The commentator Дарман, who appears to be from Dagestan, argues that Chechens are quite different from the other North Caucasian nationalities. Apparently, minorities in Russia don’t like Chechens much more than do ethnic Russians. (Brings to mind that War Nerd quote, “They seem like one of those tribes that are either going to rule the world or go extinct but nothing in between”). He also argues that the impunity their gangs enjoy isn’t so much because of money, as AP suggests, but because they are capable of physical retaliation/revenge, making the police loth to mess around with them. His comment is reprinted in full below:
This incident brought some bad memories: when I was 8 years old I remember witnessing how Chechens operate, that day they killed an older man outside the movie theater in Makhachkala. These guys were really noisy and the man asked them to calm down. As he was walking out with his wife, the four Chechens grabbed his arms and dragged him behind the theater, where they stabbed him. I did not see the murder, but I remember the man’s wife screaming and a police officer rushed to her, but when he heard that the Chechens were involved, he turned around and walked away as she was begging for help.
Lets not mix chechens and dagestanis. Many times when dagestanis are mentioned in relation to crimes in Russia, people do not realize that 99% of times the huligans or criminals are ethnic Chechens. Over 100K ethnic Chechens live in Northern Dagestan. Dagestan is not a nationality, it is a multi ethnic region, where people called Avars, Kumyks, Dargins, Azeri, Lezgins, Mountain Jews (Gorsky Juhuro) live. These small ethnic groups are all at odds with the Chechens. Which is the case also for most of other Caucasians, except maybe Ingushs.
Ruslan Marzhamov had a couple acquaintances from Dagestan who rushed to his help but too late, and they are the ones who actually took him to the hospital, as Ruslan’s mother mentioned in her interview to the press.
Yes, the people from Caucasus have a short fuse, but it is the Chechens who are giving all Caucasus a bad name. The Chechens have a serious case of megalomania because of their formidable clan system and mafia-like organization, which makes them very dangerous.
Lets not forget that the second Chechen war started when they invaded Dagesta: – these two regions are enemies.
I do not think that Russians are cowards; they are not. Simply they lack good community organization, and that is why 80 organized Chechens can act as if they own a city with 40,000 people. Which is an absurd situation, in my opinion. Chechens are also vengeful and too many small town Russian police chiefs are insecure and prefer not to mess with them for fear of individual retaliation.
From my personal experience: if you are physically strong, not afraid of them (and in arguments they always threaten you and look you in the eyes to see if you are afraid or not, just like dogs they can sense your fear) and have a backing from a strong group of people, they will avoid picking a fight with you. The Chechens are always in groups of three and four, but they only attack if they are sure they have you cornered and defenseless. If you ever get into argument with one of them, be aware that two more will be positioning themselves behind you.
Finally, why do you think Putin is so respected in Chechnya? Because he proved that he would not blink and would level the whole republic with heavy artillery and missiles, if he felt like it. This is the only argument they understand.
Except a few hundred mercenaries and fanatics from Caucasus, Russia and Ukraine, the Chechens fought alone. If there is another war (and I do not believe there will be one) they will fight alone, at least Dagestan and Cherkess will fight against them for sure.