deaths

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PARIS, November 29 (RIA Novosti) - The European Court of Human Rights ordered on Thursday that Russia pay 60,000 euros ($88,000) as moral compensation to a Chechen woman who lost her parents in a counter-terrorist operation in Grozny.

Zainap Tagayeva, 49, sued Russia in the Strasbourg court, saying that federal troops had killed her mother, father and uncle in January 2000. The bodies were found in their burnt-out house in Grozny, the capital of the Chechen Republic.

In her testimony, she said that when a counterterrorist operation in the Chechen capital began in October 1999, her family had sought shelter in the basement of their house, but she had subsequently left them for a safer place.

When she later decided to leave Grozny, she came to say goodbye to her family. Upon entering the basement of her burnt-out house she found her relatives' bodies.

Russia is one of the most common defendants at the European Court of Human Rights. Last year the total amount of compensation paid out by the Russian government following the court's rulings exceeded 1 million euros ($1.47 million).

Chechnya suffered two devastating separatist wars in the 1990s-early 2000s. Thousands were killed and many more made homeless as federal troops attempted to regain control over the mountainous republic.

Although the active phase of the war is over, sporadic clashes with militants and terrorist attacks are common in the troubled republic, as well as in adjacent republics such as Ingushetia and Daghestan.

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