January 15, 2016
I have noticed that in the controversy that has ensued around Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov everyone from Konstantin Senchenko to his opposition sympathizers have proudly mentioned their fathers who fought in Chechnya.
The Chechen operation was a series of bloody war crimes by the federal forces (and by the insurgents, but what can we demand of them now, when some of them are gone, and the rest are in Aleppo?) When you take pride in the Chechen War, you are proud of the abductions and torture. You are proud of the Tochka-U missile that fell in the middle of the Grozny market. You are proud of the tens of thousands (only according to official statistics) of civilians killed.
You are proud of the murder of Anna Politkovskaya for telling the truth about the war. You are proud of the occupation regime established there on the bayonets of your fathers and funded by your taxes. You are proud of the “pacification” of Chechnya at the cost of Kadyrov’s terrorist dictatorship, which is quite similar to the most odious Middle East regimes, like that of good old Bashar Assad.
As long as the terrorist regime concerned only the Chechen themselves, you were barely indignant. You only squeamishly wondered that such a wild region bore the name of Russia. You did not ponder the fact the police chief’s teenage bride, Luiza Goilabiyeva, was actually a Russian citizen, and that your fathers had fought for her right to have a Russian passport. You did not think that Adam Dikayev, forced to humiliate himself by walking on a treadmill in his underpants, was just as much a citizen of Russia as was, for example, Vlad Kolesnikov, who was driven to suicide.
But now it suddenly transpires that Kadyrov’s terrorist dictatorship has been terrorizing not only the Chechen people but all of Russia. I hope now the time has come to realize what pride in the bloodiest war in recent Russian history has come to. It has come to the fact the proud son of a great father mutters something into a camera held by one of Kadyrov’s gunman, trying not to stray from the prepared text.
So this does not happen again, we have to realize, among other things, that Konstantin Senchenko and Adam Dikayev are in the same boat, and the Chechen War is not our pride but our greatest shame.
Translation and photo, above, by the Russian Reader
Critic of Chechen leader Kadyrov ‘apologises profoundly’
January 16, 2016
A Russian politician who criticised Ramzan Kadyrov, the Russian-backed Chechen leader, has made a “profound” apology.
Konstantin Senchenko, a local politician in Siberia, had posted criticism of Mr Kadyrov on Facebook.
However, Mr Senchenko then posted a grovelling apology, leading to widespread speculation that he had been forced to do so.
Mr Kadyrov also uploaded a video of Mr Senchenko apologising on to Instagram.
In it Mr Senchenko is seen to say: “I apologise profoundly.”
“I was wrong—I let my emotions get the better of me,” he adds.
The row began on Tuesday when Mr Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, branded some members of the opposition “enemies of the people and traitors” and called for them to be put on trial.
Mr Senchenko then wrote a Facebook post critical of Mr Kadyrov, calling him a “disgrace to Russia” and saying he should “get lost.”
He also implied that Mr Kadyrov was corrupt and ill-educated.
Beneath the Instagram video of Mr Senchenko’s subsequent apology, Mr Kadyrov wrote “I accept,” and added five smilies.
His own incendiary statement on Russia’s opposition is still displayed on his official website, unaltered, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford reports from Moscow.
Mr Kadyrov took charge of Chechnya with Kremlin support in 2007, and continued a long fight against Islamist rebels.
In exchange for loyalty to Russia, the authoritarian Chechen leader has been allowed to maintain his own security force and has largely had a free hand to run the southern Russian republic as he sees fit.
Human rights groups accuse Mr Kadyrov’s security forces of abuses, including torture and extrajudicial killings.