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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Death Threats Against Kadyrov Spark Inquiry

Chechen investigators said Wednesday that they have opened a criminal case into hackers’ death threats against President Ramzan Kadyrov posted on the Chechnya Today web site in late June.

The threats to kill the Chechen president appeared on the home page of Chechnyatoday.com for several hours June 29 after an attack by hackers, said Mariam Nalayeva, a spokeswoman for the Chechen branch of the Investigative Committee.

The investigation was only opened Wednesday because investigators needed to wait for the Federal Security Service to conduct a linguistic analysis of the threats first, she said.

“The Chechen branch of the Federal Security Service conducted a linguistic expertise that found that the threats carried a real danger,” Nalayeva said by telephone from Grozny.

She could not provide the precise context of the threats, but she said they amounted to a crime because of their “realistic character” and “link to the activities of the Chechen president.”

A spokesman for Kadyrov’s office told The Moscow Times that a Dagestan resident suspected of organizing the web site attack was detained in Moscow this week.

If charged and convicted, the suspect faces up to five years in prison.

The spokesman said Chechnya Today was just one of several web sites targeted by hackers in June. “The web sites of the president and government were under a mass attack for about 10 days, but our specialists managed to resist them,” the spokesman said.

Nalayeva said the case has been passed to a department for high-priority investigations.

Chechnya Today is the news agency of the Chechen Information Ministry and carries reports in Russian and English.

Threats against Chechen officials are not rare in the troubled region. But using a state-run web site to post them is uncommon for rebels, who operate their own web sites.

n The UN Human Settlements Program, UN-HABITAT, has given Grozny an award for post-war reconstruction, the city’s administration said in a statement Wednesday.

The statement said the Chechen capital was the only city in the Eurasian region to receive such an award.