Staunton, December 4 – The violence overnight in the Chechen capital not only underscores the fragility of peace in the North Caucasus but represents “a last warning” to Vladimir Putin that he must change course or face a future in which he will be searching for political asylum somewhere outside of Russia, according to Vladimir Ogryzko.
Ogryzko, a Kyiv commentator who earlier served as Ukraine’s foreign minister, says in Novoye vremya today that “the events in Grozny are the latest ‘little bell’ for Putin and his regime, which show that the Kremlin must immediately rethink the situation” and change course.”
“A continuation of Moscow’s [current] aggressive policy will lead to only one thing: the acceleration of the disintegration of Russia into parts,” he says. Thinking people in the Russian regime must recognize this, and the longer they delay acting, “the greater the probability will be for the strengthening of centrifugal trends and the appearance of new sources of conflict.”
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov showed that he does not understand the situation by leaving his capital and going to Moscow to listen to Putin, “despite the events in Grozny.” And this in and of itself is one more indication that “both the central and regional Russian leadership is completely lacking in an adequate understanding” of what they now face.”
To put it most bluntly, Ogryzko continues, “the problems of the Russian Federation are beginning to shift from the economic area to the political one, with all the negative consequences which can in a short time cast doubt on the fact of the existence of Russia.” All of Moscow’s muscle flexing cannot solve the problem. Indeed, it may only make it worse.