Da The Moscow Times del 15/12/2005
Originale su http://www.themoscowtimes.com/stories/2005/12/15/003.html

Deputies Ask to Rename Grozny

di Artur Magmomedov

GROZNY -- Chechnya's newly elected parliament asked the Kremlin on Wednesday to rename Grozny after the late Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov.

The parliament voted unanimously to ask President Vladimir Putin to rename the city Akhmad-Kala. Kadyrov was killed in a bomb blast in a Grozny stadium in May 2004.

Grozny, traditionally translated as "terrible," was built by Russian armed forces as a fortress when they conquered Chechnya in the 19th century. Chechnya's parliament speaker, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, said the capital's name raised dark associations for most of Chechens.

"The darkest pages of the Chechen people's history are linked with the city's name," he said, Interfax reported.

The Chechen capital has suffered devastating damage in two regional wars in a decade, drawing broad comparisons to Stalingrad, now called Volgograd, where the Soviet Army beat back invading Nazi forces in 1942-43 in one of history's bloodiest battles that left more than 1 million dead and left the city destroyed and deserted.

Likewise, Grozny has been pulverized by relentless federal infantry and artillery strikes that have turned most apartment buildings into blackened carcasses. Since federal troops first swept into the region in 1994 to crush a bid for independence by separatist President Dzhokhar Dudayev, an estimated 100,000 civilians, soldiers and insurgents have died in Chechnya.

On Monday, Putin briefly visited Chechnya and pledged to help rebuild Grozny, where Kadyrov's 29-year-old son, Ramzan, is the republic's first deputy prime minister.

Ramzan Kadyrov leads a widely feared militia unit blamed for abducting civilians, and reportedly controls a large chunk of the region's oil wealth. He is widely expected to succeed Chechnya's current president, Alu Alkhanov, after he turns 30, the minimum age for the president under Chechen law.

The Chechen parliament was elected last month in a vote that was part of Kremlin efforts to show that the republic was stabilizing.

Security forces in the republic launched a series of security sweeps, rounding up several suspected rebels and discovering weapons caches, officials said Wednesday.

During Tuesday's security raid in the southwestern Achkhoi-Martan region, police arrested suspected rebel warlord Albek Bugayev and another alleged militant, the republic's Interior Ministry said in a statement.

Bugayev, who is accused of coordinating rebel activities in the area and recruiting local residents, tried to blow himself up, but officers quickly disarmed him, the statement said.

Another suspected rebel has been detained during a sweep in the southern village of Samashki, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday. Authorities also found two caches of weapons and explosives in southern Chechnya, it said.

On Tuesday, an Army officer was killed and two servicemen were wounded in an accidental hand grenade explosion in the southern village of Bamut, the regional Interior Ministry branch said Wednesday. It said the grenade had exploded because of mishandling.

In neighboring Dagestan, police on Tuesday arrested three suspected militants accused of having links to Chechen rebels and of staging attacks, the local Interior Ministry branch said Wednesday.

One of the suspects was accused of staging an explosion last Thursday that derailed one car on a train in Dagestan, the ministry said. The explosive device planted near the railway outside the city of Khasavyurt did not cause any casualties and damaged just 1 meter of track.

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