Skip to comments.Chechen leader's show of strength muddies loyalty to Putin
Posted on 10/10/2015 5:04:44 PM PDT by MinorityRepublican
Chechnyas macho leader Ramzan Kadyrov is the most loyal of Vladimir Putins regional heads, at least in theory. The central street of the captial, Grozny, is called Putin Avenue, and the lampposts lining it are adorned with the Russian tricolour. Putins portrait looks down from dozens of buildings across the city, and Kadyrovs Instagram account, his main method of communication with the outside world, is full of protestations that he is a foot soldier, supremely loyal to Russias great leader.
But recent events, especially the murder of Boris Nemtsov in Moscow, have led to renewed debate over whether the Kremlins political control over the region, won back after two gruesome wars in the post-Soviet years, may be loosening.
While pledging a feudal-like loyalty to Moscow, Kadyrov has been provided billions of roubles to rebuild Grozny, which has been transformed from a ruined shell reminiscent of Stalingrad to a modern city studded with shiny Dubai-style skyscrapers. Wealthy locals dine in the 32nd-floor restaurant at Grozny City, a five-star hotel, the football team plays at a newly renovated stadium.
But Kadyrov has also built up his own private armies. In an extraordinary address to thousands of his troops, gathered in fatigues and armed in Groznys main stadium in December, a black-shirted Kadyrov said his men were ready to fight for the motherland at any time.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
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