President Putin Awards Chechen Power Engineer Hero of Russia Star

Vladimir Putin has awarded Nurdin Usamov the highest federal decoration, a star of Hero of the Russian Federation.

The relevant presidential decree reads that Usamov is decorated "for courage and heroism he displayed while performing his duty at the risk of his life".

Since 1994 Usamov has been engaged in rehabilitating the electric power complex of the Chechen Republic.

Since the first days of liberation of Chechnya's northern parts from bandit formations in 1999, Usamov has been in the lead of rehabilitation of the Chechen electricity sector.

As giving the award the federal president said that it is, in the first place, the gratitude of the people of Chechnya for giving them and re-emerging factories heat and electricity at the risk of life.

Usamov said to the president that 1,300 people are now engaged in the rehabilitation of the Chechen electricity system. Another 400 workers will soon join them. The group comprises specialists who came to help from different parts of Russia and local workers laying power transmission lines and electricians.

Upon the liberation of the north of Chechnya from bandit formations work had to be started from scratch, stressed Usamov. Main facilities were destroyed completely by looting. None of the buildings remained intact, equipment vanished. Over 5,000 tonnes of wires were stolen.

Asked by the president, Usamov said they faced no technical problems thanks to a clear program and coordination between agencies.

Chechen power engineers coped with seemingly impossible tasks, he said. The main problem was sudden firings and bandit attacks because power transmission lines had to be laid in uninhabited and hard-of-access places.

Nurdin Usamov also told the federal president that a program for the development of the Chechen power sector for the period of 2003-2013 has been prepared.