On April 16, 2009, Russia formally announced an end to its 15 year-long anti-terrorism efforts in the Republic of Chechnya. This decision meant that military restrictions on the region would no longer be in effect and that up to 20,000 Russian soldiers would be withdrawn. The move also significantly increased the power of Chechnya’s President Ramzan Kadyrov. Kadyrov has a militia that is loyal to him alone and has been accused of serious human rights abuses. He has significant personal power in Chechnya, where neither the parliament nor the judicial system operate with independence. His position has also been strengthened by the murders of seven of his rivals in separate assassinations stretching from Vienna to Dubai over the past six months. Mr. Kadyrov denied involvement.