Putin dismisses Chechen president
Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, has dismissed Chechen leader, Alu Alkhanov, and promoted former prime minister, Ramzan Kadyrov, as acting president.
Kadyrov has long been seen as a successor to Alkhanov, whose resignation came at his own request according to a Kremlin statement (Picture on the left - Kadyrov with the outgoing Chechen President, Alkhanov on the right).
The Kremlin said: "Vladimir Putin signed a decree accepting the resignation of president Alu Alkhanov and appointing prime minister Ramzan Kadyrov to temporarily fulfil the duties of president of
Kadyrov takes on the post in a temporary capacity pending a provincial assembly decision.
Alkhanov, a former interior minister, was plucked from obscurity to head
Fighting eased in 2001, but activists and Russian soldiers continue to clash.
The fighting has destroyed much of
He is said to have has also created a cult of personality, including banners that praise him draping from buildings, a practice which Alkhanov strongly criticised this week.
"Building a personality cult and idealising one person will bring no good to our republic and society," he said.
Putin also appointed Sergei Ivanov,
Putin told a cabinet meeting that Ivanov's status was being "raised to the level of first deputy prime minister ... which of course means that in this situation he can't fulfil the role of [defence] minister".
The president said he was "broadening" Ivanov's responsibilities so that he would oversee not only
The move means Ivanov, 54, is promoted to the same level as another man considered by analysts as a possible successor to Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, first deputy prime minister, and chairman of energy giant Gazprom. Published by Agencies on Feb 15.