Makhackala - 's President, Vladimir Putin, made a visit to Russian troops located in the Botlikh province of Dagestan, the locus of fighting that led to the outbreak of the second phase of Chechen-Russian war.
Putin has been touring Russia promoting his presidential successor Dmitri Medvedev weeks before the next presidential elections take place on March 2. Only the Russian national media was allowed to see Putin on his tour. The Russian news channels showed video footage of the president addressing last year the Russian troops of two mountainous brigades located in North Caucasus.
While Putin was the Russian Prime Minister in 1999 when the 's President was Boris Yeltsin, he played a key role in using the presence of Chechen resistance fighters in Botlikh as an excuse for launching a war against for the second time. Putin made a visit to Botlikh at that time, too.
During his current visit to Dagestan, Putin awarded some military commanders and Dagestan's President Mukhu Aliyev, the top official of Dagestan who is under public pressure to resign due to his poor handling of frustratingly frequent power failures. (Agency Caucasus).
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