On September 15, 2023, local time, an assistant to current Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrow released a video of Kadyrov walking with his family to refute Uzbekistan’s previous statement that Kadyrov” “Serious condition”.
Earlier that day, the Kyiv Independent quoted Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) spokesman Andrei Yusov as saying that Kadyrov was “seriously ill” and that “his illness has worsened, leading to such a serious condition. .” The report stated that the source pointed out that Kadyrov had “fallen into a coma” and “is waiting to be transferred from Chechnya to a foreign country (possibly the United Arab Emirates) for treatment.” Yusov also told the media, “He (Kady Kadyrov) has been ill for a long time and has systemic health problems. His condition has been very serious in recent days.”
Although Kadyrov is smiling in the video, his facial contours and figure can be clearly seen There have been major changes, and he seems to be far fatter than before. Some outsiders speculate that this is the edema caused by his long-term kidney disease. In short, despite his own personal experience, there is still a lot of speculation and controversy about his health issues.
Kadyrov’s health condition aroused doubts from the outside world in early 2023 – Kadyrov, who claims to be infinitely loyal to Putin and will hardly miss any major events of the Moscow authorities, missed Putin’s annual meeting without any notice. State of the Union address.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the current President of the Republic of Chechnya, likes to call himself “Putin’s little soldier” and is Putin’s most loyal ally. Those who oppose him call him Putin’s fighting dog. In addition to the administrative states, the Russian Federation also has 24 autonomous republics (including the internationally unrecognized territory of Ukraine), and Kasovsky is the most special one among the heads of the 24 autonomous republics at the same level.
What makes him special is not just his relationship with President Putin, but also that he is a social media influencer. Kadyrov said that while he admired Putin, he also tried to create the same tough guy image as Putin. Therefore, he posted videos and photos of himself firing machine guns and taming tigers on social media, as well as his high-end and luxurious daily life. Kadyrov is not only eye-catching, he is also a person who cannot be criticized casually in the Russian Federation – the leaders of the other 23 autonomous republics obviously do not have this treatment. Any Russian media or individual criticizes him in public, even if he is not there In Chechnya, people will also be asked to be cautious in their words and deeds.
This unique status comes from his father Akhmad Kadyrov.
Akhmed Kadyrov, the former President of the Republic of Chechnya, whose term ended in just seven months – was killed by a bomb in an assassination attempt in May 2004 at the age of 52. Ahmed was the central figure in the Kadyrov family’s rise to become the rulers of the Chechen Republic, and his life was full of ups and downs.
Ahmed was born into a poor family in Karaganda, Kazakhstan in 1951. At that time, all the Chechens were transferred from Chechnya to Central Asia by the Soviet government to collapse their resistance. Ahmed is a descendant of this group of immigrants. . Later, with the change of the Soviet policy towards Chechnya, the Chechens were able to return to their hometown.
Ahmed worked in agriculture and construction during the Soviet era. In the 1980s, he entered the Islamic University of Uzbekistan to study religious studies, and then established the first modern Islamic religious schools in Chechnya. He later went to Oman and Jordan for further study and became a Famous Chechen religious scholar. In 1993, Dudayev, the leader of the Chechen separatists, declared Chechnya’s independence. Ahmed was a religious leader whom Dudayev relied heavily on. At that time, he also issued a famous declaration of jihad against Russia: “There are 1 million Chechens
. 150 million Russians. If every Chechen kills 150 Russians, we will win.”
Then the Chechen War broke out. Ahmed not only called for a jihad against Russia, but also personally led a guerrilla force during the war. , his youngest son, now Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, also joined the guerrillas and later claimed that he had successfully killed a Russian soldier when he was 19 years old.
The first Chechen War ended in defeat for the Russian army, which suffered heavy casualties and was forced to make a humiliating retreat. After the war, Akhmed Kadyrov, who had become Chechnya’s chief mufti (chief religious leader), became one of Chechnya’s main representatives in negotiations with Russia. His guerrillas were also known for their outstanding military exploits during the war. For the Kadyrov faction.
However, the strange thing is that Ahmed broke with the Chechen independence faction in 1999. In the same year, Putin became the president of Russia and the second Chechen War broke out. Ahmed this time withdrew his last declaration of jihad and led his troops in an alliance with the Russian government to fight the Chechen separatists he had fought alongside. With his help, the Russian army won the second Chechen War, which became Putin’s first military victory after coming to power. This success avenged its shame, and the popularity of the Putin government was unprecedentedly high.
As for why Ahmed defected to help Russia in the second Chechen War, it is generally believed that in addition to his personal ambitions and desires, he was also worried about the rise of Wahhabi fundamentalists in Chechnya. As the supreme religious leader of Chechnya, he is quite resistant to the international jihad claimed by the Wahhabis. From an ideological perspective, he is still a Chechen nationalist. After experiencing the first Chechen war, Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, was not only reduced to ruins, but also suffered a large number of casualties among the local population, causing serious social problems and economic crisis. At this time, the fundamentalists among the Chechen independence faction chose to ally with bin Laden and his like during the rise of global terrorism in an attempt to expand their territory in Russia. This is obviously not something that the Chechen nation with a population of 1.5 million can accomplish. matter.
Based on national sentiments and personal safety considerations, Ahmed publicly accused extremists of using Chechnya as a base for terrorist attacks in early 1999 to be dangerous and full of conspiracies. This caused the relationship between him and his former comrades to rapidly deteriorate to the point of becoming tense. At this point, the Russian government just extended an olive branch to him, and forming an alliance became a matter of course.
In return, after the Second Chechen War, Putin gave Ahmed the throne of Chechen President, which he held until his death in an assassination.
It is difficult to determine whether it was Ahmed’s defection to Moscow that prompted Putin to make up his mind to launch a second Chechen war, or whether Putin wanted to establish his prestige through a war after coming to power, or whether it was the result of the two reinforcing each other. But looking at Ahmed’s choice now, whether it is based on his personal interests or the interests of the Chechen nation, it is not a mistake. Even if he did not defect and the second Chechen War did not break out at the end of 1999, after the “9·11” incident in 2001, it would be difficult for Chechnya to survive independently under the banner of joint anti-terrorism between the United States and Russia. It may even cause a more serious humanitarian disaster.
As Putin’s biggest contributor in the Second Chechen War, Ahmed Kadyrov’s political legacy was successfully inherited by his younger son Ramzan Kadyrov, who soon took office and became the real “leader of Chechnya” king”.
But there is also a process for getting to the top. In November 2005, a year and a half after Ahmed was assassinated, the then Prime Minister of Chechnya Sergei Abramov was seriously injured in a car accident and resigned due to health reasons. The cause of his car accident has not yet been determined, and the possibility of assassination cannot be completely ruled out, because at that time, assassinations of Chechen military and political leaders were common, and Sergei was assassinated in 2004, so the truth may never be confirmed. In any case, the biggest beneficiary of this car accident was the then First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov. He became acting Prime Minister of Chechnya on November 18, 2005. A year later, he was officially promoted from “Prince” as “King”.
On January 30, 2004, President of the Republic of Chechnya Akhmed Kadyrov (right) and his son Ramzan Kadyrov
Ramzan Kadyrov’s first task after taking power was to rebuild Grozny, the capital of Chechnya. He built the Akhmed Kadyrov Mosque in the center of Chechnya in the name of his father, also known as the Heart of Chechnya. It is the largest mosque in Russia and one of the largest in Europe; it has the most It can accommodate 10,000 people, has a magnificent dome, a towering minaret and hand-painted by Turkish craftsmen. These are the standards for large mosques built during the heyday of the Ottoman Empire. On October 16, 2008, the mosque was officially opened. Ramzan Kadyrov and Putin both attended the opening ceremony and appeared side by side in the news. In addition to the magnificent mosque, the palace-like presidential palace, highways, five-star hotels and casinos have risen from the ground. Now Grozny has become a modern city with many high-rise buildings. Its core business district is even compared with Moscow and St. Petersburg. No less impressive. Funding for these large-scale infrastructure projects comes from the support of the Russian Federation.
In order to reward the Kadyrov family’s loyalty, under the personal care of President Putin, the Russian Federation invested US$18 billion in the Chechen Republic in 2010 alone, with an average per capita investment of more than US$1,300. In contrast, the autonomous republic of Dagestan next door to Chechnya spent less than $1.6 billion in federal investment in 2010, but the country has a population of 2.2 million. Relying on financial support from Moscow, Ramzan was able to complete the reconstruction of Grozny as one of the core achievements of his internal rule. However, the heavy economic dependence on Russia has also led to a rather deformed economic structure in Chechnya. The local area lacks core industrial chains and the unemployment rate remains high. In 2010, it even reached an astonishing over 60%. It is obviously impossible to solve the problem by relying entirely on federal funds and large-scale construction projects. The core local issue is the economy.
We must note that Ramzan’s greatest economic achievement in Chechnya was not his massive construction efforts to build Grozny into another St. Petersburg, but his success in obtaining economic autonomy from Moscow. In 2018, Ramzan Kadyrov announced that his government would take over 100% of the shares of Chechen State Petroleum Technology Company, allowing Chechens to develop, extract and sell crude oil on their own.
Previously, 1,100 oil wells and 2,000 land parcels owned by the Chechen State Petroleum Technology Company with a total area of 7,740 hectares were controlled by the Russian state-owned oil giant Rosneft. Ramzan has been fighting for control of oil assets in Chechnya since at least 2015, the year he first proposed to Putin that the Chechen Oil Company be handed over to Chechnya. On the surface, Putin agreed to transfer the equity, but in fact he has been putting it on hold. The reason why Moscow adopts the procrastination strategy is not entirely due to economic considerations, but one of the main means of control over Chechnya for a long time is economic control. During the Soviet era, Moscow firmly controlled the extraction, transportation and sales of local oil. Local people could only engage in agriculture and handicrafts, and were almost unable to enter the oil industry. The result of this was that the local area had to rely on financial subsidies from the Soviet Union’s central government, otherwise infrastructure and public spending would be almost impossible to carry out. During the first Chechen war, Chechen guerrillas obtained military expenses by stealing crude oil from Russian oil pipelines passing through Chechnya. The elites in Moscow certainly know the importance of controlling the oil industry in controlling Chechnya. Therefore, they are not only unwilling to hand over control, but also deliberately do not expand local oil production capacity. However, Ramzan successfully overcame the calculations of the oil oligarchs and economic elites by relying on his personal relationship with Putin. With Putin’s personal intervention, Ramzan got what he wanted.
As seen in the fight for control of oil, Ramzan Kadyrov clearly knows what he needs and how to get it from Moscow.
Chechen high school students are now required to read Ahmed Kadyrov’s biography “The Road Bathed in Light” as “supplementary material for the study of Russian history,” which introduces “Ahmad The political and spiritual legacy of De Kadyrov”. Schools are required to organize regular essay and poster competitions featuring Kadyrov and his family. Teachers and school administrators are required to comment on social media posts by Kadyrov and his inner circle as part of their job evaluation.
In addition to the magnificent Kadyrov Mosque, there are more than 300 streets in Chechnya named after Akhmed Kadyrov. In 2020, Ramzan Kadyrov ordered that images of American comic book superheroes be removed from Chechen children’s centers and playgrounds and replaced with likenesses of his father and other “real heroes” in the region.
Ramzan hopes that his father will become the only superhero in Chechnya, and he will become the first Internet celebrity in Chechnya.
The Kadyrov family on the Internet shines brightly, and at the same time they are down-to-earth and full of true nature. Instagram has been Ramzan’s favorite platform for years, where he actively shares his outfits and lifestyle.
Ramzan also opened a Telegram channel to share his carefully recorded videos and views on the current situation. He even gained millions of followers by feuding with Elon Musk on Twitter.
Run by his PR team, his father, Ahmed Kadyrov, became a loving father and hero who saved Chechnya and became a great martyr, revolutionary and martyr-saint. Ramzan himself is a kind-hearted Chechen brother. Not only does he have an enviable luxurious and cool life, he is also a fan of President Putin.
In 2018, Ramzan Kadyrov said in an interview with Vesti-24 television that he was rebuilding Putin’s Caucasus native cavalry division, or “Barbarian Division.”
This is a very famous allusion to Tsarist Russia. The Caucasus Cavalry Division was affiliated with the Russian Imperial Army. It was established on August 23, 1914. It participated in World War I and was commanded by Russian Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich. The division earned the nickname “The Barbarians” for its lax discipline, but the unit was a fighting force, distinguished itself during World War I and was loyal to the Tsar.
Ramzan’s concept of “barbarian divisions” actually has a deeper meaning. Since Putin intends to incorporate Tsarist Russia into the orthodox national historical narrative, Ramzan’s repeated mention of “barbarian divisions” is precisely to use the past to describe the present and show his support for Putin. of loyalty. In fact, Ramzan has been working hard to maintain an image of himself and the Chechen nation as brave and loyal. The security forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs controlled by Ramzan not only collaborated with the Russian army in South Ossetia’s war against Georgia in 2008, but also actively participated in the Syrian war. Chechen special forces have frequently participated in various international special forces competitions, and have won the Jordan King’s Cup special competitions many times.
In addition to participating in Russian-related military operations, the international community also accused Ramzan of participating in the assassination or intimidation of Russian anti-government figures, but there is not enough evidence to prove this. Since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Chechnya has sent tens of thousands of troops to directly participate. Although there is no evidence to prove that they played a key role in the war, and they are not even as good as the Wagner mercenary group that successfully captured a city, their posture is undoubtedly very important. in place.
What further illustrates Ramzan’s attitude is that when Prigozhin led Wagner to march into Moscow in June 2023, local troops along the way were unable to intercept him. Only Ramzan Kadyrov’s most elite “Akhmat” “Special forces positioned themselves on a bridge near the town of Kolomna, about 110 kilometers from Moscow, preparing to intercept the Wagner rebels, claiming they were ready to fight to defend Vladimir Putin.
Loyal enough, and Ramzan clearly does not look like a threat to Putin’s regime. Not only because of the small number of ethnic Chechens, but more importantly, within Moscow’s power circle, Kadyrov’s only political backer is Putin. If Putin loses his support, there is no guarantee that the next Chechen president’s surname will still be Kadyrov.
However, it seems that the probability that the future Chechen leader will be named Kadyrov is still very high, not to mention that members of the Kadyrov family almost control all important positions in the Chechen government. Ramzan’s son is less than 18 years old. Akhmat Kadyrov was also received by Russian President Putin in March 2023.
According to relevant reports, this was an informal meeting. Akhmat, who has served as the chairman of the board of directors of Chechnya’s Children and Youth Organization, introduced to Putin the current status of youth policies and activities in Chechnya. Putin congratulated Akhmat on his upcoming marriage and shared with Akhmat his memories of his relationship with his grandfather, Akhmat Kadyrov.
No one knows what they said, but they may have talked about Putin meeting a weeping Ramzan in the Kremlin after Ahmed was assassinated in 2004. News reports at the time said it was also an informal meeting.