Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 31

On September 3, a powerful bomb ripped through the main Russian government building in Djohar (Grozny), killing one woman who worked there. Mufti Akhmad Kadyrov, the pro-Moscow head of administration, had been conducting a meeting of his government on the third floor of the building when the bomb, equivalent to one kilogram of TNT, went off in a second-floor toilet located under the conference room where Kadyrov, Chechen Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov and the heads of districts in Chechnya were meeting (Gazeta.ru, September 5). The building had been opened with much fanfare in April of this year but had soon become “one of the most heavily fortified in Chechnya” (Agence France Presse, 3 September). In comments made to Interfax, Kadyrov described the bombing as “a link in the chain of assassination attempts” against pro-Moscow Chechen leaders. He said that he and Chechen Prime Minister Stanislav Ilyasov planned to conduct their own investigation into the attack. “We also want to find out how it was possible to bring the explosive device into a carefully guarded building,” he said (Interfax, September 3). The chief of the North Caucasus department of the Prosecutor General’s Office, Vladimir Kravchenko, stated his opinion that the bomb might have been placed in the building by the woman, Kizhan Orzhueva, 27, who had been killed in the blast, but no firm evidence supported that theory (Interfax, September 3).