Once upon a time, there was a story about the selection of Ramzan Kadyrov. The narrative went something like this:
When Kadyrov turned 30 (the age when he could become de jure leader of Chechnya), there was a debate within the Kremlin about his suitability for the post. The yes side was led by the half-Chechen Vladislav Surkov. Those advocating for a different choice in leader were led by then-Presidential aide Igor Sechin. Sechin’s argument was straight forward: choosing Kadyrov would be a mistake because he would inevitably bite the hand that fed him, that is Moscow.
The debate apparently went on for some months. Kadyrov turned 30 in October 2006, and was not appointed leader of Chechnya until February 2007. Many believed that the deciding factor ended up being Kadyrov’s show of loyalty in murdering the opposition journalist Ana Politkovskaya.
This was the story we were told. This is story we bought into. And this is the story we are again being told. Now Putin has realized his mistake, but it’s too late to turn back. He and we are stuck with the choice that Sechin warned against.
And yet, it all seems a little contrived. Igor Sechin as a prophet doesn’t sit well with me, in the first place. And I don’t think decisions in the Kremlin are made this way.
The writer German Sadullayev told online news portal “Rosbalt”: “I think that this is an artificial construction of the binary system. In simpler terms: “a plague on both your houses”…. This story is not worth a damn.”
“I think the biggest mistake is that people have begun to take sides in the conflict, which does not have, in general, any public content.”
Sadullayev also noted that the story is being sold by the media to the population, even though it has no bearing on their own lives.
Kadyrov is playing the role of
court jester sideshow circus freak, entertaining and distracting people from their daily lives of grinding poverty. As the price of basic goods continues to rise, it is likely that we will see more of the same.
EDIT: I’ve been advised that court jester is the wrong term, because “As a court jester, it would be his role to serve unsavoury truths to the king.” As you can see, I have now amended my text.