Strasbourg Levies Record $2.3M Fine

The Russian government has been ordered to pay a record fine of 1.7 million euros ($2.3 million) to 29 residents of a Chechen village bombed by the Air Force during a military campaign in 2000, Kommersant reported.

The village of Katyr-Yurt was attacked because insurgents retreating from Grozny tried to shelter there, the report said Friday. But it was earlier designated as a safety zone for refugees, dozens of whom were killed in the bombing.

The official death toll for civilians is 46, though rights activists say up to 150 people might have been killed. No one has been punished over the incident even though the European Court of Human Rights ordered Russia in 2005 to conduct an investigation.

The court slapped the record fine on the government Thursday in a ruling made by a board of seven judges, including one Russian. Moscow has not said whether it will appeal as allowed within three months.

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