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Events in Dagestan reveal loss of authoritarian control in Russian regions – ISW

Wednesday, 1 November 2023, 03:56
Events in Dagestan reveal loss of authoritarian control in Russian regions – ISW
DAGESTAN AIRPORT. PHOTO: KREMLIN-ALIGNED RUSSIAN NEWS AGENCY RIADAGESTAN

The incident in Dagestan and the reaction of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov have indicated that Russian officials are likely concerned about the loosening control on Russia's periphery [the Chechen Republic, known as Chechnya, is a federal subject of Russia; the Ukrainian parliament has recognised it as temporarily Russian-occupied territory of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria – ed.].

Source: Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

Details: Analysts noted that the reaction of Ramzan Kadyrov, Head of the Chechen Republic, to the antisemitic riots in the Republic of Dagestan on 29 October indicated that Russian officials might be increasingly concerned with the weakening of authoritarian control in the regions on the periphery of the Russian Federation.

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Kadyrov reacted to the unrest in Dagestan by supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin's claim that the West had engineered the situation to destabilise Russia.

Kadyrov later urged Chechen security forces to immediately detain those instigating any potential unrest in Chechnya or "make three warning shots in the air, and then fire the fourth in the forehead".

Analysts believe Kadyrov's reaction to the unrest in Dagestan reflects his primary concern with maintaining the outward perception of his unwavering support for Putin and, secondly, demonstrating the strength of his authoritarian rule in Chechnya through the threat of a violent response to potential future unrest.

To quote the ISW’s Key Takeaways on 30 October:

  • Chechen Republic Head Ramzan Kadyrov's response to the 29 October antisemitic riots in the Republic of Dagestan suggests that Russian officials may be increasingly concerned about the weakening of authoritarian control in regions on the periphery of the Russian Federation.
  • Ukrainian forces continued offensive operations near Bakhmut and in western Zaporizhia Oblast on 31 October.
  • Russian forces launched a series of missile and drone strikes against Ukraine on 31 October.
  • Russian authorities detained two suspects for the murder of a Ukrainian family in occupied Donetsk Oblast.
  • Russian forces continued offensive operations along the Kupiansk-Svatove-Kreminna line, near Bakhmut, near Avdiivka, west and southwest of Donetsk City, in the Donetsk-Zaporizhia Oblast border area, and in western Zaporizhia Oblast and advanced near Avdiivka.
  • Former Wagner Group fighters continue to redeploy to Ukraine as part of other Russian formations.
  • Russian occupation officials continue efforts to eradicate [the] Ukrainian language and culture in occupied Ukraine.

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