Three residents of the North Caucasus Republic of Chechnya, which suffered two devastating separatist wars in the 1990s-early 2000s, had appealed to the Strasbourg-based court saying that their relatives had been blown up by mines planted by Russian troops.
Vakhzi Albekov was killed by a mine in October 2002. Khasain Minkailov and Nokha Uspanov were killed by mines the next day during a search for Albekhov.
In the second case, five Chechens claimed Russia was to blame for the death of their three relatives. They said the three went missing in January 2001 during a mop-up operation conducted by Russian troops.
The claimants had repeatedly appealed to Russian courts before eventually taking their cases to Strasbourg.
The court ruled Russian authorities pay 56,600 ($77,000) and 32,200 euros ($44,000) to the two groups of claimants as compensation and in legal costs.
The European Court of Human Rights has received a total of 46,700 cases against Russia over the past ten years, comprising 20% of all complaints received.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.