Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 34

Kadyrov Accuses U.S. of Fomenting Unrest in the Caucasus

The Moscow Times reported on September 12 that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov accused the United States of fomenting unrest in the Caucasus and emboldening Georgia to launch an attack on South Ossetia. Kadyrov told members of the Valdai Discussion Club at his residence near Grozny that Russia’s defeat of Georgian troops was the appropriate response and that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili “was dancing to someone else’s tune,” the English-language daily reported. “He started a war, an inhuman war,” Kadyrov said. “The United States was testing Russia through Georgia, and Russia reacted decisively.” According to the Moscow Times, Kadyrov backed Moscow’s recognition of South Ossetia and neighboring Abkhazia’s declaration of independence from Georgia. He also said the West is “influencing” Ingushetia and Dagestan, adding: “We are ready to support the Russian Federation leadership in all areas – military and economic.” On September 10, the BBC quoted Kadyrov as confirming that Chechen units and paramilitaries had fought with Russians against Georgians in South Ossetia last month. “We Chechens are obliged to be on the front line with Russia because we are warriors, and we know what war is,” Kadyrov said.

Roadside Bombing in Chechnya Wounds Two OMON Commandos

Two OMON police commandos were wounded when a roadside bomb detonated near the Chechen town of Shali on September 8. Itar-Tass quoted Chechen law-enforcement sources as saying that the policemen were traveling in an armored vehicle to the settlement of Benoi in Chechnya’s Vedeno region when a bomb equivalent to five kilograms of TNT went off. The vehicle’s driver and another policeman were injured and rushed to hospital. Kavkazky Uzel reported on September 10 that one of the wounded commandos had a leg amputated. Late last month, one soldier was killed and 11 were wounded when two when two suicide bombers rammed a jeep packed with explosives through the fence of the Interior Ministry camp in Vedeno. Reuters on August 30 quoted a Vedeno resident who saw the aftermath of the blast as saying that both attackers were killed in the blast. The woman, who saw the severed head of one of them, said he appeared to be in his teens.