Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 43

At yesterday’s session of the Dagestani parliament, the post of deputy premier responsible for the development of the oil and gas industries was established. Parliamentary deputy Hadji Makhachev, director general of the Dagneft oil corporation and an Avar, was appointed to the post. (NTV, March 3) Dagestan is rich in oil and gas.

Makhachev’s appointment represents a further strengthening of the position of the Avar political elite in the republic. Makhachev is also a typical representative of the new generation of Dagestani politicians. He has two criminal convictions. In the early 1990s, he became the leader of the Avar National Movement and chairman of the Imam Shamil Popular Front. Relying on his connections in the criminal world, Makhachev created his own micro-army of several hundred well-trained fighters. The Front’s fighters took part in virtually all of the republic’s ethnic conflicts, defending the interests of the Avars.

Moldova Cutting Troops.