Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Kadyrov’s Fascism Resembles Putin’s But Unlike His is Rooted in Religious Sectarianism, Zakayev Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Mar. 17 – The fascism Ramzan Kadyrov has established in Chechnya has much in common with the fascism promoted by Vladimir Putin, but there is one critical difference which the international community must face head on because it will make rooting out Kadyrov’s variety even more difficult than doing the same with Putin’s, Akhmed Zakayev says.

            The head of the government in exile of the Chechen Republic Ichkeria says that difference involves religion. Unlike Putin’s, Kadyrov’s fascism rests on religious sectarianism and thus has deeper roots (

            Ramzan Kadyrov’s efforts to make of his late father, Akhmat-Haji Kadyrov, “a spiritual teacher and the founder of a new religious doctrine have finally been crowned with success. As a result, in Chechnya, an entire stratum of people has been created, the collective consciousness of which is based on a pseudo-religious vision of the world.”

            It is precisely this that “forces us to conclude that what may be called “Kadyrism” is “not ordinary fascism but rather a certain set of misanthropic ideas arising from religious obscurantism.” Understanding this, Zakayev says, is critical because “the success of any subsequent therapy depends on the accuracy of the diagnosis.”

            Zakayev’s words are important for three reasons. First, they call attention to the fact that Kadyrov, not the Icherkia leadership, is the promoter of radical Islamism. Second, they highlight the ways in which Kadyrov is seeking to revive and use the experience of 19th century Muslim fighters in the North Caucasus who drew on Sufi orders to mobilize their forces.

            And third, and perhaps most important, Zakayev’s observatoins show that for all the similarities between Putinism and Kadyrovism, there is a divide which ultimately will lead to a break between the two, with the fascism of one being ultimately incompatible with the fascism of the other.

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