Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 3 Issue: 11

On April 1, Interfax reported that the head of the pro-Moscow interim Chechen administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, had become a victim of arbitrariness on the part of Russian federal troops stationed in Gudermes District in Chechnya. “Kadyrov’s spokesman Lecha Yakhyaev,” Interfax related, “told the press that [Kadyrov’s] motorcade was stopped at a checkpoint. Servicemen blocked the road and demanded a special pass, regardless of the fact that the traffic police accompanying the motorcade, told them who was inside. Yakhyaev claims that the servicemen fired into the air, and Kadyrov had to get out and bring them to order. The motorcade was allowed to pass without any explanations some time later, the spokesman said.” The newspaper Kommersant wrote, “In the entourage of Akhmad Kadyrov they are convinced that ‘the soldiers intentionally provoked this conflict in order to discredit the new [Kadyrov] regime in the eyes of the simple populace'” (Kommersant, April 2).