Law enforcers in Chechnya. Screenshot from video posted by Telegram Videos at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy0BMTNv3c0

19 July 2021, 10:48

Rights defenders assess attempts to speed up vaccination in Chechnya by police raids

The examining of motor drivers in Chechnya for the presence of vaccination certificates is quite in line with the behaviour of local authorities, the analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" believe. In their opinion, this may have to do with an attempt to please the Kremlin.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on June 16, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, threatened to impose severe restrictions related to coronavirus. Authorities will have to take these measures in view of low vaccination rates in the republic, Mr Kadyrov has stated. Since July 9, unvaccinated residents of the republic are not allowed to visit mosques. In Chechnya, people without certificates of vaccination against coronavirus are not served at stores, local residents have complained.

The user of the "Caucasian Knot" under the nickname Isadora has reported that Chechen law enforcers "are examining all the drivers; those who have no vaccination certificates are dropped off; their cars are taken away to the penalty car park. Now, to return his car back, the owner must not only get vaccinated himself, but also bring two more persons for vaccination," the user has stated.

The analysts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot" correspondent believe that such detentions of unvaccinated citizens are quite in the spirit of Chechen authorities.

According to Ruslan Kutaev, the President of the Assembly of Caucasian Nations, the Chechen authorities' actions have to do with their desire to demonstrate their loyalty to the federal authorities. "Now, there is an unspoken competition among regions – who will have the highest vaccination rate. And Chechen authorities, as always, want to take the first place in this race and thus please the Kremlin," Mr Kutaev has concluded.

Alexei Malashenko, a political analyst and the head of scientific studies at the "Civilizations' Dialogue" Institute, has noted, in his comment on the situation, that such actions fit quite well into Kadyrov's policy. "There can be two options – either he was really scared by the extremely difficult situation that could arise in Chechnya with coronavirus, or it's such a gesture: 'Look how I am fighting coronavirus, and how I'm saving my people," Mr Malashenko has noted.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on July 18, 2021 at 03:07 am MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Semyon Charny; Source: CK correspondent

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