Russian is today paying an annual tax tribute to Chechnya of 10 US dollars, far more than is going to any other federal subject
By Paul Goble for “Window on Eurasia:”
April 17 – Ramzan Kadyrov’s oppression of the LGBT community in Chechnya and his threat to punish journalists who write about it have generated support for helping members of that community escape Chechnya and even Russia and for defending independent journalists against such violent attack
But equally important, the Chechen leader’s behavior is leading some Russians to point the finger of blame for these outrages directly at Vladimir Putin who has routinely dismissed governors for far less justifiable reasons but who seems unwilling or perhaps even unable to do anything about Kadyrov and his Grozny criminal band.
On the one hand, Putin may calculate that he would offend his “traditionalist” base by doing anything serious against someone who attacks LGBTs. And on the other, he may still believe that Kadyrov is the only bulwark he has against a new full-scale war in the North Caucasus, a war he routinely claims to have won even though it very much continues.
In the past few days, many Moscow commentators have directed their attention to the ways in which Putin by failing to do anything about Kadyrov in this case is ultimately leading Russians to ask questions about the Kremlin leader rather than just his notorious consigliere in the Caucasus.
Five of their statements are especially important in this regard:
The commentary above is from Paul Goble’s “Window on Eurasia” series and appears here with the author’s permission. Contact Goble at: email@example.com