Staunton, April 26 – Vladimir Putin’s recent actions involving Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov show that “he understands that Chechnya de facto isn’t part of the Russian Federation, but he doesn’t intend to think about because if he began to, he would go mad” and there aren’t sufficient drugs in Russia to cure him, Stanislav Belkovsky says.
The Moscow commentator thus says what many have long assumed to be the case given that Kadyrov shows no readiness to obey any Russian law he doesn’t like and a complete willingness to take actions even when they are at variance with the desires of the Kremlin (openrussia.org/notes/708631/).
But even though Putin understands the reality of the situation, Belkovsky continues, he has to as a matter of “psychological self-defense” deny the obvious both in public and to himself because he has continued to insist on his triumph over Chechnya’s drive to independence one of the foundations of his presidency.
And that in turn is what makes the Russian commentator’s words so important. If even Putin as he suggests views Chechnya as being effectively independent, then other Russians will find it easier to do so, even as this statement prompts them to consider how duplicitous the Kremlin leader has been on this and other issues as well.