Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 21

On May 23, at a meeting in the Chechen capital of Djohar (Grozny), Russian plenipotentiary presidential representative in the Southern Federal District, Viktor Kazantsev, chaired a meeting of the heads of the pro-Moscow Chechen civilian administration and the Russian military leadership based in the republic. At the meeting, it was announced that Abdula Bugaev, an ethnic Chechen, had been appointed deputy prime minister of the republic with special responsibility for ties with the Russian military. The premier of the republic, Stanislav Il’yasov, had reportedly insisted upon the introduction of this new post. As Il’yasov’s press secretary, Alla Vladneva, noted: “The [military] mopping up operations are being conducted without warning, and at the checkpoints bribes are being solicited, and these actions serve to undermine the authority of the civilian government.” And Viktor Kazantsev commented: “There come many complaints from the inhabitants of the republic concerning the infringement of the law on the part of the military in their conducting of mopping up operations, in the course of which people disappear.” Abdula Bugaev had earlier been a leading figure in the opposition to President Djohar Dudaev and had, during 1994-1996, served in the pro-Moscow government of Doku Zavgaev. Until his new appointment, he was serving as a federal inspector in Kazantsev’s apparatus (Kommersant, May 24).