Exposé | 

Sinister past of millionaire Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov who is Putin's pal

Ramzan Kadyrov has vowed to take Kyiv within 48 hours

Ramzan Kadyrov

Clodagh Meaney

Multi-millionaire Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has joined Russian forces in Kyiv and vowed to win within 48 hours.

It has been reported that the 45-year-old Putin ally took to Telegram to share a video of himself wearing military uniform and studying plans around a table with soldiers.

He said in a message that the video was filmed in Hostomel, a village outside Kyiv, at an airfield captured by Russian forces in the first days of the war.

The Russian military shot the Mayor of Hostomel in early March while he was delivering aid to the townspeople.

"The other day we were about 20km from you Kyiv Nazis and now we are even closer," he wrote while calling on Ukrainian forces to surrender or “you will be finished.”

"We will show you that Russian practice teaches warfare better than foreign theory and the recommendations of military advisers," he added.

The head of the Chechen Republic has been accused of serious human rights violations by many international NGOs.

The father of 12, has six sons, two of which were adopted, and six daughters.

Despite polygamy being illegal in Russia, he also has three wives; Medni Musaevna Kadyrova (43), Fatima Khazuyeva (29) and Aminat Akhmadova.

Kadyrov, who rules Chechnya with an iron fist has been in office since 2007.

During his tenure he has led anti-gay purges, advocated to restrict the public lives of women.

He has also been accused of ordering the kidnap, torture, and murder of opponents, journalists and other critics.

As part of Kadyrov’s homophobic agenda, he previously encouraged the murder of gay men by their family members as an alternative to law enforcement.

An activist for the Russian LGBT network said: "In Chechnya, being homosexual is considered to be a huge shame.”

"Homosexuality is considered shameful not only for the person, but for their whole family and there are honour killings. It is considered that homosexuality brings such a shame on the family that there is only one way to wash the shame away - to kill the person. And we know these things are happening.”

"Sometimes people are released from prisons because the authorities know they are going to be killed by the family."

In 2017, it was reported that gay men in Chechnya were arrested, detained and tortured as part of a “purge”.

Tanya Lokshina from the Human Rights Wash said that gay men were being forcibly “disappeared."

"Law enforcement and security agency officials under control of the ruthless head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, have rounded up dozens of men on suspicion of being gay, torturing and humiliating the victims,” she said.

"Some of the men have forcibly disappeared. Others were returned to their families barely alive from beatings. At least three men apparently have died since this brutal campaign began."

In an interview with HBO's Real Sports, which aired on 18 July, Kadyrov denied that there were anti-gay purges in Checyna saying that there were no gay people there.

"We don't have those kind of people here. We don't have any gays. If there are any, take them to Canada.”

“Praise be to God. Take them far from us so we don't have them at home. To purify our blood, if there are any here, take them."

Ramzan Kadyrov (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)

Asked about the accusations of systematic torture, Kadyrov said, "They made it up. They are devils. They are for sale. They are subhuman. God damn them for slandering us."

Not only has he advocated for the murder of gay men, he has also shared his appoval for the honour killings of seven women.

The women, who were found dead on the side of a road, had allegedly engaged in adultery.

“If a woman runs around and if a man runs around with her, both of them are killed,” he told journalists in 2009, stating that the women had “loose morals.”

He has also been widely criticised for using his involvement in sport to strategically whitewash crimes and human rights abuses.

Celebrity athletes such as Floyd Mayweather, Tyson Fury and Khabib Nurmagomedov have all been paid to attend events organised by his fight club.

In 2016 he hosted an MMA fight, featuring three of his sons, aged 11, 9 and 8 to celebrate his 40th birthday.

It was broadcast on a MMA station in Russia which was condemned by Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko. He branded the move as “inexcusable” as children under-12 are banned from competing in, or even attending, MMA fights.

Mohamed Salah, right, and Chechnya’s regional leader Ramzan Kadyrov. (AP)

Kadyrov was also criticised for allowing the children to fight without wearing a rash guard, padding, or protective headgear.

“Children under 12 aren’t even allowed into the hall as spectators, but here kids who are eight years old were beating each other up in front of delighted adults. Is it really that important for everyone to organise a spectacle at the expense of children’s health?” Emelianenko said.

In another move to improve his image, in 2011 he captained the Chechen football team in a match against Brazil XI.

He scored two goals, but the team lost 6-4 to their Brazilian opponents.

Kadyrov stated that he organised the match to show that the country had “recovered from years of separatist conflict.”

Chechnya has not been historically an ally of Putin and Russia.

In 2000, during the second Chechen war, Ramzan’s father Akhmad Kadyrov switched allegiances and was appointed head of the Chechen Republic by Vladimir Putin.

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