Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 17

– Kadyrov Recommended for Russia’s Highest Civilian Award

Chechnya’s parliament on April 25 called on the Russian government to confer Russia’s highest civilian award, the “For Services to the Fatherland” First Degree, on the republic’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, Interfax reported. “Since the moment Kadyrov assumed of post of chairman of the government, and then … the powers of the president, global positive changes have taken place,” the chairman of the Chechen People’s Assembly, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, told the news agency. “Grozny and other population centers have risen from the ruins. Today, Grozny has turned into one of the most beautiful cities. Schools and hospitals are being built, rebuilt and repaired; roads, gas pipelines and electric power lines are being laid. Peace and stability reign in the republic. And in these conditions we think that Kadyrov has earned this award.” Kadyrov has already been made an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; received the title “Distinguished Builder of the Chechen Republic”; received the “Hero of the Russian Federation” award from President Vladimir Putin for “courage and heroism shown in the discharge of duties”; received Chechnya’s highest award, the Order of Akhmad Kadyrov, for “support of legality, law and order and public security in the Chechen Republic”; and earned a doctorate after defending his dissertation on the “Optimal Management of Contractual Relationships in the Construction Industry” (Chechnya Weekly, March 6).

– Russian Commander Discusses Special Mountain Brigades

In an interview published in the newspaper Krasnaya Zvezda on April 29, the commander of the North Caucasus Military District, General Aleksandr Baranov, discussed the two special mountain brigades whose creation was first announced by President Vladimir Putin in August 2004. “These brigades were formed, according to a decree of the president of the Russian Federation, on the territory of the Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia and Republic of Dagestan,” Baranov told the newspaper, adding that they have been fully brought up to strength in terms of personnel, arms and military technology. “I would note that these motorized rifle brigades are intended for operations precisely in the highlands. Correspondingly, a system of combat training has been constructed. Regular exercises with the brigades’ personnel are carried out at the Daryal mountain training ground … I can say that the [North Caucasus Military] district has … full-fledged battle-ready formations that are capable of fulfilling and have already fulfilled military tasks. The brigades have also been given anti-terrorist functions. I believe that these formations are playing not a minor role in supporting stability on the territory of the North Caucasus.”