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Putin asks Kadyrov to stay on as Chechen leader

Putin asks Kadyrov to stay on as Chechen leader

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday confirmed that Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov will continue as interim leader and backed him in elections despite mounting criticism of his rule.

In a televised meeting at the Kremlin, Putin told Kadyrov that “today I signed a decree naming you acting Chechen leader, followed I hope by your standing in September elections”. Putin said that “Chechnya has transformed” under Kadyrov, who took control of the region in 2007 and whose current term runs out on April 5.

“For me it was even unexpected that you, a person who had such different aims in life, suddenly turned into a good manager,” Putin told the 39-year-old former rebel fighter.

While praising Kadyrov for making Chechnya “safe”, Putin warned him to act in “closer coordination with federal organs of power” and “observe Russian law in all spheres of life”.

Kadyrov thanked Putin and said, “We will try to justify (your trust) and serve you faithfully and truly. I hope we manage not to let you down, Vladimir Vladimirovich.” Kadyrov is the son of Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov, who was assassinated in 2004, and Putin specifically referred to this.

Published in Dawn, March 26th, 2016

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