Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Chechnya - Image and Reality 3

The BBC reports that Angela Merkel "has urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to help protect gay rights". While this is a venture that is unlikely to succeed, and so one wonders why the German Chancellor is wasting her time in this way, it's also troubling to note that once again that the public image of Chechnya and Chechens is being tainted:
Homophobia is widespread in Chechnya, a mainly Muslim region run by Ramzan Kadyrov, an authoritarian leader with a notorious private militia who is fiercely loyal to President Putin.
 "Homophobia is widespread in Chechnya" is a sweeping statement that needs to be backed up by facts.

It's undoubtedly true, however, that homophobia is widespread in Russia, and this has been verified time and again, both in Russian and Western media.

Somehow the "Chechen" element in this ongoing story needs to be extracted and put aside. The problem is not "Muslims" and "Chechens" but the regime of President Putin himself, which promotes a thoroughly homophobic policy throughout Russian society, and is attempting to extend this to its colonies and fiefdoms. Ramzan Kadyrov may be an "authoritarian leader", but he is a puppet leader, acting at the behest of the Putin system.

Chechnya - Image and Reality
Chechnya - Image and Reality 2

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