Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Anonymous Internet Messages Urge Chechens of Daghestan to Take Up Arms and Demand Unity with Chechnya

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 12 – Ethnic Chechens in western Daghestan have scheduled a meeting for March 22 to demand the restoration of their own district – their lands are now divided between the Novolak and Kazbek districts. Now, in what organizers say is a provocation, anonymous Internet sources are telling them to demand unity with the Republic of Chechnya.

            The messages say that the response of the Chechens in the district will show which of them is “worthy to wear the papakha,” the national headgear of Chechen men, and which only a kerchief, that worn by women and girls, and called on Chechens there to take arms to achieve their goal (

            This is a long-running issue. Chechnya’s Ramzan Kadyrov has long supported demands for the restoration of a Chechen district in Daghestan and even for its eventual inclusion in Chechnya. He backed down on that at least in public two months ago, but this latest report suggests that Grozny may again be stirring the pot and that there is trouble ahead.

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