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Chechen Team Terek Grozny Wins Football Cup Final

Published: June 1, 2004 (Issue # 973)


MOSCOW - There can have been few sports occasions in Moscow as dramatic, politically charged or surreal as Saturday's Russian Cup soccer final.

Chechen club Terek Grozny joined the likes of Newcastle, Millwall and Monaco in Europe club competition after a last-minute goal snatched a stunning 1-0 victory over Krylia Sovietov Samara.

More than just a sports upset - the first division club beating the premier league side - Terek's win was also a political event, featuring the tears of a son for a slain father and Chechens dancing and cheering on the streets of Moscow.

Twenty days after a bomb explosion killed Akhmad Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya and also of Terek Grozny, during Victory Day commemorations at Dynamo stadium in Grozny, a 90th-minute goal from Terek's top scorer Andrei Fedkov gave his side an unlikely win.

"This is for the late president," said Terek coach Vait Talgaev after the game. "He did everything for the club."

Terek's win was an amazing result for a team that did not exist four years ago - and a huge propaganda coup for the Kremlin, which has masterminded the return of the club as part of its attempts to restore normality to Chechnya.

About 17,000 fans watched the match at Lokomotiv stadium, with more than 1,000 Chechen fans chanting and cheering their side on.

Many of Terek's supporters had traveled about 1,500 kilometers from Chechnya, passing through numerous military and police checkpoints and running the gauntlet of antagonistic Moscow authorities and the public.

As well as ordinary fans, watching from the most expensive seat in the ground was Ramzan Kadyrov, the 27-year-old son of the assassinated president, vice president of the club and first deputy prime minister of the republic.

Sitting nearby were Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov and controversial Moscow businessman Umar Dzhabrailov, the current Chechen representative in the Federation Council. All three are powerful players in Chechnya.

Before the match, a minute's silence was held for Kadyrov, then the Russian national anthem blared out. Chechens, with a few exceptions, and Russians stood up throughout. A huge poster of the late Chechen leader, with the words, "We Remember You," was spread over the seats in one section of the stadium.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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