Staunton, August 19 – Ramzan Kadyrov has divided his republic into eight “sectors” and named close relatives and associates to head them in an apparent effort to ensure that his regime can control the situation even more tightly than it does now – and perhaps in an indication that his control of the republic is not as complete as advertised.
It is not clear what the proximate cause for his decision is (checheninfo.ru/219539-chechnja-chechnju-razdelili-na-vosem-sektorov-.html and kavkazr.com/a/30117063.html). Former Daghestan head Ramazan Abdulatipov made a similar move in his republic in 2013 ostensibly to improve information flows (chernovik.net/content/lenta-novostey/ramazan-abdulatipov-podpisal-ukaz-o-perechne-territorialnyh-okrugov).
When Abdulatipov made this move, some speculated that he was simply copying Vladimir Putin’s decision to divide up the Russian Federation into federal districts; and it is possible that Kadyrov may also be aping Moscow, perhaps in the hopes of currying favor with the Kremlin.
It may also be that he views this arrangement as opening the way for the further territorial expansion of the republic or is simply acting impulsively as he often does. But barring further evidence, the fact that he is choosing to rely on an even narrower circle of family and friends suggests that this latest move is all about the need to enhance his control of the situation.
Relying on relatives is a longstanding tradition especially in the North Caucasus: they can usually be counted on to be more loyal than anyone else. But relying on them alone is a sign of weakness in that it means the leader involved, in this case, Kadyrov, doesn’t have the loyalty of a broader circle on whom he can count.
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