The Babel Caucase Caravan has now reached Turkey, on its way to Chechnya.
Commentary in the French press has been largely supportive of the venture, which aims this month and next to bring a motley group of artistes, musicians and performers to Grozny and other cities in Chechnya. Attacks on the project continue to come from Chechen sources, however. In an article published a few days before the Caravan left Paris last week, one observer wrote that
Alas, this simple gesture of friendship is upsetting some people. Several days away from the departure, the Internet is spreading dirty rumours. The most sickening ones imply that these “clowns” have been invited by Kadyrov, the despot in the pay of Moscow who has had himself elected president, to perform in his honour. Others insinuate that these “pseudo-artistes” are being manipulated by the French government in collaboration with Moscow, which is trying to use them in order to say that everything in Chechnya is normal. False propaganda (intox), in other words. All the more so as these diatribes emanate from Russian-language sites which are clearly Islamist… (my tr.)
See also in this blog: Caucasian Babel