Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 1 Issue: 3

On October 31, there were two de facto attempts on the life of Mufti Kadyrov. A Chechen suicide bomber blew himself up when he proved unable to get close enough to Kadyrov’s headquarters to kill the pro-Moscow leader. And, on the evening of the same day, around 9:00 pm, a column of five cars in which Kadyrov was traveling came under heavy fire from a post of Russian federal forces stationed near the village of Bachi-Yurt. According to the Interfax news agency (November 1), “Kadyrov himself would have been hit, but, at the most critical moment, he shoved aside his driver, took the steering wheel of his jeep and raced out of the firing zone.” According to the newspaper Segodnya (November 2), Kadyrov and the head of the MVD of Chechnya, Sergei Arenin (an ethnic Russian), escaped death “by a miracle.” The pro-Moscow deputy procurator of Chechnya, Said Pashaev, opined that the soldiers manning this post had been drunk: “Often the military, being intoxicated, open fire on everything that moves,” he was quoted as saying (Kommersant daily, November 2). Evidently angered by this close call, President Putin, on November 2, ordered that “a commission be created to investigate the incident,” to be chaired by a deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council (RIA novosti, November 2).