Imam Shamil and Ramzan Kadyrov. Photo: Public heritage, Kremlin press service: kremlin.ru. Collage by the Caucasian Knot

17 August 2019, 12:53

Kadyrov's criticism of Imam Shamil voiced out amid reassessment of Chechen history

The Chechen society is rethinking its history, and the debate about Imam Shamil initiated by Ramzan Kadyrov is an embodiment of this process, the experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on the 20th anniversary of the Chechen militants' invasion into Dagestan, Ramzan Kadyrov drew a parallel between these events and the 19th century Caucasian War and accused Imam Shamil of repressions against Chechens for their unwillingness to confront Russia. On August 8, in Makhachkala, several dozen people came to the Avar Theatre to protest against Kadyrov's words about Imam Shamil. The action caused Kadyrov's discontent. People who continue writing "twaddle and nonsense" on the Internet should come to their senses so that not to initiate war against them, Ramzan Kadyrov said in his recent video message.

Akhmet Yarlykapov, a senior researcher at the Centre for Studying Caucasian Problems at the MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations), has noted that in the Soviet years, the assessment of Imam Shamil's role had changed several times.

"Initially, he was treated as a leader of the liberation movement; then, for some reason, – as a British-Turkish agent; and then he became a hero again. The changes of his role were dictated by ideological reasons. Today, there are different views: someone treats him as a hero, someone does not; but on the whole, historians stick to the viewpoint that Shamil is an outstanding personality and the leader of the highlanders' national liberation movement," Mr Yarlykapov told the "Caucasian Knot", adding that Ramzan Kadyrov's statement has indicated that today in the Caucasus there are opposing opinions about the role of Imam Shamil; and the process of re-evaluating historical events continues.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on August 16, 2019 at 11:49 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Gor Aleksanyan; Source: CK correspondent

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