The speaker of parliament of southwestern Russia’s Chechen Republic responded on March 24th to recent measures in the United States Congress to arm Ukraine against Russian aggression by threatening to arm Mexico for a reconquista of vast territories the U.S. swiped in the 19th century.
|Chechnya’s president, Ramzan Kadyrov, ready for some sort of reconquista,|
in a photo from his twisted Instagram account
|The Chechen parliament speaker, Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov|
Chechnya fought and lost two brutal wars to secede from Russia after the fall of Communism, the second of which was spearheaded by Putin, punishing the tiny predominantly-Muslim nation with the most lethal and destructive bombing campaign in Europe since the Second World War (the Yugoslav Wars of Succession didn’t even come close). Since then, Chechnya has been sealed off and under the iron fist of Ramzan Kadyrov, the unelected, Putin-appointed dictator (and, ironically, former separatist rebel) who keeps the peace by toadying to the Kremlin and rewarding his citizens for their compliance with a form of Islamic law that, technically, flouts Russia’s secular constitution, including the reintroduction of polygamy, conservative clerics taking a leading role in public life, and the draining of public coffers to build football-stadium-sized mosques.
|The flag of the Chechen government-in-exile|
(i.e., not the loonies that run the place now)
|Chechen irregulars, from the imaginatively named “Death” battalion,|
photographed recently in the Donetsk People’s Republic
|A bit of right-wing propaganda about the (in fact, almost non-existent) Aztlán movement|
But pointing out the shaky ground America stands on when it comes to respect for territorial integrity is part of the Kremlin’s propaganda assault since the invasion of Ukraine last year. Just as Russia’s English-language R.T. media network teems with the (often right-wing, pro-Putin) separatist movements that plague western Europe—as an example of supposed European vulnerability on the topic—so, also, did the possibility of a Russian re-annexation of Alaska become a “silly season” story of the week (discussed at the time in this blog here and here), and Russia’s lock-step foreign-policy allies in the Western Hemisphere, Cuba and Venezuela, have more than once called for U.S. decolonization of Puerto Rico (as reported on in this blog), even as they (as this blog has also discussed) vote with Russia and against Ukraine in the United Nations. The message seems to be: if the West thinks it can tell Russia what should be part of Russia and what shouldn’t, then we can play that game too.
|Ramzan Kadyrov—wrapping Christmas presents for the Brown Berets?|
|Russian nationalists second that sentiment—or at least they pretend to in order to make a point|