Tuesday, May 31, 2016


North Caucasus

The Daily Vertical: Kadyrov's Big Bluff Pays Off (Transcript)

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So it appears that Ramzan Kadyrov's big bluff has paid off.

And as a result, the Chechen leader will now be more powerful than ever.

For the better part of the last year, Kadyrov has been going out of his way to be as obnoxious and insubordinate as possible.

And let's face it, that's a pretty high bar.

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Kadyrov has threatened not only opposition figures, but federal law-enforcement officials as well.

He's flaunted his private army by holding menacing and militant mass rallies in Grozny.

He's imposed an Islamic code of virtue in Chechnya.

His henchmen have been pulling off childish stunts in Moscow like attacking opposition leaders with cake.

And, oh, by the way, he was most likely the mastermind behind the assassination of Boris Nemtsov.

So when Kadyrov said he was planning to resign back in February, it was widely seen as a bluff, a threat, and a dare.

Kadyrov wanted a public display of support from Putin.

He wanted the Kremlin leader to beg him to stay.

And on Friday he got what he wanted -- on national television.

In his 16 years in power, Vladimir Putin has imposed his will over all of Russia -- except, of course, in Chechnya.

There, he has been forced to subcontract his rule to a mercurial tyrant -- who appears to be the only one able to get away with blackmailing the Kremlin leader.

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