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Swank 'regrets' Chechnya visit

Hilary Swank has said she "deeply regrets" visiting a concert held on the Kremlin-backed Chechen leader's birthday.

The two-time Oscar winner said today that she was unaware of abductions, extrajudicial killings and other grave abuses that Chechnya's leader Ramzan Kadyrov orchestrated in the region, according to respected human rights groups and survivors.

On Kadyrov's 35th birthday his government organised a lavish concert in Chechnya's provincial capital, Grozny.

Several Western celebrities attended, including Swank, Belgian actor Jean-Claude Van Damme and British violinist Vanessa Mae.

Kadyrov is known for spending millions on racehorses and stars for his football team, while the southern Russian republic he heads remains plagued by poverty and unemployment.

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