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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gas Pumps Shut Down

GROZNY -- Residents of the renegade region of Chechnya are scrambling to buy gasoline after all gas stations in the republic were shut down by the national guard.

As gas stations closed across the republic Tuesday, the Chechen government explained that it had passed a decree requiring gas stations to provide documentation proving they had purchased their gas legally. None could.

Since its 1994-96 war of secession, Chechnya has been a de-facto independent republic, although Moscow still claims it as Russian territory. It has been engulfed in lawlessness, including frequent kidnappings - and, apparently, the sale of illegal gas.