Monsters from abroad (weekly review)
By Vadim Borshchev, special to Prague Watchdog
As part of his intellectual evolution, Ramzan Kadyrov has now progressed to an understanding of the secrets of the “world conspiracy” and is eager to share his discoveries with the public. In fact, however, his political philosophy is not an entirely new one. The view of the United States as the world's axis of evil and the enemy of Russia has a long and solid tradition. Many of Russia’s anti-Western doctrines are founded upon it – Communism, Nationalism, and concepts like the geopolitical theories of Alexander Dugin, which are currently fashionable in certain corridors of power.
On June 10, the website of the President and Government of the Chechen Republic published an interview with Kadyrov in which he says that the U.S. is trying to ruin Russia by provoking instability in the Caucasus. Here is a quotation: “I like to call things by their proper names. The centre is located in America. In America they are working to bring about the collapse of the sovereign Russian state. It’s not the terrorists, or the Islamists. There’s not a whiff of Islam there. They’ve invented this system. They’re creating problems for Russia, they want to ruin Russia.”
The head of the Chechen Republic possesses few of the qualities that would mark him out as an anti-Western leader. Similar accusations, perhaps more skilfully worded, have often been heard from the lips of Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Recently, however, the leader of the Liberal Democrats has become much calmer. That is quite understandable. He now has a decent replacement, who has so far mastered only the basics of the craft, but who in the radicalism of his views is quite the master’s equal.
Kadyrov describes in detail the scheme whereby America plants “agents” in Russia. Here the head of Chechnya clearly derives support from the ideas of his teacher Vladimir Putin, who several years ago pointed to the non-governmental organizations as the chief source of destructive Western influence: “They didn’t succeed with Chechnya – so now they’re trying it through Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Dagestan, Ingushetia. They have a system. All kinds of non-governmental organizations have been set up for this purpose, spreading rumours and gossip and stirring people up, for they know that problems can only be created for Russia in Caucasus by means of religion.”
At the end of the interview Kadyrov calls on Russia’s ill-wishers to give up their attempts to cause her harm. It will never work. And he advises the countries of the post-Soviet space to close ranks round Russia: “The countries of the CIS must also understand that their desire for an orientation towards the West can only lead to trouble. They must live in friendship with Russia. They will end up doing so in any case – she is a great and mighty power, and no one will ever be able to make her collapse.”
As I said before, the inquiring mind is unlikely to detect anything fundamentally new in the Chechen leader’s arguments. However, the point is not the novelty of the ideas, but their direction. Kadyrov’s imagination already feels constricted within the framework of the Caucasus. He is pondering the fate of states and nations, analyzing the hidden machinery of history. As for the toe-curling arguments about the war of annihilation being waged by America on Russia, the head of Chechnya is absolutely in line with the fashion that is being dictated right from the top.
It may be assumed that Kadyrov has been inspired by Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, from whose words he has drawn the strength to expose the insidious plan of the “American Centre”. On the same day, June 10, the leader of the Russian state was in Makhachkala, the capital of neighbouring Dagestan. There, addressing law enforcement personnel, he spoke among other things of the destructive work that is being carried out in Russia by certain forces from abroad. It must be said that in its vigour and specific vocabulary this speech almost surpasses the finest bon mots of Vladimir Putin, which reminded many who heard them of virtuoso criminal slang. Medvedev, on the other hand, expressed himself in simple, almost proletarian terms: “This is an extremism that is being channelled to us from abroad -- when all kinds of monsters are coming to foul up our land.” Compared with this passage, Kadyrov’s interview seems like the acme of politeness and diplomacy.
(Translation by DM)