Streetwise Professor

October 19, 2010

Making Vlad Look Bad

Filed under: Military,Politics,Russia — The Professor @ 4:15 pm

Vladimir Putin recently held forth on Chechnya:

He says that what is happening in the North Caucasus is not “really terrorism in the proper sense of the word.” It is, rather, a struggle between “clans” for the “redistribution of property.” And Kadyrov is not only a “decisive warrior” but also “a very good economic leader,” a “great guy.”

In other words, since what’s going on in the Caucasus is all just a “struggle between ‘clans’ for the ‘redistribution of property,'” Chechnya is just like the rest of the Russian state, so it can’t be terrorism, right?

I wonder if this might make him reconsider:

Islamist militants stormed Chechnya’s parliament Tuesday, killing at least four people in the worst terrorist attack in the embattled North Caucasus since August.

Though Russia claimed victory over insurgents there after two wars in the 1990s, “this attack shows the battle is far from over, and Chechnya is far from being in the secure situation the Russian government would like to see,” said the BBC’s Tom Esselmon.

At least three armed men, who may have also used a suicide bomb, managed to carry out the attack by following the car of a high-level official into the parliament building in the regional capital of Grozny.

Members of parliament were evacuated while a special police unit moved in to battle the gunmen, reports RIA Novosti. The death toll varied in media reports, but all agreed that no parliamentarians were harmed. At least four other people were killed and 17 people were injured in the attack, reports Reuters:

One blew himself up and two others went on the rampage inside, spraying bullets around as they screamed “Allah Akbar” (“God is Greatest”), a Reuters source who spoke to a witness at the parliament building said.

The remaining two attackers holed themselves up on the ground floor and then blew themselves up when forces loyal to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov stormed the building.

Putin likes to claim that he’s tamed the Caucasus, and turned its struggles into a somewhat messier version of politics-as-usual in Russia.  The parliament attack clearly casts serious doubts on those claims.

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  1. One conspiracy theory is that Putin is an American agent.

    Comment by So? — October 19, 2010 @ 7:46 pm

  2. Considering the number of Kadyrovite checkpoints the insurgents had to drive through even to reach the Parliament district there is real concern that Kadyrovs men are in collusion with the rebels to a large degree.

    Sweet dreams Mr Putin….

    Comment by Andrew — October 21, 2010 @ 3:13 am

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