Participants in a mass brawl in Nevinnomyssk apologized to a SMO fighter, who had been beaten by them. Screenshot of a video posted by "Sota", collage by the "Caucasian Knot"

12 February 2024, 17:13

Analysts explain spread of public apologies practice by Kadyrov's growing influence

The spread of the practice of public repentances beyond Chechnya is associated with the growing influence of Ramzan Kadyrov, analysts have suggested in their comments to the video of three people apologizing for the beating up a special military operation (SMO) fighter in Nevinnomyssk. The state is more loyal to SMO fighters, but in criminal cases this status gives no advantages, a lawyer has pointed out.

The "Caucasian Knot" has reported that on February 9, a video was released, in which participants in a mass brawl in Nevinnomyssk apologized to a SMO fighter, who had been beaten by them, and to "the entire city." The attackers are arrested; the case is being investigated under a criminal article on hooliganism.

The emphasis on the fact that one of the brawl victims is a SMO fighter is made because the state seeks to maintain the status of such fighters, Svetlana Gannushkina*, the head of the "Civic Assistance" Committee*, has stated. "In this way authorities hope to increase the number of SMO fighters," she has suggested.

However, Mikhail Benyash*, a lawyer, has noted that the status of an SMO participant is no protection from punishment. According to his version, if such a person is a suffered party, his status has no effect on the court's position regarding the defendant.

The spread of the practice of video apologies from Chechnya to other regions is associated with Kadyrov's growing influence, Oyub Titiev, a Chechen human rights defender, believes. "This practice is spreading in line with the growth of Kadyrov's influence on Russian politics," he has stated, adding that such apologies serve as "harsh promotion" for local authorities; and those who were forced to apologize in this way remain fearful in their souls, even if no physical violence was applied to them.

A similar opinion was expressed by Dmitry Oreshkin*, a political analyst, who treats what is happening as "Kadyrization" of Russia. In his opinion, public apologies have become an attribute of repentance. "But they don't remove the blame. You become a second-class citizen," he has noted.

*Included by the Russian Ministry of Justice (MoJ) into the register of foreign agents.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on February 11, 2024 at 06:46 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

Author: Alexander Stepanov Source: СK correspondent

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