Staunton, January 21 – Now that Vladimir Putin’s press secretary has said that there is no reason for thinking Ramzan Kadyrov has said anything untoward about the opposition and that no one should blow out of proportion what the Chechen leader wants, it may be useful to consider another set of indicators of just where Kadyrov and perhaps Putin want to take Russia.
In the face of much critical commentary and plans by Russian opposition groups to hold demonstrations against the Chechen leader, Kadyrov’s people are organizing a meeting in support of the Chechen leader and his proposals to be held in Grozny’s Alley of Heroes on Saturday.
Two days ago, the Chechen nationalities, foreign affairs, press and information ministry put out a list of 60 suggested slogans for those who will be attending (znak.com/2016-01-20/v_groznom_chinovnikov_sgonyayut_na_miting_v_podderzhku_glavy_chechni). They make for most interesting reading. Below is a selection:
· “Only in Russia do criminals call themselves the opposition”
· “Away with Khodorkovsky and [Others Like Him]”
· “The Fifth Column’s Goal is the Destruction of the Country”
· “Let’s Cleanse Russia of Parasites”
· “Don’t Whine, Liberal; Your End is Coming”
· “There’s No Place for Traitors in Russia but there is always one in the fifth column”
· “In a great country, there is no place for liberal trash”
· “Betraying the country is a crime with no statute of limitations”
· “The worse the situation is in Russia, the better the parasites live”
· “Liberals of all kinds crave crises, protests and death”
Presumably in a few days, Kremlin spokesmen and others both in Russia and abroad who accept the Putin line will explain why no one should be concerned about such comments and perhaps why they are simply the justified anger of the Russian population – a disturbing echo of the arguments Stalin’s henchmen used in the 1930s at the time of the Great Terror.