RealNews

Slaying sinks Putin's plan for Chechnya

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s answer to the war in Chechnya never has wavered. The breakaway province’s fate would be in the hands of Akhmad Kadyrov, a Chechen but also a Moscow loyalist whose security forces could gradually set the stage for the withdrawal of Russian soldiers. Eventually the fighting would pit Chechen versus Chechen. The war, widely regarded as the biggest failure of Putin’s first four years in office, no longer would be a Russian problem. With Kadyrov’s assassination Sunday, that plan has collapsed. War-weary Chechens are bracing for the kind of brutal crackdown from Russian and pro-Moscow Chechen forces that almost always follows a major terrorist act. Some Russian lawmakers have called for Putin to assume direct rule over Chechnya, which would draw Russia deeper into the decade-long conflict. Full Story

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