Staunton, April 24 -- Yuliya Latynina says it is quite possible that “Putin will go down in history as the man under whom Russia was conquered by Chechnya” given the Kremlin leader’s reaction to Ramzan Kadyrov’s actions regarding LGBT people in his republic and his threats against those who exposed his crimes (echo.msk.ru/programs/code/1967426-echo/
Putin can’t afford to have his subordinates lie to him and remain unpunished. To do so not only shows the kind of weakness that no autocrat can afford lest what one of his underlings does spread to others and ever more of them and others too conclude that they also can do the same thing.
But even more than that, it raises a question that the Kremlin leader certainly doesn’t want anyone to ask: Is he unwilling or even more is he unable to remove Kadyrov? If he is unwilling, that is an indictment of Putin’s own viciousness; if the Kremlin leader can’t, that suggests Putin isn’t nearly as all-powerful as he and his acolytes like to believe.
Latynina’s remark is over the top, but Putin’s behavior in this case in particular makes her words less absurd and easily dismissed than they would have been not long ago. And consequently, they suggest that unless Putin acts against Kadyrov and soon, it will not only be the Chechen leader’s career but his own that may be in jeopardy.