Wednesday, February 27, 2019
For First Time in a Decade, Kadyrov Marks Chechen Deportation Anniversary on February 23
Staunton, February 26 – Stalin’s deportation of the Chechens and Ingush began on February 23, 1944, a date both peoples hold sacred but one that Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov moved a decade ago to May 10th in order to mollify Moscow which marks that day as Defender of the Fatherland Day and to play down the event by linking it to the anniversary of his father’s death.
But this year, unexpectedly, Kadyrov ordered the anniversary to marked on the correct day – and the day it was marked by the late Chechen President Dzhokhar Dudayev and even Kadyrov’s father, Akhmet Kadyrov, sparking intense discussions as to why he made this move and also why now (caucasustimes.com/ru/kadyrov-napomnil-moskve-o-sebe-i-chechencah/ and kavkazr.com/a/29790243.html).
He may have been shamed into it by Ingush leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov’s deference to the opinions of his people (windowoneurasia2.blogspot.com/2019/02/for-deported-peoples-stalin-remains.html), or Kadyrov may have wanted to send a protest to Moscow over the corruption arrests in the region.
Moreover, some say, the Chechen leader may have decided on this step to show his anger at Russian military types who have become increasingly angry at and even alarmed by Kadyrov’s independent stance. Or he may have been affected by the increasingly powerful Chechen sector of the Internet which very much wants the commemoration to be on February 23.
But one Chechen university instructor provides what could be the real reason: Kadyrov has declared 2019 to be the Year of the Galanchozh District. It was there that one of the most horrific events of the deportation occurred when dozens of men, women and children were rounded up in buildings and then burnt to death.
Not marking the anniversary this past week could very well have triggered the kind of v violent protest in that mountainous region that Kadyrov, ever mindful of his own reputation as the man who pacified Chechnya and keeps it under control, certainly doesn’t want or need at the present time.