He is considered particularly loyal to the Kremlin leader. According to him, Putin can only be described as the president within the Russian Federation, replacing his own title with the “leader” of Chechnya.
Kadyrov, 45, has ruled the Russian republic with an iron fist since 2007 and is the longest-serving leader in the Russian region. He is considered a confidant of Russian President Vladimir Putin and meets regularly with the Kremlin boss – most recently in Sochi on August 5.
Kadyrov has often spoken of withdrawal
It remains to be seen whether the Chechen leader will follow his words with actions. Ramzan Kadyrov has often talked about resignation. “I have my doubts. He has said such things in the past,” Ivan Kliss, a Caucasus expert and PhD student at Estonia’s Johan Scheidt Institute of Political Studies, told Radio Free Europe. In 2017, he was ready to step down.
Anton Barbashin, editor-in-chief of Riddle’s Russia site, called the timing “strange.” Kadyrov’s announcement “goes against the common sentiment in Russia right now. The message from the whole system is ‘must stay’ because of the war in Ukraine,” Barbashin said in a tweet.
Allegations of human rights violations
Kadyrov rules the republic as an authoritarian leader. There are no more free elections in Chechnya. A year ago, his election result was given as 99.6 percent. His government has been repeatedly accused of human rights abuses. Critics of the regime in the country are disappearing, and parts of Chechnya’s public fear their rulers.
This includes members of the LGBTQ+ community and people who are considered LGBTQ+ by the police and their families. Kadyrov repeatedly chased them down, arrested or killed them. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) declared in 2018 that there was “overwhelming evidence”.
Palaces for himself and his wives
Kadyrov is said to have a lavish lifestyle allegedly financed by corruption. The father of 12 children is said to have had affairs with two women at the same time. Each of them reportedly built a palace in the Chechen capital of Grozny, and a third serves as his seat of government, according to media reports.
His father, Akhmat, was appointed head of Chechnya by Putin as a reward for turning his back on his army and instead fighting on the Russian side in the Second Chechen War in 1999.
Miriam Katharina Hess, a political scientist at the German Council on Foreign Relations, sees Kadyrov’s oft-described brutality as the only way “Putin’s bloodsucker” can remain at the top of Chechnya. “His only ‘legitimacy to power’ is Moscow’s support. That also explains his loyalty to Putin personally, because ultimately he owes his political position to him alone,” Hess told T-Online in April. Conversely, the Kremlin leader is also loyal: he remains silent when the international community demands that he account for Kadyrov’s bloody actions.
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