9 Jul 2009

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov favors return of ex-separatist emissary Zakayev to Chechnya

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has given an interview to Interfax in which he favors the return of former Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev to Chechnya and said that warlord Doku Umarov, who masterminded the recent attack on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, is being serached for and “the only thing he is facing is death.” More...

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov said he is negotiating for former Chechen separatist emissary Akhmed Zakayev‘s return home.

"We are negotiating with Zakayev today. If somebody tells him now that I am waiting for his call, he will call me. He will tell me that he is ready to come [home]. We have this kind of good relationship with him. I am saying that he should become helpful to his people at least once. I want this. But everything is in the hands of the Most High," Kadyrov said.

"He [Zakayev] is the only man on the part of Ichkeria who I would like to bring back home. I do not know what the competent bodies think, but I believe he did not commit serious crimes. He is an actor who can talk nicely," Kadyrov said.

"Between five to ten thousand our people are born in Europe every year," Kadyrov said.

"They will all become Europeans in ten years. The children who have been born there in these seven or eight years have also become Europeans. They will lose our values and our culture. The West will use them and incite them against the Chechen people and Russia. If they are not brought back home today, there will always be problems. But Zakayev can do this, because a certain category of people are still listening to him," he said.

"But if he is jailed or killed, no good will come of this. There will be a result if he comes home and brings those who always did harm to our people. Now they have the opportunity to be useful to their republic. I am looking exactly for moments that could be useful to our people," he said.

Commenting on the recent attack on Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, Kadyrov said that it was masterminded by the warlords Doku Umarov and Magas Yevloyev.

"The organizers of the attacks were Yevloyev and Umarov. We are killing their emirs every day. The investigation will be completed when there are no Umarov and Yevloyev," Kadyrov said in an interview with Interfax on Tuesday.

"Umarov has said they have put together the group called Riyad us-Salihin. This is a group of suicide attackers. They have claimed responsibility. They need to be eliminated, and then the investigation will be finished. This is what I believe. I am saying this as a Chechen, a Muslim, and Yevkurov‘s friend. We will show how we can conduct investigations. These thugs are hunting for us and we are hunting for them. At least we have pure intentions," he added.

Kadyrov also described as "dishonorable" former Ingush President Ruslan Aushev‘s recent remark to the effect that he could rule Ingushetia until Yevkurov recovers. "If he wants to help somehow, he does not have to become president. This is a dishonorable statement. To be frank, I consider this to be mean on his part and a way to attain his own ends. He cares little about the Ingush people‘s fate," he said.

"Gangsterism took roots under him. If I were the federal center, I would have held Aushev and the like responsible for what they did long ago. They are playing into the West‘s hands and are pursuing a policy against the federal center," Kadyrov said.

Thanks to the made effort Umarov was wounded; however, he is still alive, but "a search for him is under way," Kadyrov said.

"According to our information, he [Umarov] has been wounded. Five of his closest bodyguards, including a Georgian, an Azeri, and others, have been killed. We do not have information that he was killed," Kadyrov.

"We are looking for him not only in Ingushetia or the Chechen republic but also far outside our regions. He was evacuated and he is wounded. This is what we learned fr om our informer, who was with him. There were also informers from Europe, from Turkey and England. This [the information] is from their sources who are there. They said Umarov was wounded, but he is not dead," he said.

Kadyrov vowed that Umarov would be killed sooner or later. "Next time we will get him. It is good that we have eliminated his closest entourage. The only thing he is facing is death," Kadyrov said.

When a son of Abusupyan Abdullayev, a so-called vice president of Ichkeria, came to Chechnya from Egypt recently, he was asked whether he would go to war if his father ordered him to do so, Kadyrov said.

"He said no. Their children are not fighting. They are proposing our children take weapons in their hands and fight. If they had the right ideas, their children would support them. Nothing is sacred to them. We have started special operations and will know no rest until we wipe them out," he said.

According to Kadyrov, the special troops under his control have killed about 40 militants during the joint operation with Ingush law enforcement agencies and that he is determined to bring the ongoing special operation in Chechnya, Ingushetia, and the adjacent regions to an end.

"We keep finding militant bases and destroying them every day. Not a single soldier and not a single reconnaissance group previously reached the places wh ere our guys are staying now. We have found dozens of terrorist bases. There were a lot of weapons, medicines, and foodstuffs there. This was their den. We have dispersed them from there and are now catching them either in Ingushetia, or in Chechnya, or in Dagestan," Kadyrov said.

"Emirs close to Arab representatives and an Azeri mercenary have been killed in the operation zone over the past few days," Kadyrov said.

"On the whole, about forty militants have been eliminated since the beginning of the operation," he said.

"We kill these thugs every day. They have lost all their ideas now. One detainee told us that they had big plans to invade Ingushetia, Chechnya, and some communities. They have lost all they had now. We will finish off the rest of them. Every day we have more and more opportunities for this, and results," he said.

"A major special operation to eliminate a large group of thugs including several emirs" should be completed within the next few weeks, Kadyrov said.

"We are conducting this operation both in the territory of Ingushetia and Chechnya and also at the border. We will fulfill the order given by the Russian supreme commander-in-chief. I am sure we will not let him down. This work will have a logical end," Kadyrov said.

Kadyrov said Ingush President Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and he had an agreement to conduct special operations together. "I have been leading the special operations because taking part in them are mainly Chechen policemen and the guys with whom we served together. I know them well, and I know their potential. And I am keeping all operations in the neighboring territory under control. But as regards the special operations right at the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia, my advisor and State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov is supervising them," he said.

Kadyrov thinks that the federal headquarters in the North Caucasus grossly overestimates the number of members of illegal armed units actually operating in Chechnya.

"The headquarters has counted as many as 500 to 700 of them. I have a different count - there are 50 to 70 of them," Kadyrov said.

Asked to estimate the militants‘ potential, Kadyrov replied, "They don‘t have any potential."

Moreover, there are no more than "a dozen or two" Chechen residents among the militants, and the rest are foreign mercenaries, Kadyrov said.

"Most of those staying on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia are Azeris, Turks, Ukrainians, Georgians, Arabs, and others," he said.

"We have information from a detained militant who said that they are being given some tablets, and a man taking them becomes like a robot and does not understand anything. These are perfectly trained workers of Western special services working against Russia. They are using us knowing our mentality and knowing that we are mostly Muslims. They have good supplies and good specialists," he said.

"All foreign special services are working against Russia. And the people of Russia accuse us. They think that the war is still going on and that the Chechens are bandits and terrorists, while Chechens are dying for Russia‘s integrity. Hundreds of thousands of our people have been killed, thousands have gone missing, and thousands of policemen have been killed in action. But they just don‘t care about Islam, Chechens, or Chechnya," he said.

Kadyrov also thinks that the cancellation of the counter-terrorist operation regime in the Chechen republic has not produced tangible results so far.

"I see absolutely no results so far. There is only an official statement that the counter-terrorist operation regime has been canceled. There is no positive effect for the republic so far," Kadyrov said.

Nevertheless, "it is good that this has been lifted," Kadyrov said.

"The process is on going. If we are allowed to open customs checkpoints and if the policemen posted here from other regions are withdrawn when everything is normalized, then there will be results. At the present time, there are no changes following the lifting of the counter-terrorist operation regime. The Chechen police and the local FSB [the Federal Security Service department for Chechnya] are continuing to fight the bandits successfully, just as they did before," he said.

Asked whether any troops are being withdrawn from the republic, Kadyrov replied, "Not a single soldier has been either withdrawn or posted here."

Kadyrov also commented on the problem of opening an international airport and a customs checkpoint in Grozny.

"Our highly esteemed special institutions have compiled a memo for the president of the Russian Federation that a customs checkpoint can be opened here only in the third quarter of 2010. This is absolutely groundless. I think this memo was written by people supervising the contraband smuggled to the southern regions of Russia. Opening a customs checkpoint in the Chechen republic is disadvantageous to them. It is much safer here than in Dagestan and other regions of Russia. We can be held up as an example in all respects," he said.