Staunton, September 14 – Vladimir Putin is personally involved in boosting the status of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, seeing him as critical to maintaining order in the North Caucasus and possibly laying the foundation for the Chechen head to become Russian president not immediately but at some point in the future, Dmitry Oreshkin says.
Some commentators have suggested that Kadyrov’s recent attacks on Myanmar for its ethnic cleansing of the Rohingja Muslims and his organization of demonstrations in Moscow and Grozny were not to Putin’s liking; but the Russian political analyst says that is a misreading of the situation (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/309524/).
In fact, the two leaders have been in lock step, with Kadyrov simply taking advantage of the status that Putin wants him to have while recognizing that he must show loyalty to Putin in exchange, Oreshkin says. “Kadyrov is a special political figure in Russia. In Russia now, too much depends on the first person and Kadyrov is [Putin’s] personal project.”
“Kadyrov in turn understands perfectly well that for his political future he must demonstrate personal and ‘unlimited’ loyalty in the negative sense of this word. The Chechen leader must not get into an argument with Putin,” the Russian commentator continues.
“Neither in Ingushetia nor in Daghestan nor in any other region of the Caucasus or in Russia as a whole is there a politician who has such strong influence.” His power is incomparably greater than that of the head of Tatarstan even though Tatarstan is a donor region and Chechnya is heavily subsidized.
What makes it so clear that Putin is behind Kadyrov is that “Kadyrov has many enemies especially among the siloviki” and “only Putin’s protection saves the Chechen leader. The president very much needs Kadyrov because the latter guarantees security.”
But that has consequences: “with each year, Kadyrov’s ambitions only grow.” His position in Moscow is rising as shown by his organization of the demonstration at the Myanmar embassy shows, and now he appears to be in a position to give orders to Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin.”
At the same time, Oreshkin says, “Kadyrov wants to become a global leader of Islam. That’s useful for Putin” as well. “In addition, from Putin’s point of view, the Chechen leader may play a key role in keeping control over the rapidly growing Muslim population of the Russian Federation.
In the immediate future, however, “Kadyrov cannot become Putin’s successor,” Oreshkin says. “Now, this is impossible, but to the extent that Russia is moving quickly toward the side … of an ‘Asiatic’ form of rule,” and Putin is showing himself ever more disposed toward the fuehrer principle of rule, “Kadyrov is a clear representative of this style of administration.”
“And to the extent that this ‘leader-centric’ system of priorities will intensify and the less divided will power be into judicial, legislative, economic, military and ideological components and the more rapid will be the degradation of the state,” Oreshkin concludes, “the greater will be the chances that Kadyrov could occupy the place of the current president.”