Thursday, July 29, 2010

Window on Eurasia: Kadyrov’s Time is Rapidly Approaching Its End, Ichkeria Portal Editor Says

Paul Goble

Staunton, July 29 – Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, despite the backing he apparently has from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is increasingly offending Russians by his defense of the behavior of Chechens outside their republic, his threats to disrupt the Sochi Olympics, and the increasing evidence that Russian laws don’t operate in his republic.
But today, Musa Taipov, the editor of the anti-Kadyrov web portal, is saying publically what many Russians must now be thinking: Moscow will soon dispense with Kadyrov and impose a new ruler to rein in the Chechens and limit the spread of violence in the North Caucasus (
And while Taipov, a supporter of the Chechnya of its first president Jokhar Dudayev, could be expected to say that, his comments on Kadyrov and on what Moscow may do next are worth attending to precisely because of the growing anger about the Chechens and Kadyrov’s all-too-independent stance vis-à-vis the rest of the Russian Federation.
“Kadyrov as a personality if one can call him that has exhausted himself,” Taipov says, adding that “according to our information, he will not survive this fall. In his place, “the Russian special services are preparing another ‘advertising splash’ which will have a more attractive image.”
Taipov told the site that his own portal is preparing materials on this change, one that he said will bring to office in Grozny “a widely known personage,” “another instrument” to “pacify” the Caucasus who will appear more acceptable to many because Kadyrov has already done so much of “the black work” Moscow wanted.
And the editor suggested that Kadyrov’s departure might be engineered in much the same way that Moscow arranged the departure of his predecessors – that is, through violence – a possibility that Kadyrov is aware of and that could make the next weeks and months in Chechnya even more explosive.
Taipov’s interviewer challenged him on two points. On the one hand, his interviewer said, Kadyrov, according to the Russian media, continues to enjoy “some popularity” among Chechens. And on the other, his interviewer continued, Kadyrov in the opinion of many has achieved greater independence from Russia than Dudayev ever did.
The editor rejected both of those ideas. As far as popular support is concerned, Taipov said that those who think Kadyrov has it should remember the Russian anecdote about the hoodlum and the peasant. After the former asks whether the latter respects him and is told no, the hoodlum hits him in the face and get the answer he wants.
Kadyrov appears to have support on the same basis, Taipov said, because “standing behind this ‘hoodlum’ is the entire Russian army, the special services, the MVD,” and so on. If those things are withdrawn – and Moscow can choose to do that – the answer the Chechen people will give about Kadyrov will be different.
And those who suggest Kadyrov has achieved more independence for Chechnya than Dudayev did are simply “lying.” They “confuse a dog’s chain with Freedom.” According to Taipov, “the Chechen Republic Ichkeria is an independent state which is occupied. And who is this Kadyrov?” Simply a Moscow agent who is “totally dependent” on Russia.
Moreover, the supposed calm in Chechnya as compared with neighboring republics of the region, Taipov continued, is less a reflection of reality than of Kadyrov’s control of media coverage and the specific nature of anti-Moscow forces from one end of the North Caucasus to the other.
In that region, Taipov pointed out, “mobile groups operate. Attacks take place there where they are least expected and where there is room for maneuver. That is, they occur where they benefit [the militants] and discomfort the opponent.” And he said, “the attacks in Ichkeria have not stopped” for a moment.
The difference, he pointed out, is that unlike in other Caucasus republics, “the occupation regime [in Chechnya] has been able to establish an absolutely ‘soundproof wall’ from behind which one cannot hear the groans and cries of a people being destroyed while being kept as hostages.”
“Punitive operations, repressions, murders of journalists and human rights activists have had their effect,” Taipov said. “In the country there is a well worked out schema – in the case of an attack, the place is immediately blockaded,” and people are directed to pass it by. “Curiosity,” he noted, “is ‘not welcomed,’ as you will understand. They bury the dead secretly!”
“In the Caucasus,” Taipov said, “a war is going on,” one that the peoples of that region do not want but that reflects their desire for freedom. The sooner Russians recognize that, the better it will be for them, the editor added, nothing that if they don’t, “the Caucasus will bury the Russia of today.”

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