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High-Profile Chechen Poet Murdered In Moscow

Ruslan Akhtakhanov, a well-known Chechen poet and activist, was gunned down Wednesday night in Moscow. Police suspect the writer may have been the target of a contract killing ordered by Chechen nationalists.

Ruslan Akhtakhanov
Ruslan Akhtakhanov
Sergey Mashkin and Musa Muradov

MOSCOW -- Chechen poet and social activist Ruslan Akhtakhanov has been shot dead outside his central Moscow apartment in what his friends have told Kommersant was a contract killing by Chechen separatists.

Less than an hour before his death, Akhtakhanov, 58, attended a ceremony where he read out poems about the brotherhood between Russians and Chechens. It is believed men were waiting outside his apartment where he parked his Toyota Camry. The assailants opened fire, hitting Akhtakhanov in the chest. The poet fell, and then received a shot to the head.

Police say there were no witnesses but are questioning passersby who found Akhtakhanov on the pavement. Police retrieved cartridge cases and 9mm calibre bullets at the scene of the crime. A few hours later, at the other end of town, police found a burnt-out Ford Focus, believed to be the getaway car for the attackers. It contained a pistol, silencer and stolen license plates.

The case bears the hallmarks of a 2010 killing by Chechen separatists of Russian military officer Yuri Budanov, who was convicted of rape and murder in the second Chechen war.

Akhtakhanov's death is likely to reignite concerns of increased inter-ethnic discord at a time when Moscow continues to face scrutiny over human rights abuses in its restive Caucasus region.

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Society

Urban Indigenous: How Peru's Shipibo-Conibo Keep Amazon Culture Alive In The City

For four years, indigenous photographer David Díaz Gonzales has documented the lives and movements of his Shipibo-Conibo community, as many of them migrated from their native Peruvian Amazon to the city. A work of remembrance and resistance.

For Shipibo-Conibo women, sporting a fringe is usually a sign of celebration or ceremony.

Rosa Chávez Yacila

YARINACOCHA — It was decades ago when the Shipibo-Conibo left their settlements along the banks of the Ucayali River, in eastern Peru, to begin a great migration to the cities. Still among the largest Amazonian communities in Peru — 32,964 according to the Ministry of Culture — though most Shipibo-Conibo now live in the urban district of Yarinacocha.

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