Staunton, March 31 – Ramzan Kadyrov’s bombastic attacks on foreign leaders are almost certain to be ignored in the West, Igor Yakovenko says; but the Chechen leader’s orchestration of increasingly violent attacks on people inside his republic and beyond its borders can’t be dismissed by Russians because they are a bellwether of what Vladimir Putin will do to them.
Indeed, Russians must pay ever more attention to what the Chechen boss does to Chechens and others who cross him because Putin has been ramping up his own repressive machine on the basis of what Kadyrov has already been doing, albeit on a smaller scale that Putin plans (kasparov.ru/material.php?id=6064808D77109).
“In the chain connecting Kadyrov and Putin,” Yakovenko says, “Chechnya has become the leading link. His regime is stronger and more effective, and therefore Putin pays tribute to Kadyrov rather than the other way around,” not only in terms of the money the Kremlin leader sends to the Caucasian boss but in the way he copies what Kadyrov does.
The recent events just outside of Moscow, called by some “the Battle of Mytishchi,” provide clear evidence of that. A large group of special forces beat and ultimately killed a single pensioner, highlighting “the level of the training of Putin’s security officials” who like Kadyrov’s thugs” are good only at kicking women in the stomach and stealing.”
This is exactly the kind of violence that Kadyrov has been engaged in for some time. Putin is copying that. But he is also copying something else the Chechen boss has introduced: imposing ever greater ideological conformity on those under his power, not yet using the violence Kadyrov’s agents have although that is likely to come.
What is happening in Putin’s Russia is its “Kadyrovization,” its loss of basic norms of law and behavior, and the opening of a civil war between civilization and barbarism, a war in which Russians have every reason to choose the lesser evil now lest Kadyrov leads Putin in still more ugly directions.