–KADYROV GETS ANOTHER MEDAL
Chechen President Alu Alkhanov signed a decree conferring Chechnya’s top award, the Order of Akhmad Kadyrov, on Ramzan Kadyrov, the late Chechen president’s son and Chechnya’s first deputy prime minister, Itar-Tass reported on June 18. The order, which is decorated with diamonds, was awarded to Kadyrov for service in restoring state power and “his personal contribution to the cause of protecting the Fatherland and maintaining the rule of law and order,” the news agency reported. Kadyrov is already a holder of the Hero of Russia award.
–FEDERAL FORCES LEVEL HOUSE IN BATTLE WITH FIVE REBELS
Federal forces used armor to destroy a house in the village of Novye Atagi where five rebel fighters were holed up and putting up “armed resistance,” Interfax reported on June 17. The news agency reported that more than 140 troops from the Interior Ministry along with ten armored personnel carriers and other armored vehicles were used in the operation. An Interior Ministry source told Interfax that armor was used to destroy the house in order to avoid losses among the Interior Ministry troops.
–MAKHACHKALA RESIDENTS ASSIGN BLAME FOR RISING VIOLENCE
A poll conducted by the Caucasus Times news agency among Makhachkala residents over June 3-10 found that 30% believe both local crime and international extremism are responsible for the increase in armed violence in Dagestan. Some 25% of those polled cited the spread of the war in neighboring Chechnya as the reason for Dagestan’s increase in violence, 23% cited religious extremism and 20% cited ethnic strife. The poll was conducted with the framework of a U.S. National Endowment for Democracy project to study public opinion in the North Caucasus. A total of 200 respondents – 100 men and 100 women – over the age of 16 were polled. They were allowed to give two answers to some of the questions. Meanwhile, Dagestani bomb disposal experts managed to defuse an explosive device near a dam at the Kargalinskaya hydropower station, the Rossia television channel reported on June 16. The explosive device was a deep-water mine equipped with a remote-control detonator.