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01 August 2020, 13:23

Historians explain sharp reaction in social networks to awarding Chalaev's colleague with medal

Wearing an award with the image of General Yermolov, who in the Caucasus is treated as a "bloody executioner", has expectedly drawn criticism addressed to the colleague of Zamid Chalaev, the commander of the Akhmat Kadyrov Chechen special regiment, historians assert. They linked the appearance of the Yermolov Medal on the law enforcer's chest with professional deformation.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that Zamid Chalaev, the commander of the above regiment, while congratulating his colleague Arsen on his birthday in social networks, wrote that the latter "was in Ukraine, South Ossetia, Libya and Syria." Chalaev's post was a rare case of official confirmation of the participation of Chechen natives in hostilities in Donbass.

The medal "For Service in the Caucasus" depicts General Yermolov, an ambiguous historical figure. Residents of Caucasian regions treat him as a chastener, and even accuse him of committing genocide of Caucasian nations.

"He doesn't care what medal to wear: for Donbass, Syria, or with Yermolov's portrait ... The main thing for him is to show what kind of warrior he is, and in what wars he participated," says Alexei Malashenko, an Orientalist. In his opinion, Chechen authorities have to manoeuvre between the Kremlin's official attitude to Yermolov as a hero of the Caucasian War, and the negative attitude to him of residents of Chechnya.

In the Chechens' historical memory, Yermolov is "a bloody executioner and killer," said Amiran Urushadze, a member of the Free Historical Society.

No matter how General Yermolov's person is presented in the course of history, in Chechens' memory he will forever remain as a murderer, Rizvan Ibragimov, a publicist and historian, has noted.

YouTube users have called the award with Yermolov's portrait a "shame" for a Chechen.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 31, 2020 at 09:59 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Gor Alexanyan, Oleg Krasnov; Source: CK correspondents

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