Unlike Chechnya, where Vladimir Putin was lucky enough to find a totalitarian bulwark in dictator Ramzan Kadyrov, Dagestan, during the years of Putin’s rule, has gone through six regional leaders, each of them resigning in failure. A similar fate likely awaits the current head of the republic, Sergei Melikov, a Rosgvardiya man dispatched to Dagestan to ensure a police order there; however, as we see, he failed.
Global context of the Makhachkala pogrom
No matter how specific the political atmosphere in Putin’s Russia may be, it should not be viewed as some abstract dictatorship that exists in a vacuum. Putin has done a lot to take Russia out of the global political, economic and cultural context, but banning agricultural imports or, say, Halloween is much easier than isolating the Muslims of Dagestan from global Islam. After October 7, many voices in Arabic, Turkish and Russian spelled out that Israel and Jews are the source of all evil and that one cannot shy away from the global battle against this enemy.
Vladimir Putin is used to seeing the Dagestanis as his loyal subjects and, probably, simply did not believe that no matter how many of his words of appreciation were reproduced on billboards, the pro-Palestine protesters in Paris and London would always be closer to Makhachkala than the colonial (the word is entirely appropriate here) administration appointed from Moscow.
Accustomed to treating foreign countries as the source of intellectual threats affecting young people – LGBT culture, discussions about World War II and even freedom of the press and elections –