New War Expected in Chechnya

The Chechen administration is becoming more and more criminal

Former press secretary of the Interim Council of Chechnya, former chairman of the press and information department of the Grozny city administration, Ruslan Martagov talks about the current situation in the Chechen republic.

"Two alternative and antagonistic factors can be used to describe the situation in Chechnya today: the results of the recent referendum on the one hand and the concentration of power in the hands of Akhmad Kadyrov (Chechen administration head), the power is becoming more and more criminal. The referendum showed, 96 percent of the Chechen population did not align themselves with separatists, or Vakhabits. One may say, the Chechen society has been divided into two parts: the majority want peace, but the republic is presided by the person, who does not share this point of view. In other words, the Chechen authorities deliberately stake on criminal groups. Akhmad Kadyrov has been at power for four years, and the gloomiest forecasts about the future of Chechnya have already come true. I would like to remind that all layers of the Chechen population were against Kadyrov's appointment, but no one listened to anyone. As a result, the conflict is not going to settle down, terrorist and subversive activities are gathering steam. The preservation of the current regime in Chechnya implies the support to terrorists.

"Kadyrov's appointment was explained with peace and stability that this person would bring to the republic. It was believed that terrorists would all rush to lay down their guns after that. Everybody knows what happened in reality. In fact, Akhmad Kadyrov's appointment means, the entire conflict is controlled by Moscow, Moscow officials have organized the conflict, not some international centers.

"What is going to be in Chechnya in the future? We are expecting a new war. I assume, there is no need to explain, what it means for the state on the whole and for each and everyone of us. Chechen authorities rely on the criminal minority, despite the social layer in the republic, which allows to run the normal policy. In addition to it, Kadyrov has never repented of his activities during 1991-1998. Instead, the head of the Chechen administration continues saying thing like "if Russia does not fulfil its obligations, Chechens will have to take weapons in their hands." Apparently, Kadyrov wants Russia to keep him the position that he takes. Moreover, they are establishing a certain armed group for Akhmad Kadyrov - such things have already happened in the republic before, during Jokhar Dudayev and Aslan Maskhadov's times. On June 4th , the FSB conducted an operation on the outskirts of Grozny to detain bandits from the federal wanted list. A person named as Iran was among the terrorists. The FSB arrested him, and on June 5th, Kadyrov's armed unit arranged an ambush on a road to Grozny. An ambush is not a good word to use here, because they were not hiding from anyone. They stopped the car, in which Colonel Ushakov, chairman of the Naursky FSB department, and two officers were riding - the colonel took part in Iran's arrest. Kadyrov's people took them to the place of their location, and beat them up – one officer was hospitalized with a spine injury later on. On June 6th, they took colonel Ushakov to Grozny, but he managed to get out of the car near a military post. Kadyrov's people exchanged those two officers for Iran, who was detained on June 4th. Nobody has ever made any conclusions from that incident.

"Akhmad Kadyrov commands 4,000 armed men at present, and the number is expected to grow up to 6,000. This is a very large group, which has nothing in common with the state that it allegedly serves for. Kadyrov is like the new Aslan Maskhadov, the financial situation is also similar: the Russian government provides the money for the recreation of Chechnya, but the funds are used inappropriately. In 1996, it was said that the gunmen had allegedly seized Grozny. It happened not because of the Russian federal troops' weakness - the money was used for absolutely different purposes.

"We already know that 20 percent is the maximum that the republic gets from the federal center for recreation works. The rest of the money stays in Moscow, and nobody knows, what it is spent for. A lot of weapons are being sold not only in Chechnya, but everywhere in Russia. Experts calculated, a new outburst of the conflict is to start in September to conceal all those things, and the declared sum would be withdrawn from accounts. No department will be able to find faults with it. Unfortunately, we can not do anything in this situation. We can just talk about it and attract attention to the issue. Our state, the Chechen nation, first and foremost, will not stand another war."

On the photo: Ruslan Martagov

Author`s name Olga Savka