Daydreaming: an Autumn surprise for Kadyrov

Putin could cut Kadyrov down to size

Putin could cut Kadyrov down to size

There is a distinct body of opinion that suggests that this autumn, Putin will have to do something dramatic–and I mean more than just bare-chestedly wrestling some new breed of furry predator–in order to reassert his political authority. In my latest column for Russia! magazine, I engage in some unashamedly unrealistic daydreaming and contemplate all the virtues in Putin turning on his Chechen warlord-satrap-PR nightmare, Ramzan Kadyrov and trying him for embezzlement and human rights abuses. I think it would be a bold and potentially-transformative act. I also think it is as likely as Medvedev launching a coup. After all, while I suggest in outline how it could be done (and if VVP wants a full operational plan, I’m sure he knows where to find me),

Even if it could be done, would it? Alas, here my daydream blows away in the chilly wind of realism. This would be a bold step and the irony is that badass action man Putin is a very cautious politician, one I cannot see making such a move. But nonetheless, this autumn may well see some bid to regain the initiative and persuade the country that the Kremlin still counts. If it is to be something more than another hamfisted PR efforts then it will have to be something bold, unexpected and meaningful. Vladimir Vladimirovich, I still humbly submit that liberating Chechnya from Kadyrov would be all three.

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  1. Kadyrov has done a magnificent job of “dressing up” the dogpile called Chechnya. Getting rid of him in the way you recommend would be like letting all the pitbulls out of their cages at the dog pound. Do you have any first hand face-to-face experience with the Chechen mafias, Professor Galeotti ?

    • Mark Galeotti

       /  July 31, 2013

      Yes, I do have such experience. And Kadyrov has “dressed up” Chechnya the way Assad “dressed up” Syria

      • Great analogy ! Spot on ! But the next question, exactly as with the Syrian dilemma, is what spills into the void ? Russia only has one crude and blunt instrument to restore order on that scale, the Red Army. Unless you think maybe Navalny might find a following there and lead them, without jihad, to the Caliphate ? And, furthermore, what would they do with Depardieu ? He hasn’t finished his movie for VVP yet….!

  2. No evidence of such a daydream in my tealeaves. Not sure this would be a solid move with the Sochi Olympics due to start in less than 200 days. Ramzan has gone out of his way to express his loyalty to VVP, and while Putin may have a few reservations about the Chechen-Frankenstein he helped to create, does he have anything/anyone better with which to replace him? As far as a bold Autumn move, how about dumping Medvedev and replacing him with Rogozin?

    • Mark Galeotti

       /  August 1, 2013

      No, I don’t think it’s going to happen either, hence my calling it a daydream rather than a prediction. There are many lean and hungry Chechens to whom Putin could turn for a replacement, or else give it some time as an interim governorship under someone like Khloponin.


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