Putin orders initiation of road construction in Dagestan
Only a few weeks before the March 2 presidential elections, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave orders on his North Caucasian tour for the construction work of roads to be started in the two provinces of Dagestan for future use by civilians as well as Russian troops.
The Russian president was in the Botlih province of Dagestan on Tuesday. He was particularly seen to show keen interest in the construction work of a new military road in Dagestan.
He had a large group of people with him during his visit to Botlih: Russia's Defense Minister Anatoli Serdukov, Russia's Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, the FSB Director Nikolai Patrushev, Minister of Health and Social Development Tatiana Golikova, Minister of Transportation Igor Levitin, Minister of Education Andrei Fursenko, Gazprom's Chief Executive Officer Aleksei Miller, Dagestan's President Mukhu Aliyev, Botlih's Governor Jafar Ramazanov and Tsumadinski's Governor Magomed Hamilov.
A new road emerges between Georgia and Dagestan
Putin authorized the Russian Ministry officials of Transportation to officially start the construction of a road that will connect through Dagestan to . Russian Minister of Transportation Igor Levitin revealed some background information about this work of construction of the road that will pass through both Botlih and Tsumadinski: "With 800mn rubles officially allocated in 2007 for initiating the road project, we predict that the construction work will finish in 2010. It will take us a long time to finish it because we will work in bad conditions. We predict that it will cost us 3mn rubles or so to finish the work of construction."
Putin insisted that the road should be of a very high quality, because it would be used by technically designed military vehicles.
Putin was aware of the need to find sources to finance the road construction; however, he was even more aware of the need to satisfy the needs of the local people and the Russian troops in Dagestan. . For that reason, the Russian president ordered the Gazprom officials to work hard towards success in supplying natural gas seamlessly to Botlih and Tsumadinski.
Rewards for no service at all!
In spite of all this, there was something strange with the Russian president being in Dagestan, however: He rewarded the top officials of the administration of Dagestan, a country whose people remain neglected in bad conditions that lead to a permanent rise in unemployment and violence, among other things of the same kind. The Dagestani people are also in trouble with frustratingly frequent power failures in the midst of winter. Among the people that Putin rewarded were Dagestan's President, some FSB agents, builders and volunteers. The president was rewarded with the Honorary Medal for his efforts both to improve the social-economic state of his country, although most problems facing the country remain unresolved, and to resolve the security problems that face the nation, which is in fact heavily troubled by daily kidnapping, police raids and fighting.
Col. Eldar Gajiev, who is in charge of the FSB's administration of the border with Dagestan, builders Navruzbek Avayev, Umarashab Aliyev and Gabibul Muslimov were rewarded with an honorary medal.
Another group of people rewarded by Putin were volunteers who fought in 1999 off the Chechen resisters: Gaji Zubairov, Umar Ibrahimov, Magomedgaji Nugayev, Saidguseyin Pirmagomedov, Ramazan Ubaydulayev and Magomed Umargajiyev.
It was in 1999 when Putin, the then prime minister, was last in Botlih before launched the second phase of its war against .
Putin's visit to Dagestan was followed by his trips to Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachai-Cherkessia. The Russian president made a visit to the special 121st brigade, which is part of the Interior Ministry's army in Nalchik, capital of Kabardino-Balkaria. He was briefed by the Army Gen. Nikolai Rogojkin and by other commanders as well about the army works and he was shown around the bedrooms, the gym and the dining hall while the military drills were being performed outside.
Later in Karachai-Cherkessia, Putin was shown around the 34th firing battery, a sub-division of the Defense Ministry, while he was in the town of Zelenchukskaya.
Putin will resign as president after the March 2 elections. ÖZ/FT