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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Grozny Threatens Planes

MOSCOW -- Chechen Foreign Minister Movladi Udugov warned Tuesday that the rebel republic would open fire on Russian aircraft violating Grozny's airspace, Interfax reported.

The announcement followed a presidential council meeting on "the growing number of violations of the Chechen state's border by the Russian armed forces," Udugov said.

Grozny's threat came in response to a series of flights by Russian reconnaissance aircraft over Chechnya, which secured de facto independence from Moscow after a bloody 21-month war.

Udugov said air defense units, which recently tracked a Russian plane over the breakaway republic for several hours, had been ordered to open fire under certain circumstances.