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  • Writer's pictureDmytro Levus

Division of Russia. Trends: December 15-28, 2022.

1. The possible creation of "special forces’ universities" in Russian regions is evidence of the increasing political struggle and efforts to maintain strict governance in the country.


Kiriyenko and Kadyrov seal their alliance in Chechnya.

The first deputy head of Russia's Presidential Administration Sergey Kiriyenko's visit to Chechnya, accompanied by Vice Prime Minister Trutnev, where the politicians appealed to Putin regarding the need to create training centers for fighters throughout the country, caused a stormy reaction. Many observers of the situation in the Russian Federation saw this as the beginning of Russia's fragmentation. In particular, something akin to 'universities of special forces' would allow local authorities to create power structures that are not under the control of the federal center or with a high degree of autonomy, similar to Kadyrov groups. It is noteworthy that radical Russian nationalists expressed likewise sentiments. Some believe that the privilege of creating akin structures will be given to national entities within the Russian Federation, inciting internal divisions. Such ideas are largely about the struggle for power in Russia and its life conditionally after Putin. This is evidence of Kiriyenko's strengthening positions and confirmation of his alliance with Kadyrov and Prigozhin as the owners of private power structures. However, information is currently appearing about Kiriyenko's possible distancing from Prigozhin. Both Kadyrov and Prigozhin, recently in connection with the war and their conflict with the leadership of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, which they accuse of not being able to complete the so-called special operation and trying to demonstrate the higher efficiency of their power structures, were called possible future "rulers of Russia". However, they cannot become such. Instead, Kiriyenko has such potential and political weight. Moreover, Kiriyenko has experienced the growth of his influence associated with Russia’s efforts to build the administration of the occupied Ukrainian territories. He regularly visits the occupied territories, including the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. He also aims to invent mechanisms for circumventing sanctions. There are persistent rumors in the Georgian expert community about Kiriyenko's secret visit to Georgia for this purpose, which under any circumstances is indicative. At the same time, Kiriyenko probably does not have a significant influence on the Russian power bloc, and allying with the owners of these private armies is quite logical for increasing influence. The development of similar special forces universities in other regions is also quite logical in this context. The Kadyrov and Wagner forces are not enough to maintain power if there is political turbulence. At the same time, so-called Universities may only open in regions where Kiriyenko has strong positions, which is confirmed by the lightning support of the statement by the head of the Far Eastern Federal District. That is, it is unlikely that the governors' control over these power structures will be decisive. Just as they can become the basis for "ethnic" power structures and separatism. At one time, similar efforts of Dagestan were suppressed. On the contrary, it is about the formation of a parallel power vertical, which is designed to maintain control over the country's territory during a crisis and struggle for power. In any case, this is evidence of the difficult times of the Russian Federation that are approaching and the creation of a parallel power structure throughout Russia. Its purpose at the moment is precisely to preserve manageability and control within the framework of a united and indivisible Russia, although it is in the interests of a certain alliance of disparate figures of the Russian establishment.


Open sources information.

2. Idel-Ural State


Bashkortostan


A Bashkir activist on a picket demanding justice for the activists who are being tried in the Karmaskalin case.

In Bashkortostan, the court verdict in the so-called Karmaskalin case should have been announced on December 28. The case concerns activists who defended Mount Kushtau for several years. Mount Kushtau is sacred to the Bashkirs, yet it fell under the threat of destruction by the development of the Bashkir Soda Company. The story culminated in the confrontation in 2020. Later, as a result of the provocation, there was a mass detention of activists in the Karmaskalin district under the pretext of their alleged readiness to fight and organize an inter-ethnic conflict. The Bashkort organization was banned in Russia, and one of its leaders, Ruslan Gabbasov, was forced to emigrate to Lithuania. There are pickets in Bashkortostan in support of activists who are on trial. However, today it became known that the sentencing was postponed to January 10.

The Bashkir pseudo-national volunteer battalion is marching toward death for imperial ambitions.

Part of the activists, under the influence of propaganda, supported Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine. They participate in combat operations in Ukraine as part of three volunteer battalions from Bashkortostan. At the same time, there is information that some of the so-called volunteers were hiding from investigation and persecution in this way. (Currently, the third battalion is being sent to Ukraine, which the Russian authorities, with particular cynicism, allowed to be named after the Bashkir hero Salavat Yulayev, who fought against the Russian Empire during the Pugachov Uprising).


Tatarstan

Rustam Minnikhanov, President of the Republic of Tatarstan.

We can confidently assert that Moscow's attack on the sovereignty of the Republic of Tatarstan has been successful. Tatarstan changes its Constitution at the request of Moscow. From January 1, 2023, RT is forced to give up the post of the president of the republic. Now, the president will be called the head of the Republic of Tatarstan. The federal center insisted on this for a long time. However, amendments to the Constitution of RT (without any public discussion) were submitted to the State Council ten days before the deadline set by the State Duma. The deputies of the Republic also decided to exclude from the Constitution the reference to the sovereignty and citizenship of Tatarstan. They also excluded the provisions on citizenship of the Republic of Tatarstan and mentions of the treaty between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tatarstan "On the demarcation of subjects of management and mutual delegation of powers". The State Council of Tatarstan did not support this project at the time. However, the law was passed. It obliges the regions to make changes to their constitutions and statutes by the end of 2022. It's noteworthy that Tatarstan made an attempt to play " independence" in the matter of naming the head of the subject of the federation, which allows for an additional name, and they used the opportunity to call the head of Tatarstan "rais", which can be translated as "head".


3. NORTH CAUCASUS AND CHECHNYA


Chechnya


In Chechnya, echoes of the mass conflict between the residents of the city of Urus-Martan and the employees of the traffic police, which occurred due to the actions of an employee of the special task force who struck a policeman, with the latter opening gunfire in response, are noticeable. Kadyrov's harsh reaction was not the only one. The chief of police of the Urus-Martanovsky district threatens to punish residents for any mass gatherings. Police raids continue in the city. Chechen opposition sources claim that the security forces kidnapped about 20 people, including those who merely filmed the events.


Stavropol and Kabardino-Balkaria


The police and the FSB report an active fight against protesters who are actively opposing Russia's war against Ukraine and destroying military checkpoints. With this, on December 20, a 20-year-old resident of Nevinnomyssk was detained. He was allegedly going to burn down the military commissar, for which he prepared bottles with an incendiary mixture. The authorities claimed that he acted on the instructions of the Defence Intelligence of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, with whom he communicated via the Internet. It is also reported that the Russian is a Slav and takes pro-Ukrainian positions. On December 26, in Kabardino-Balkaria, FSB officers killed two previously convicted residents aged 40 and 45 in a shootout, who were allegedly planning to attack the Chegem military post. They had a pistol, a machine gun, and explosive devices. When they tried to detain them on the outskirts of Nalchik, they resisted and were shot. At the same time, in both cases, it may be a provocation by the FSB since it is in the North Caucasus that this is one of the main methods of punitive bodies of the Russian Federation, which either provokes an illegal act, having the case under control from the very beginning. In this case, an "employee of the GUR of Ukraine" may well be an FSB member, or he kills potentially opposition-minded people, attributing crimes to them (the case in Kabardino-Balkaria).

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