June 1, 2013

Vibrant diversity and diverse vibrancy

From the Washington Post:
Russian forces arrest mayor of Dagestan city where Tsarnaev lived
By Kathy Lally, Saturday, June 1, 11:34 AM E-mail the writer 
MOSCOW — The mayor of Dagestan’s largest city, who has survived 15 assassination attempts and employs a large security force to protect him, was arrested on murder charges Saturday by heavily armed forces in armored personnel carriers and helicopters, Russian officials said. 
Said Amirov, the 59-year-old mayor of Makhachkala, has been in a wheelchair since 1993, when one attempt on his life severed his spine. His southern Russian city is known for frequent bombings and shootouts among police, criminal gangs and Islamic fighters. For six months last year it was home to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the accused Boston Marathon bombers. His parents live there now.

Amirov was seized by troops wearing camouflage, helmets and bulletproof vests and armed with automatic rifles. They surrounded his palatial house on the Caspian Sea, according to a video shown on LifeNews, a Web site that has close connections to the security services. ... 
In Russia, one question nearly always arises when an arrest is made: Why now?

In other words, everybody is guilty, so who arrests whom is mostly a question of timing.
The answer was unclear Saturday. President Vladimir Putin, however, recently appointed a new acting president of the Dagestan region, Ramazan Abdulatipov,

Putin really likes that name, doesn't he? For those of you keeping score at home:

Ramzan - Chechnya
Ramazan - Dagestan

Maybe RamZPaul could get a gig doing stand-up before Bolshoi Ballet performances?
amid speculation that the usual corruption has gone too far or that officials want order to be imposed on the North Caucasus before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

From the NYT:
Mr. Amirov in many ways embodied the rough-and-tumble North Caucasus city he led, a place where brawls and gunfights are so standard that restaurant menus occasionally list the price of replacing damaged tables and chairs.

America needs more immigrants from the Caucasus to bring the blessings of vibrant diversity to our boring white-bread country.


sunbeam said...

Wow, I really don't care much about the Olympics, and I don't know where Sochi is.

But from the context I gather it is in, or very close to the Caucasus region?

Hmmm, this might have cl**F**k written all over it.

Never know though, everyone could just decide to behave.

But from what I gather about the Chechnens they are pretty hard to intimidate. You can kill them, but you can't intimidate them. I mean if Stalin couldn't break them, I don't think anyone else can do it.

If some of them want to make trouble, they will make trouble. And it is so very close to them I gather...

You've got such a narrow window as an athlete. You can't really say "You know what? I'm going to sit this Olympics out."

John said...

Sochi is in (and I quote Wikipedia) "humid subtropical" Russia, but I guess they'll figure out how to do winter Olympicating there by 2014 at the latest. I had never heard of the town, nor of Batumi, in "subtropical" Georgia, before 1992, when I observed in Trabzon (Turkey) that there was regular boat service to these places. Trabzon itself is SOUTH of them, and not at all tropical, though hardly snowy either.

John Mansfield said...

This calls to mind twenty years ago when I sat in on a lecture at the Los Alamos National Lab by some security analyst discussing the recent break-up of the Soviet Union. He was complaining about the State Department carrying on like everything was the same under new names, and ignoring the ethnic complexity of the former Soviet Union. In particular, he said that the rising politburo members all wrote papers on ethnic issues, and the U.S. State Department people treated this like some quirky tradition with no real importance.

Daniel said...

>>> if Stalin couldn't break them,

Stalin broke everyone he squared off with, except for the Finns.

Anonymous said...

Ramzan appears to be Ramadan in their languages.

Putin might like fasting...

Anonymous said...

"Wow, I really don't care much about the Olympics, and I don't know where Sochi is."

I remember sitting in Domodedovo Airport in 2004 waiting to fly to Siberia and striking up a conversation with a Russian. He advised to watch out for crazy Chechens like these guys currently waiting for a flight to Sochi. I didn't think about it again until months later when some Chechens blew themselves up on that same flight to Sochi.

Hunsdon said...

After the initial surge of "internationalist" (or rootless cosmopolitan) power, the PTB in the Soviet Union quickly came to the realization that it was better to have a local face for the administration.

While there was usually a Russian lurking near the top of the constituent republics' power structure, the top guy, the "bolshaya shishka" (big pine cone), would almost always be an ethnic local.

One of the early riots towards the end of the USSR's day came in Almaty, Kazakhstan, when Gorbachev decided to replace the head of the Kazakhstan Communist Party (a Kazakh) with an ethnic Russian.

1986 Almaty riots

It's like having black mayors in Atlanta and Detroit, kind of.

Anonymous said...

"It's like having black mayors in Atlanta and Detroit, kind of."

I think the Brits called this "the native facade".