Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov recently stated that many problems of the republic have not been solved because of lack of coordination between the security structures operating in Chechnya.

The Chechen president stated: “I’m not the High Commander-in-Chief or the defense minister but I know the situation in the republic and know how we suffer from lack of coordination.” Kadyrov stated that it would be advisable to pass over control over security structures stationed in the republic under the control of the republican Interior Ministry. He stated: “One person must control everything. When the FSB passed over the control over the operation to the Interior Ministry I asked the leadership to let the Chechen Interior Ministry combat terrorists, and coordinate the activities of security structures.” Kadyrov stated: “Chechnya has the Interior Ministry, the Constitution and the leadership. Chechnya is a Federation subject. There is no war or state of emergency in Chechnya. What should we do? We have to change something.”

It is clear the Russian leadership will not venture to let Chechens control the anti-terrorist operation. Russia remembers Maskhadov. He had his own police too, but this did not prevent guerrillas from organizing terrorist acts in the republic and Russia. At present the Chechen Interior Ministry consists of 10,000 policemen. However, this is not enough to combat the separatists. It is evident that Russia must improve coordination between the security structures in the republic. The federal forces have many problems and gaps.

In the meantime, the opinions of some generals are rather optimistic. Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov recently stated that Russian paratroopers conduct successful operations in the republic. He noted that this is the result of the reform of the Russian Army: “The main results of an experiment, which confirms the correctness of our path, are the results of combat operations conducted by two tactical groups of the 104th airborne regiment of the 76th division. Judging from reports by the commander of the North-Caucasian military district and the commander of the federal forces in Chechnya, servicemen of the regiment fight better than servicemen of other military units.” The General Staff noted that no paratrooper has perished in Chechnya over six months.

Soldiers of the Task Force do not fall behind paratroopers. Sergei Yastrzhembsky, aide to the Russian president, recently stated that the Task Force of the Central Intelligence Department found and neutralized a gang of mercenaries, which infiltrated from Georgia, a month ago. He noted that in November the Russian special services neutralized a big group of guerrillas. He stated that Georgian visas were in all passports, which the guerrillas had. Yastrzhembsky noted that some guerrillas received visas in 2001-02. The latest visa was issued in August 2003. He noted: “Unfortunately, this confirms that Georgia remains a public thoroughfare for terrorists, who infiltrate into Russia via the Pankisi Gorge.”

To all appearances, this important information was stored up for an impending visit by acting Georgian President Nino Burdzhanadze to Russia.

It should be noted that the Task Force operating in Chechnya consists of contract servicemen. All units of the Task Force have become professional units. In the near future this will happen to the 42nd motorized infantry division of the Defense Ministry and the 46th brigade of the Interior Troops of the Russian Interior Ministry. It is hard to say how this will affect the situation in the republic. The situation in Chechnya remains very difficult.

An inspector of the local police department was murdered in the Staropromyslovsky district last week; the body of Mayor of Alkhan-Kala Nurdi Elmurzayev was found in the village of Petropavlovskaya. In all, around 600 local policemen, 130 leaders of local administrations and members of their families and 30 imams and other influential persons have perished in Chechnya. To all appearances, this circumstance makes Kadyrov worry.