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Kommersant: Sergei Abramov will not return to Grozny

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  • mariuslab2002
    January 31, 2006 Tuesday PRESS EXTRACTS; No. 14 THE RECOVERED PRIME MINISTER IS NOT GOING BACK TO CHECHNYA; Sergei Abramov will not return to Grozny Mikhail
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 31, 2006
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      January 31, 2006 Tuesday
      PRESS EXTRACTS; No. 14

      Sergei Abramov will not return to Grozny
      Mikhail Fishman, Musa Muradov

      The prime minister of Chechnya is likely to resign; Prime Minister of
      Chechnya Sergei Abramov has recovered from his illness, but is not
      going back to Chechnya. The government of Chechnya will probably be
      headed by Ramzan Kadyrov. Observers maintain that this is only a
      stepping-stone, and Kadyrov will become the president of Chechnya come

      According to our sources, Prime Minister of Chechnya Sergei Abramov is
      not going back to Chechnya. Ramzan Kadyrov is likely to become prime
      minister of Chechnya when Abramov resigns. The Kremlin is breaking a
      tradition in accordance with which prime ministers of Chechnya are
      always ethnic Russians. Kadyrov's promotion will become official
      acknowledgement of his absolute power on the territory of Chechnya.
      Observers maintain that the office of prime minister is only a
      stepping-stone, and Kadyrov will become the president of Chechnya come

      A well-informed and reliable source in Grozny confirms that Chechnya
      has seen the last of Prime Minister Sergei Abramov. According to the
      source, undercover battles for prime ministership are under way. Two
      candidates are being considered - Senior Federal Inspector for
      Chechnya Oleg Zhidkov and Senior Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov.
      Zhidkov himself denounced the assumption that he would replace Abramov
      as the prime minister. He said that even if Abramov did not return
      indeed, it would be only too logical to promote Kadyrov. "Why not?"
      Zhidkov said. "At the very least, he will have the the regional
      machinery running, and that is extremely important for Chechnya."

      Another informed sources maintains that Abramov's resignation is not
      going to initiate a rearrangement of forces. It will only confirm the
      status quo which boils down to the following: the prime minister and
      the president of Chechnya are only figureheads, while Ramzan Kadyrov
      wields all power.

      Another source at the federal level says that the Kremlin is not going
      to force any strangers on Kadyrov. "Moscow doesn't care," the source
      explained. "The election was a success and is already over. The
      parliament is working. There is no more war as such, and factors of
      stability are undeniable." "Chechnya is becoming an ordinary region
      and doesn't require any particular control anymore," Zhidkov added.

      The recently elected parliament is thoroughly pro-Kadyrov. Chechen
      lawmakers began their term with the idea to rename Grozny into
      Akhmat-Kala in honor of the late president Akhmad Kadyrov. It took a
      peremptory cry from Moscow to force the legislature to drop the idea
      and have it get down to really pressing matters. Sources explain that
      Kadyrov listens to only two men - President Vladimir Putin and Deputy
      Director of the Presidential Administration Vladislav Surkov. Faithful
      to Kadyrov, the local organization of the United Russia already voted
      to offer him the leadership more than once. Insiders say that
      presidium of the General Council of the United Russia in Russia is
      about to endorse the idea. "Ramzan is fed up with pretending that not
      everything depends on him," the source said. Kadyrov will turn 30 on
      October 5, the age required for presidents by the Chechen
      constitution. All sources unanimously agree that Putin will
      acknowledge Kadyrov as the president without second thought.

      A source who knows the situation in Chechnya says that Abramov had
      better resign of his own volition and that he will do so if he knows
      what is good for him: the matter of embezzlements in Chechnya will be
      brought up sooner or later and all blame may be pinned on Abramov.
      "Ninety-eight billion rubles worth of investments since 2000," the
      source said. "The impact ought to be visible. What is seen, however,
      is only the result of private investments - gas stations, stores, and
      so on. Ramzan's personal investment, more often than not."

      Public opinion in Chechnya underwent dramatic changes in the last two
      years, a source said. Popularity of the Kadyrovs went down
      proportionally to concentration of power in the hands of the clan.
      Kadyrov is thoroughly disliked in Chechnya nowadays.

      Sergei Khaikin, Director of the Institute of Social Marketing,
      confirms that Chechnya lacks a national leader and that ratings of all
      Chechen officials are extremely low. A prominent figure like Kadyrov
      in the meantime cannot help being popular with a certain part of the
      population. In any case, Moscow doesn't object to the strengthening of
      personal power of the young Chechen leader and weakens federal control
      over the state of affairs in Chechnya.

      "The danger is that Kadyrov reinstitutes in Chechnya what Moscow has
      spent years fighting - polygamy, social status of women, Shar'ah laws,
      and so on," a source said.

      Source: Kommersant, January 31, 2006, pp. 1, 4

      Translated by A. Ignatkin
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