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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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Wednesday, Nov. 26


AmCham’s Public Relations Committee will meet this afternoon in their office in the New St. Isaac’s Office Center on Ulitsa Yakubovicha at 4 p.m.


Zoosphere, an international exhibition focusing on the pet industry, opens today at the Lenexpo convention center on Vasilievsky Island. Not only will items such as toys, terrariums and accessories be available for purchase, but animal enthusiasts can also learn about the latest in veterinary medicine and behavioral training thanks to the conferences and presentations that are part of the event.



Thursday, Nov. 27


The Customs and Transportation Committee for AmCham meets this morning at 9 a.m. in their office on Ulitsa Yakubovicha.


Tickets are still available for local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg’s showdown with Siberian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Ice Palace outside the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. Tickets can be purchased on the team’s website, at the arena box office or in their merchandise store on Nevsky Prospekt.


Celebrate one of Russian literature’s most tragic figures during Blok Days, a two-day celebration of the 134th anniversary of the poet’s birthday. The tragic tenor’s work, which led to writer Maxim Gorky to hail him as Russia’s greatest living poet before his death in 1921, will be recited and meetings and discussions about his contributions to the Silver Age of literature in St. Petersburg will be discussed in the confines of his former residence.



Friday, Nov. 28


Join table game aficionados at the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening. Held every Friday at 5 p.m., aficionados and amateurs alike can come take part in a variety of different games that test one’s intellect and cunning.



Saturday, Nov. 29


Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and reptiles are just some of the things that will walk and crawl at Lenexpo convention center this weekend as part of Zooshow, a two-day exhibition featuring not only man’s best friends but a four-legged fashion show, as well as a food fair that will help pet owners find out more about which kibbles are best for their hungry pets.



Sunday, Nov. 30


Remember the 75th anniversary of the beginning of the Russo-Finnish war in 1939 during today’s reenactment titled “Winter War: How it Was.” More than 200 people will take part in recreating the opening salvoes of the battle for the north in Kamenka, a small village situated between Vyborg and St. Petersburg, using authentic equipment and vintage vehicles from the era. The faux battle begins at 2 p.m.



Monday, Dec. 1


Serbia filmmaker Emir Kusturica is the featured guest this evening at the Lensovet Palace of Culture the Petrograd Side. Fans of the director will get the chance to watch his movie “Black Cat, White Cat,” as well as ask questions about his award-winning filmography. Tickets for the event, which starts at 7 p.m., start at 2,000 rubles ($42.50).



Tuesday, Dec. 2


Today is the final day of “Takoy Festival,” a three-week program of plays based on the works of Dostoevsky, Remarque and other famed European writers, whose work is transcribed for theatrical performances. Tonight’s festival finale is “Fathers and Sons,” a two-act drama staged by the Novosibirsk Academic Drama Theater based on Turgenev’s classic about familial relations.



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