Staunton, January 7 – Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov has already attracted attention for his calls to hold the relatives of those who protest against his regime criminally responsible for the actions of their family members. But he has also sought to exploit the importance of family ties among Chechens in another way: by public attacking and seeking to shame his critics.
In the short term, the Memorial human rights organization says, this method of dealing with dissent in Chechnya is relatively effective precisely because of “the very large role family ties play” (memohrc.org/news/chechnya-publichnye-unizheniya-za-kritiku-vlastey-i-reakciya-obshchestva).
But in the last two months at least, this method has begun to backfire because many family members are outraged at the ways in which the Kadyrov regime is responding to what they see as the expression of entirely legitimate concerns. And like many elsewhere, they are taking to the Internet to express their anger.
As a result, Memorial concludes on the basis of its analysis of several recent cases and the reaction they have sparked that Kadyrov is multiplying the enemies he faces by angering not just those who have originally complained but their extended families and taips as well, something that may presage more problems ahead for his rule.