August 11th 2008 · Prague Watchdog / Dzhambulat Are · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Kadyrov destroys "Hollywood"

Kadyrov destroys "Hollywood"

By Dzhambulat Are

GROZNY, Chechnya – One might think that Ramzan Kadyrov could no longer be a source of surprise to his fellow citizens, who are accustomed to anything by now. Well, unless he suddenly declared war on the Kremlin, say, or held elections of his own. Dwarf dictatorships suffer from a condition akin to drug addiction – they need constant proof of the love and adoration of their people.

But the Kremlin seems to have no particular worries. Ramzan may be young, but he has already managed to acquire the pragmatism essential to an official of his level. For this reason he will not risk his position, despite his apparent uncontrollability: the Chechen politician keeps the situation within certain bounds which he is not supposed to break.

But if Kadyrov is observing the rules of the game on the top level, on the floors below the Chechen kaleidoscope sometimes displays the most bizarre combinations.

On August 4 two former members of the now-disbanded “Gorets” special detachment, Ibragim Makayev and Ruslan Isayev, went on trial in the Oktyabrsky district court in Grozny. After Movladi Baysarov, their former commander, was shot in the centre of Moscow in November 2006, the fighters of this unit, who worked under the cover of FSB, did not resist Kadyrov for long. Almost immediately after their leader’s death they were sent back to their homes after being disarmed and humiliated in every way. And now they are quietly being hunted down and put on trial.

Isayev and Makayev were arrested by law enforcement authorities in December 2006. The investigation was led by Grozny’s Zavodsky district prosecutor’s office, which after an inquiry in May 2007 referred the case to court. However, all the Zavodsky district court judges without exception flatly refused to take part in the judicial process. After that the Chechen Republic’s Supreme Court sent the criminal case for consideration in the Grozny’s Oktyabrsky district court, where it was not accepted until September 2007.

On July 17, 2008 the Zavodskoy district’s acting public prosecutor Oleg Remezov demanded that the defendants be found guilty and given suitable punishment. During an adjournment, when the judges exited to chambers, some "friends" of the defendants assailed the prosecutor. One of them, holding the state functionary in an unaffectionate embrace, began to twist his arm. A moment later, the prosecutor was jumped by three more armed men, one of whom put an assault rifle to his chest. Only the heart-rending cry of one of the women sitting in the courtroom slightly altered the course of events, which were approaching a fateful juncture. It is said that when Ramzan Kadyrov learned about such blatant disrespect for a representative of authority he ranted and raved and said he was going to track down the prosecutor’s assailants himself.

He was, however, apparently sidetracked by another important matter. His attention was drawn by some businessmen – the Ozdiyev brothers, who, if Ramzan Kadyrov was to be believed, owned practically all the market places in the Chechen capital. A Chechen proverb says: "When a hungry bear wanted to eat his own cubs, he rolled them in the dust first, so he wouldn’t recognize them." For some reasons best known to himself, Ramzan Kadyrov decided to put paid to the Ozdievs’ business. The brothers’ case was handled by the notorious Operational Investigation Bureau Number 2 (ORB-2) in the person of its leader Isa Surguyev. Without long deliberation, in a restaurant known by the eye-catching name of "Hollywood", he managed to find grenades, a pistol and, as is usual in such cases, narcotics. According to the logic of Chechen leaders this "cache" had been set up by Dzhabrail Ozdiyev with the aim of overthrowing Kadyrov’s government.

Events surrounding the Ozdiyevs developed rapidly. As Ramzan Kadyrov was depicting the sins of the businessman brothers on television, heavy bulldozers sent to "Hollywood" by his uncle and (among other things) prime minister Odes Baisultanov were already ripping the entertainment complex to shreds, even though its clientele had been mostly composed of Kadyrov’s toadies.

The operation to destroy the Ozdiyevs’ business lasted less than twenty-four hours. Towards noon on the second day the republic’s interior minister Ruslan Alkhanov reported on the results. According to Alkhanov, the Ozdiyevs had long been involved in tax evasion. But what outraged Kadyrov most of all was the fact that the the Ozdiyevs were able to keep afloat irrespective of what government was in power. Speaking on local television, he said that the brothers had been in contact with the guerrillas, and that at one time they had sponsored Basayev.

Sensing the turn that matters were taking, the businessmen decided not to tempt fate and left the republic, together with their families. Eyewitnesses say that when the bulldozers broke down the business premises the families were not even allowed to collect their personal belongings.

But last week Kadyrov dealt with more than business and the beating-up of a public prosecutor. The same Alkhanov brought him some more pleasant news. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Investigative Committee for the Chechen Republic announced the addition to the wanted list of the Federal Republic’s most vicious enemy, former Vostok battalion commander Sulim Yamadayev.

Kadyrov did not try to hide his satisfaction, and for the umpteenth time repeated the bon mot he had once coined that even Heroes of Russia, if they have broken the law, should sit in jail.

Source of photo:

(Translation by DM)




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