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Dudayev's Widow Gets Post In Chechen Separatist Govt

A reconstruction project in Grozny (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) August 21, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The widow of Dzhokhar Dudayev, the first president of the secessionist Chechen Republic-Ichkeria, has been named deputy culture minister of the separatist government.

Alla Dudayeva's appointment, signed on August 17, was announced today on Chechen separatist websites.

"I am very pleased by this appointment," Dudayeva told RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service today. "I don't want to be left out, just as I wasn't left out before. I'm happy that the resistance in the Chechen Republic hasn't given itself up in these 12 years, that all its structures are functioning."

Dudayeva, who lives abroad in self-imposed exile, says she will continue honoring her late husband through exhibitions, seminars, and books.

She criticized Moscow-backed Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's campaign to rebuild war-ravaged Grozny.

"They try to build houses, to rebuild Grozny," she said. "But there is no sewage system in these houses, no hot or cold water. Most of them are just boxes for former refugees from camps to live in. But most importantly, there are no rights. This is just a facade. The Chechen people are going to the forests. The resistance is growing."

Dzhokhar Dudayev became the first president of the Chechen Republic-Ichkeria in October 1991. He was killed by a missile strike in April 1996, during the first war between Chechen militants and Russian forces.

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