Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 15

Nezavisimaya gazeta’s Andrei Riskin has also expressed skepticism about the prospects for a successful amnesty. On April 21 he reported that, according the public prosecutor’s office, military servicemen of the federal government or of the local Kadyrov administration are suspects in 300 of the 500 criminal cases now open in connection with kidnappings in Chechnya. Each of these kidnap victims, he wrote, “has relatives…Who will guarantee that the men of these families will not now take up arms?”

Riskin also noted a statement by the Kadyrov administration’s minister of the interior, Alu Alkhanov, “that guerrillas who are not stained with blood will be allowed to serve in the ranks of the Chechen police. His predecessor, Ruslan Tsakaev, had been categorically opposed to such a step, and evidently it was because of that opposition that he lost his position. Alkhanov also says that it is the police who will take charge of the distribution of compensation funds for lost housing. Earlier, Akhmad Kadyrov had promised that he himself would personally be involved in this task. Thus it is obvious that the new minister of the interior enjoys Kadyrov’s complete trust. One must now assume that Alkhanov was handpicked by Kadyrov himself, and that Kadyrov now needs only to place another of his own people at the head of Chechnya’s OMON (special police) in order to have complete control of all the republic’s security agencies.”