Chechnya inaugurates its first beach for women only

Authorities in Chechnya have opened the first women-only beach in the mostly Muslim region.

The beach outside the provincial capital, Grozny, will be off-limits to men in line with Islamic rules after its inauguration Tuesday. A separate beach for men is to open later.

Chechnya's Moscow-backed strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, has used generous Kremlin subsidies to stabilize the region devastated by two separatist wars. He has relied on his feared security force of former rebels like himself and imposed Islamic rules including mandatory headscarves for women in public.

The beach opened on the bank of a reservoir on the outskirts of Grozny, which has been cleaned after years of neglect. The authorities also plan to build sanatoriums and recreational complexes in the area.