It is not without reason that Russian propaganda has made Kadyrov the main media character of the Great War against Ukraine. There was benefit even before the attack – an appeal to Zelensky, promises to quickly resolve the Ukrainian issue. In February, he was going to hold a parade with a lezginka in Kyiv, taken in three days. Now he has focused on Mariupol, which he declares for the 26th time “is almost taken”.
It’s not just that Kadyrov is a vile figure at the federal level. And not so much that in order to terrify the enemy, there is a deliberately sculpted image of the Chechens as of wild mountaineer fighters.
During the 1990s, Ichkeria was a symbol of anti-colonial spirit, defiant intransigence, and, ultimately, the ability to defeat Russia’s Goliath. The resistance of little Chechnya inspired admiration, envy and respect far beyond the Caucasus.
To destroy this symbol, Putin threw a huge armada. Earlier, to justify the brutality, he resorted to demonizing the Chechens through hateful propaganda and bloody provocations. Moscow managed to turn the situation in Chechnya and restore the imperial reputation.
Kadyrovshchina is a model of subjugation of a rebellious province. Ramzan’s father was once the chief mufti of Ichkeria, appointed by Dzhokhar Dudayev himself. Guerrilla Mufti Kadyrov Sr. had officially declared jihad at Russia. But Moscow picked up the key to the loyalty of the Kadyrov family, and they led the Chechen Republic as part of the Russian Federation.
Instead of the anarchist freedom-loving Ichkeria, there is now a disgusting Eastern despotism, which contrasts even with its North Caucasian neighbors in its medieval order. The Chechen resistance began to be suppressed by Chechen hands. Former Kadyrov partisans (and for some time Yamadayevs) became “federates” (allied tribes) of their federal enemies.
In April 1995 (around the same time as Ramzan’s father declared jihad in Russia), Moscow security forces (VV, OMON, SOBR) committed genocide against the civilian population of Chechen Samashek. Now Muscovites are not needed, because the Kadyrovites themselves are the basis of the Rosguard in the North Caucasus. Ukrainians once helped Chechnya in the struggle for independence from Moscow. Now the Kadyrovites are conquering Ukraine for Russia.
Putin wants to do with Ukraine the same thing he once did with Chechnya. Ukraine was bold and rebellious, but so was Chechnya. Ukrainians say they will not forgive Russia for the killings and destruction. But the Chechen bard Timur Mutsuraev also passionately cursed Moscow. Now, they say, the former partisan Mutsuraev lives legally in the republic of the former partisan Kadyrov and no longer sings.
Putin’s generals will not stop at any cruelty. They were assured that the war would burn everything down, and victory would nullify everything. As it had in Chechnya. The Russians have already stated that they will rebuild the damaged Mariupol. After all, the mutilated Grozny was rebuilt.
It is not for nothing that Kadyrov became the star of this war. Because who better to understand what Putin is trying to achieve in Ukraine other than him.
But there will be no kadyrovization of Ukraine. There are a number of reasons for this:
1. The bunker rat clearly underestimated the scale of Ukraine. Geographically, in terms of population, this country is ten times larger than Chechnya. The upbringing of either Kadyrovites or Little Russians must be preceded by occupation and strict control, and Moscow does not have the strength in Ukraine to do so.
2. Ukraine is internally stronger than Ichkeria. It has 30+ years of independence, well-functioning institutions, consolidated democracy, international recognition and support in the world. And a modern combat-ready army. The black legend of Russian propaganda about the failed state and Nazism is unconvincing even for the occupiers who find themselves in our cities and villages.
3. The next paragraph follows the thought from the previous one. Ichkeria did not have the effective support of the democratic world, so it made a fatal bet on the international Islamist underground. And the demonization of the “Wahhabis” was easier for Moscow than the demonization of the “Bandera”. Especially after the “black swan” on September 11, 2001.
4. To win over Ichkeria, Moscow followed the path of Chechenization of the conflict. She was able to gather under her wing former guerrillas who were too (or wrongly) dissatisfied with their religious compatriots and their Arab friends. Putin has found Kadyrov and other Chechens ready for a fratricidal war in the name of “national interests.” Instead, the Byzantine principles of domination were broken on the Ukrainian question. After all, the Ukrainian issue is too personal for the Russians. The Kremlin’s propaganda with sincere hatred calls for the destruction of Ukrainian statehood and the reprogramming of the people through total Russification. And this is how propagandists do Ukrainians a favor. They leave them no alternative, but resistance.