The dynamics of Kadyrov’s regime: between autonomy and dependence

In: Caucasus Survey
Emil Aslan Souleimanov Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of International Studies, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic

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Grazvydas Jasutis Institute of International Relations and Political Science, Vilnius University, Vilnius, Lithuania

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This article examines recent developments in Chechnya with a particular focus on its leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, whose influence has long surpassed the borders of the republic and whose further provocative behaviour and uncontrolled actions may face repercussions at the federal level. The research consists of two major parts explaining the psychological, political, social, security, and economic dimensions of the Kadyrov regime and its potential for collapse. It employs a cognitive approach to analyse the Kadyrov–Putin relationship as well as a behavioural perspective focusing on individual–psychological factors. In addition, the study thoroughly analyses Kadyrov’s regime and the elements of his personal clout that remain heavily dependent on Moscow’s assistance. The article concludes that, despite frictions, the Kadyrov regime has been advantageous to federal authorities, has mostly operated within Moscow’s comfort zone, and has pushed forward Moscow’s interests. As long as the strategic partnerships between Grozny and Moscow and Kadyrov and Putin continue, there will be no significant steps taken to replace the regional leader.

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