Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 2 Issue: 24

On June 11, the plenipotentiary Russian presidential representative in the Southern Federal District, retired General Viktor Kazantsev, met with the former pro-Moscow mayor of Djohar (Grozny), Bislan Gantamirov, and offered him the post of chief federal inspector for the entire southern district. As had been expected, Gantamirov, a former convicted embezzler, accepted the offer. In an interview with Izvestia, Gantamirov drew attention to the fact that previously “such a post had simply not existed. It was created by a decision of the head of the [Russian] presidential administration.” Gantamirov went on to note that there are currently seven federal inspectors in the southern district, with each of them being attached to a specific subject of the federation, for example, to Dagestan or Stavropol Krai. “But I,” Gantamirov emphasized, “will be an inspector for the entire Southern District,” even though he is to be based in Chechnya. On the subject of elections for a new administrative head of Chechnya, Gantamirov said that he personally wanted the “holding of the elections to be speeded up.” He did not “deny the possibility” that he might be one of the candidates (Izvestia, June 13).