Chechnya has a new acting president. Moscow has appointed Ramzan Kadyrov, a former rebel who became prime minister last year. The 30-year-old is the son of a Chechen leader who was murdered in 2004. Kadyrov replaces Alu Alkhanov, recently ousted from the top job.
Observers say Alkhanov had always acted in Kadyrov’s shadow and there was mounting speculation he would lose his job. Kadyrov is head of a private militia that human rights groups accuse of being involved in murder and kidnap. He maintains the force provides security in the region.