Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has placed his cousin in charge of rebuilding an Grozny apartment building scorched in a fire last week and ordered two Chechens who posted a video spoof of the blaze online to help.
A short circuit in the air conditioning system has been blamed for the blaze that broke out on April 3 in the gleaming 40-story tower — the tallest apartment building in Chechnya and part of Kadyrov's showcase Grozny-City complex.
No one was injured in the fire.
"My brother Adam Delimkhanov is now responsible for the restoration of the skyscraper," Kadyrov said on his Instagram account. "All work will be completed by Sept. 30."
Chechen authorities want to restore the tower in time for Grozny's city day celebrations on Oct. 5.
Delimkhanov is a State Duma deputy with United Russia who for a time was put by Dubai on an international wanted list for in connection with the 2009 slaying of Sulim Yamadayev, one of Kadyrov's chief rivals, in Dubai. Delimkhanov has denied any involvement in the death.
In rebuilding the Phoenix, Delimkhanov will receive assistance from two Chechen men who incited Kadyrov's anger for publishing online a parody video of the fire.
"Two residents of our republic who posted a video onto the Internet of the burning building with malicious slogans will be actively involved in the repairs of the skyscraper," Kadyrov said in an earlier Instagram message. "They have realized their mistake and have promised not to slack off from the work."
The fire, which roared through most of the building's floors but whose damage was mostly limited to its facade, prompted a flood of spoof photographs and videos on the Internet. A collection of the photos published on The Moscow Times' Facebook page includes one showing Kadyrov performing a traditional Chechen dance in front of the burning building and another of the fire with the caption, "Allah Gives, Allah Takes Away."
In his latest Instagram message, Kadyrov also said he had inspected the building, whose name he changed from the Olymp tower after the blaze.
"I traveled up to the very top of the Phoenix," Kadyrov said, adding that Grozny "is very beautiful, especially from high up."