On April 5, 2007, Ramzan Kadyrov, son of the assassinated former Chechen Prime Minister Akhmad Kadyrov and head of the most feared militia in Chechnya (known as the Kadyrovtsy) was inaugurated President of Chechnya. While he had been the main power broker in broker in Chechnya since his father’s death in 2004, by Chechen law he could not be president until he turned thirty. Now some four months after his 30th birthday he took the highest office in Chechnya.
The number of disappearances in Chechnya appears to be very slowly decreasing each year, according to the Russian human rights organization Memorial, but remain a significant problem. Additionally, there is systematic torture and ill treatment of detained people in Chechnya. Memorial’s monitoring shows that in the majority of cases, the Kadyrovtsy (the pro-Moscow forces under command of Kadyrov) are responsible for the abuses. There are also many abuses committed by personal of ORB, the Operative Department of the Federal Ministry of Interior. Often, the ORB forces detainees to confess that they are or were members of the resistance, leading to fabricated criminal charges and convictions. The Kadyrovtsy force detainees to join their groups or release them after torture. Civilians throughout Chechnya also face enormous difficulties in securing adequate housing and medical care.