Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Caucasus Report

Moscow Again Moves To Rein In Kadyrov

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (right) and Kremlin envoy Aleksandr Khloponin share a happier moment in Grozny last year.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov (right) and Kremlin envoy Aleksandr Khloponin share a happier moment in Grozny last year.
Presidential envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District Aleksandr Khloponin has intervened to put a halt to the escalating war of words between Chechen Republic head Ramzan Kadyrov and his Ingushetian counterpart, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, over the disputed border between their respective republics. This is the second time within six months that the Kremlin has moved to thwart an overt bid by Kadyrov to extend his influence beyond the borders of Chechnya.

The dispute between the two leaders erupted six weeks ago following the killings in a special operation of a group of Islamic militants in the Ingushetian village of Galashki. Kadyrov claimed credit for that operation and publicly deplored the purported inability of the Ingushetian leadership to crack down on the Islamic insurgency. He said if Yevkurov was incapable of "restoring order" in Ingushetia, or had no interest in doing so, "we shall do it for him."

Kadyrov also warned that he might insist on formally delimiting the border between the two republics. Ingushetia became a separate federation subject only in 1992 when the then-Checheno-Ingush ASSR was divided.

Yevkurov for his part repeatedly dismissed Kadyrov's account of what happened in Galashki as untrue.  He also stressed that it is inappropriate for the heads of federation subjects to quarrel publicly.

In the wake of the suicide bombing in the Ingushetian village of Sagopshi on August 19 in which seven Ingush police officers were killed, Kadyrov switched tack, publicly positioning himself as leader and protector of the Vainakh people (the collective ethnonym for the Chechens and Ingush). He sought in particular to induce the Ingushetian police to side with him against Yevkurov.

'This Land Is My Land...'

When that gambit failed, Kadyrov upped the ante by accusing Ingushetia of "seizing more and more Chechen territory." He said that Ingushetia had illegally occupied thousands of hectares of land in Goragorsk alone (in the extreme north of Chechnya). Kadyrov said he would raise with Moscow the issue of formally delimiting the border between the two entities, given that "everyone knows that Sunzha Raion and much of the territory of Malgobek Raion is part  of Chechnya."  Kadyrov said formalizing the border would "strengthen the ties of friendship" between the Chechen and Ingush peoples.

Kadyrov's outrage at the Ingush encroachment onto Chechen territory left unpopulated in the wake of the 1994-96 and 1999-2000 wars is wholly understandable. But his counterclaim on Sunzha and Malgobek would eviscerate the Republic of Ingushetia and render it unviable. The two districts together not only account for up to 75 percent of the entire territory of Ingushetia, which is already the smallest of the 83 federation subjects; their transfer to Chechnya would leave Ingushetia split into two segments separated by Sunzha Raion. Prior to the 1934 merger of Chechnya and Ingushetia, Sunzha and Malgobek were linked by the contiguous Prigorodny Raion, which was transferred to North Ossetia when the Checheno-Ingush ASSR was reconstituted in 1957.

Yevkurov, however, countered that since both republics have passed legislation on local government that define the territorial limits of individual municipalities, the precise location of the border has already been determined, and any attempt to revise it would lead to conflict. The daily "Rossiiskaya gazeta" similarly affirmed last week that the border already exists. Yevkurov tasked Prime Minister Musa Chiliyev with implementing the demarcation of the border. He further accused Kadyrov of seeking to extend his authority beyond the borders of Chechnya.

Yevkurov also reminded Kadyrov of the formal agreement signed in March 2003 by Kadyrov's father, Akhmad-hadji Kadyrov, and the then-president of Ingushetia, Murat Zyazikov. That document stipulated that the article of the Chechen Constitution designating Sunzha Raion part of the Chechen Republic refers only to the settlements of Sernovodskoye and Assinovskaya, both in the extreme east of Ingushetia. It says the Chechen Republic Constitution does not extend to the rest of the territory of Sunzha Raion. An Ingush journalist who was present at the signing of that agreement confirmed that the two men viewed it as final, definitive, and not subject to revision.

Even though Kadyrov derives his legitimacy primarily from his father, whose political wisdom and foresight he invokes in virtually every public statement he makes, he apparently refuses to acknowledge that written commitment as legally binding. Instead, he claimed to be in possession of archive documents that prove the legality of his demand that the border should correspond to that separating the two regions prior to the creation in 1934 of the Checheno-Ingush Autonomous Oblast.

Khloponin: 'Simmer Down'

Khloponin on September 7 unceremoniously ordered Kadyrov and Yevkurov to stop sniping at each other once and for all, and turn the issue over to working groups that should "sit down and discuss things calmly." He advised Kadyrov and Yevkurov to "think over what documents" they plan to base their respective arguments on.

Khloponin did not suggest a time frame for reaching agreement. Chechen parliament speaker Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov had said earlier that Grozny intended to have ready by January 1, 2013, the documentary evidence to substantiate Chechnya's territorial claims.

Khloponin's formulation suggests that Moscow has rejected Kadyrov's implicit demand to regulate the dispute in his favor. The rationale for doing so is presumably that whether or not Kadyrov's claims on Sunzha and Malgobek are legally valid, Yevkurov is needed as a counterweight to Kadyrov's ambitions and therefore his position must not be undermined. The Russian leadership similarly blocked in April a bid by Kadyrov to install Chechnya's mufti, Sultan-hadzhi Mirzayev, as chairman of the Coordinating Council of Muslims of the North Caucasus.

Tags: Ingushetia,Chechnya,Ramzan Kadyrov

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
September 12, 2012 21:49
Kadiov will be eliminated pretty soon and the new North Caucasian full-scale war will start. Mark my words.
In Response

by: Steve from: USA
September 13, 2012 13:22
Nonsense. Without Kadyrov the Russian Federation would collapse,starting from Chechnya and the North Caucasus. Putin is nothing without Kadyrov,he is the single man who can keep Chechnya under control. The assassination of Sulim Yamadayev in 2009 was a huge blow to Putin. He was the single possible alternative for Putin among the pro-russian chechens
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 13, 2012 23:38
Define "keeping under control". If you call hundreds Russian troops killed in Chechnya alone every year "keeping under control" I don't know what "lawless" means.
In Response

by: Mamuka
September 16, 2012 22:26
Anonymous, what do you mean by "Russian" troops? There are no more MOD troops in the North Caucasus except for a couple of bases whose troops do not engage local groups. I think most of the law enforcement troops (MVD, Border Guard, itd itp) are from the local republics.

If anything, this actually give Kadyrov more power.
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 17, 2012 11:55
Mamuka get your facts right. They never left the North Caucasus.
If they leave Kadyrov is dead unless he leaves with them or publically asks for forgiveness which might not be granted. Too many people have blood feud with him. Without Russian army he is nothing. Even his own "brothers-in-arms" will turn on him as soon as Russian army leaves. By the way, here are the facts:
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa, canada
September 17, 2012 14:10
Kadyrov s days are numbered, hes now claming parts of inguishetia for chechnia which fuels even more tensions in the region, putin the dwarf is silent on the issue . Kadyrovs home village of Tserentoy, north east of vedeno was shot up last year, but he got away just like the rat he is, a painful death awaits him just like his father before him, check out the website RETWA, it gives the daily tally of violence in the north caucasus . Blood revenge is a silent killer
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 17, 2012 15:49
The full-scale war already started in the Caucasus.

The clash of civilizations between the West and Islamic countries which is going to be known as World War 3 is on the way.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
September 21, 2012 03:35
Whether real war will start or not depends on Russian games.
Thought all comments here have some truth in it, end is wrong.
Like feude in Caucasus might go a along time, it's up and down,
Depending on Empire's policy and its play the clans be dams.

In 1930-th, policy of "Parliament of Nations" was much better,
Not only borders were about agreeable, the neighbors united
As regional "common wealthes", as friends forgetting feudes
With only problem - bandits of Lenin and Nikolashkas gatter,
Waiting for Hitler and Vlasov - make Caucasian "Zhids" dead.

Russia turned many exciled Chechens into the "oboroten's".
They did it to number of other Caucasians, revived feuds too.
Chechen wars and genocide in Abkhazia smarted Rashkas,
They added to direct cleansings-annexations national feuds,
All over Caucasus and Chechen-Ingush-Osetia 3 "bakaros":

Russia army expelled Ingush from Pervomaysky, or puffed,
Bring children of raped Osetia by Russia, Gauliters-bosses,
Use GRU "oboroten's" murder children in Beslan, mess-up,
Get Army platcdarm for Rashkas "voshkas" attack Georgia,
Push Ingush refugees settle in Sunzha and try the feud dop.

They combining direct exterminate-repopulate with the feud,
Even before Caucasian war. They do follow race preference.
Half Osetin children of Russian rape and Rashkas - are first.
Than brainwashed Skifian and Hun Osetins, than oboroten's,
Including Chjechens and "non-Georgian" looking Caucasians.

First to murder, cleanse-out, decriminate - are "noble looking"
People, like the Ingushes, Beslanians and so on, even names
Are label: Mashadov - "Mesh Rustaveli", Yamadaev - "Median",
And so on. Beter return people as it was - read Koran or Bible.

In Response

by: Daryll
September 30, 2012 22:29
Yep, they have been planning this for the last few years.

by: George from: Canada
September 18, 2012 13:28
You write nonsense,alltogether!! Kadyrov has only one goal at the moment: The assassination of Isa Yamadayev,his last prominent pro-russian opponent!! Kadyrov´s killers are constantly hunting Isa Yamadayev in Moscow,but it´s a large city and so far Isa remains alive! All other stories are "second-hand stories". The top story is Kadyrov´s hunt for Isa Yamadayev,who is still being supported by the GRU,the russian army intelligence service
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
September 18, 2012 15:01
george from canada, what nonsense are you talking about, kadyrov is claiming the area east of nazran and malgobek, the inguish are a wild bunch and they dont forget. Kadyrov is a russian stooge , a fake muslim and a pro russian dog, his master the russian dwarf is why hes still in power as for yamadayev who cares if he gets it. as for you George from canada stop reading comic books and fairey tales from the lost and found in second hand bookstores........ crosseur, you wont find that word in any french dictionary
In Response

by: Salman from: Jordan
September 18, 2012 19:00
"as for yamadayev who cares if he gets it."

Well i think,that Isa Yamadayev´s wife and their four children care about it!!! They have a father and a husband to lose,Peter from Ottawa!!! I don´t think,that you can imagine how it must be ,when you know,that killers are hunting you around the clock and around the world!! It must be a horrific life for Isa Yamadayev and his family

by: George from: Canada
September 18, 2012 17:27
Your problem is,that you don´t know anything about Chechnya,you only believe the official [expletive],which has nothing to do with reality.
Putin has almost no influence in Chechnya today and the fight between Kadyrov and Isa Yamadayev will decide the future. The one who survives,will rule chechnya, and the rebels will continue to control the mountains. You cannot ignore the fight between the Kadyrov-and Yamadayev-clans. They are no pro-russian stooges. They have their own agenda,and it is about money,power,oil etc.....
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa, canada
September 19, 2012 13:26
well george from canada, I dont have a problem, Yamadayev is no boy scout, by being involved in the Vostok group makes a guilty party to senseless killings in the north caucasus, if putin has little power in the north caucasus then why are 8k soldiers running around pertending to be soldiers on maneuvors. Putin told makarov to go and being a good lackey russian general he does what hes told.Most russian human rights defenders are dead in the north caucasus do i have to name them all for you. You say I dont know anything about chechnia, sorry again to disappoint you, george from canada, my second home is in the caucasus near the lagodekhi raion near the azeri border. i do ignore the fight between pro russian chechens and i hope they do kill themselves, you reap what you sow. The canadeli katsi

by: Alex from: USA
September 18, 2012 17:55
That´s not a new story!!! The Kadyrov´s and Yamadayev´s always killed each other throughout chechen history. The chechen people is existing for several thousand years and for all these thousands of years the Kadyrov-and Yamadayev-clans are fighting and killing each other! Their clan-war will also continue after the death of Ramzan Kadyrov and Isa Yamadayev,because their sons and the sons of their sons will take their places and so it will go on even in 1000 years! That´s how Chechnya is working! It´s all about clan-honour,blood feuds,oil business etc.....We foreigners don´t understand it

by: Sascha from: Germany
September 18, 2012 19:56
I agree,the war between Kadyrov and the Yamadayev-brothers will never end! It will go on and go on and go on. Even in a rebel-controlled Chechnya they would shoot out their hateful clan-intrigues!! Kadyrov vs Yamadayev is a typcial story,when the two largest parties of a country or war-zone collide with each other. Nothing new in world history

by: Sascha from: Germany
September 20, 2012 08:27
I repeat! The Kadyrov-and Yamadayev-clans will always fight each other. This clan-war in Eastern Chechnya is going on for thousands of years and so it will continue!!!!!!!! It´s about clan-honour,criminal oil-business,illegal drug-trafficking,it´s about land seizure in the Gudermes-district etc.... etc....Putin cannot change it

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.