Russia's Chechnya region has asked state workers to dress conservatively, including headscarves for women and an Islamic dress code on Fridays, in its leaders' latest assertion of Muslim customs.

A decade after Moscow drove separatists out of power in the second of two wars since the 1991 Soviet collapse, the Kremlin relies heavily on Chechnya's strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov to keep insurgents in check and maintain a shaky peace.

Against the backdrop of a persistent Islamist insurgency in Chechnya and neighbouring parts of Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus, regional leaders and rebel fighters alike have embraced an Islamic revival.

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