President of Chechnya Killed in Terror Blast While Honoring Heroes that Defeated the Nazis

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, meets Chechen Prime Minister Sergei Abramov, who would become the republic’s acting president, in the Moscow Kremlin, Sunday, May 9, 2004. The Kremlin-backed president of Russia’s warring Chechnya region Akhmad Kadyrov was killed Sunday in a bomb blast at a stadium in the Chechen capital where he was attending Victory Day observances.

Presidential Press Service / ITAR-TASS / AP Photo

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – A terrorist bomb exploded at Grozny’s Dynamo stadium at 10:35 AM during a special ceremony to honor V-E Day; a day to remember the brave men that fought to defeat the Nazis. The shocking terrorist attack killed the recently elected President of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov. Kadyrov was a leader respected by Russian President Putin who was speaking at the time in honor of those valiant ones who fought to stop Hitler. The Chechen Commander of the Joint Grouping of Forces, Valery Baranov, was wounded but survived the bombing and is now being treated in an undisclosed hospital, a duty officer of the Emergencies Ministry of Russia told RIA Novosti

According to the latest information, five were killed and 38 were wounded as a result of the terrorist bombing at the Dynamo stadium in Grozny. The officer confirmed that among those wounded are the head of the Chechen Interior Ministry Alu Alkhanov and Chechnya commandant Grigory Fomenko.

In swift action to bring the terrorists to justice, several men have been detained on suspicion of being involved in the terror attack in Grozny, Chechnya a source in the Interior Ministry of Chechnya told RIA Novosti.

"There is a large group of detainees who may be involved in the terrorist act and organization of the explosion," the source said.

According to preliminary information, an unidentified explosive device was placed in the central grandstand of the stadium, where at that moment a concert was under way on the occasion of Victory Day.

The Kremlin-backed president of Russia’s warring Chechnya region, President Akhmad Kadyrov, center, Chechnya’s State Counsel Chairman Hussein Isayev, right, and the top regional commander Col.-Gen. Valery Baranov, left, speak just minutes before an explosion tore through the stadium in the Chechen capital where they were attending Victory Day observances, in Grozny, Sunday, May 9, 2004. The explosion happened underneath a VIP-seating area during a ceremony in the Dynamo stadium that was attended by senior Chechen officials. Kadyrov and Isayev were killed, Baranov, initially was reported killed, but officials later said he was in critical condition.

Musa Sadulayev / AP Photo

The source in the republic’s Interior Ministry told RIA Novosti that: "the explosive device was installed in the midst of the central grandstand. In all probability, the terrorist attack was directed against the military-political leadership of the republic, in particular the President of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov," the source emphasized.

The concert began after the solemn part of the festival, devoted to the 59th anniversary of victory in the Great Patriotic War against German Nazism (1941-45). As the RIA Novosti correspondent reports, the ceremonial part consisted of a march past by several columns of staff members of the Chechen Interior Ministry and an address by the president of the republic, Akhmad Kadyrov.

"Victory Day is a unifying holiday both for all peoples of Russia and for the peoples of the former Union republics," Kadyrov said in his address. He also wished good health to veterans and peaceful life to all inhabitants of Chechnya.

After the terrorist attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin promised, “There can be no doubt that retribution will be inevitable for terrorists”

Chechen leader Ahmad Kadyrov has been killed, but not defeated, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized as he expressed his condolences to Kadyrov’s son Ramzan at a tete-a-tete meeting Sunday.

Kadyrov passed away on May 9, a national holiday in Russia, and he left this world undefeated, President Putin said. He described Kadyrov as "a true, heroic person," all of whose activities convincingly proved that the people of Chechnya should not be associated with Chechen terrorists and warlords. In his four years as the leader of Chechnya, Ahmad Kadyrov did his best to live up to the Chechen people’s expectations and to bring them back peace and stability, Putin said.

More on the Chechen Blast:

** Biography of Chechen President Ahmad Kadyrov Killed by a Blast in Grozny
** Statement by the Press Secretary

Biography of Chechen President Ahmad Kadyrov Killed by a Blast in Grozny

KADYROV, Ahmad was born on August 23, 1951, in the city of Karaganda, in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. He studied at a Buhara madrasa and the Islamic Institute of Tashkent, in Uzbekistan.

From 1969 to 1971, Kadyrov worked at a rice farm in the Gudermes district of the Chechen-Ingush Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

He spent the subsequent decade working for construction companies in the European part of Russia and in Siberia.

In the period between 1986 and 1988, he was deputy to the imam of Gudermes’s main mosque.

In 1989, he opened an Islamic institute, the first one in the North Caucasus, and served as its president through 1994, when military operations were launched in Chechnya.

In 1990, he entered the Shariah Department of the Islamic University in the capital of Jordan, Amman, but abandoned his studies the following year to return home.

Kadyrov was appointed as Deputy Mufti of Chechnya in 1993 and as Acting Mufti in September of 1994.

During Russia’s first Chechen campaign (1994-1996), he joined a Chechen militia to fight the federal forces.

In 1995, he was elected as Mufti of Chechnya, head of the Chechen Moslems’ Spiritual Board in the city of Vedeno.

In 1997 to 1999 he served as head of the Spiritual Board of the self-proclaimed Chechen republic of Ichkeria. An October 10, 1999 decree by the President of Ichkeria, Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov, removed him from his post as "an enemy to the Chechen people." He survived three assassination attempts.

On June 12, 2000, Russian President Vladimir Putin appointed Kadyrov head of Chechnya’s administration. He was inaugurated in the city of Gudermes on June 20, 2000. Chechen district administration heads and the Russian presidential envoy to the North Caucasus, Gen. Viktor Kazantsev, attended the ceremony.

On August 22, 2000, Kadyrov resigned as Mufti of Chechnya at a republican congress of Moslem clerics.

He won the Chechen presidency in the October 5, 2003 presidential polls.

The Russian government awarded him an International Friendship Order in 2001.

Kadyrov left behind four children.

The White House

Statement by the Press Secretary

May 9, 2004

The United States Government strongly condemns the terrorist attack in the Chechen capital of Grozny today. We mourn the loss of life and extend our condolences to the families of the victims. The United States resolutely rejects all acts of terrorism and those who commit them. No national, ethnic, religious or other cause can ever justify the use of terrorism.