The Plank

Putin's Latest

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Vladimir Putin has just chosen Ramzan Kadyrov as the new president of Chechnya. Kadyrov and his associates are some of the prime suspects in the death of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya last year, and Kadyrov's forces have been accused of serious and sustained human rights abuses.

Just to give you a sense of Kadyrov's character, when he publicly denied killing Politkovskaya recently, he did so by saying, "I did not kill women," which can't be considered a good sign for the thousands of men in various jails throughout Chechnya (the EU, among others, has reported the horrific torture that goes on in these prisons).

It'll be fun to watch Russia expert Stephen Cohen explain this as another defensive step by Russia taken simply to protect itself from American Empire.

--Isaac Chotiner

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