BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia 'ends Chechnya operation'Russia has ended its decade-long "counter-terrorism operation" against separatist rebels in the southern republic of Chechnya, officials say.
The move aimed "to create conditions to further normalise the situation", the National Anti-terrorist Committee said.
Russian forces have fought two wars in the mainly Muslim republic since 1994.
Moscow says Chechnya has stabilised under its pro-Kremlin President, Ramzan Kadyrov, but human rights groups accuse his militias of widespread abuses.
Sporadic clashes persist in Chechnya, however, and violence continues in the neighbouring regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.
Correspondents say Mr Kadyrov rules over Chechnya by fear. Human rights groups have documented allegations of kidnappings, torture and murder of the president's opponents.
Mr Kadyrov has dismissed such claims and denied any involvement.