Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 9 Issue: 3

– Kadyrov Orders His Portraits Taken Down, Again

Reuters reported on January 23 that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, acting to “tone down a personality cult,” told people to take down his portraits from public places. “Many people post photographs for their personal aims, to attract my attention and gain immunity,” the news agency quoted him as saying. “Everybody wants to call their institute or street after Kadyrov, but we have to understand that this is not correct.” This was not the first time he gave such an order: in September 2006, he ordered all the large wall posters bearing his portrait to be taken down, saying he had already twice ordered that the posters be removed but that there were people who insisted on “expressing their feelings” in this way (Chechnya Weekly, September 28, 2006).

– Kadyrov Reshuffles His Government

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov Kadyrov made a number of changes to his Cabinet and other governing institutions in the republic this past week. On January 18, he appointed Sultan Abdulkhanov as the chairman of Chechnya’s Constitutional Court, replacing Magomed Vakhayev, who had become one of Chechnya’s new deputies in the State Duma, Prague Watchdog reported. On January 19, he dissolved the republic’s Security Council and made a number of new appointments to his cabinet—among others, naming Khalid Vaykhanov, chairman of the Council for Economic and Social Security, first deputy prime minister with responsibility for the republic’s “power” agencies.

– Clashes and Power Cuts Continue in Dagestan

Three militants were killed in a clash with federal troops in Dagestan on January 23, RIA Novosti reported. The news agency quoted a local police source as saying that federal troops exchanged fire with a group of up to seven militants in a forest in the republic’s Kazbekovsky district. Two militants were killed at the scene of the shootout, while a third died on the way to the hospital. Meanwhile, the republic’s energy crisis continues: Kavkazky Uzel reported on January 23 that residents of Makhachkala, the republic’s capital, blocked Imam Shamil Prospekt to protest power outages (Chechnya Weekly, January 17).