Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 16


Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov claimed on April 27 that the identities of both those who ordered and those who carried out the bombing which killed his father, the late Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, last May 9 have been fully established. “I know 100 percent who did it, and who detonated it, who placed the mine, how it was organized,” Interfax quoted him as telling journalists in his home village of Tsentoroi. “We have completely uncovered this. One of those who carried out the terrorist act remains alive – it is a person from among those who placed the land mine and directly participated in committing the terrorist act. The rest – except for the one who ordered it, [Chechen rebel warlord Shamil] Basaev – have been killed.” “Those who remain at liberty will be captured,” and “we will officially announce it,” Kadyrov said.


A Chechen law-enforcement source told RIA Novosti on April 27 that the rebel “emir” of Chechnya’s Naursk district, Roman Tolkhadov, had been arrested. On April 26, Gen.-Major Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the Russian military operation in the North Caucasus, reported that a member of rebel field commander Salman Mastaev’s group was detained in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district. The detainee is suspected of involvement in attacks on local residents, administration officials and law-enforcement officers, Shabalkin said. He also said that a rebel loyal to field commander Selim Bimurzaev was captured in the Shali district village of Serzhen-Yurt and that a member of Kyuri Iriskhanov’s group wanted for railway bombings in 2001-2002 had been detained. On April 22, Shabalkin reported that the “emir” of the towns of Shelkovskaya and Chervlyonnaya, Suleyman Dakaev, had been killed in Grozny. Dakaev’s group was allegedly planning terrorist attacks in Grozny to coincide with May 9th Victory Day celebrations.


On April 22, a roadside bomb was detonated near the village of Dzhalka in Chechnya’s Gudermes district as a convoy of Interior Ministry troops drove by, Itar-Tass reported. The blast caused a ferro-concrete pole to fall on a truck carrying personnel, leaving one serviceman with arm and hip fractures. On April 21, a large explosion took place at a Chechen Interior Ministry OMON special forces base in Grozny’s Leninsk district, RIA Novosti reported. The blast, which was caused by a car that had been abandoned by rebel fighters and taken to the base for inspection, killed one serviceman and wounded four others. Unknown attackers had the previous day fired on the OMON base with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons, wounding one serviceman.


Novye izvestia reported on April 21 that a conference, “The Chechen Republic and Chechens: history and modernity,” organized by the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology in conjunction with the Chechen Republics’ Academy of Sciences, had noted that around half of Chechnya’s gross domestic product remains in the “shadow economy” but that the republic has the highest birthrate in Russia. According to Aleksandr Granberg, chairman of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Council for the Study of Productive Forces, reported that despite all of Chechnya’s “misfortunes” and economic “ruins,” the republic’s birthrate in 2003 was 24.9 per 1,000, compared with 10.2 per 1,000 for Russian as a whole.