By Valeriy Dzutsev (the 18/09/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
An increasing number of conflicts between Chechnya’s strongman Ramzan Kadyrov and Moscow may signify that the Russian government is gearing up to change the status quo in Chechnya. Regional authorities and Kadyrov himself have long been exempt from Russian law, which Russian leaders have motivated as a necessity for keeping Chechnya stable. Kadyrov’s success in keeping Moscow at bay has to a large extent depended on his personal relationship with President Putin. Growing resentment among ethnic Russians against North Caucasians and Putin’s weakening position make a tougher position on Moscow’s part against Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government more likely, a development that may have numerous unintended consequences.
by Emil Souleimanov (the 08/21/13 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In mid-July, the Chechen Republic‘s President Ramzan Kadyrov admitted that Chechens have taken part in the Syria civil war on the side of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), allegations that he categorically denied one year ago. Simultaneously, the formal leader of the Caucasus Emirate Doku Umarov reversed his stance on the participation of Chechens in Syria. Umarov has earlier appealed to Chechen and North Caucasian youth to refrain from joining the Syria jihad and instead fight the “infidels” in their native land, but has now expressed his support for North Caucasian jihadists going to Syria, with the ultimate goal for them to return and join the insurgency upon their return from the Middle East.
by Tomáš Šmíd (04/17/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
The Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation recently issued a press release with information on the budget implementation audit of the Chechen Republic. The audit has revealed errors and violations amounting to 7.9 billion rubles (ca. US$ 252 million). While it has not yet been stated whether the violations will be classified as crimes, the Chechen leadership will have to explain how they handle the federal budget funds. To make things more complicated, the question emerges at a time when debates at the federal level increasingly question whether federal subsidies for Chechnya should be retained.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.