Russian President Vladimir Putin praised and thanked the Chechen government for responding to an attack in the capital of Grozny late Wednesday night. Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov attended Putin’s state of the nation address on Thursday.
“Now the ‘rebels’ once again appeared in Chechnya,” said Putin. “I am sure that the locals, the local law enforcement authorities will deal with them with honor. It is them who are working to liquidate another terror raid today. Let us all support them.”
You [Kadyrov] personally and your officers acted in a prompt and professional way, so [I express] a separate gratitude to you and all law enforcement officers of the Chechen Republic. We will never forget the names of killed comrades, the names of heroes and will have to provide all necessary aid to the families of those killed and support those affected.
Chechnya fought two separate wars after the collapse of the USSR in 1990. Alkhanov Kadyrov, Ramzan’s father, switched to Moscow’s side during the second Chechen War. Russian forces seized Chechnya in July 2000. Putin selected Kadyrov as leader and he was elected president in October 2003, which he held until he was assassinated in May 2004. Putin pushed Ramzan into the presidency in 2007. The two men are very close friends. Kadyrov is viewed by many critics as a Putin puppet.
Putin told Kadyov “to render all required assistance to the families of law enforcement officers killed.” Authorities said militants killed ten policemen and wounded twenty-eight.
“Criminals, as usual, were shooting them in the backs,” said Putin. “Whom did the criminals attack? They did not attack your special units fighting terrorism. They attacked officers of the traffic patrol service, people called upon to ensure order on roads, ensure normal operation of transport.”
Militants ambushed a checkpoint in Grozny around 1 a.m. local time. They took over the old press building before occupying a nearby high school. There is no information about the groups involved in the attack, but one video “suggested the attackers had entered Grozny in an act of ‘retaliation’ for what it called the oppression of Muslim women.”