The name of the foe

LJ blogger golovin points out that while the Russian government, like Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, likes to call the guerrilla groups of the North Caucasus “bandits” or “gangsters”, what Moscow’s forces are really up against in the region are Islamist mujahedin (akin to the Taleban), who now comprise the Chechen resistance movement and, under the leadership of Dokka Umarov,  command the support of a fair proportion of the republic’s citizens. The fighters’ principal aim and goal is the establishment of Sharia law throughout the North Caucasus. Akhmed Zakayev – now supposed to be ready to return to Chechnya and join Kadyrov’s regime –  no longer represents the Chechen opposition: one look at the Kavkaz Center website is enough to reveal the true nature of that grouping, which is certainly not dead, but is not at all “democratic” or secular. Moscow appears to be blind to this.

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