Chechnya: The Inner Abroad

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Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov walks before a meeting of the state council at the Kremlin in Moscow, 18 September 2014. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov


Chechnya: The Inner Abroad

Brussels: Chechnya has made great progress in suppressing insurgency, reconstructing cities and improving its image and official economic indicators. Moscow sees it as a successful model for regions afflicted by deadly violence associated with Islamist insurgency. But stability is deceptive. The leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, has used special ties with President Vladimir Putin, more autonomy than other regional leaders and Moscow’s near unconditional support to make the republic a virtually independent polity, with its own ideology, religious policy, security structures, economy and laws. Its peace is fragile, a result not only of highly personalised governance reliant on repression and arbitrariness that Moscow tolerates and covers up, but also economic inequality, poor social infrastructure, lack of genuine reconciliation and almost full impunity for abuses. To safeguard Russia and Chechnya against new violent conflict, Putin should rein in Kadyrov by insisting on the republic’s better integration with the national state and its laws, more freedom and security for its citizens and accountability for its government.

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Despite superficial appearances, Russia’s arrangement in Chechnya has not resolved the conflict. The insurgency continues to recruit, and stability is illusive and overly personalised. Violence could easily re-emerge, particularly if power were to change hands.
Varvara Pakhomenko, Europe and Central Asia Program Consultant @Pakhomenko_V

Varvara Pakhomenko

Faced with violent repression and no process of reconciliation, what keeps the population obedient is fear. But for peace to become real, collective punishment and intimidation must make way for the rule of law and accountability.
Ekaterina Sokirianskaia, Europe and Central Asia Project Director

Ekaterina Sokirianskaia
Jean-Marie Guéhenno

Chechnya is no model of conflict resolution and the status quo is only storing up problems down the road for Moscow. To safeguard against new deadly conflict, Russian and Chechen leaders must improve governance in the republic and ensure more freedom for its population.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO, @JGuehenno





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