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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen President Restricts Vodka Sales

GROZNY -- Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has restricted sales of vodka and other spirits to two hours a day.

A handful of other regions have imposed curbs on alcohol, but Kadyrov's move in his mainly Muslim region will be one of the most severe.

It limits the sale of drinks containing more than 15 percent alcohol to between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. and bans sales of strong drinks altogether during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

"Extremism, terrorism, drug addiction and alcoholism are equally bad," Kadyrov said in a statement this week.

"I am choosing a healthy life. We must work together to counter the spread of these unhealthy weaknesses in our population," he said.

Chechnya, theater of a war between federal forces and rebels from 1994, lies in the center of the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, which consumes less alcohol than other parts of the country, where vodka consumption is high.

Some political analysts say Kadyrov is quietly ushering in an Islamic society with rules that order women to wear headscarves and long skirts if working in government offices.