Chechnya's Kadyrov To Open International Special Forces Training Center
Russia may soon be exporting its model of counterinsurgency across the globe, as Chechnya's president is building an international special operations training center with the aim of training elite troops both from Russia and abroad.
The center is already under construction in the town of Gudermes and should be finished by the end of the year, the president, Ramzan Kadyrov, told Russian newspaper Izvestia.
That seems like an ambitious timetable given what Kadyrov says he has planned (among many other things, facilities for training in "underwater combat"), but if it ends up actually being built, negotiations are underway with Belarus and Kazakhstan to train their forces at the center. Latin American, Arab, and other ex-Soviet countries are other potential customers, Izvestia reports.
"The complex isn't open yet, but work is going according to plan, and construction won't take more than a year," Kadyrov said in an interview. "As you know, we have enough experience -- our instructors, who have a lot of good work under their belts, will be teaching."
The center "could, of course, open anywhere, but we know very well that the Chechen Republic has great experience in the fight against international terror, they have figured this problem out and know all the current methods to deal with it," said Timur Akulov, a member of parliament who belongs to the ruling United Russia party and sits on the defense committee.
Kadyrov said the center is being privately financed, and trainee nations will pay to use the facility. The model, according to Izvestia, is Jordan's King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center, a massive facility that has been called "Disneyland for elite special forces" and "sleepaway camp for post-modern cowboys." Add to that Kadyrov's unique blend of ostentation, eccentricity, and flagrant violations of human rights, and we're going to have to work on some even more bombastic metaphors.
Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at Eurasianet, and author of The Bug Pit.
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