Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 7 Issue: 26

Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said on June 28 that the declaration of “the known terrorists Dokku Umarov and Shamil Basaev” as “the president and vice-president of Ichkeria” once again shows that it is impossible to negotiate with the leaders of the separatists. “Umarov and Basaev head a group of terrorists, and it makes absolutely no difference whatsoever what they call themselves—presidents, leaders of the gang formations or emirs of the shura,” Kadyrov told Interfax in a telephone interview. He said that the “sponsors of the Chechen separatists” were “taught an object lesson when the militants named as their ‘president’ and ‘vice-president,’ Umarov and Basaev—the main terrorists.” According to Interfax, Kadyrov added, “One would like to know: with whom would one suggest the leadership of Russia and Chechnya now negotiate?”

Kadyrov said that behind Umarov and Basaev “stretches a long bloody trail, which the hundreds and thousands of relatives and friends of the people murdered by them [Umarov and Basaev] will never forgive.” The sooner Umarov and Basev are “destroyed,” Kadyrov said, “the sooner the Chechen people will be able to breathe easier.” He called on “the foreign sponsors of the militants” to “clear up for themselves what the illegal armed formations represented and their remnants represent, to stop financing them, rendering moral and other support.” Kadyrov added, “Each dollar going to the remnants of the militants contributes to the carrying out of a new terrorist act, claims the lives of peaceful people and the sooner the sponsors of the terrorists realize this, the shorter [the terrorists’] time will be.”

Meanwhile, Kadyrov heard some encouraging words from the Kremlin this week. During a June 28 press briefing, Kremlin deputy chief of staff Vladislav Surkov called Kadyrov “a man of courage, committed to Russia and deeply convinced that the Chechen people will have a better life, if they are part of Russia,” Itar-Tass reported. Surkov added, “He has a very dramatic past, and that’s precisely the reason why having such a man on our side is so valuable.”

Newsru.com reported on June 25 that Kadyrov had defended his dissertation at the Makhachkala Institute of Business, Management and Law and become a candidate of economic sciences. According to the website, 13 members of the certifying commission gave Kadyrov’s dissertation top marks. Kadyrov said that his dissertation was based on “practical decisions” he had made in rebuilding numerous objects in Grozny, Gudermes, Argun and other Chechen population centers. He said he had managed to demonstrate in practice that “complex tasks to rebuild the economy [and] the social sphere can be tackled in the shortest possible time.” In January of this year, Kadyrov was named an honorary member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (Chechnya Weekly, January 19).

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