Friday, November 3, 2023

Daghestan’s Melikov on the Way to Having Autonomy of Chechnya’s Kadyrov, Nalgin Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, Nov. 1 – According to Moscow commentator Andrey Nalgin, “’a second Chechnya’ is emerging,” not in the sense of being a republic set on acquiring state independence as Ichkeria was but rather as a place where the leader has been recognized as having the right to operate outside the legal framework of the Russian Federation.

            The dangers of that should be obvious to everyone, he argues, because “the process of a country’s disintegration begins with the rupture of a single legislative space and the rejection of its parts to follow a single, one-size-fits-all form of law enforcement, he continues (

            At the beginning of his rule, Putin carried out a war against Chechnya but that conflict ended only when the Kremlin leader was prepared to cede to the Chechen leadership the power to act in many of the ways it wanted even if those ways violated Russian law and practice. Now, at the end of his rule, Putin appears to be doing the same with Daghestan, Nalgin says.

            That is suggested, he argues, by the way in which Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov reacted to the moves of Daghestani head Sergey Melikov in the wake of the protests, suggesting that the Makhachkala leader has “the prerogative” to use what means he chooses to restore order in his republic and that the Kremlin will  support him” in that.

            Moscow apparently will allow Melikov the freedom to decide what means to use and what charges to bring against the demonstrators even if those methods are at odds with Russian law, an approach which suggests that “Daghestan now has ‘a special status’” recalling that of Chechnya and that “the Russian law as written is only optional for its leadership.”

            That is no small thing because other regional leaders will see what is happening, and both those in the Kremlin and Russia as a whole will suffer the consequences.

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