Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 8 Issue: 11

– Kadyrov Appoints His Cousin Prime Minister

The Associated Press reported that Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced on March 8 that he had nominated his cousin, Odes Baisultanov, who was previously a first deputy prime minister in the republican government, to be Chechnya’s prime minister. Baisultanov oversaw the rebuilding of Chechnya’s main airport, which was reopened on March 8, when it received its first regularly scheduled civilian passenger flight since 1999. The AP quoted officials as saying that round-trip Moscow-Grozny flights will initially run three times a week, and could increase to six weekly flights by the summer. “A lot has been done in the past several years to revive the republic and return it to a peaceful way of life,” Kadyrov was quoted by Interfax as saying. “But the opening of the airport is of the greatest significance. This is a turning point in people’s minds. This means that peace has returned to the republic forever.”

– Patrushev Declares Chechnya “Stabilized”

Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev, who is also chairman of the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK), told the government newspaper Rossiiskaya gazeta in an interview published on March 14 that “preventive measures” and police operations “stabilized” Chechnya in 2006 and that over 300 terrorist acts were prevented in Dagestan, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Stavropol Krai, Itar-Tass reported. Patrushev said that, “these [prevented operations] include an armed attack on authorities in the city of Cherkessk, which could have been comparable with the Nalchik attack in October 2005.” According to Patrushev, police stopped the activities of 150 terrorist and extremist groups, 35 gangs and 501 organized criminal groups engaged in the illegal distribution of firearms, ammunition and explosives. A total of 896 people were convicted on terrorism and extremism charges and more than 700 criminal cases are being investigated, Patrushev said. “Targeted operations returned 546 militants and accomplices to peaceful life,” he said. “Four of them were on the federal wanted list, and about 200 were involved in sabotage and terrorism.” Among those who surrendered were three women who were, he said, “prospective suicide bombers.”