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Security-related developments in the Chechen communities in Germany

by Caspar Schliephack

How Antidemocrats Struggle for Influence in the Shadow of Foreclosure Tendencies and Generational Conflicts

Within the approximately 40,000-member Chechen communities in Germany, several security-related developments are currently taking place. This publication addresses this trend. Starting with a description of the Chechen communities in Germany and Europe, it highlights various security-relevant aspects in order to contribute to a better understanding of these developments.

The tendency toward isolation that can be observed in parts of the Chechen communities is a growing challenge. The driving factor of this development is a survival strategy preserved in some of these communities as a result of a series of collective experiences of persecution. Driving this development is a survival strategy preserved in some of said communities as a result of a series of collective experiences of persecution. In particular, the Russian wars in the Chechen region led to the formation of diaspora communities in several European countries, including Germany. Isolation and limited integration aspirations or opportunities provide a breeding ground for various anti-democratic actors to exert influence.

In addition to increasing isolation, a generational conflict is also currently shaping the Chechen communities. In the shadow of this conflict, organized crime actors are positioning themselves just as much as Salafists and the Kadyrov regime in Grozny. Salafist influencers are particularly able to gain followers and shape discourse among young Chechens. In parallel with these developments, Russia and Chechnya are making increasingly aggressive attempts to exert influence. The Kadyrov regime is pursuing a dual strategy of reconstructing Chechen identity while at the same time resorting to massive political violence and even murder. This violent diaspora policy further inhibits the integration and democratic opening of Chechen communities.

In the face of the growing isolation of significant parts of the Chechen communities in Germany, the rise of Salafist actors, and Kadyrov's violent diaspora policy, both security policy and integration policy countermeasures are necessary. Last but not least, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine illustrates that the potential for conflict between the various Chechen factions can also affect the Chechen diaspora communities.

Read the entire analysis: „Sicherheitsrelevante Entwicklungen in den tschetschenischen Gemeinschaften in Deutschland“ here as a PDF.

Contact

Felix Neumann

Felix Neumann

Counter-extremism and counter-terrorism

felix.neumann@kas.de +49 30 26996-3879