14 April 2003, 13:39

Kadyrov, Akhmat-hajji

Head of Chechen Republic administration, ex-mufti of Chechnya.

Born in 1951 in the village of Tsentoroy, Kurchaloy County, Chechnya.

Originates from a religious family; his father and fives uncles are religious figures.

Belongs to Chechen largest teip of Benoy. Representative of Chechnya's most spread vird (religious order) of Kuntakhadjins from the Sufi order of Kadiri.

In 1980, was directed to study in Bukhara's madrasah of Mir-Arab by the Gudermes county administration, graduated from it. Later studied in Bukhara together with Ravil Gaynutdin, the current chairman of Russia's Mufti Council. Later graduated from Tashkent Islamic Institutes.

Was a deputy imam of Gudermes.

In 1989 was initiator of creation of North Caucasus Islamic Institute in the village of Kurchaloy (created in 1991) and remained its head until 1994.

In 1990-1991, studied in Shari'ah Department of Jordan University. Returned to Chechnya upon Republic's declaration of independence in fall 1991; became an activist of clerical administration (Muftiate) of Chechen Republic and deputy Mufti of Chechnya; Chechnya's mufti of the time was Arsanukaev.

In 1994, Arsanukaev went abroad for treatment, and Kadyrov stayed the acting mufti. In 1994, fought with the Chechen citizens-in-arms against the federal troops. After Arsanukaev refused to support jihad, the radical Chechen leaders decided to officially dismiss him. In 1995, was elected mufti of Chechnya at a meeting attended by alims of five highland counties and field commanders Basaev, Yandarbiev, and Maskhadov. There were no other candidates since only Kadyrov dared support the idea of jihad. Since he was not legitimately elected mufti, he was considered a sort of "field mufti". Campaigned against Arsanukaev's Muftiate's mullahs with the support from field commanders.

Participated in negotiations between Aslan Maskhadov and Alexander Lebed in Novyye Atagi in August 1996.

In 1996, convoked a Congress of Alims in Grozny and offered them to elect another mufti, because considered himself a military religious leader, but the alims re-elected him.

Actively supported Aslan Maskhadov, supported resolute struggle against religious extremists, and demanded prohibition of Vahhabism propaganda.

In 1997, two attempts upon his life were committed. According to Kommersant-Vlast weekly, he took part in an internal coup-d'etat in June 1999, on the tide of anti-Vahhabism in Chechnya. At a secret meeting attended by all heads of Ichkeria's forces, Kadyrov was elected a military amir. According to Shari'ah, a military amir is supposed to substitute a layman president; however, national Guards Commander Magomed Khambiev and Minister of Interior Aydamir Abalaev maintained allegiance to Maskhadov, and the coup attempt was quashed.

Denounced warlords Basaev and Hattab's invasion in Dagestan; demanded Maskhadov to declare them outlaws.

In August 1999, was sacked from the position of mufti by Maskhadov's decree. Did not recognize the decree.

In September 1999, declared non-compliance with Ichkeria's president and eagerness to support the anti-terrorist operation of the federal troops.

In October 1999, together with warlords Yamadaev brothers, proclaimed Gudermes, Gudermes County, and Kurchaloy County the "territory free of Vahhabism". Together with Yamadaev brothers, played an important role in peaceful takeover of Gudermes and the majority of villages in Gudermes and Kurchaloy Counties by the Russian troops.

In November 1999, was considered an alternative to A. Maskhadov in the negotiation process between Russian and Chechnya by the Russian government.

On November 30, 1999, Russia's Mufti Council requested the Government of the Russian Federation to protect the mufti of Chechnya, who was declared the enemy of the nation by Aslan Maskhadov on November 28.

On March 2000, supported the introduction of direct presidential governance in Chechnya, which was supposed to last a year or two, "after which Republic's presidential election should take place". As for the head of the Republic, Kadyrov stated that "the head must be a Chechen who has lived and currently lives in Chechnya. Those who have watched the events on TV from Moscow are free to keep watching." Regarding his candidacy, the mufti said with no false modesty that he "will go into this business". "I will go into this for my people - in order to put the end to lawlessness." (www.polit.ru)

On June 12, 2000, was appointed the head of Chechen Republic administration. Planned to discharge the mufti authority due to this.

Only three of 18 county heads of Chechnya supported Kadyrov's appointment. Shortly after Kadyrov's appointment, heads of 12 Chechnya's counties addressed to RF President V. Putin with a request to discharge Kadyrov from duty. Besides, 44 employees of Chechnya's Temporary Administration signed a petition stating impossibility of working with the yesterday jihad leader.

Kadyrov's swearing-in ceremony took place on June 20, 2000. The ceremony was postponed twice (June 16 and 19) due to Kadyrov's refusal to arrive to Gudermes if Viktor Kazantsev, the RF President's Representative in the North Caucasus, did not pass the relevant authority to him personally. The ceremony only took place on June 20.

On August 22, 2000, abnegated his power of Chechnya's mufti due to Akhmad Shamaev's election to this position.

In September 2000, visited USA where took part in the work of World Religious and Spiritual Leaders Forum.

On October 31, 2000, the column Kadyrov moved with came under automatic fire of the federal troops.

In January 2001, announced a suggestion to pull out the troops from Chechnya, since "the military phase of the anti-terrorist operation is finalized", and the excessive troops only complicate the post-war situation.

On January 24, 2001, agreed to preside in the Board of Directors of Grozneft oil company.

On February 10, 2001, validated the government of Chechnya.

On February 14, 2001, during a meeting with Kalamanov, RF President's special envoy, stated that "the Chechen authorities are not going to allow independent activities of humanitarian organizations in the future," because certain organizations "speculate on Chechnya's problems and the blood of peoples." (Interfax, February 14, 2001)

In March 2001, opposed convoking the Chechnya's Peoples Congress initiated by State Duma Deputy Aslanbek Aslakhanov. On April 16, 2001, signed a decree prohibiting all congresses, meetings, and other mass gatherings "until complete stabilization of the situation in the Republic".

Kadyrov's son Ramazan works as his personal bodyguard. In May 2000, he was contused as a result of attempted murder and, at V. Putin's offer, was transported to Moscow Burdenko Military Hospital for an examination by a special flight of Russian Air Force. On January 18, 2001, there was another attempt upon Ramazan Kadyrov's life.

Interviews:

Moscow News. No. 35, September 14-20, 1999. p. 6.
Moscow News. No. 14, April 11-17, 2000. p. 3.
Kommersant. May 17, 2000. p. 3.
Vremya novostey. June 14, 2000. p. 1, 2.
Kommersant. June 15, 2000. p. 4.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta. June 17, 2000. p. 3.
Trud. June 21, 2000. p. 1, 3.
Krasnaya Zvezda. June 23, 2000. p. 3.
Vremya MN. June 24, 2000. p. 2.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta. July 1, 2000. p. 1, 2.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta. July 5, 2000. p. 2.
Kommersant. July 11, 2000. p. 1, 3.
Parlamentskaya Gazeta. July 11, 2000. p. 1, 3.
Novaya Gazeta. July 24-30, 2000. p. 1, 9.
Krasnaya Zvezda, September 22, 2000. p. 1, 3.
Novyye Izvestia, October 17, 2000. p. 1, 4.
Rossiyskaya Gazeta, November 11, 2000. p. 4.
Vlast, November 14, 2000. p. 26-27.
Izvestia, November 25, 2000. p. 3.
Izvestia, January 19, 2001. p. 3.
Rossiya, January 30, 2001. p. 18, 19.
Kommersant Vlast, January 30, 2001. p. 29.
Trud, February 15, 2001. p. 12.
Vremya MN, March 31, 2001. p. 1, 2.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta, April 3, 2001. p. 1, 8.

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