Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 12

The newspaper Kommersant reported that, on April 11, Putin summoned Sergei Stepashin, the chairman of the Russian Accounting Chamber, to his office in the Kremlin to inquire about the results of that body’s inquiry into the use of Russian budget funds for the restoration of Chechnya. Stepashin, however, proved unable to say “how much they are stealing in Chechnya.” He was only able to inform the president that thirty-five auditors working for him were at that time looking into the use of 13 billion rubles earmarked for the state program for the restoration of Chechnya and into 2 billion rubles apportioned in 2001 from extrabudgetary funds–the Pension Fund, the Obligatory Medical Insurance Fund and the Fund for Social Insurance (Kommersant, April 12). The website of the pro-Moscow government of Chechnya subsequently reported that, on April 15, Stepashin announced during a visit to Rostov-on-Don that he was “satisfied with the results of the audit of the expenditures of budgetary funds in Chechnya.” Auditors working for him, however, were said to have concluded that “the system of financing and restoring the economy of Chechnya must be changed” (, April 16).