Intrigues continue to swirl around the Moscow-appointed Chechen political leadership headed by Mufti Akhmad Kadyrov and his disobedient No. 2, the newly reappointed mayor of Djohar, Bislan Gantamirov, a convicted embezzler. According to reports appearing in the Russian press, the two leaders remain bitter rivals, struggling over power and over control of the Chechen economy. Recently there were claims in some Russian newspapers that Kadyrov was to be removed from his post and replaced by General Gennady Troshev, commander of the North Caucasus Military District. On November 2, however, Troshev was quoted by RIA novosti as “categorically denying” all such reports.
The recently announced decision that the administrative headquarters of the pro-Moscow Chechen authorities was to be transferred from the city of Gudermes back to the largely destroyed capital of Djohar (Dzhokhar) was described by the weekly Obshchaya gazeta (no. 44) “as a major victory for [Bislan] Gantamirov, who once again becomes the master of Djohar.” On October 30, Minister of Internal Affairs Rushailo announced that this move had been put off “indefinitely,” but the following day, October 31, Rushailo unexpectedly reversed himself and announced that the move back to Djohar was in fact going ahead.