Relations between the authorities in Chechnya and Dagestan continued to founder last week, with Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov claiming in an interview published on April 29 in Komsomolskaya pravda that Shamil Basaev is hiding out in Dagestan. Kadyrov told the newspaper that he did not know Basaev’s exact whereabouts, and that if did, he would have killed Basaev himself. On April 27, Kadyrov claimed that “terrorists who commit serious crimes in Chechnya” come into the republic from Dagestan, where they rest and “muster their strength” (see Chechnya Weekly, April 28).
Kadyrov repeated his vow to kill Basaev by the May 9 Victory Day holiday. “I assure you that I have no other business than to hunt down the devil and destroy him,” Interfax quoted Kadyrov as saying on April 29. Kadyrov also repeated his claim that everyone involved in the murder of his father, Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, in a bombing at Grozny’s Dinamo Stadium last May 9, has been eliminated, except for Basaev – who, according to Kadyrov, ordered his father’s murder – and one of the stadium bombing’s five perpetrators. Kadyrov ruled out the possibility of a trial for the participants in the assassination. “I will blast them to hell,” he said. “If we don’t get them, it will be a shame for all Chechens. I must take revenge for my father. That is our tradition.”