How Putin’s ‘Kadyrov problem’ impacts Russia and Ukraine

Putin and Kadyrov

Putin and Kadyrov 

2015/04/29 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Vladimir Putin’s use of Ramzan Kadyrov brought a kind of stability in the North Caucasus – professions of loyalty by the latter to the former and an unprecedented grant of money and power by the former to the latter – but now the arrangement is breaking down both domestically and internationally; and the Kremlin leader faces some stark choices.

If Putin moves to sack Kadyrov, he may provoke another war in the North Caucasus, one that he may find it far harder to win this time around than last; but if he doesn’t, Putin will lose support from Kadyrov’s enemies in the Russian security services and suffer an even greater defeat as a result of his proposal that Kyiv adopt a Kadyrov approach to the Donbas.

Maksim Shevchenko

Maksim Shevchenko

In a commentary in “Kommersant,” journalist Maksim Shevchenko observes that Kadyrov’s directive to his forces that they should fire on anyone coming in from outside not only demonstrated that Chechnya is no longer really part of Russia but also prompted the Russian interior ministry to issue an unprecedented statement.

The Moscow ministry pointed out that calls like Kadyrov’s were impermissible. But it is perhaps understandable why Kadyrov issued one. Not only has there been the disagreement with Moscow over who was responsible for Boris Nemtsov’s murder, but there are indications that some Russian agencies have sent hit squads into Chechnya not to arrest Dadayev but to kill him.

The site of Boris Nemtsov's murder (Image: novayagazeta.ru)

The site of Boris Nemtsov’s murder (Image: novayagazeta.ru)

Indeed, Chechnya’s ombudsman Nurdi Nukhazhiyev has pointed out that those going in to Chechnya have behaved in precisely that way. “The operation of the [Russian] siloviki reminds one more of the work of killers” than of law enforcement personnel. They wouldn’t have done this unless they were well paid or well-connected.

Someone is going to have to be replaced or back down, either the Russian interior ministry or the Chechen side. “It is evident,” Shevchenko said, “that the situation has taken a serious turn: Kadyrov is ready to retire.” Certainly, in the end, “either he will go or the leadership of the MVD.”

Which one leaves may depend entirely on Putin, but whatever he decides will have fateful consequences for his future.

Yevgeny Kiselyov

Yevgeny Kiselyov

Meanwhile, Yevgeny Kiselyov writes in a blog post for Ekho Moskvy, Putin’s “Kadyrov problem” has spread to Ukraine and affected how people there view their future, all in ways that are exactly the opposite of the ones Vladimir Putin has been hoping to promote.

“Only the blind,” he says “do not see that in real life, Chechnya has a level of independence which the late Dzhokhar Dudayev did not aspire to even in his most courageous dreams.” It has “in fact” stopped “living in the Russian legal space,” something that has consequences not only within Russia but internationally.

Putin and his foreign minister are now talking about the need to fight ISIS, Kiselyov says. “Mr. Putin, on the one hand, hypocritically expressing concern about this same ISIS; on the other hand, has cynically proposed to German Chancellor Merkel” that she suggest to Kyiv that it deal with the “DNR” and “LNR”as he has dealt with Chechnya.

That proposal was “not some kind of abstraction but a fully concrete attempt to impose on European leaders ‘the Chechen model’ of resolving the situation in Ukraine.” Although it was made last November, Kisilyov says he “fears that it has not been buried.” Kadyrov’s recent actions raise a dangerous specter.

“The Orthodox-Stalinist khalifate” which might arise if the Europeans were to try to force the Ukrainian government to accept it would create “in the center of Europe” a force that “in the short term would eclipse any ISIS.” But even before that, the very possibility is driving more and more Ukrainians to view NATO membership as their only real choice.

Polls show that support in Ukraine for that step is growing daily, Kiselyov says, adding that “of course, from a poll and even from a referendum” about this and “the real entrance of Ukraine” into the Western alliance “is a distance of enormous size. But the beginning has occurred,” and for this, the commentator says, “enormous thanks to Putin” and his man Kadyrov.

Edited by: A. N.

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  • The truth

    It is not very easy today to be a dictator ! Everybody around wants to take the job .
    It seems that putin did bet on the wrong horse ! It is not the first time !
    Kadyrov is tired to see all those russian green men in his land .
    The sovereignity of Chechen must be respected . Putin has no choice, international law must prevail !

    • LorCanada

      I wonder if Kadyrov will live long enough (a non violent death implied) to see this political change take place, call it Chechen self rule.

      • jeaniansimard

        He will,why? simple he spend at least 50% of the country`s money on self-defence stuff like,all of is friends getting the best equipment and weapons and biggest pay`s.Ramzan alway`s have at least an entourage of over 150 bodyguards and cops with him”like the pope”

        • LorCanada

          …,,,

          • jeaniansimard

            wow! pretty hard to follow Lor!

          • LorCanada

            Just as well, bye bye.

    • Dagwood Bumstead

      Since Chechnya is part of the Russian federation, I don’t think international law applies here.

      • Michel Cloarec

        You are right, but because I am convinced that RF would be much better off with 80 independent republics , and russia own republic .
        How many republicans in russian republic would that be ?

        • commieslayer

          About 60 million. Close to half of russia’s population is not ethnically russian.

          • Michel Cloarec

            The coup in 1991 gave many new independent countries !
            Next coup soon and little russia is born . 60 M is not that difficult to influence .
            If kremlin keep sending funds to Kadyrov, Kadyrov can´t move . But if these funds cease to come. Kadyrov will have a revolution on his butts .
            Buy popcorns , it will be a spectacle !

          • The truth

            Russia republic could be part of europe ! But kadyrov must take care of putin first !

  • Brent

    Slowly but every so surely, Russia spins out of control…soon all the terrorists in Donbass will head home to fight for their families and regional interests as Putin’s karma comes back on all of them.

    When the inevitable next Chechen war breaks out, I only hope Ukraine is able to seal off its borders in time to stop it from boomeranging back in.

    • Czech Friend

      I can wait to see Russia imploding and Putler tasting his own terrorist medicine right to the bitter end.

      Bring on the popcorn and take a seat, it’s gonna be a fun show!

      • Dagwood Bumstead

        Basically the demented dwarf is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he supports Kadyrov he stands a good chance of losing the FSB’s support, which knocks away one of his most important props. If he supports the FSB top, he alienates Kadyrov. Kadyrov may well withdraw his scumbags from the Donbass to strengthen his forces at home and kick Moscow out of Chechnya, which the dwarf won’t be able to accept without losing face in Russia- Dugin, Zhirinovsky, Guzenkova and all the other extremists will be baying for his blood. He will then be forced to send troops to get rid of Kadyrov- easier said than done. The Russian Army isn’t strong enough to deal with both Chechnya and the Ukraine at the same time so what’s he to do?????

        • Czech Friend

          have Khadyrov assassinated? According to rumours that is what was to happen recently but the killer is said to have defected and prompted that openly angry and “unprecedented” reaction from Khadyrov.

          All in all, war of two leading criminal gangs in Russia is a great news for all civilized world and Europe in particular.

          • Dagwood Bumstead

            Simply assassinating Kadyrov won’t solve the dwarf’s problem. Who will replace Kadyrov? Will he be more loyal to Moscow than Kadyrov or set up his own shop, so to speak? If the latter, the dwarf will have to take action….. meaning possibly a third Chechen war, Grozny and other towns ruined again, Russian troops going home as Cargo 200 and 300 etc etc. And this when the dwarf is already waging war against Kyiv. Ironically, the Chechens might thus become a distant “ally” for Kyiv, tying down Russian troops who might otherwise be sent to the Donbass or other parts of the Ukraine. Given the dwarf’s obsession with the Ukraine a Chechen war is the very last thing he needs.

          • Czech Friend

            true, but as we’ve seen with Ukraine there’s only one party needed to start a war. This time it could be Khadyrov “protecting” his home turf.

            Interesting times ahead for uncle Pootie.

          • Dean Venture

            That’s the resolution I expected too. Any hit isn’t going to be on Dadayev, it’s going to be on Kadyrov.

      • The truth

        I have been waiting 12 months ! I wait little more time, but I have bought the popcorns already !

      • jeaniansimard

        i also can`t wait!!!Putler must die,he must shoot himself…like the real hitler!ya

        • Czech Friend

          that would be too easy for him in my book.

          I’d rather see him end up like Mussolini or Khaddafi. His death should be a very public one and most degrading such as his crimes against humanity.

          • gmab

            Yes, I agree. Justice must be served. Maybe this time, if Putin hangs, the Russians will finally wake up & start investigating their Governments, past & present then grow up and take responsibility for their part in allowing Fascism to reign over them for decades. Evil must be destroyed!

          • jeaniansimard

            Your so right my Czech friend…i 100% agree with you on the public death for the dictator.

      • commieslayer

        Will happen, but it will take more time.

    • commieslayer

      If it breaks out, this time it will involve Dagestan as well rather directly. Ukraine is sufficiently far from both not to have to worry too much. In fact, they would get help from both.

  • Dean Venture

    With the Chechen security forces well armed and I assume loyal to Kadyrov, I’m guessing Putin will have a harder time this go around. It would certainly be good news for Ukraine, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this launched a few more republics, particularly Dagestan, into wars for independence. With Putin occupied inside Russia, Georgia could clear up its territorial problems, as could Moldova and anyone else saddled with one of Putin’s bastard statelets.

    A pipe dream, perhaps, but my fingers are crossed.

    • commieslayer

      Dagestan is key. Also Tatarstan if one really wants to make it interesting for Putin.

  • Michel Cloarec

    And now we get the concurent of Ian Flemming , When is the book coming out, maybe a film also. I can´t wait anymore to see !

    • commieslayer

      Yuriy is one of those paid pro-Putin posters, no point in answering his nonsense.

      • Michel Cloarec

        Triplet brother with Igor and Grahams Phillips .