Staunton, January 19 -- Chechnya’s opening of new border crossing control posts shows that Ramzan Kadyrov has given up on his earlier call to remove all border posts in the North Caucasus, something that may please the Russian siloviki who view them as helpful but that have no practical use for anyone else, regional experts say.
Indeed, many have suggested that the border posts are targets for attack by militants, although the biggest supporters of them are two groups typically at odds, the Russian security agencies which view them as a way to control the movements of militants and nationalists who view them as a symbol of their republics and a defense against Chechnya’s territorial aspirations.
In November, then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Kadyrov that he too thought it would be a good idea to tear down border posts in the North Caucasus, but reginal activists with whom Kavkaz-Uzel spoke with said Kadyrov’s shift wasn’t linked to his departure (kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/344848/).
These experts said that any decision on the border posts came not from the Russian government but from the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin. Ingush activist Magmed Mutslgov said that the posts weren’t needed but he had not had bad experiences with the ones on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Elsewhere, he said, things were different.