–KOZAK VOWS TO PREVENT FUTURE CHECHEN-INGUSH VIOLENCE
The Russian presidential envoy to the Southern Federal District, Dmitry Kozak, said on September 25 that those responsible for the September 13 shootout between Ingush and Chechen police on the administrative border between the two republics would face the harshest possible punishment. Eight people – six Chechens and two Ingush – were killed in the gun battle and more than 20 were wounded (Chechnya Weekly, September 15 and 21). Kozak, who met with Chechen President Alu Alkhanov and Ingush President Murat Zyazikov, along with religious leaders of both republics, said the incident was “a tragic mistake” that took place as a result of both “negligence” and “malicious intent,” and warned against any attempts to respond to it “through informal methods” or “lynch law.” He also said that blame should also be shared by “we, the leaders, who allowed this incident to happen, and we will do everything possible to prevent the like from happening again.” To that end, the number of checkpoints along the two republics’ administrative border will be reduced in November and a new single procedure for crossing the border will be introduced. Separately, the Regnum news agency on September 27 quoted Chechen President Alu Alkhanov as saying that he could envision the reunification of Chechnya and Ingushetia, but that it was likely to happen only in 10-15 years and with the consent of the people of both republics.
–RAMZAN BECOMES A PROFESSOR
Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov was made an honorary professor of the Contemporary Humanitarian Academy (SGA), Interfax reported on September 21. The ceremony took place at the Chechen branch of the SGA, which is located in Gudermes. In July, he was made an honorary member of the Chechen Republic’s Academy of Sciences (Chechnya Weekly, August 3). In June, Kadyrov was awarded the degree of candidate of economic sciences from the Makhachkala Institute of Business and Law.