Sunday, August 4, 2019

‘Putin Wants to Extend Kadyrov’s Type of Rule in Chechnya Across Russia,’ Shmulyevich Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, August 1 – Some view Ramzan Kadyrov’s drive to expand his system beyond Chechnya as a threat to Moscow (, but Avraam Shmulyevich says Vladimir Putin backs Kadyrov’s efforts and wants to impose the Chechen leader’s system as the model on Russia as a whole.

            Chechnya under Kadyrov, the Israeli specialist on the North Caucasus says, is “a laboratoroy in which the Kremlin is working out what it would like to see throughout Russia. He made that argument on Israeli TV, a transcription of which has now been posted on (

That explains both why the Kremlin doesn’t react to what appear to be challenges from Chechnya and why the Putin regime increasingly copies policies that were first developed by Kadyrov’s regime, Shmulyevich says.  In his television interview, he gives two recent examples of the latter.

On the one hand, after the Chechen information minister suggested that spokes people should not discuss anything until it is approved in advance, approximately the same model was “immediately applied in other cities of Russia, but there it was not the powers who acted as censor but the Orthodox Church.”

And on the other, Kadyrov’s police have become an example to units elsewhere with regard to the use of force against prisoners.  What the Chechen leader has been criticized for over the last several years, Shmulyevich continues, other Russian police units have begun to use more generally in recent months.

With Putin’s approval and admiration, Kadyrov has not only suppressed all opposition in Chechnya but has “created a reliable resource of forces which Putin could use in the case of disorders in other regions without having to worry that they might betray him” by going over to the side of the people. In short, Kadyrov’s Chechens are the new janissaries.

At the same time, Shmulyevich continues, Putin exercises real control over Kadryov both because the Chechen leader is dependent on Moscow’s largesse and because Putin has worked hard to ensure that the FSB is a counterweight in the North Caucasus to any move Kadyrov might make that in Putin’s view would be going too far. 

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