Grozny, RUSSIA, 2011 - From left to right: Elita (18), Hava (17), Milana (18), Maryam (18), Zareta (20) on the central square in Grozny. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov ordered his ministers to make these holidays a time to remember in the capital, Grozny. The official touches include a monumental Christmas tree in the center of that beleaguered city -- one that is said to be second in size in Russia to the Kremlin's own. After an unsuccessful search far and wide for a suitably ostentatious tree, planners decided to fasten together smaller trees to produce a massive centerpiece that lacked only a dusting of snow during unseasonably warm temperatures in the area. But Kadyrov had an answer for that, too. He ordered Grozny's mayor "to organize snowfall on New Year's Eve." If that fails, local authorities were expected to truck snow to Grozny's central square to make it feel more festive. The only conspicuous reminder of the city's travails being the heightened security and metal detectors all around that same square.
RH110105_SP3201_Centr_square
Grozny, RUSSIA, 2011 - From left to right: Elita (18), Hava (17), Milana (18), Maryam (18), Zareta (20) on the central square in Grozny. Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov ordered his ministers to make these holidays a time to remember in the capital, Grozny. The official touches include a monumental Christmas tree in the center of that beleaguered city -- one that is said to be second in size in Russia to the Kremlin's own. After an unsuccessful search far and wide for a suitably ostentatious tree, planners decided to fasten together smaller trees to produce a massive centerpiece that lacked only a dusting of snow during unseasonably warm temperatures in the area. But Kadyrov had an answer for that, too. He ordered Grozny's mayor "to organize snowfall on New Year's Eve." If that fails, local authorities were expected to truck snow to Grozny's central square to make it feel more festive. The only conspicuous reminder of the city's travails being the heightened security and metal detectors all around that same square.

Filename: RH110105_SP3201_Centr_square.jpg
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Date: 5 Jan 2011
Location: Grozny Chechnya Russia
Credit: © Rob Hornstra / The Sochi Project
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