Russia's leading independent newspaper has voiced concerns about the safety of one of its reporters in Chechnya and has pulled her from the region.

Novaya Gazeta said its prize-winning reporter Yelena Milashina left the region Thursday. Earlier, Milashina said she was warned by police that she must take precautions.

Milashina reported that a 57-year old Chechen police officer who was already married was planning to take a second wife, a 17-year-old girl, and issued threats to the girl and her family to force them to comply. Milashina said she was doing more research when she received the police warning.

Chechnya's Moscow-backed strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, denied that the police officer was putting pressure on the girl or her family. Kadyrov, who has Chechnya under tight control, has President Vladimir Putin's support.