IV. THE RETURN OF THE CHECHEN GOVERNMENT TO GROZNY
After repeatedly announcing and then suspending plans to move the seat of the Chechen government from Gudermes to the Chechen capital, the government opened its new headquarters in central Grozny on April 23. According to press reports, the administration had already held one meeting in Grozny the previous week and was expected to complete the move within a week.37 The press also reported that several ranks of federal troops circled the administration building during the opening ceremony and that snipers were positioned on the roofs of adjacent buildings.38 Earlier that day, a radio-controlled mine had reportedly exploded a few hundred meters from the building, killing four Russian servicemen and wounding several others. 39
On May 5, less than two weeks after the move, Nikolai Patrushev, the head of the Federal Security Service, announced that the Chechen government was temporarily returning to Gudermes. He told the media that "conditions for the government's safe work in Grozny have not yet been created."40 It remained unclear what security incidents in particular led to this decision. As of November 2001, the Chechen administration remained in Gudermes.
37 "Russian-backed government inaugurates headquarters in Chechen capital," Associated Press, April 23, 2001.
40 Yuri Bagrov, "Kremlin-backed administration leaving violent Chechen capital," Associated Press, May 5, 2001.