At approximately 11:00 p.m. on April 12, Adam (Shamaluv) Deniev, a deputy chairman of the pro-Moscow Chechen administration and a special representative of that body to the countries of the Middle East and Africa, was killed by a bomb blast as he was making a broadcast over a local TV channel in his home village of Avtury. Deniev was the highest pro-Moscow Chechen official to be assassinated during the current conflict. The head of the pro-Moscow administration, Akhmad Kadyrov, maintained categorically: “Maskhadov ordered it. This is clear.” The online daily Gazeta.ru observed: “Many of those who knew Deniev say that he sometimes even introduced himself as an FSB colonel. According to our sources, Deniev, of course, had never been an FSB officer, but it is quite likely that the special services could use his assistance in some operations.” Other commentators noted that, while Deniev could indeed have been killed by the separatists, he had other enemies as well. His recent attempt to organize a pan-Chechen congress, it was pointed out, went contrary to the wishes of his putative superior, Kadyrov. A politically ambitious individual, Deniev had garnered 20 percent of the votes cast in the year 2000 for the seat in the Russian State Duma which was captured by retired MVD general Aslambek Aslakhanov (Gazeta.ru, April 13).
On April 13, the Russian special services reportedly thwarted an assassination attempt against Akhmad Kadyrov (Russian agencies, April 16). On the following day, the deputy prosecutor of the pro-Moscow Chechen government, Vladimir Moroz, a Slav, was gunned down “in a hail of bullets” in the city of Djohar as he was returning from investigating the murder of three women in the capital (Agence France Presse, April 14; Gazeta.ru, April 16).
It was announced on 16 April that Akhmad Kadyrov had issued a decree banning all public gatherings–congresses, conferences, mass meetings, processions and even large outdoor wedding parties–in the republic for an indefinite period of time. Gazeta.ru commented: “By this action Kadyrov was admitting that the FSB… is not in a position to cope with the partisan attacks. The Chekists knew about the preparation of the this decree and did not hinder its coming out” (Radio Ekho Moskvy, Gazeta.ru, April 16).