Chechnya: Is Kadyrov Maintaining Hold On Power?
Just over one year after President Vladimir Putin handed him the Chechen leadership, Ramzan Kadyrov has taken innumerable steps to tighten his grip over the war-battered republic. But the recent standoff between his forces and a rival pro-Kremlin clan underscores the volatile situation in Chechnya as it rebuilds from more than a decade of war against separatist rebels. Kadyrov’s fighters last week reportedly engaged in a deadly clash with servicemen from the Vostok battalion, commanded by Sulim Yamadayev, after their motorcades failed to give way near the Chechen town of Argun. Kadyrov and Yamadayev, both former separatist rebels, have each pledged loyalty to Putin, who is due to step down after Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as Russia’s new president on May 7. Full Story