Today I have this piece from VZGLIAD. Apparently a war is on — and what a war it is! So without further ado I bring you
this piece, mostly quoting a sociologist named Alexei Chadaev, who claims that a coordinated “informational war” has been launched against Chechnya’s leader, Ramzan Kadyrov. The guilty parties: the usual suspects. The “non-systemic opposition”.
Whom Chadaev accuses of, in their desperation, resorting to such ugly means as traditional Russian “Caucasophobia”. [Which is a sort of racist attitude about people from the Caucasus regions — like, they are more criminal, or dirtier, than Slavs, or whatever…]
Yet despite the fervor of the campaign, according to Chadaev, opinion polls show, that the attack has been fruitless. Kadyrov remains as popular as ever among Russians of all stripes. Polls also show that Russian Caucasophobic attitudes are actually decreasing in recent years, not increasing.
Statistically, Who Hates Hamsters?
Alexei Chadaev is the General Director of a think-tank called “Moscow Region”. Along with the sociologisgts of VTSIOM, he published his latest findings on Saturday on …. his Facebook Page. (Of course.)
The studies and analysis they posted compare Kadyrov’s popularity to that of the non-system Opposition. Informally known as “hamsters”, a term invented by Alexei Navalny. So, hamsters have been roused from their torpor recently by the impending Duma elections. The “non-systems” found their heroes in such people as Kasyanov, a Russian patriot who lobbies abroad for the total destruction of Russia. While “non-systems” have a degree of support in Moscow, their overall nationwide approval rating is very low. In fact, only 4% of all Russians polled, can even name members of this group.
When questioned about Kadyrov’s recent threats to “put on trial the enemies of the people”, 24% of those polled supported that idea. Chadaev noted that the “bloodthirsty” ones are not the ones you might think [if you’re thinking elderly Stalinists, or something like that]; statistically, most of them are the well-to-do, the youth, and people who are internet-savvy.
According to Chadaev, the majority of those polled see the “non-system” Opps as simply wreckers who are trying to destablize Russia. The best-known representatives of this group are Alexei Navalny, Mikhail Kasyanov, and Ksenia Sobchak. Desperately searching for a theme that will make them popular, in 2011 the Opps picked “corruption” as their main talking point. This earned them some moxie, because everybody hates corruption. However, polls show that nowadays, paradoxically, President Putin himself is seen as an “anti-corruption” leader.
Casting about for a new theme to attract voters, the Opps have apparently decided on Caucasophobia. With Ramzan Kadyrov as their main target. And Ramzan makes an appealing target: He is a devout Muslim, a Chechen, and he is always available: He reacts instantaneously when hamsters attack him on their own native soil: the Internet. In other words: Kadyrov notices their existence. This alone is to them a priceless treasure.
[yalensis: The hamsters have fallen into the classic Russian trap, of which even Pushkin wrote, in his time: They seek fame, both in themselves and others. This quest is a symptom of their own vanity.]
The hamsters are desperate to be noticed. They are hypnotized by glamour. As “glamour” they mean such as Ksenia Sobchak.. Hamsters discover the illusion of fame, and importance, in their various internet campaigns. Kadyrov reacts to them, serves as stereotypical bogeyman, and by attacking them, paradoxically helps to heal their wounded feelings of self-worth.
Ramzan Popular, Caucasophobia Declining
Meanwhile, according to Chadaev, the polls show that Kadyrov is gaining in popularity among ordinary Russians; and that the “Caucasophobia” tack is no longer working — it’s old news. And even among ordinary Russians who dislike interacting with people from the Caucasus — even they don’t see the “non-system Opps” as speaking for them. Opps activities such as the “Russian Nationalists” marches – one of Navalny’s projects — have peaked and no longer attract any kind of mass support. In Russia, inter-racial and inter-ethnic tensions are decreasing, not increasing, according to Oleg Chernozub, one of the sociologists working for the polling firm VTSIOM. Chernozub ascribes this phenomenon to international conflicts taking place in Ukraine and Syria; these events have brought Russian citizens of various types, closer together, and lessened the disagreements between groups. A typical Russian will rationalize, according to Chernozub: “In a worsening conflict, with whom should I be in the trenches? With Ksenia Sobchak, or with Ramzan Kadyrov?”
The choice is obvious.