Experts: Chechen Strongman Kadyrov strengthens his influence in Middle East to improve his immunity in Russia. (CaucasianKnot).
The visit of the Mufti of Chechnya to Syria and his meeting with President Bashar Assad were sanctioned by the Kremlin on the initiative of Ramzan Kadyrov, believe the experts interviewed by the "Caucasian Knot".
They state that, apart from using Islamic tools in the Middle East conflict, the Kremlin gives Kadyrov a chance to strengthen his political influence.
The contacts of Russian Islamic religious figures with the Assad regime are intended to legitimize the Syrian regime in the eyes of Sunni leaders of the Islamic world, Alexei Makarkin, the Vice President of the Centre for Political Studies, believes.
"Kadyrov stresses that he can be helpful not only in Northern Caucasus, but also in the Middle East, in particular in Syria; therefore, he sends Chechen servicemen to Syria and benefits from his ties using their connections in the Middle East," Mr Makarkin said, adding that Moscow is trying to "find a common language in the political dimension of religion."
"On the one hand, Russia is a military ally, supporting al-Assad; on the other hand, the Kremlin is seeking to show that this is not a war against Islam," Alexei Makarkin has concluded.
The opinion that the visit of Mufti Mezhiev to Syria was agreed with the presidential administration is supported by Akhmet Yarlykapov, senior researcher at the Centre for Ethnopolitical Studies of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).
The military phase of the conflict in Syria is nearing its completion; and Russia is facing a number of problems, for the solution of which the Kremlin has no "human resources" other than Kadyrov. This is the opinion of Denis Sokolov, the head of the RAMCOM Centre for Social and Economic Regional Studies.
Full text of the article is available on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’.