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Who will be successor of assassinated President of Chechnya?

Investigation of the terrorist attack on Chechen President is in progress.
According to Interim Interior Minister of Chechnya Alu Alkhanov, the explosive device was put into the concrete stand of the stadium during the recent reconstruction works. Before the celebration of the Victory Day the law-enforcers searched the stadium for explosives, and did not find them. Experts say that the explosives were inside the concrete blocks.

The signal to trigger the device was probably transmitted through electric wires. During the Victory Day celebration special electronic devices jamming radio signals were working to prevent terrorist attacks. The terrorist could be in the crowd on the stadium because one more explosive device was put in the seats for the public after the explosion took place.

Click here to see photos of the explosion.

Several suspects of this act of terrorism were arrested. In addition, the police started special operation in the region of the Northern Caucasus to “collect, analyze and react to all the available data connected with the explosion in Grozny”.

Chechen government had an urgent meeting. According to Chechen Constitution, Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov will be the Interim Head of the republic until the new Presidential elections take place. Vladimir Putin had a meeting with Mr. Abramov and told him that the tragedy in Grozny should not affect the lives of Chechen people. “I know that you have good interaction with law-enforcers”, said President Putin. He says that this interaction should be maintained to create normal life in Chechnya.

Sergey Abramov said he would do his best, “Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov could not complete the work he had started. I assure you that all the residents of the republic will complete these plans with the help of myself and my ministers. The work in the republic will not be stopped for a minute”. 
Earlier Russian President met Akhmad Kadyrov’s son Ramzan Kadyrov. “This was a really heroic man”, President Putin said. “Akhmad Kadyrov proved with all his work that bandits and terrorist do not represent the entire people.  All these years, he safeguarded Chechnya and Chechens and lead the republic to peace”. 

Why law-enforcers failed to prevent the explosion?
Chairman of the Council of Chechen Associations and Organizations Dzhabrail Gakaev said that “Akhmad Kadyrov had too many enemies – among local residents, special services and Chechen separatists”. This means that Mr. Gakaev admits the version of vendetta or the operation of special services. The last idea is dangerous for Russia because it encourages separatists.

Former Head of FSB Nikolai Kovalev said that he “cannot comprehend how the bomb could be set in the place having the public event”. Mr. Kovalev said that the examination of the site of public events is the basics of the police work, and after such an examination the area should be guarded 24 hours a day.

Who will succeed Kadyrov?
The death of Akhmad Kadyrov is an irreplaceable loss for the Kremlin. After the death of Kadyrov the Kremlin has to find the new politician whose authority could allow to control Chechnya. The issue of the elections of the new Head of Chechnya was not discussed on official level yet, may be because the last presidential campaign in Chechnya was conducted under the absolute domination of Kadyrov. The Kremlin did not allow any serious competitor to challenge Akhmad Kadyrov in the Presidential campaign in Chechnya. Heavy reliance of Kadyrov’s personality probably was the main weakness of Russian plans on stabilizing Chechnya. The Kremlin mistakenly put the burden of the responsibility for the situation in Chechnya on Kadyrov. The loyalty of Kadyrov to the Kremlin cost much (including the control over money flows), but Moscow agreed to this. The Kremlin had no other options. The initial plan to stabilize the situation in Chechnya failed. Presidential elections, adopting Chechen Constitution, preparation for the elections in Chechen Parliament scheduled for the fall of 2004, made Kadyrov’s authorities legitimate, but did not bring peace to the republic. Akhmad Kadyrov was unable to unite all the Chechens, although such a task is hardly possible in the country divided in tribal clans. However, he had some advantages over other Chechen public figures. He was a cleric, previously was fighting against Russia (this means he was respected among the moderate leaders of Chechen militants). Saudis who sponsor Chechen war, recognized Kadyrov’s authority as well.

It is hard to say who will be appointed by the Kremlin to succeed Kadyrov. There are few people to make this choice: State Duma deputy Aslambek Aslakhanov, former leader of Chechen militia Bislan Gantamirov (too unexpected conduct, plus many enemies). Businessmen (Saidullaev, Dzhabrailov) cannot be taken into account. Chechnya will certainly experience change of the authorities, and the supporters of Akhmad Kadyrov will be dismissed.

There is a possibility that the son of the killed President, Ramzan Kadyrov, will run in the future election campaign in Chechnya.  Another option is establishing the direct rule of Russian President in Chechnya, with appointing one of Russian Army generals as the President’s envoy.

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