Staunton, July 25 – Sometimes what looks like criticism at one level represents support at another. Such is the case with Chechnya head Ramzan Kadyrov’s attack on the map the League of Free Nations presented about the de-colonization of Russia. He attacked it in predictable ways but pointedly asked why the LFN map didn’t show Chechnya and its neighbors as independent.
His criticism is entirely expected: “The Liberals of Europe finally have shown their face. A forum of Free Peoples of Russia took place in Prague and signed a Declaration about the Decolonization of the Russian Federation. The participants divided the country into 34 countries” (russian7.ru/post/dazhe-karta-s-oshibkami-kadyrov-vysme/).
This map, Kadyrov says, shows that it is all about hatred of Russia rather than about support for the non-Russians; and he complains that the map shows a future Caucasus Federation covering the entire North Caucasus rather than the appearance there of independent countries like Chechnya and its neighbors.
Kadyrov’s supporters may view his remarks as those of a true Putin loyalist; but his enemies – and they are numerous – will see them as something else, as those of a man who sees a future for his republic as an independent country. And as the Putin regime tightens its control further, suspicions of such disloyalty may prove enough to dislodge him.
At the very least, the Chechen leader’s remarks show that both supporters and opponents of greater freedom for the peoples within the current borders of the Russian Federation are thinking about a post-Russian future, some with hope and others with fear, and are now discussing not whether Russia will come apart but how.
That won’t pass unnoticed in the offices of the Kremlin and the FSB.