Last week, on Thursday December 4th, Mr. Vladimir Putin was addressing his nation about what’s going on this year and the perspectives for his country in the next year. A few hours before, in Grozny, a group of gunmen launched a surprise attack. The consequent battle lasted for several hours, leaving 19 bodies on the ground and many injured. The message was clear, loud and brutal as usual. Chechnya is not pacified as the Russian government pretends, neither is under total control as its president, Mr. Ramzan Kadyrov, likes to state at all times.
When Putin was re-elected, his program could be synthetized in two themes. Peace in the Caucasus area and a steady economic growth. Years later, Chechnya is still not pacified, the years of repression and civil rights deny have all but enlarged the problem to Dagestan and Ingushetia, while the recent drop in the oil price and the economic sanctions against Russia (motivated by the conflict in Ukraine) have put the economy on its knees. Not a good time to speak about success for the new Czar, isn’t it?