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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kadyrov: Popov Was My Choice

VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia -- Akhmad Kadyrov, chief of the Moscow-backed administration in Chechnya, emphasized Wednesday that new Chechen Prime Minister Anatoly Popov was his choice for the post, saying that the appointment was not made under pressure.

"This is my candidate," Kadyrov said as he presented Popov to other officials, in comments shown on TVS television.

Popov, the former chief of the federal agency responsible for rebuilding Chechnya, was named Monday to replace Mikhail Babich, who had sparred with Kadyrov over administration appointments.

Sitting next to Kadyrov, Popov said he would "do all I can" to improve the situation in Chechnya, adding, "I promise honesty and decency in relations with the Chechen people."

Meanwhile, the Council of Europe's human rights commissioner, Alvaro Gil-Robles, met with Kadyrov and military officials in Chechnya on Wednesday under tight security. Gil-Robles is evaluating conditions for Chechen civilians.