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Chechens Ban Energy Drinks

GROZNY — Chechnya is planning to ban the sale of non-alcoholic energy drinks such as Red Bull to minors under 18 years old, saying the beverages are un-Islamic and dangerous, health officials said Monday.

"Energy drinks are comparable to beer," Chechen Deputy Health Minister Rukman Bartiyev said, adding that they were harmful to the health.

The proposed ban was met with praise from the more conservative sectors of society but angered ordinary Chechens who are growing increasingly frustrated at laws that only apply to Chechnya and sometimes contradict the Russian Constitution. "We are building a small Islamic state in Russia that looks like Dubai," said a Grozny resident who gave his name only as Aset, 41.


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