November 17th 2008 · Prague Watchdog / Dzhambulat Are · PRINTER FRIENDLY FORMAT · E-MAIL THIS · ALSO AVAILABLE IN: RUSSIAN 

Mujahedin miss decisive battle with Kadyrov (weekly review)

Mujahedin miss decisive battle with Kadyrov (weekly review)

By Dzhambulat Are

GROZNY, Chechnya – Last Friday (November 14), for the first time in the last few years, Chechnya’s Moscow-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov personally took part in a special operation to search for guerrillas in the forests of the Kurchaloysky and Nozhay-Yurtovsky districts. It seems that the mujahedin fled so quickly and adroitly that they left no traces of their presence.

Kadyrov’s press service placed particular emphasis on this point. “In the course of the operations, which lasted many hours, no activity by members of illegal armed formations was detected,” its report said.

As a rule, Ramzan Kadyrov likes to spend the weekend with his family in his native village of Khosi-Yurt. For this reason, he made sure that the route for the impressive special operation was laid out close to his home. Such was the number of troops assembled in Khosi-Yurt, eyewitnesses say, that this fearsome army appeared ready to launch an assault on the Kremlin.

To provide a full complement of air support, all the helicopter gunships at Khankala, the main Russian military base in Chechnya, were made ready to join the operation.

But this formidable force could not be used. No guerrillas were found.

However, Ramzan Kadyrov managed to present the absence of fighters on the outskirts of his own village as an item of news. “The fact that not a single trace of the bandit formations has been found here indicates that there are almost none of them left in the republic. There are small groups which pose no serious threat to society,” he said, summing up the great campaign against the mujahedin.

It is, by the way, not hard to explain why Kadyrov decided to hark back to the good old days. For a long time now he has been trying to punch a hole that will serve as a window on the world. But the sad fact is that for this he lacks an airport of international status with its own customs service.

The other day the president said that the process of reconstruction and restoration in Chechnya is being delayed because of the absence of customs officers. "For example, the building materials for the Akhmad-Khadzhi Kadyrov central mosque were imported from Turkey. There were problems en route. The materials were held up at customs for days, and that put a brake on the process of construction," Kadyrov complained.

Grozny airport will likewise never be given international status, although all the responsible commissions have made public their conclusion that from a technical standpoint the airport is now ready to receive flights from abroad.

The opening of an international customs service and airport are being hindered by the FSB and the Russian defence ministry, which apparently believe that talk of a definitive peace in Chechnya is premature. Kadyrov thinks that their arguments are unfounded.

"These two bodies cite the unstable socio-political situation in the Chechen Republic, but they forget that both the country’s leadership and the leadership of Russia’s law enforcement agencies have repeatedly stated that the situation in the republic has stabilized and is under the control of the army and police. Peace returned to Chechnya long ago, and there are no apparent reasons for impeding the opening of a customs service,” the Chechen President declared on the eve of the special operation.

By personally going into the forest, Chechnya's Moscow-backed President Ramzan Kadyrov demonstrated to the FSB and the Russian defence ministry that it was time to give the go-ahead for the Chechen customs service.

The photograph is borrowed from the blog

Previous weekly reviews can be read at

(Translation by DM)




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