Politics / Issue April 17, 2008 №27

60 Clanning Chechnya

Politics

21.04.2008

Struggle for power in Chechnya has sharpened. 14 April, the motorcades of the bitterest enemies – Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechen President, and Suleiman Yamadaev, the commander of Vostok battalion (a division at the intelligence service) – failed to pass one another on the road between Gudermes and Argun. First, the conflict grew into exchange of fire by the guards and soon a real battle began at the scene. According to Reuters, 18 people were killed. Yamadaev’s people seized a complex of railroad-owned buildings in Gudermes and took up a defensive position. Kadyrov’s men got reinforced with controlled by them militarized units and besieged Gudermes. The siege was raised only in the morning on 16 April.

Kadyrov himself left the scene soon after the battle began and next day – 15 April – he started an active public getting down at the Yamadaev’s clan, speaking on the air. Kadyrov accused the brothers Yamadaevs – one of them is the Hero of Russia, another is a deputy of the State Duma, and the third is a prisoner – of numerous killings, kidnapping, and racket. He also mentioned the mournful events in the stanitsa of Borozdinovskaya and a loud raider seizure of some property in St Petersburg. Ramzan Kadyrov stressed that in all those counts the Yamadaevs brothers got away with it. Only one of them, Badrudi Yamadaev, got sentenced, but it’s still unknown whether he is serving his term in Chernokozovo prison or at his own home.     

Though, Kadyrov was careful and did not mention the reason of the “immunity” by the Yamadaev’s brothers. The matter is that they are protected by one of the enforcing bloc in president Putin’s entourage. And Kadyrov himself is protected by Putin alone. This fact makes Kadyrov concerned. 

In relation to sharing out the authority in the Kremlin Kadyrov is afraid of being given up. He has even appointed a successor in case of his death. That’s Adam Delimkhanov, the State Duma deputy. His clan is equal to those of Kadyrov and Yamadaevs in terms of the number of the militarized units and influence exercised in the republic.  

Nonetheless, it’s exactly Yamadaevs’ who are considered by Kadyrov to be his main rivals to whose advantage the change of power may happen in Chechnya. Unofficially, these two clans have been at war with one another nearly since the beginning of the Kadyrov’s term of office. That confrontation seems to be going out of control gradually. As a matter of fact, it’s exactly this political war, and not Vahabism, that may become a real reason of another armed conflict in Chechnya.

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