Day: October 6, 2008

Vanishing vendettas

Prague Watchdog’s weekly review looks at the current stalemate in Chechnya, where centuries-old tradition is being ousted by a bizarre political regime which combines the old with the new in disconcerting and, for the moment, paralysing ways:

How many of Kadyrov’s blood feud enemies, or those who can be considered as such today, are merely sitting quietly in their corners, unable to decide on any action? Dozens, hundreds? No one will give you an exact figure, but any Chechen will confirm that there is no shortage of people who have reconciled themselves to Kadyrov or have even gone over to his side – the side of the man on whom it is possible to lay the blame for the death of one’s relatives (though not necessarily, as according to adat, guilt is apportioned depending on circumstances).

Whether the Yamadayevs will take their revenge or not it is hard to say. However, the hopes that Russian society has placed in the traditional Chechen way of life, which is thought to be capable of putting a stop to the Chechen leader’s bloody, arbitrary activism, are unfounded.