Russia’s Wild West
The German newspaper “Die Welt” published an observation which was written by their Moscow correspondent, who was recently visited Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
The article describes the North Caucasus as a region where no laws or rules exist.
The newspaper wrote that after the attacks in 2010 at Kadyrov’s home village, Khosi-Yurt (Tsentroi) and at the puppet regime’s parliament building in Grozny, Kadyrovites are nervous and they are trying to prevent similar attacks. There is strong security along a two kilometer long road to Kadyrov’s luxury residence. The writer illustrates Kadyrov’s residence as in “1001 night’s fairy tales” because of the gold materials in the residence, his personal zoo in the backyard and dozens of cars, including a Mercedes 600 and a Porsche Cayenne.
The author of the article points out the contrast in Grozny city center’s newly built apartments and people’s daily life. The writer says there are small placards on the walls of houses which were written by desperate relatives of kidnapped people such as, “Has anybody seen Ruslan? He has been missing since September 30th…”
“The external appearance of Grozny is great. But what is happening to people here, no one learns. It is like the Stalin era, everybody keeps their mouth shut. But somebody has to talk, but somebody must tell the truth,” says Tamara from the nearby town of Argun, when she was explaining her feelings to a foreign journalist even as her daughter was trying to prevent her.
She shows a photo of her son, Valid, and starts to explain his story. Valid was a boyevik, an underground fighter. When Valid turned 18, he left home and went to the mountains to fight against the Russians. A few months after, he believed Kadyrov’s amnesty offer and came back. He was immediately arrested and imprisoned, but after a while he was released due to his good behavior. After this their hell on earth started.
“The masked men came again and again. They beat him, me, my daughter and children. I was falling on my knees, crying and begging them. What do you want him? He was excused during the amnesty,” says Tamara.
Finally, she persuaded his son to go Turkey to live in safety, but on his way he was caught and imprisoned.
He was kept in prison under false charges. When his beard grew out, he was dressed in a military uniform and shot in the woods. “They showed him on television as a dead boyevik (Chechen mujahed),” says Tamara. According to the victim’s mother, there were 18 amnestied boyeviks in Argun, but now only three of them are alive.
On the other hand, the residents of Ingushetia points out the fear and lawlessness in the country. They say the militia (security forces) attacks peaceful civilians, beat and threaten them.
According to the article, the North Caucasus has become the biggest challenge for Russia. There is a risk that Moscow will lose the region. Behind the guise of religious conflict, there is an exploration of desperate people hiding with a cynical and merciless state bureaucracy in the interests of power and possession. Ultimately, the North Caucasus is a mirror image of Russia. A country in which the interests of those in power are enforced at the expense of the ruled. The situation could become worse with the Olympic Winter Games 2014 in Sochi. For Putin, who wants to be President again, he would like to demonstrate how successfully developed the country has become under his leadership. No matter what the cost.
*Text was translated by Waynakh Online and edited by Michael Capobianco