Equal shares

Prague Watchdog’s Andrei Babitsky, writing under a pseudonym, takes issue with Andrei Soldatov’s recent claim that the Kremlin has ceded control of Chechnya to Ramzan Kadyrov [my tr.]:

What causes anxiety to the Russian government’s voluntary helpers is apparently the fact that Kadyrov is killing people not in order to increase the might of the Russian state, but to strengthen his own personal power. The man in the street, however, is bound to feel absolutely indifferent – after all, murders that are “needed” or “unneeded” by Russia, “useful” or “harmful” to it, will be committed in Chechnya no matter who is in charge. Kadyrov’s power is no better and no worse than the power of the  FSB or any other Russian agency, since they are all reinforced by the same conveyor belt of death. And the protection of the public interest, the interest of the state, will not help the lawyers of the  future to obtain a mitigation of the indictment. What matter are not the goals but the methods, and it’s the shedding of blood that counts, not good intentions. Seen with the eyes of the victims, the Russian state struggling for its territorial integrity and Kadyrov’s provincial dictatorship are no different from each other. In both cases the people end up equally dead, and their injuries look the same. And it does not matter at all how the power is divided up, or which of the criminals cherishes a dream of freedom and independence. 

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